From the CURMUDGUCATION blog: “Is Poverty No Longer a Thing?”

Is Poverty No Longer a Thing?

Posted by Peter Greene: 03 Sep 2016 

Mike Petrilli was over at Campbell Brown’s place this week

where A) he was oddly billed as a research fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution and a book author, but not as the head honcho of the Fordham Institute and B) suggesting that we might need to reconsider our stances on poverty, now that it’s not so much of a thing.

I’m not an economist and I don’t play one on tv (though economists pretend to be education experts all the time, so maybe I should just throw caution to the wind), so I’m leery of wrestling with Petrilli’s contention that the poverty rate has dropped to 7.8%. But I can say this with confidence– there’s a huge amount of disagreement about what the poverty rate actually is.

The census folks said that in 2014, the poverty rate was 14.8%.

But medianincome rate stayed flat. The poverty rate dropped from 19% in 1967 to around 15% today. Maybe those numbers are all really low because the poverty cut score is set too low, and the true number is much higher. Or maybe the true poverty rate is actually 4.5%.

One sometimes suspects that economists do not know what the hell they are talking about.

To find out what the hell they might be talking about, read the full blog post here: CURMUDGUCATION: Is Poverty No Longer a Thing?

Fourteen of the EAA’s 15 schools are failing: Can we finally say a state-take over didn’t work? | from the Detroit Metro Times Blogs

A takeover that began in 1999 under Governor John Engler has proven to be a multiple decades long and continuing failure of the Detroit schools district raises questions about experimentation and state takeovers. When will the Michigan GOP (the party of ‘local control’) its leaders, legislators and wealthy corporate reform backers admit that enough is enough? They are wrong. They have failed. For heaven’s sake return the schools to local control! – JLS

“On Thursday morning the state of Michigan’s State Reform Office — a section of the state Department of Education that Governor Rick Snyder recently placed under his own purview — released their long-awaited Bottom Five list, a catalog of schools across the state that fall in the bottom 5 percent of achievement…

Of the 15 schools in the Education Achievement Authority — a state-run district that was created based off the 2011 Top to Bottom List — 13 of them are listed as failing once again, and one — Phoenix Elementary-Middle School — is listed as being closed.

That means that schools that were taken out of Detroit Public Schools in the 2012-13 school year (i.e. taking funds away from the traditional school district), and placed in a state-controlled district under the auspices of a ‘turn around’ (that DPS couldn’t do it itself) are still — four years later — on the list of worst performers. Ninety-three percent of the schools in the EAA are still considered, at least based on test scores, as under-performing schools.”

Read the full report here: Fourteen of the EAA’s 15 schools are failing: Can we finally say a state-take over didn’t work? | Blogs | Detroit Metro Times

Education Experts Discuss the Core Content Areas in Perfect Schools – from The Atlantic

“Debating the design of core curricula is a way for grownups to entertain themselves, but it doesn’t help children get anywhere worth going. We should demand that all reformers and armchair rigorists do some actual public-school teaching—maybe three weeks as a substitute every year—as a precondition to furthering their proposed changes.
“Most learning, beginning with speech—which is the real miracle—happens outside of school.
“But reading in school is crucial, obviously. More silent reading and reading to friends—reading of anything—is a good idea. Kids know how to talk—they’re remarkably enterprising talkers, in fact—but many stumble over the decoding of simple sentences, even in high school. Some days, if they hate eye-reading, let them listen to audiobooks and podcasts—whatever holds their interest, and delights them, and makes them laugh. Have them write in one- or two-paragraph bursts after they’ve done some reading. Don’t require outlines. Toss the standard essay form out the window. Avoid horrible two-week-long projects.
“Hire teachers who are good explainers, who are curious about the world’s infinite subject matter. Pay them more and give them their heads. Let them lead their classes in surprising directions.”

Read the full story here: