"A child's learning is the funtion more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Sunday, March 06, 2011

How Long Will Bill and the Other Billionaires Ignore the 25% Child Poverty Rate?

Tonight 60 Minutes tells a story that will make you cry, and then hopefully it will make you determined to spit in the faces of Arne Duncan and Bill Gates. How long can these irresponsible corporate relics ignore the soaring poverty and homelessness among school children, while continuing to carry on their heartless demonizing of teachers and schools, the only remaining human institution that can offer these children any solace from the nightmares of daily living? 

When Gatess, the Broads, the Fishers and the Dells, the Waltons and Koch billions could actually do something productive to relieve the misery of the 7 impoverished children in every classroom of 28, what are they doing besides trying to crush public schools and the teaching profession?  How long can we afford to put up with this insanity?

From the Orlando Sentinel:

CBS' "60 Minutes" offers a wrenching segment Sunday on homeless children in Central Florida. Correspondent Scott Pelley said the report continues his look at people hurting in the wake of the Great Recession.

He wanted to focus on children after seeing a Congressional Budget Office projection that the child-poverty rate would soon hit 25 percent. Most of the CBS report concentrates on Seminole County. Pelley talks to Casselberry children, who speak of going to bed hungry and feeling embarrassed.

Two children stand out in the segment: 11-year-old Destiny Corfee, whose family lives in a motel, and Jacob Braverman, 14, whose family moved in with neighbors after losing their home to foreclosure. The report airs at 7 p.m. on WKMG-Channel 6.

Q: You could have gone many places for this story. Why Central Florida?

A: I asked some people at '60 Minutes' to explore where the child poverty rate was approaching that [25 percent]. It is particularly acute in Seminole and Osceola and some of the other counties around Orlando. It is one of the most challenged places in the country. So many thousands of people come there from all over the world, and it should be said Disney World provides an enormous number of jobs. But you have this utopian Disney World, and on the outskirts you have about a 21 percent poverty rate for children.

. . . .
Q: What surprised you most about the piece?

A: One of the things that surprised me is how unseen this is. You could pull behind a school bus and never notice that what you're seeing in front of you is 40 kids coming out of a motel and getting on a school bus. Those families are living in a single room week to week because they cannot afford housing. They could lose it in a week. This is happening all across America. This astounding estimate that 25 percent of kids will be living in poverty suggests how out of sight this problem is. . . .

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