Ming’s Musing: What I’m Reading 9/28-10/2

It was a busy week and commitments got the best of me. Here is what I was able to read last week though.

Monday: More than 1 in 5 U.S. children are (still) living in poverty

Very short report/release on the state of US children in poverty. The scary statistic is that 22% or American children, 15.7 million school-age children live under the poverty line (2014 $24,008 for a family four). This is an absolutely frightening statistic. When the basic human needs of a person are not met, they cannot be expected to perform higher order thinking and intellectual development. Regardless of the quality of school/teacher, a student that is living in poverty will struggle to reach their potential. This is the single biggest issue related to education that is ignored with all attempts at education reform.

Tuesday: When Educators Act in Ways That Foster Student Misbehavior

MASSP Abstract that highlights the educator actions that lead to student misbehavior. The author does not condone the actions of students but rather focuses on how educators can tweak their behaviors to benefit students. The ways that educators act include: Highlighting ability differences, Promoting a performance-goal orientation, Establishing vague norms, Letting students choose their seats, and Using tired, old scripts.

Thursday: As Worries Rise and Players Flee, a Missouri School Board Cuts Football

This title caught the Athletic Director side of my brain and is very concerning. School districts around the country and considering, and in some cases are, cancelling football as a sport. The concern is very high from parents, and has been reflected in participation, that the dangers of playing the sport are just too great. Despite the efforts of the NFL and programs that have been created to instruct properly and make a safer environment, numbers are still dwindling to the point that schools are getting rid of the sport.

This is extremely troubling to me as the schools that I have worked at have been the center of communities that ground themselves in the pride from their football teams. Football is a contact sport and risk is inherent in that, but doing away with the sport altogether is a troubling trend. Then again, students being killed on the field is far worse.

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