“Our” Kids

child poverty

Reposted from the Harvard Kennedy School:

When Robert Putnam was a teenager, somebody put up the money for him to play football on the high school team. And somebody put up the money for his spikes and helmet. Somebody also put up the money for years of music lessons and for an instrument so he could play in band. That somebody was the community of Port Clinton, Ohio, where Putnam, Peter and Isabel Malkin Professor of Public Policy, grew up in the 1950s. That small community on the shore of Lake Erie about halfway between Toledo and Cleveland, came together to do all that because it believed that it was right to support young Robert Putnam, just as it was right to give to every other kid in town the same opportunity to succeed. There was plenty wrong with a place like Port Clinton in the 1950s, including racism and chauvinism, Putnam readily concedes, but to a surprising degree, all the members of his high school graduating class were, in the eyes of that community, “our kids.”

Today, in Port Clinton, a lot of kids can’t play football or band because they can’t afford the hundreds of dollars needed to pay for the equipment. The lives of the bottom third, often simply characterized by personal and societal neglect, are unimaginable, in fact unknown, to those succeeding in today’s America.

“Over the course of the last four decades, our sense of ‘we’ has shriveled,” Putnam says. “Now when people talk about “our kids” they talk about their own biological kids, they don’t think about all kids. This leads to a situation that’s bad for the economy and bad for democracy. But it’s also just not right. We have an obligation to care for other people’s kids too, not just our own.”

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Parenting in the Social Age [INFOGRAPHIC]

parenting social age

Did you know that over 50% of parents felt that their children know more about the internet than they do? That can put parents in a precarious position. Just like putting restrictions on TV, chores, bedtimes, parents should be in control of what our child is and isn’t seeing on the internet. From checking parental controls to keeping up with the latest tech, this infographic from TeenSafe is a great place to start in helping parents become more actively engaged with their children online.

How Vaccination Rates Have Changed, State by State

MMRmap

Reposted from the Wall Street Journal:

Amid the current concern over vaccinations, there are notable differences state-to-state in the percentage of children who have had their MMR (for measles, mumps and rubella) shot. Nationwide, 91.9 % of 19- to 35-month-olds have had their MMR shot, according to the Centers for Disease Control’s National Immunization Survey. That’s actually up from 2000, when 90.5% had been immunized, but it is down from 2006, when the figure was 92.3%.

The numbers in the states show much more movement, however. Some have seen the vaccination numbers climb and others have seen them fall. Among various differences that would affect vaccination rates, states also have different rules about requiring vaccinations, with some offering more leeway for concerned parents to opt out.

The new concerns about vaccination rates come amid a rising number of measles cases. Last year, there were more than 640 measles cases, the largest number recorded since measles was documented as being eliminated in 2000. And there were a further 102 cases in January 2015, tied to an outbreak at Disneyland in California. These maps show some sharp movements, particularly in Ohio, Missouri, West Virginia, Connecticut and Virginia. All have seen declines of five points or more among the vaccinated using these CDC data.

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Reforming While White

whitereform

Reposted from education post:

This year, the combined number of Latino, African-American, Asian and Native American students in public K-12 schools surpassed whites. Yet The Atlantic published a distressing piece on the increasing re-segregation of our schools. It cannot be overstated what a step backwards this is for our nation. How can we learn to know, understand and love one another if we have no contact with each other? How can we be friends when we have no opportunities to forge friendships?

Our future is one that will become majority minority. That gives me hope for a society that can blend and celebrate difference – particularly as interracial relationships and children flourish. However, if we choose as a nation to grow more divided while our population grows more diverse, I fear for our future.

Therefore, I am going to keep talking and writing. I’m going to keep working towards more diverse and equitable schools. I’m going to accept that because I am white, there are limitations to what I can bring to the conversation on race, but that it doesn’t mean my voice has no value. Moreover, it certainly doesn’t mean I have no responsibility.

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Decoding Dyslexia [INFOGRAPHIC]

decodingdyslexiaDyslexia is a very common condition, and it can massively hinder people from reaching their learning potential. To help shed light on the matter, Andy Halliday of the eBuyer Blog offers this infographic on the how dyslexia affects different people, and how you can accommodate dyslexics in the classroom.

View the original post here.

10 States Where Poverty Is Worse Than You Think

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Reposted from 24/7 Wall Street:

In 1995, a National Academy of Sciences panel made recommendations for how an alternative poverty measure could be developed. Since then, the Census Bureau has worked in partnership with the Bureau of Labor Statistics to further these recommendations. The result was the supplemental poverty measure, which produces state level poverty rates that differ considerably from the official poverty measures. Compared to Mississippi’s official poverty rate of 20.7% between 2011 and 2013, the supplemental poverty rate was more than five percentage points lower during that time. In California, the supplemental poverty rate was 7.4 percentage points higher and, at 23.4%, the highest in the nation. Based on recently released data from the Census Bureau, these are the states where poverty is worse than you think.

Kathleen Short, economist at the Census Bureau and author of its report on the supplemental poverty measure, explained, “The important feature of that measure is that it includes a lot of the non-cash benefits that we have in the United States to help families with low incomes.” Short added that this is useful for policymakers because it allows them “to get a better idea of how effective our safety net is for helping people.” One of the primary differences between the supplemental poverty measure and the official one is housing costs. The supplemental measure is adjusted to reflect local housing costs, whereas the official poverty measure is not. According to Short, this is one of the major factors that can push up poverty rates in many states under the supplemental measure.

In fact, of the 10 states with the highest increases in poverty under the supplemental poverty measure, eight also had among the 10 highest costs of living. Further, in seven of these states, the relative cost of renting an apartment was also among the 10 highest nationally. The two states with the largest increases in poverty under the supplemental measure — California and Hawaii — were also the top two states in terms of the cost of renting a home.

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Why Teachers Have No Voice

novoice

Reposted from Dropout Nation:

My mom was proud of her profession. She spent endless nights and weekends writing comments on stacks of student papers. Over the following decades, however, she became frustrated. She became a union rep, and pushed to have the union make student achievement its primary goal. She was shocked to find that her fellow union reps seemed to only care about job protection and salaries. Later, when she worked with other senior teachers to push for pro-student scheduling changes, she was surprised at how much resistance she found among some of her colleagues.

After listening to my mom’s stories about teaching, I briefly spent time working in high school classrooms with legendary teachers Tommie Lindsey of James Logan and Cathy Berman of El Cerrito. Perhaps my proudest moment as a professional was when Tommie told me, “It’s obvious that great teaching is in your blood.” But after hearing my mom’s frustrations, I chose not to enter the profession myself. Today, my daughter wants to be a teacher. By the time she enters the workforce, I believe that teaching will be much more welcoming to her voice.

My mom retired early, exhausted. Like so many of my friends and family in teaching, she remains concerned about ineffective teachers. Over the course of my life, I have tried to understand why so many teachers felt these frustrations. I have gotten to know my own public school teachers. I became a volunteer teacher in public high schools during and after college. In grad school, I focused on education law and policy. I served school systems as a pro-bono consultant, and periodically left the private sector to work in education policy. I entrusted my own child to a public school. I have learned four things…

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