Educating the poorest children of all brings real challenges

Educators have long understood poverty influences whether a student succeeds. What they are discovering is persistent poverty has an even greater influence.

So, while Atlanta Public Schools has long underperformed other districts considered low-income, was the poverty in APS schools more persistent?

Policy discussions are now going deeper into the issue of child poverty and schools: They are asking: Is the poverty multi-generational? Are the children coming from homes with low-income or no income? Is the poverty reflective of temporary setbacks? Or, has it been the child’s lifelong condition?

Studies show children dealing with persistent poverty in their lives face even more school struggles. The economic disadvantages linked to lower school achievement are magnified.

Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Meria Carstarphen noted her lowest-performing schools educate children from homes with intergenerational poverty where no one in the household has acquired the life skills necessary to do well in a knowledge-based economy. And that is a factor not only in how the school reaches the child, but the parents as well.

To read more about this issue, go to the AJC Get Schooled blog.