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

Monday, February 04, 2013

Cut welfare if students get bad grades? We disagree.

State Sen. in Tennessee proposes cutting welfare payments to families with students with bad report card. We respond.
Campfield proposal would hurt youths
Published in Knoxville News Sentinel, Knoxville, TN, Feb 3,2013.

State Sen. Stacey Campfield's proposal to cut welfare payments for students with bad report cards is backwards. Poverty is the major cause of poor school performance. Poverty means inadequate diet, poor health care and lack of access to books at home, school and in the community: All of these are associated with low school achievement. The best teaching in the world will not help if children are hungry, ill and have little or nothing to read. Campfield's bill will make things worse, not better. Benefits to families whose children have low school achievement should be increased, not decreased, in order to protect these children from the effects of poverty, and we should take some of the money we are so eager to spend on "tough" standards and tests and invest in food programs, health care and libraries.

Michelle Shory, Knoxville, Clara Lee Brown, Knoxville, and Stephen Krashen, Los Angeles, Calif.

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