Saturday, October 17, 2015

Student Poverty on the Map

You may remember EdBuild as the outfit whose founder and boss declared that school district bankruptcy is super-awesome because it provides golden opportunities to do things like trash all your employees pensions and health care.

But EdBuild, because they are focused on real estate and finance, came up with a cool little map. It tracks student poverty school district by school district from 2006 through 2013. You might say, "Well, that doesn't seem like enough time to show much," and boy, I wish that were true, but it's not. Watch the map toggle through those years zoomed out to see the whole nation or closer to see your state or really close to see your district and the neighboring ones-- no matter how you cut it, we have been growing poverty like there's some huge demand for it somewhere.

If you want a real kick in the pants, just go directly from 2006 to 2013. Then ask yourself if you think anything has gotten better in the last two years. And then ask yourself why we've spent the last ten years talking about test scores and Common Core standards when we should be talking about the spreading mess that poverty is bringing into every corner of the country.

Most of all, consider that the increase is not because more children are being born into poor families, but more families are learning what it means to be poor. Think about how much of that struggle our students are bringing into our classrooms.

The map and related materials are here. I can't say that it's fun to sit and poke and study it, but it is certainly informative.

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