Teachers of the Year: Family Stress and Poverty Are Biggest Obstacles to Classroom Success from Diane Ravitch

Teachers of the Year: Family Stress and Poverty Are Biggest Obstacl...

This is a wake-up call to the “reform” industry. For the past 15-20 years, they have been telling us that the biggest problems in education are low expectations, bad teachers, teachers’ unions, tenure, seniority, and the need for competition and accountability.

The nation’s top teachers, the people who are the best teachers in their states, don’t agree.

According to a survey of the nation’s teachers of the year, the biggest obstacles to student success today are family stress and poverty. We need a new reform movement that focuses on the real problems of our society, not the fake problems that generate profits for the education industry.

Lyndsey Layton reports in the Washington Post:

The greatest barriers to school success for K-12 students have little to do with anything that goes on in the classroom, according to the nation’s top teachers: It is family stress, followed by poverty, and learning and psychological problems.

Those were the factors named in a survey of the 2015 state Teachers of the Year, top educators selected annually in every U.S. state and jurisdictions such as the District of Columbia and Guam.

The survey, to be released Wednesday by the Council of Chief State School Officers and Scholastic Inc., polled the 56 Teachers of the Year, a small but elite group of educators considered among the country’s best, on a range of issues affecting public education.

Asked to identify the greatest barriers to student academic success, the teachers ranked family stress highest, followed by poverty, and learning and psychological problems.

Why don’t Congress and the states listen to the experts?

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