By Betsy Weigle
Poverty is a huge factor affecting the performance of our elementary students. Schools, districts and states with a high percentage of low-income families can reasonably cite poverty as one explanation for lower test scores or poor performance in other measures of student achievement.
My concern, however, is always for the individual children in my classroom. At that level, should poverty be any excuse for poor student performance?
In my opinion, absolutely not! Every one of our students can make significant yearly academic progress no matter what the quality of their home life.
I believe a lot in the promise of public education. Our schools are supported by taxes, and every family pays those taxes. In exchange, we promise (or should promise) that we will do our utmost to provide an excellent education for every student who walks through our doors.