Schools, poverty and achievement

Five districts in Kent County drop ball on preparing students for college — at least, according to statistics. But is that the story?  Bill Vis asks,

any observations on this list?
Other than the obvious differences between suburban and core city districts?

I think this shows a pretty straight forward correlation between achievement and socio-economic status. Indirectly, you may also be seeing something of the impact of charter schools on the general school enrollments. That is, scores might be marginally higher in a number of districts were there no charters.

Raw numbers like this can also be so depressing. Often on MLive one can read a lot of “blame the victim” comments about poor lifestyle choices etc., all assumed to be behind the poverty. That, or blame the teachers.What these numbers do hide is the work of actual people in the system. There are classrooms even buildings where inspiring stories are getting made.

One of the biggest roles for the church is simply that of promoting a fundamental optimism about these schools. The parents, the teachers, the students are all in need of a basic frame, that this work matters. These are often schools that could also use a fair amount of direct love and engagement from the local church. This is another side of what it means when we say we are pro-life, that we are pro-hope, pro-possibility. Start knowing the kids, and you can’t give up.

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