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Comments about ‘Utah: 'Not even close' to closing the poverty gap’

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Published: Friday, June 17 2011 12:00 a.m. MDT

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luna1sierra
SEATTLE, WA

As I see it...a good part of the problem is that both parents are busy working and the kids are raising themselves. My mom went back to work when I was 13. I raised my brothers during the week because I was the eldest. My mom and dad saw us evenings and week-ends..but sort of fazed out . No one talked to us about college or much of anything at all. Parents need to know that their kids NEED them at least until their 18-19 to help them find their way.

worf
Mcallen, TX

Hope I'm wrong, but with our poverty, it appears we are transforming into a third world country. Take away entitlements and it maybe so. The massive debt may delete entitlements. Our leaders have betrayed us. Both democrats and republicans. A change in spending may give us hope.

Wastintime
Los Angeles, CA

re:Reverend Ike
"The reason we have so much poverty is that all of the good manufacturing and resource producing jobs have been sent overseas by rich liberal environmentalists."

Get serious
The reason many jobs have gone overseas is WAGE RATES. As someone who oversees taxes and acquistions for a large private multi-national corporation I can tell you jobs going overseas has nothing to do with environmentalists, and nothing to do with regulations here. People in China, India, Vietnam etc. work for a few cents/hr compared to a few dollars/hr here in the U.S.

Goet
Ogden, UT

Have: you're seeing it wrong.

The parent is the key to success in education. That is what the research says. You're thinking about the parent as a motivational figure.

That is only part of it. The parent is the one that brings the child into this life and provides the home life. This is the crucial part of a child's success: the home life that is provided by the parent.

Poor, starving, abused, children who were neglected pre-K and never read to or just plugged into the t.v., running from homeless shelter to alleyway, etc.

These are conditions outside of the control of the child and in the domain of the parent. They are the most critical.

Add to that the motivational aspects and you can see why the parent and the child's background have much more influence than anything else.

Goet
Ogden, UT

Worf: when you work 90 hours just to have food to eat, come home to a one room shack with a dirt floor, have ZERO benefits and have to wait all night for a free medical exam and some aspirin, then and only then are you part of the third world.

Having to pass on the plasma t.v. and lease and not buy that SUV is NOT 3rd world. Even the poor among us are well to do compared to many 3rd world countries.

Kermit
Kaysville, UT

timpClimber,
I have worked in 2 low-income schools over the past 6 years and have not seen any of this. The kids picked up when asked, were grateful for breakfast, and were appreciative and responsive to the concern, help, and care given to them. I have also worked for six years in schools that were in areas of middle/high income families. A handful of the kids in the highest-income areas were the most disrespectful and lazy of anywhere I taught, by far! I had 4-5 in each class that thought they were the bees knees, and that had parents that didn't know what to to with them, except give them everything they wanted. One mother even did her own son's homework. She and two other sets of parents were smart enough to figure out that they were a major part of the problem. The iother 75% of the kids were wonderful. I'd rather tea a "difficult" poor kid than a "spoiled" rich kid any day.

Kermit
Kaysville, UT

I work in a low-income (Title 1) school, and have for the past 6 years. It has a large percentage of ethnic diversity. Almost consistenly, our lowest-performing group is not the Hispanic population, not the Asian, African-American, or Native American population. It is the Caucasian population. And, it is the low-income portion of that population that scores the lowest. On top of that, it is the boys within that population that score the lowest.

The kids that moved into our school who knew very little English? Within two years they quickly mastered the language and were out-performing the others. They were brilliant. Honestly, all kids are brilliant in different ways, and we need to just give them the opportunities they need, with instruction on whatever level they come to us in the public school setting.

The poor and language-challenged kids are just as worthy of gifted-talented education as the wealthy. Don't view taking a focus on teaching those kids that have high-needs academically as robbing the funds that would go to those in gifted programs. In our district the funding has been reduced in both areas. Poor does not = "ungifted/talentless"

Kermit
Kaysville, UT

mkSdd3,
The UEA agenda? Reduce class size and increase funding for schools. They also want teachers to have a competitive salary so that schools can "compete" for high-quality people that want to teach. We often comment want public schools to be like, or have "competition" like the private sector, and want to apply the "business model" to how they are run. If we were to introduce competitino and treat it like a business, then the first thing we would do is to raise everyone's salaries in order to comopete for the highest quality of employees, increase our investment into the company to ensure that they had the best tools, and also ensure that the class sizes were reasonable to ensure that we were being effective in getting the best "product" or "results" (successful kids) as we could.

I don't see what's wrong about that!

Kermit
Kaysville, UT

Pagan,
You are taking the marriage research out of context.  The research you are quoting is that of "traditional" marriage. Directly applying it to another definition of marriage is taking that out of context. Of course the joining of two incomes and sharing a common living space is going to help get one "out of poverty" because living expenses are greatly reduced.

Respectfully, it is also perfectly legal for anyone to get married in Utah.  You can also adopt in Utah, but not in the way you seek. I speak from the position of one that is not in a "traditional" marriage. Biologically, children are only born to couples of the opposite sex. That is the way of nature. That is who we are- and a very hard thing for some to swallow because of their inclinations. Choose what you want.

OthersShoes
SILVER SPRING, MD

@mksdd3

To suggest that we should not educate impoverished children under the assumption that they are illegal children, to me is bigoted. To state something as bigoted, is not name calling per se, it is classifying rhetoric.

If you read my comment closely, my intention was to suggest Utah subscribe to effective programs. Teach for America and the charter movement are not supported by UEA or the NEA, so I'm certainly not attempting to indulge on their agenda.

Setting aside that argument, take a look into programs like Teach for America or Charter schools that are specifically catered to hispanic integration; who also spend less money per pupil than any state does that they are currently in.

I'm no expert on Utah's policies, but as an advocate to low-income schools (I teach at one of Maryland's poorest middle schools) I encourage you to go to BOE meeting and ask questions about fiscal policies for low-income students.

If we allow change in our schools to happen, we could save a lot of money and better educated our "other country's children".

OthersShoes
SILVER SPRING, MD

@Alfred

I'm not going to attempt to push my values towards immigration into this forum; while we are all immigrants, the recency of our immigration is typically what is focused on.

Utah's specific situation, what the article focuses on, suggests that low-performing students are hispanic and poor (to be blunt). However, hispanic or not, many low-income schools struggle with English proficiency.

My school, which is 95% African-American and 5% hispanic is on par with these schools proficiency levels in English and Math. To bring immigration into this picture wouldn't accurately reason our problems. If we continue to pursue the idea that we are educating other country's children, we'll continue to scale back to the next "inferior" race, African-Americans (when it comes to school achievement gaps and poverty). I'm not suggesting that you think this way but to bring immigration into this argument is problem avoidance, not mediation.

When it comes to those innovative programs I was speaking about- they are indeed programs that would cater to students needing to build English proficiency. Take a look at the Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP)- cheaper per pupil than the school's for the states they are in.

worf
Mcallen, TX

Goet,
There are many, many people who live in old broken down school buses and cars with no running water or use of electricity. Many! I've witnessed with my own eyes by visiting in all fifty states. I've lived in several of the fifty. I know for a fact what I'm talking about. Many of these people have found housing, utilities, and food because of government entitlements. Without it, third world country. Over half of our people are on it and the country is transforming.

I was not born in the USA. My first nine years was in poverty, and I hope to be wrong on my assessment.

squirt
Taylorsville, ut

I am absolutely appalled at some of bigoted comments posted in regards to this article. Children are the innocent victims and to suggest otherwise is shameful.
As for Senator Stephenson's comments about mediocrity, it speaks volumes to his ignorance as to the realities facing our traditional public schools. Simply another bigoted comment. So sad.

squirt
Taylorsville, ut

Other Shoes,
TFA participants do not stay in education and as far as charter schools go, they do not do as well as our traditional neighborhoos schools. So to suggest that they are better is not accurate.

squirt
Taylorsville, ut

mkSdd3,
It is a bit hypocritical to reprimand someone for name calling while at the same time making a blanket statement about the "UEA NEA agenda". Clearly you do not know that their "agenda" as you refer to it. Their mission is to create a great public school for EVERY child. People who live in glass houses should not throw stones.

CougarBlue
Heber City, UT

Students who drop out of school wind up most often having children who are not successful in school. 34 years in eduction gave me opportunity to see children and a few grandchildren of former students who dropped out or made little effort to succeed in school. A great majority of those children and grandchildren had learning difficulties. The parents did not avail themselves of the education and thus were not in a position to help their children, who were not successful in school and then their children inherited this lack of successful education environment in the home. Alas when they got to school they were not prepared. But we expect the school to change within a very short time this generation issue. If parents do not spend the time helping their children read and write and think then the child will most likely not be successful in a school setting.

When we talk about the "sins" of the fathers/mothers on the heads of the children this is a case of that happening.

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