A Teachable Moment

Former local teacher union pesident Morty Rosenfeld periodically attempts to make sense of the increasingly senseless world of public education.

The Fault is Ours

While our elected national leaders debate tax breaks for the rich, New York State data released yesterday indicates that 10% of New York City’s public school students were homeless at some point during last year. The figure for the entire state was 5%. Think about it! 148,000 kids in the state were expected to meet a set of academic standards when they lacked a place of their own to live. Homeless kids miss significant days of school, are often malnourished, lack proper medical and dental care and are motivated by more basic concerns than their grades on the English language arts assessment. Their lives are often a daily struggle, a struggle filled with the anxieties about meeting basic human needs. How can it be that in the richest nation in the world, in a nation that supposedly concerned for the welfare of children, how can it be that we tolerate this abuse of so many? How can it be that we continue to believe the stupid idea that the lack of academic achievement of these kids is attributable to a failing public school system? When do we face the fact that the real failure is ours as a society?

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