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By John Ostapkovich

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A former New York City teacher is out with a no-holds-barred memoir/slash/manifesto about what ails public schools.

Laurel Sturt says most education reform, from charter schools to Common Core, is part of a massive bait and switch that bilks taxpayers and short-changes students. She says she started thinking about writing her book Davonte’s Inferno: Ten Years in the New York Public School Gulag, during her first week. Now, she says education and poverty remediation are intertwined for inner-city students.

“They come to school with behavioral problems and cognitive problems,” she says, “and the stress of their lives literally rewires their brains so that they have less short-term working memory than kids who come from a different socio-economic background.”

Sturt says a real investment in education also includes parenting lessons and job-training for the adults as well as pre-K for the kids.

Expensive? Yes, but she argues it’s probably cheaper than the potential outcome of not doing it, incarceration.

Sturt says Philadelphia public school students have been short-changed even more than New York’s in terms of funding.

She says poverty intervention is probably cheaper than more prisons.

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