As I looked at how the different countries appear on the attached graph, it
looks like this perception of poverty actually matches the overall
optimism/pessimism levels of each country as a whole. For example,
Brazilians are naturally optimistic, and this corresponds with their high
standing on the graph. I studiously avoid saying that Americans are suffering
from malaise, but if the shoe fits, wear it.
The problem is we give free or reduced lunch to many kids in the USA.
Principals would call that coming from a disadvantaged home when in reality most
of the time it isn't that way at all.
First it may be because principals are so highly paid that their perception of
poverty is relative to themselves. But secondly it pays off to have poorer
students, more government grants and other goodies for the poor and of course
its a great excuse for poor performance in the schools
If a parent can't afford to pay for the lunch of their own child at school
and must apply to get a free or reduced lunch, I would say they are poor. The
analogy that a poor family in America or Israel would be rich in some other
countries is completely illogical. The cost of living in this country is
specific to this country. Yes, a homeless child might be lucky to have a car to
sleep in America as compared to an African homeless child that doesn't have
a the luxury of a car to sleep in, but let's face it, our societal and
educational construct will make it very difficult for disadvantaged kids to
succeed even though they would be living like royalty in Mali.
What is exactly highly paid?I think administrator pay is comparable
to what you would find in the private sector for the responsibilities that they
have. Some include managing budgets, supervising sometimes up to 150 employees,
fund raising, meeting with parents, students, counselors, psychologists, social
workers, business leaders and community leaders etc.,P.S. I'm
not a public school administrator but just someone who actually likes to keep
things in perspective. And perspective would actually say that for the
responsibilities these individuals have, they are probably underpaid if
I did an analysis on a family of six (2 adults and 4 children) income living on
government assistance plus some help from their church and community charities.
It would be equivalent to a $50,000 per year income. Poverty??? Heritage.org
has also done studies on poverty in America--it opened my eyes to the lies that
the news folks are feeding us. I am not saying $50,000/year will provide alot
of extra curricular activities, yet many of these people somehow figure out how
to go to Disneyland each year. Parent participation in helping their
children learn social and educational skills is more important than the $ amount
of their income. Maybe, the parents need to be taught too.
I think this is an interesting article but I wonder what purpose it has. First
of all it's about perception and we don't know anything about the
factors going into the perception. What does the poverty line represent? Free
and reduced lunches are based on poverty levels but are not direct reflections
of poverty in terms of actual dollars. Principals would be well aware of the
free and reduced lunch counts they have in their schools and may not equate that
with actual poverty instead of an indication of lower income. Finally comparing
countries seems to be useless because the conditions in every country is
different. I think it's interesting that comments ignore all
this and instead find some reason to put down schools, or principals or even the
families that have children that are lower income and qualify for free and
reduced lunch. It would appear to me that in a country as rich as
the USA, we should have no child going hungry at school or otherwise.
What does poverty have to do with education? Oh, right, the "soft bigotry of
low expectations". Maybe principals should stop worrying about
socio-economic standing and worry more about educating children. I think the
appropriate answer from a principal to questions about the economic condition of
the families of students should be, "I have no idea".
You would be surprised how many students are on free and reduced lunches that
have top-of-the-line cell phones iPads and drive cars. Yes some of them and I do
say some of them do have part-time jobs after school. But there is an
expectation that if they happen to have free or reduced lunch then the school
district must provide for them everything. In fact our society as a whole has
gotten to a point where people feel as if they are entitled to just about
everything for free. Don't get me wrong I like free stuff as much as the
next guy. But the attitude of you give it to me because I'm on free lunch I
have a tough time with that.