Seven high-poverty Minnesota schools defying the odds to create suc...

The school test scores made public two weeks ago don't tell the whole story of whether a school is succeeding in its mission to help students learn. Full Story

Inver Grove Heights, MN

#1 Jul 11, 2010
who cares.
The Loon

Lindstrom, MN

#2 Jul 11, 2010
Achievement is mostly a genetic quality of both ability and hard work. Poverty never held anyone back in this country if they had ability and grit. Nor can any school teach more than to help each child reach her or his full potential. Throwing all the money in the world at this reality will not change the outcomes. We owe each child an opportunity. We will not get equal results no matter what.
Todd Elvis Anderson

United States

#3 Jul 11, 2010
Poverty and non-poverty are often determined by education and academic achievement. Those who recognize the value of education and pass those values onto their children can begin or perpetuate the affluency cycle of their family. Those who do not place a high value on education and rigorously support the education and educators of their children are doomed to begin or perpetuate the poverty cycle.

It's not the school's fault if you don't teach your children to value the education they are being given.

Pleasanton, CA

#4 Jul 11, 2010
Maybe the teachers are better. Duh.
Reality Checker

Las Vegas, NV

#5 Jul 11, 2010
Proves my argument.

I'm sick of libs who always say we need to not fund (insert here: war effort/stadium/NASA/etc.), and instead direct those tax dollars to our failing schools.

My simple question that no one has yet tried to answer:

Just what EXACTLY will more money do to help our schools?

Will it motivate kids to attend classes and complete their homework? No.

Will it make parents care enough to pay attention to their kids' schooling to make sure they are staying on top of the work? No.

Will it make teachers care more about the lives and futures of those students? No.

Show me a school that needs a new roof, an air conditioner repair, or enhanced security features, and I'll gladly go along. But we don't hear about those issues. We just hear the tired old refrain that a lack of tax dollars must be what is causing a breakdown in our society's appreciation for excelling in education. No one ever looks at the real problem.

A study came out recently that further underscored this. It showed how many of the countries competing in the World Cup games were dirt poor compared to the US, and yet their students were so much more advanced in both the quality of their education and their graduation rates. Obviously then, money is not the issue.

The real issue is one of complacency. People will care about school when they stop being victims and stop expecting handouts. Education is a very proactive endeavor. It takes a desire to learn and excel, and our culture has been losing that edge the more we drift into this ugly nanny state mindset where kids expect to be celebrities instead of workers, and parents will sue schools over bad grades instead of simply cracking down on their kids like they're supposed to.

More money. Whatever. Tell it to those thrid world students who are making the average American high schoolers look like a pack of monkeys right now. Those other kids care, because they want a chance at a better life that they know will never be handed to them. THAT is what we need to be teaching our own kids.

Cameron, WI

#6 Jul 11, 2010
All any school can do is offer opportunities for students to learn. Investing in more teachers and classrooms at the elementary level will give young children smaller classes and more individual attention. This will help keep kids involved and feeling academically competent. It will also aid in early detection of learning problems, because teachers will know each student better. Adding additional staff (with specialized training in helping students catch up quickly) will make the best use of this information, via individualized student programs. Waiting until the kid has given up and then trying to save him/her as a troubled teenager is too little too late. Invest the money where and when it would do the most good. Also, if students don't come to school, constantly stop others from learning by being disruptive, act dangerously at school, etc., then put them in an alternative or reform school. All they are doing is robbing others of their opportunities to learn.
asking why

Minneapolis, MN

#7 Jul 11, 2010
OK- isn't the logical question raised here not WHICH schools are fairing better despite the "odds," but rather, WHAT are they doing DIFFERENTLY there and can we learn from it and repeat it? Good grief!

Pleasanton, CA

#8 Jul 11, 2010
Did you hear the one about the teacher that used her own money to buy school supplies because the school was underfunded?

America the Great

Minneapolis, MN

#10 Jul 12, 2010
asking why wrote:
OK- isn't the logical question raised here not WHICH schools are fairing better despite the "odds," but rather, WHAT are they doing DIFFERENTLY there and can we learn from it and repeat it? Good grief!
You're actually quite right. I'm not sure what other Topix posters are talking about -- poverty never held anybody back; teachers aren't using their own money to pay supplies; these schools are robbing others of opportunities to learn, etc.

Truth is, we ought to be happy that these 7 schools have turned a corner, and we should be trying to learn more from it. I suspect the reason why some of these posts are here is that they honestly do not care about failing students or good ones -- they just have an axe to grind about schools period.

Bemidji, MN

#11 Jul 13, 2010
India, much of their population is living in poverty by any western definition, yet they are producing more educated pupils then USA. So it's not the wealth, its the ability and drive on the individuals.

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