No. 1 Issue is Poverty?

I came across an article posted by Kansas Education. There were some interesting comments made by the head of their state Department of Education:

“Wichita schools are more urban than many in the state, she said, but in spite of the poverty and diversity of student needs in the city’s schools, “we know they can learn.”

Is she implying that she didn’t expect urban students to be able to learn? And since when does poverty mean one can’t learn-Abe Lincoln managed it, many slaves managed it, Laura Ingalls Wilder and her family managed it. Or does Ms. Posny have such low expectations of her students that she was stunned by what they did know?

She’s also implying that poverty only happens in urban areas and not rural ones. Interesting.

She went on to say:

“To me, the No. 1 issue is poverty,” Posny said. “We’re talking about kids in inter-generational poverty. It is a societal issue, it’s not just education. That is part and parcel of what we’re trying to deal with. In education we’re good, but I don’t know how much we can change society. And yet we’re preparing the future members of society.”…

Shouldn’t any Department of Education’s number one priority be… Earlier she did admit that there is an achievement gap so why isn’t that her focus?

Most importantly, why are schools concerned with changing society? That is not their concern. Judging from the abysmal results the schools nationwide are achieving with reading, writing and ‘rithmetic, do we really want them changing society? And what kind of society will we have if they are successful?

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