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The 69% poverty rate for public school students seems high to me. Or maybe I'm just hoping the percentage is wrong. New York City school kids need so much support, on so many levels, that drilling them for tests seems so misguided. I hope all the creative, independent teachers haven't fled the Department of Education just yet.
NY1 has learned exclusively that almost 70% of public school students are living in poverty. It's a percentage that's increased at more than half of the schools in the five boroughs during the past three years. At 48 schools, the poverty rate is 97% or higher.
Many of the schools with the highest poverty rates are among those with the lowest student test scores. Educators worry about a lack of resources to support the children and their families. About 40,000 more students are eligible for free school lunches since 2009.
What's your reaction to the fact that almost seven in ten students are living below the poverty line? If you are an educator or parent, how does a high poverty rate affect the learning environment? What ideas do you have to improve student performance for those who may lack the resources to succeed?
Send your thoughts using the link above.
Poverty is not only a detriment to educational achievement but also fuels crime and other of society's ills, if we do not ameliorate the issue of poverty with all its inequities we are doomed as a society.
Hey look another statistic, but wait Bloomberg isn't having a press conference about this little factoid. There is no pomp and circumstance or a group of his croonies standing around crowing about this statistic, how did your news organization learn of this? Clearly no one in City Hall or the government want to stand up on television and run their mouths about this one. So 70% of public school children live in poverty, that's about thirty percent more then can read at grade level and ten percent more then students who actually know what a percent is. I would guess that by extension these students families also live below the poverty line, which means that things like books, computers, tutoring, etc. might be the least of their parents worries behind food, rent, and having lights in the house. Kids can't learn on an empty stomach or if they are living from place to place, and parents who can't afford to provide the basics more than likely are not mentally or emotionally able to provide the support these students need.
But in the mercenary world of Bloomberg all of this sounds like Socialist Black Magic I guess, and his crusade to gentrify the city, destroy unions and run the working class out of the city seem to be working, by accident on purpose. In his years running around this city like it's a Monopoly board Bloomberg has done everything to clearly undermine a greater number of the population then he has ever helped one iota. And in his endless pontification about guns, soda, trans fat, smoking, bike lanes, the decibel level of Mister Softee trucks, greedy municipal workers, the reality of income disparity, poverty, out of control cost of living and hunger never crosses that area on his face where lips would be. This is just another part of his legacy as far as I'm concerned, which has been totally interested and focused on making him and his Wall Street buddies more money while the rest of the city has fallen back to quality of life levels I haven't seen since the late 70's and early 80's. All of the crime that we have seen is linked to his failures in regard to education and his success in eliminating a viable working class in this city, and people need to wake up and realize that these 5-10 year old kids that are being dropped through the holes in the system are the same individuals who will be more enticed to pick up and gun and do whatever they feel is necessary to survive 10-15 years down the road. You reap what you sow......
Attention: Paul Ryan + Mitt Romney!
If the economy can be freed of government regulation and therefore free to rise, parents can earn more money to educate their children. As long as government is bleeding everyone dry by taxation, parents will not have the money necessary to send their children to good schools.
Government schools are in general awful primarily because government is inept at running schools nowadays and they suffer from the scourge of unionism.
When I attended elementary and high school, things were wonderful. The overseers were not political appointees, but parents and a school board selected by parents. That system has been destroyed by government and the unions.
This is a very touchy subject and I totally blame Mayor Bloomberg. I can't imagine why all of these topics seem to be coming up now that his tenure as Mayor is coming to an end. He has and never did have a heart for any of us. Now = we know that poverty exists and much of it has for a very long time. But this never stopped this dictator from closing schools, renaming them, firing teachers and aids and moving children around as though they were a sack of potatoes and when questioned about the length of travel time that was added on to their journey to the new school none of the answers were sufficient enough since changes were a last minute thing. Now by renaming schools, etc. would lead me to believe that this can't be good for their self esteem. Since this mayor is in office I never got the impression that he puts a human touch on anything.
BUT ONCE AGAIN THEIR PARENTS AND OR GUARDIANS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THESE CHILDREN AND SHOULD NOT BE ABLE TO ABUSE THE SYSTEM THAT THEY DO NOT CONTRIBUTE TO AT ALL. BUT I BLAME THE POLITICIANS BECAUSE THEY SELL ANYTHING FOR A VOTE AND THAT'S THE GODS HONEST TRUTH. Once again they don't build enough low income housing and they should be ashamed that none of the upkeep on all the maintenance has never been done on CITY AND STATE OWNED PROPERTIES.
Where does all of this money go? We should have the right not even a privilege to check on where does all of this money go.
Well with immigrants producing baby after baby and Young girls having babies while unwed Puts a significant strain on someone's finances
WE NOW KNOW THE CHILDREN OF NEW YORK CITY ARE EXPENDABLE. WE HAVE WITNESSED A RISE IN POVERTY LEVELS COMPARED TO FIGURES PROVIDED YEARS PRIOR. NOTHING WAS DONE TO RECTIFY THESE POVERTY RATES AND POVERTY RATES WILL PROBABLY INCREASE NEXT TIME THE SUBJECT IS REVISITED. HUNGER PAINS TRANSLATE TO ACADEMIC PAINS.
JOE, BAY TERRACE
Not only children are living in poverty, there are lots of adults who are in need. Prices for food items in the supermarkets KEEPS GOING UP, no one in authority trying to stop it. Why prices keeps going up, and items quantity in bottles/bags/packages are LESS but COST MORE, WHO is IN CONTROL of PRICES IN THE FOOD MARKETS. Why aren't prices under control ??????
I was appalled and greatly sadden to read that 70% of NYC school children are living on the poverty level. How can these poor children function under these poor economic conditions. More should be done to help the most in need. Children today need hope for a better life.
Freddy- Glen Oaks Village
To close schools and to evaluate teachers based on student test scores creates a system in which our best and brightest teachers will think twice before serving our most underprivileged students. I don't see the most impoverished people in charge of our city and I don't see our wealthy leaders truly fighting for those who are our neediest and for those that serve them.
I can see the correlation between poverty and low test scores. Just before children take the standardized tests as a school psychologist I do "De-stress the Test workshops for 3rd, 4th and 5th grade classes in my school. My number one advice is "eat a good breakfast" it will help you concentrate and focus on the test. If there is not food to eat, it will impact on the child's test performance.
It will take a large effort to change poverty in America. Teachers and school officials need to focus on the academic problem and... their bland classrooms. It is my belief that creative teaching and classroom inspiration will be the start to changing academic performance. Schools need to hire a force of younger teachers who understand that it's going to take a lot more than a newly aquired Smart Board. It takes teachers of the times to relate and elevate classroom performance.
Keith, Ozone Park
Just this weekend, the New York Times reported on its front page that homelessness has increased 18% in just the past year alone.
Mayor Bloomberg's policies have put thousands more New York children into literal homelessness. He eliminated funding for the "Advantage" rental subsidies and cut homeless families off from federal housing subsidies. These disastrous numbers are going to increase exponentially over the next several months.
How can Bloomberg call himself the "Education Mayor" when record numbers of children are being shuttled from one shelter to another -- not knowing where they will sleep on any given night? Not having a stable place to do their homework?
Linda Gibbs is the Deputy Mayor who is supposed to be in charge of his social service programs -- she's been a disaster and he needs to face it and get rid of her. Until City Hall changes course, we are consigning tens of thousands of these wonderful kids to a life of destitution and despair.
Mary from Union Square
These statistics have been brewing for years. Our mayor looks to teachers to blame for low student scores, while the majority of students have needs that supersede studying for state exams. Until the Mayor acknowledges that the major issues facing our kids are poverty, housing and unemployment , not inadequate teachers., teacher morale will continue to decline. Teachers are in the trenches and deal with families in crisis on a daily basis. They work not only as teachers, but as social workers and counselors.
I worked in a school that served students of low income as a counselor for a long time. The schools can only do so much and they do a lot as it is. The stresses of the City are evident in the student population.
I am a teacher in the doe and it saddens me that students are living below the poverty line, yet when they receive free lunch, they are not allowed to take whole pieces of fresh fruit out of the lunchroom, and the cafeterias throw them away even if they haven't been touched
Wasteful practices that could be avoided, and healthy food that is free to students and could be eaten at home later. How sad.
Karen in the Bronx
I used to be a public high school teacher. There were some students who would choose to eat their lunch in my classroom everyday. I regularly brought in food and kept it in my classroom refrigerator for one student who confided in me that there was not enough food at home for himself and his two brothers. He said they took turns who had breakfast each day. This was after I asked him why he was so sleepy in class and if he ate...
Upper West Side
This is not at all surprising, the city would rather spend 75 million a year on misderminor marijuana arrest instead of directing that money towards education, mentoring and job training . Our elected officials have failed the poor and disenfranchised in New York City
I have taught for 12 years, I am Not surprised by this at all. I truly have no idea what the solution is. There are many systems in place.... Free breakfast, free lunch, parent outreach, social service agencies in the school, extended day for extra tutoring, etc. families need help. There needs to better family interventions in place. Home visits, case managers, job training, and parenting skills. Many parents need help but have no idea where to even start. When i started teaching I was able to do more for the families in my classrooms. Now there is so much nonsense coming down from the DOE that is it impossible to give every student the time and love they need.
Lisa from cobble hill
I used to go to a school with a poverty rate of 72%. These kids are being taught to take tests and feel a lack of motivation due to so many sad examples of violence and poverty and there neighborhood. Reading ability begins at home, and the curriculum taught is frustrating for many of the kids, who are bright but get bad test scores.
I'm a teacher and I don't think that any NYC public school teacher would be surprised, and after 25 years, I'm still disheartened by the city's unwillingness to see the entire problem.
If you're not sure where your next meal is coming from, if there is no place to do your homework, if you don't have a permanent home, if you have to take care of your siblings and you're a child yourself, if there is domestic violence, if there's no technology or tutoring to help you with your assignments, if there's no money to pay the light bill, if, if, if. . . . . . . . . .poverty brings with it many reasons why children don't succeed.
Upper West Side
How is this number calculated. Is it from the school lunch form? Is income verified for income?
I’m not surprised at the statistic, and I think that it’s appalling. They call it a recession but it’s really a depression and it’s getting worse, not better. The self-proclaimed “education mayor” should be dealing with this problem instead of putting his energy into banning sugary drinks, trying to close or privatize schools and attacking teachers. Kids can’t learn in a deprived environment. Both the kids and the schools need resources, and bloomberg should do something about it.
Meryl from Manhattan
Please fund after school programs for children of all ages [K-12.]
I agree with the other caller Parents should be taking care of their kids ! If you can't afford them you shouldn't have them That's step 1in a very complex ever growing problem
A Concerned Teacher
I am watching your current episode on schools with high poverty rates. Bravo! I used to work for the Wildlife Conservation Society and our government affairs department was able to place DVDs in every mail box of every congress member, all pertaining to saving wildlife. A tremendous amount of influence and change was effected because an aide watched a timely video and passed the info on to their boss! Your viewership is so diverse and your prestige in NYC is so substantial that you should even consider starting an NY1 The Call monthly video digest on key issues and distribute via email it. Go for it!!
I am a HUGE fan! You are the best series on TV and your staff is brilliant – literate, involved and well informed.
MONEY IS HARD TO COME BYE NOW. KIDS SHOUKD EAT FREE WITH NO PROBLEM.. THEY ARE OUR FUTURE PRESIDENTS AND DOCTORS .. Why WOULDN'T WE TAKE CARE OF THEM.. IT'S BECAUSE THIS IS POVERTY.. RATHER GIVE THE ALREADY GIVEN MORE INSTEAD OF THE NEEDY MORE!
I noticed some callers are being cruel, but I have to say that not all kids are wearing what they would like to wear when it comes to fashion. A lot of the clothes they are wearing are donated. We live in a world where everyone wants to be trendy, therefore, some of these kids will feel some sort of depression because they don't have the latest fashion among other things. The media is to be blamed for this but when a child doesn't feel like he or she fits in, they will be thrown into a "bummer" if you will and it will affect there studies for sure.
This is Henry from Ozone Park
I think one of your callers hit it right on the nail I see so many kids walking to school with hundreds of dollars on their back and foot I think the parents spend way too much money and time working providing their children with all of the latest fashions and not focusing on what is most important the child's welfare and education this is why we need all schools to go back to uniforms, and then maybe the kids could eat
Helping students in poverty takes more resources....smaller class sizes, intervention teachers, lots of class trips to increase students background knowledge and experiences. But with Bloomberg's school system all we are getting are more and more tests. You do not fatten a sheep by weighting it, you fatten the sheep by feeding it!
Lisa, teacher from Brooklyn
Given the extremely high out-of-wedlock rate among minorities in NYC, it any wonder that 70% of our students are living at the poverty level?
This is appalling and disgraceful that 70% of children in public schools in New York City are living in poverty. How can you expect a child's performance to excel in class when they are not eating at home? You can forget about Standardized Test Scores -- children cannot learn or concentrate without eating or having a good diet. Good nutrition is brain food. I feel for these children immensley and I would like to know what will be done about this crisis. People come from all over the world to see New York City -- this is an embarrassment that the poverty rate is what it is here. We are not living in a third world country . . . at least not yet.
Parent involvement is critical. Also people of every community need to come together and demand more from their elected officials.
Anthony from Mariners Harbor. S.I.
As a city employer I work as an emt. I have been to a lot of homes and shelters. These poor parents have the mentality of the more kids you have, the more you can squeeze from the government. With a mentality like that, why wouldn't the education system drop?
Even more devastating to the children than the poverty rate by bureaucratic measures or material accumulation is the spiritual poverty, the poverty of empathy, the cultural impoverishment of children who are assaulted on all sides when they walk through their abodes and community to even reach the schoolhouse.....the poverty of response to curiosity and playfulness by overwhelmed caregivers. Economic poverty is terminal without a vision of possibility, a faith. a value beyond what your present circumstance deems you to be. As I always told my kids...you are from the projects, but you don;t have to become the projects. I put a paintbrush, or musical instrument in their hands. Their clothes might have been handmedown, but as my GreatGram said , Youre never too poor for soap. Respect all creatures.
The numbers are not a surprise. And single motherhood is not necessarily to blame (there are plenty of well-heeled unmarried mothers but you never hear about them because their children are not the problems). On the other hand, a very large part of the problem is that the people who are having the most children are those who can ill-afford to have them. If you are barely able to take care of yourself (financially or otherwise), then you should not bring children into this world. And if you are a mother who's already on public assistance, then after the first one, there should be forced sterilization. There's no excuse really with all the contraception widely available today.
1. The parents don't care
2. People are having kids who shouldn't be having kids.
3. The parents are not educated so they can't help kids do basic homework 4. Their are plenty of jobs for people who want a job. Work two jobs so your not in poverty. Parents in poverty are lazy.
5. Why are young kids out on the street late at night and not reading a book.
6. Stats on lack of parents involvement is easily trackable, ex. how many show up to parent teacher conferences, how many parents have read one book with their child over the past year, how many parents have packed a lunch for their child.
7. Look at those kids riding dirt bikes up and down NYC streets ... On news over the weekend..... They ACTUALLY think this is normal behavior.....
It comes down to one thing.... Parents don't know or care about parenting..
getting sick of people blaming the system,for once,please be a parent,you do two jobs to satisfy yourselves too,try blaming yourself,parents are the primary teachers,poverty is having nothing to eat,you have food stamps,section 8,what poverty???
dont blame poverty if your kids dont learn,blame you,parents are teachers,please dont let them learn that medicaid and ebt solve everything,teach them to strive,not to feel poor like you(parents)as long as you can eat,have a section 8 home,you are good,you survive
This is in reply to the educator from Sunset Park. Unfortunatley many poor people have very little to feel good about we have the best dressed poor people in the world. She reminds of a kid in High School who stated that poor people couldn't be that poor because they had a lot of garbage this was during a sanitation strike. I grew up in Harlem in the during the 50's and 60's. I was knock of my seat when I heard this. Sure he heard this from his parents.
An educator must have a master's degree I am not sure what they are learning to earn this degree. She has no idea about dyamnics of poverty. I see how she views her students so you think she holds them in high regard. Many of my friends and family work for educational system and they have related many similair stories about many their follow co-workers who come from outside the city looking down on our children while they collect their checks.
Not surprising. As a student who used to study education, I observed a school in Harlem "The Mosaic Preparatory College School". I saw 8 and 9 yr olds being treated very harshly, I assumed it was a way of getting the ideal scores for adequate yearly progress and the teacher' merit pay. But, some special ed seperate from the others, were being abused for not listening? or moving. I think there is too much pressure on teachers and parents should have meetings w/ teacher, see options that would make learning fun, such as camp or summer program instead of afterschool classes. There is no more TIME for FUN. Kids want to ;earn when they are interested that means making learning fun. I blame Bloomberg for the testing too much! Kids are learning how to take a test, not the content. Also, the compitition "Race to the Top" makes no sense if students are discriminated or experiencing learning difficulties.
The only thing shocking about the 69% percent poverty rate among public school students is the fact that someone has finally drawn attention to this issue. The DOE wants to focus on test scores, but how can our children focus on their studies when they’re riddled with anxiety over sub par living conditions? I’m riddled with anxiety over sub par living conditions. Poverty levels are on the rise because rents are obscenely high, and work is scarce. The ever increasing cost of living is making quality of life impossible. If educated, hardworking adults cannot survive today, what will become of school aged children who are being set up for failure by both the DOE and the city of New York who continues to forsake their own?