PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – When we look at the problems in education today, the plight of kids from low income households is daunting. Bob Herbert, in The New York Times reminds us a half century after the Brown v. Board of Education school desegregation ruling that “Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.”

Herbert adds that “the current obsession with firing teachers, attacking unions and creating charter schools has done little to improve the academic outcomes of black and Latino students. Nothing has brought about gains on a scale as needed; we have to get them away from learning environments smothered in poverty.”

Research by The Century Foundation in Montgomery County, MD, showed that low income children enrolled in affluent elementary schools did better academically than their peers in higher-poverty county schools. In those schools race wasn’t important—there were better teachers, fewer classroom disruptions and more involved parents.

About 80 other school districts are taking such steps—establishing high achieving magnet schools in low income neighborhoods that some middle class students attend; some middle-class schools are accepting low income kids accompanied by more resources.

It can be done.

Reported By Dr. Marciene Mattleman, KYW Newsradio

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