You are here

Poverty Is NOT a Learning Disability

Poverty Is NOT a Learning Disability
Equalizing Opportunities for Low SES Students

Edited by:

July 2009 | 160 pages | Corwin


"This book is the perfect guide for those administrators and teachers who are truly interested in equalizing educational opportunities at all levels."
—Rebecca S. Compton, Professor of Elementary Education
East Central University

Proven strategies for increasing the academic performance of students with low school-readiness skills!

Children of low socioeconomic status often enter school with low school-readiness skills, leading them to be misidentified as learning disabled. Educators in Grades K–12 can allocate resources for special education services more effectively and meet the needs of low SES students by preventing students from being placed in the wrong program and by providing readiness supports.

Offering an in-depth look at schools that have realized effective results in remarkable time frames, the authors challenge educators and parents to consider how low expectations can affect student achievement—and emphasize optimism as a necessary tenet of schools' day-to-day teaching/learning programs and school-community relationships. This resource provides:

  • Training resources for teaching low SES students
  • Assessment tools for identifying learning needs
  • Strategies for building relationships of trust and collaboration throughout the school community
  • Data charts that illustrate the increase in student achievement from schoolwide initiatives
  • A bibliography and glossary of pertinent research and terminology

With these strategies and tools, schools can meet the developmental and environmental needs of their most vulnerable students and watch student achievement and confidence soar!

About the Authors
1. The Changing Realities of America's Public Education: Foundational Facts and Implications


School Readiness

Lack of Parent Involvement

Deficit Perceptions

Special Education and NCLB


2. The Unfortunate Link Between Low Socioeconomic Status and Learning Disabilities
Understanding Learning Disabilities

Poverty Is Not a Learning Disability

Educators' Lack of Understanding of Poverty

Teachers' Role in Learning Disability Referrals

The Cost of Misidentifying Children as Learning Disabled


3. Teaching Strategies and Techniques Proven to Work With Low SES Children
Four Teaching Strategies That Work

Creating a Positive Climate for Instruction


4. The Importance of Strong School-Home Relationships in Educating Low SES Children
The Importance of Parent Involvement

The Importance of Home-Based Involvement

The Importance of School Climate

Meeting the Challenges Presented by Low SES Neighborhoods

Embracing Cultural Diversity


5. How Strong School-Business Relationships Can Benefit Low SES Students
Creating a Partnership With Structure and Reciprocity

Looking Beyond Dollars in School-Business Partnerships

Recognizing the Partnership Value of Small Local Businesses


6. The Role Networking Can Play in the Effective Education of Low SES Students
Networking With Central Offices

Networking Beyond the School District


7. Managing Change Successfully
Why People Resist Change

Strategies to Reduce Resistance to Change and Promote Successful Implementations


8. Selecting the Right People
Identifying the Characteristics and Qualifications You're Looking For

Assessing Your Faculty and Staff's Strengths and Weaknesses to Clarify Your Needs

Communicating Your Needs and Interests to Human Resources

Structuring the Interview Process

Managing the Interview and Selection Process


9. Identifying the Core and Individual Competencies That Promote the Most Successful Learning Environment
What We Mean by Competencies

Identifying Core School and Individual Competencies That Promote Student Success


10. Identifying Expectations and Managing Performance
Some Basic Assumptions

Communicating Your Expectations

Managing Performance Around Your Expectations

Providing Constructive Feedback


11. A Proven Approach to Improving Educational Opportunities for Low SES Children
Professional Climate

Behavioral Climate

Community Climate

Instructional Practices


12. Summary and Conclusions
Being the Leader in Your School

Making the Most of an "Ambiguous" Situation


"This book is more than well-researched theory. This is a lifelong study in practical experience that proves once again that the value of building relationships within a community is vital to success."

Daren Berringer, Political Consultant
Joe Trippi & Associates

"An excellent book. This book embodies a powerful message that covers all the necessary steps to help transform individual mind-sets regarding poverty and learning disabilities.”

Belinda J. Raines, Principal
Northwestern High School, Detroit, MI

"The issues with special education are rarely addressed because many educators themselves do not feel qualified to tackle the concerns. This book allows the reader to see that there is a need to reform special education and to give a hard look at what we are doing and to begin making a change not only for special education, but for all students, so that as educators we lead them on the road to success."

Elizabeth Alvarez, Assistant Principal
John C. Dore Elementary School, Chicago, IL

"This book is the perfect guide for those administrators and teachers who are truly interested in equalizing educational opportunities at all levels."

Rebecca S. Compton, Professor of Elementary Education
East Central University

Sample Materials & Chapters


Chapter 1

Purchasing options

Volume Discounts Available

contact corwin

Please select a format:

Order from:

ISBN: 9781412969048

For instructors

This book is not available as an inspection copy. For more information contact your local sales representative.