Reporting John Ostapkovich
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.