Currently Browsing: Teaching With Poverty In Mind

Eric Jensen’s Extreme Schools: How Miracles Happen


This is an update on an “Extreme School” in Los Angeles County, California. Not long ago, this high K-5 poverty school had neighborhood drug dealers coming ON CAMPUS. The outside aesthetics of the school were deplorable, with deteriorating buildings. The district rates schools (academically) on a scale from 1-10 (with 10 as highest). This school was a “1” out of ten (the lowest possible ranking.

RESULTS? Today, it is the envy of the school district! What did they do and how did it turn out? Are you ready for another miracle? (more…)

Poverty & Student Achievement

overcome poverty in classroom

Five Things Most People Don’t Know About Poverty & Student Achievement

Also on Education Week’s blog. By Eric Jensen

Stop Looking to the Government for Help. It’s been 50 years since the start of the “War on Poverty” and enactment of 1965 ESEA legislative funding (Title 1- VII programs). Today, the U.S. Senate Budget Committee says we have 83 overlapping government welfare programs that together represent $1.03 trillion in fiscal spending by federal and state agencies (this year alone), based on data from the Congressional Research Service (CRS). We now have 22% of all school age kids (12 million) from poverty in K-12 schools. The government’s approach, over 50 years, isn’t working.

The Real Causes of Poverty. Since 1970, the dollar has lost 80% of its purchasing power. Those in lower or middle class, on a fixed income, lose the most. The inflation is a result of government debt and printing money. While it’s true that depressed job markets have some correlations with greater poverty, the greatest factors are rarely talked about: (more…)

CNN Asks Eric Jensen About The Challenges Of Teaching Kids In Poverty

CNN’s Education Overtime is a series focused on the conversations surrounding education issues that affect students, teachers, parents and the community. They dropped into our Poverty Workshop in North Carolina to ask about the classroom effects of poor nutrition.

“The lack of good nutrition is just one of the many issues children in poverty have to deal with,” said Eric Jensen, author of Teaching With Poverty in Mind. “These kids move around a lot, don’t have much adult supervision or routine in their lives, and sometimes suffer from mistreatment or abuse. So it’s no wonder studies have shown that low-income students tend to be low performers in school.”

If you’d like to learn more about overcoming the challenges of poverty in the classroom, download our free guide: Secrets of High-Achieving Schools with High-Poverty Students here.

90 Second “Kids From Poverty” Quiz

Take This 90 Second “Kids From Poverty” Quiz and Decide if You Should Be “Upgrading” Your TITLE 1 Classroom Skill Set in July

Before you begin, grab something to record your answers with. Go ahead and get out paper… Are you ready?

1. How much of student achievement in kids from poverty is correlated with their parent’s IQ scores?

a) Significant amount
b) Moderate amount
c) Negligible amount

2. Classroom behavior problems from with kids from poverty are based in the very same issues as with the non-poor (need for structure, clear rules, and consistent enforcement).
True or False?

3. What is the biggest academic predictor (at age 5) for how kids will do at age 11?
a) reading and math scores
b) positive attitude about school
c) working memory
d) IQ scores
e) having parent participation

4. Many poor kids who show you an “attitude” when you are disciplining them typically need an authority figure to show them the rules and consequences.
a) That’s the truth
b) Some truth, but not all
c) Mostly untrue

5. Which 3 are the most common disorders among the poor?
a) Delayed development, stress and AD/HD
b) Dyslexia, oppositional defiant disorder and de-motivation
c) Dyscalculia, dyslexia and oppositional defiant disorder
d) Drug abuse, depression and dyslexia

You’re getting this quiz for a reason. In the United States, about 22% of all schoolage kids come from families of poverty. These kids form the largest identified subgroup in America with unmet academic and behavioral needs. While every school in America has SOME kids that are more poor the rest of the students, many of you are seeing those numbers continuing to rise. The trend is “up” everywhere.

Now, why did I ask you the above questions? Two reasons. (more…)

Taking Bold Actions for Complex Challenges In Education

Brain-Based Learning can help to overcome the challenges of poverty teachers face:

Eric Jensen, author of Teaching With Poverty in Mind will present his session on poverty at ASCD’s Annual Conference & Exhibit Show in San Francisco, on Saturday, March 26, 2011, at 1:00-3:00 pm.

Teaching With Poverty In Mind – An Overview

The ASCD posted a great 6-part series where Eric Jensen gives an overview on the challenges of teaching children in poverty, and how schools can help children overcome the challenges that poverty presents.

To view the series on what being poor does to kids’ brains  – and how we can help them to succeed.