Friday, March 5, 2021

Does Poverty + Pandemic = Disaster?

We have all heard, by some, that poverty is not destiny.  We have also heard from others that poverty is destiny.  Let's now explore what poverty plus pandemic leads to.

It is easy to justify ones point of view when they talk in generalities.  Of course there are some who have lived in poverty yet escaped the roadblocks that might bring them down.  On the other hand, (other than four fingers and a thumb) There are many who live in poverty who are brought down by roadblocks such as childhood stress, and they are troubled.  They become the destiny that others talk about.

So, now that we know how politicians and educators alike scam their constituents, let's take a deeper look at the current problem.  Most students are away from school for longer than an year.  Some have computers, parents at home, computer knowledge, and learn best through that technology.  Many, if not most, are missing some of these elements as well as living with the road blocks that hinder learning.. 

I will focus on that last group.  Here is one scenario on how this could play out.

1.  A child is forced by poverty to live in a rough neighborhood where shots are fired daily.  For that reason alone, that child has undo stress.

2. Childhood stress, in the words of Dr.Kara Fitzgerald, "When something stressful or threatening happens, it's not just our brain that is involved.  We have to recruit everything from the immune system, to that fat system to the heart."  "And they are kind of altering multiple systems to deal with hard life."  Damn, try to study with all that going on.

3.  Now that child enters our current system of education.  As that child develops slower than most, teachers have a fundamental choice.  They can pass a student with D- or retaining them.  Of course there are tweeks like summer school or tutoring etc.  Those are ok but often lead to the student being taught in the same way and thus progressing, or failing, in the same way.  Although there are exceptions, there will be those who return at the same skill level at which they left the class.  Again, passing without learniing or being retained.

4.  Of course when they are retained, whether it be for the whole grade level or one class, they move one year away from graduation.  The second time retained, they reaize they will be over twenty when they graduate and drop out.  This realization usually occurs around ninth grade.

5.  Now we add the pandemic.  As I mentioned before, those who do not have access to the computer, have parents hustling for a living because their job closed down leaving little support at home, do not have computer skills, and who do not learn best through a computer, will return with their collective skills all over the board. 

6.  As students return, educatiors will recognize that one size fits all doesn't work.  And summer school and other tweeks will make little difference.  They then slip into the horrible system of failure that was developed in the eighteenth century and still exists.

7.  And who will the politicians blame?  CORRECT, BLAME THE TEACHERS!

As children return to in school learning, there will be a huge wake up call, a large slap in the face to those politicians who have no clue how to serve kids in this generation.

Now you might ask, what are the solutions?  I'm glad you ask.  I have a whole book full of solutions. You can go to any dot com or my website and they only cost $25.00.