Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Homelessness in NYC Poses Problems for Families, Children, and Schools: We Blame the Schools | janresseger

Homelessness in NYC Poses Problems for Families, Children, and Schools: We Blame the Schools | janresseger:

Homelessness in NYC Poses Problems for Families, Children, and Schools: We Blame the Schools



It is so easy to attack the public schools for failing to solve society’s intractable problems. For twenty years, that has been the strategy of test-and-punish school accountability. As an incentive to get everybody to work harder and smarter, punishments have been prescribed—fire the principal, fire the teachers, close the school, charterize the school.  Another assumption has been that governance changes—privatizing schools, opening charters, expanding school choice—would address the needs of children and families.  The ideology has said that lack of the freedom to choose is the problem.
Elizabeth Harris reports this week for the NY Times that a serious underlying problem for children in the New York City Schools is unrelated to teachers-not-trying.  And this problem cannot be addressed by a school choice system where high schools in NYC no longer have zoned attendance catchment areas and where vulnerable parents now have to play a complicated game to apply for places in the city’s middle and high schools. The problems are much deeper and among them has been rapidly growing homelessness. In a school district that serves over a million students, the enormous scale of family homelessness, the challenges for families in the homeless shelters, and the difficulty of coordinating services at school for homeless students have become overwhelming.
Harris covers a new report, written for the Independent Budget Office of New York City by Liza Pappas, Not Reaching the Door: Homeless Students Face Many Hurdles on the Way to School.  Pappas describes a rapidly growing problem: “There was a 25 percent increase in the number of temporarily housed youth attending schools run by the city’s education department from school year 2010-2011 through 2013-2014, when the number totaled roughly 83,000.”  “Thirty-four percent of city students in temporary housing identified as living in homeless shelters, while 58 percent said they are doubled up… An additional 8 percent Homelessness in NYC Poses Problems for Families, Children, and Schools: We Blame the Schools | janresseger:


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