Addressing Poverty as a Sector, as a School and as a Classroom

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Reposted from ASCD In Service:

On Wednesday, May 5th, ASCD sponsored its most recent Whole Child Symposium on the topic of poverty. Convened at the Newseum in the heart of Washington, D.C., and streaming online to educators everywhere, we assembled two panels of educators to explore the impact and implications of poverty in preparing children for their future.

“It’s a national problem. If public education in this country fails, the nation fails,” stated Steve Suitts, senior fellow of the Southern Education Foundation. “The trend of impoverished majority has been accelerated by the great recession. Even in suburban America, more and more students are low income. Poverty cannot become the new normal.” And yet that is the reality we are facing.

Poverty2ASCD Executive Director Judy Seltz agrees. “At the beginning of the War on Poverty there was a
national commitment to make life better for poor people. But over time there was a shift and it became OK to change the dialog from the supports people needed to blaming them: it’s their fault. This 50 year mark is an opportunity to look back, do this again, do it differently, do it better.” It has become too easy to select media and news sources that only reinforce our existing belief systems. To fight poverty is to fight ignorance and belief systems of “us” versus “them.”

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