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Do we live in a meritocracy? The “American Dream,” as most commonly understood, is the idea that anyone from any background can be successful if they work hard enough. “Successful” is not defined necessarily as “wealthy,” but “able to earn enough for a decent life.” Perhaps the most motivating incentive behind the American Dream is the belief that your children will go on to be more ‘successful’ than you are. Yet, emerging evidence suggests that success in America is not quite based solely on one’s own ability, but on one’s access to resources.
The links between poverty and educational achievement are undeniable. The question, then, is what to do about it? Schools across the country often offer strategies that try to cope with the myriad of programs caused by children living in poverty.
But, is school the right place to do that? Programs that provide school meals, particularly breakfast, have shown to increase educational performance while decreasing discipline rates.
Last week, roughly 30,000 Los Angeles teachers returned to the classroom after a six-day strike, the district’s first in 30 years. Disputes between the United Teachers Los Angeles union and the LA school district had arisen over pay, class size, and school services such as nurses and counselors.
But union leaders were also demanding a moratorium on the expansion of charter schools in Los Angeles, the growth of which they say puts extra stress on the resources available to schools, and even threatens the very notion of public education itself.
Welcome to the Our Kids series blog.
Here we want to share with you some of the novel ideas that have helped communities around the country. These ideas arrive in all shapes and sizes, are developed by individuals, community groups, non-profits, and local governments, all working together to make their communities a better place. The goal is to help close the opportunity gap that has left so many of our kids behind.
In this blog we hope you'll find ideas that can be used in your own community. We hope that you'll share your ideas with us.