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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

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ISBN: 9781412969048

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