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At 07:24 AM 1/21/98 -0500, you wrote:
>I am puzzled by the perception of some of my colleagues.  History is full
of stories of
>people who succeeded in education in spite of poverty.  I think we are
going for a red
>herring when we blame poverty for poor grades.

Dennis, it might be a question of how we're using language, but I don't
think anyone actually believes that if you are poor, you are automatically
going to fail.  Poverty does not equal poor grades, any more than child
abuse, lousy teaching, lack of funding, obsolete textbooks, etc., does.
Any one of these factors can be totally compensated for in other ways.

The operant word here is "can be."  I would say, a conversation about
poverty and education becomes irrelevant when our educational systems
(financial aid, registration, schedules, classrooms, etc.) have factored
out those conditions which favor those whose values and opportunities are
more in line with those of the middle and upper socio-economic groupings.
Until then, I think we don't need to pretend that it's a level playing
field.
                                Neal Steiger
                      NH Community Technical College
                        379 New Prescott Hill Road
                            Laconia NH  03246
                phone:  603-524-3207   fax: 603-524-8084
          "Even a planarian worm can learn."  --Eunice Cornish