Some subscribers to Math-Teach might be interested in a recent post "Effects of Poverty on U.S. Children's Educational Achievement Redux" [Hake (2013b)]. The abstract reads:
********************************************* ABSTRACT: In response to my post "Barriers to Better K-12 Math Education: Poverty and the Inadequate Undergraduate Education of Prospective K-12 Teachers" [Hake (2013a)] at <http://bit.ly/V6azOZ>, Ed Wall (2013b), in his Math-Learn post at <http://yhoo.it/10CO8af>. , made 2 points: (1) My statement that Wall implied that the dumbing down of elementary school mathematics in the U.S. is due to Math Education Researcher's preoccupation with the secondary years is "more than a little un-thoughtful." (2) His post "Re: Do We Learn All the Math We Need For Ordinary Life Before 5th Grade?" [Wall (2013a)] at <http://yhoo.it/W6fn5y> had more to do with (a) his agreement with David Hawkins - see signature quote - which Wall assumes I have refuted, and (b) people such as myself who " 'imply' that children are less than capable because of their socioeconomic status." [Non-subscribers to Math-Learn can access Wall's post by taking a minute to "Join this List" at the Math-Learn archives <http://yhoo.it/fF6D9w>.]
Here I refute Wall's 2 points with emphasis on Wall's incorrect point 2b: "people such as myself 'imply' that children are less than capable because of their socioeconomic status." On the contrary, I implied that children *in poverty* are less capable of *academic achievement* than children not in poverty.
I think that children in poverty are probably just as *inherently* capable as children not in poverty, but societal and home factors conspire against their academic achievement. For example many of them: (a) are subjected to poor teaching, (b) attend dilapidated schools with high student and teacher turnover, (c) have academically uninvolved parents, (d) partake of few out-of-school enrichment activities, (e) have limited access to books, (f) receive inadequate nutrition, (g) live in slums, (h) come from broken families, (i) are threatened by gang violence, (j) have few academic role models, and (k) suffer from environmental hazards such as lead poisoning. *********************************************
". . .I will look primarily at our traditions and practices of early schooling through the age of twelve or so. There is little to come after, whether of joys or miseries, that is not prefigured in these years." - David Hawkins (2001) in "The Roots of Literacy" p. 3.
"Data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress show that more than 40 percent of the variation in average reading scores and 46 percent of the variation in average math scores across states is associated with variation in child poverty rates. . . . . Can anyone credibly believe that the mediocre overall performance of American students on international tests is unrelated to the fact that one-fifth of American children live in poverty?" - Ladd & Fiske (2011)
"For the short term, preparing teachers in mathematics and science is a wise and useful step toward improving schools. [But] as quickly as possible, we must understand the link between poverty and educational outcomes in the U.S., devise solutions, and finally test and implement them. . . . . I hope that proponents of teacher quality and charter schools will recognize the weakness of a single-minded approach before it is too late, and that we will not damage public education, let down our most vulnerable students, and lose technical leadership we take for granted." - Michael Marder (2012)
REFERENCES [URL shortened by http://bit.ly/ and accessed on 19 Jan 2013.] Hake, R.R. 2013a. "Barriers to Better K-12 Math Education: Poverty and the Inadequate Undergraduate Education of Prospective K-12 Teachers," online on the OPEN! AERA-L archives at <http://bit.ly/V6azOZ>. Post of 16 Jan 2013 15:40:33 -0800 to AERA-L and Net-Gold. The abstract and link to the complete post are being transmitted to several discussion lists and are also on my blog "Hake'sEdStuff" at <http://bit.ly/SPOkQ8> with a provision for comments.
Hake, R.R. 2013b. "Effects of Poverty on U.S. Children's Educational Achievement Redux" online on the OPEN! AERA-L archives at <http://bit.ly/VC0jza>. Post of 19 Jan 2013 09:49:56-0800 to AERA-L and Net-Gold. The abstract and link to the complete post are being transmitted to several discussion lists and are also on my blog "Hake'sEdStuff" at <http://bit.ly/Verm2r> with a provision for comments.
Hawkins, D. 2001. "The Roots of Literacy." University of Colorado Press. Amazon.com information at <http://amzn.to/h3cbtf>.
Ladd, H.E. & E.B. Fiske. 2011. "Class Matters. Why Won't We Admit It?" New York Times Opinion Piece, 11 Dec.; online at <http://nyti.ms/vx3nub>.
Marder, M. 2012. "Failure of U.S. Public Secondary Schools in Mathematics," Journal of Scholarship and Practice 9(1): 8-25; the entire issue is online as a 2.7 MB pdf at <http://bit.ly/KPitWM>, scroll down to page 8.