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Poverty Is NOT a Learning Disability: Equalizing Opportunities for Low SES Students

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Overview

Proven strategies for increasing the academic performance of students with low school-readiness skills!

Children of low socioeconomic status often enter school with low school-readiness skills, leading them to be misidentified as learning disabled. Educators in Grades K–12 can allocate resources for special education services more effectively and meet the needs of low SES students by preventing students from being placed in the wrong program and by providing readiness supports. Examining proven success stories, the authors provide:

  • Training resources
  • Assessment tools for identifying learning needs
  • Strategies for building collaborative communitywide relationships
  • Data charts proving the success of schoolwide initiatives

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Editorial Reviews

Daren Berringer
"This book is more than well-researched theory. This is a lifelong study in practical experience that proves once again that the value of building relationships within a community is vital to success."
Belinda J. Raines
"An excellent book. This book embodies a powerful message that covers all the necessary steps to help transform individual mind-sets regarding poverty and learning disabilities.”
Elizabeth Alvarez
"The issues with special education are rarely addressed because many educators themselves do not feel qualified to tackle the concerns. This book allows the reader to see that there is a need to reform special education and to give a hard look at what we are doing and to begin making a change not only for special education, but for all students, so that as educators we lead them on the road to success."
Rebecca S. Compton
"This book is the perfect guide for those administrators and teachers who are truly interested in equalizing educational opportunities at all levels."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781412969031
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Publication date: 7/28/2009
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 7.20 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Lizette (Tish) Howard has 20 years of experience as an educator working with children and parents in low socioeconomic schools. She is an elementary principal in a Title I school in which 43 percent of its families are classified as living in poverty. In this position, Howard is responsible for the design and implementation of numerous programs and a school climate that raised the level of student academic success and closed the achievement gap between students of poverty and those residing in homes of economic stability. Howard works with parents, civic associations, clergy, and the business community to level the economic playing field for disadvantaged students and has implemented numerous initiatives to provide the necessary background knowledge many children from poverty lack when entering school.

Prior to her role as a school administrator, Howard served 10 years as a speech and language pathologist with a full caseload of language delayed children. She spent eight of those 10 years delivering services to emotionally disturbed adolescent males in an alternative educational setting. It was in that capacity that Howard introduced inclusion language therapy to her school district as opposed to the standard pull-out method. This form of therapeutic delivery is now widely used districtwide.

Howard has served as an education consultant for local preschool and summer camp experiences. She designed an educational summer experience for low socioeconomic children that focused on providing a foundation for the academic challenges they would face in the upcoming academic year. She also served on the Minority Student Achievement Board for her school system and has presented programs on intervention methods at the local school and university level.

Howard earned her bachelor's and master’s degrees in speech and language pathology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and her PhD in education leadership from George Mason University. While completing her postgraduate work, Howard was a contributing writer to the USA Today educational web site, and she continues to mentor prospective administrators through the university mentoring program. She has been nominated for Principal of the Year honors in her school district, recognized by the Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development for development of positive school climate, and featured in numerous television and print articles.

Sandy Grogan Dresser is a human resources management consultant who consults with clients in the areas of compensation, performance management, management development, employee communications, and human resources policy and administration. She has more than 30 years experience in the field of human resources management, including six years in her private consulting practice and 15 years as an assistant vice president with Aon Consulting in Bethesda, Maryland. Prior to joining Aon, Dresser served as a human resources director in both the public and private not-for-profit sectors. She has also served as an executive development consultant to a number of federal departments and agencies.

Dresser served 12 years as a public school teacher and administrator, during which time she was instrumental in the development and implementation of significant educational change in the implementation of middle schools and managed the human resources function of a metropolitan school district. In addition to standard personnel administration, she was responsible for coordinating a reorganization plan that included the closing of nine junior high schools, the opening of six new middle schools, and the reassignment of 300 employees. In this role, she devised and directed a staff reassignment procedure that effected minimum disruption and a high level of satisfaction among teachers, administrators, students, and parents.

A graduate of the University of North Carolina and Kansas University, Dresser holds bachelor's degrees in history and education and a master’s degree in education policy and administration. She is the author of numerous articles published in professional journals and frequently presents seminars for professional associations on topics in the human resources management field.

Dr. Dennis R. Dunklee is an Emeritus Professor in the Education Leadership Department in the Graduate School of Education at George Mason University. During his twenty-five years in public schools, he served as a teacher, elementary school principal, junior high and middle school principal, high school principal, and central office administrator. During his more than twenty years at George Mason University, he taught courses in education law and school leadership and served as an advisor and chair for master’s and doctoral candidates in school leadership.
Because of his expertise and practical experience, he continues to be frequently called on to consult in the areas of effective schools, school law, administrator evaluation, instructional supervision, school-community relations, problem solving, and conflict resolution. In addition, he continues to be actively involved as a consultant and expert witness in numerous school-related lawsuits nationwide. As a university scholar and researcher, he has published, and continues to publish, textbooks, monographs, and articles on issues in the fields of school law, business management, administrative practice, and leadership theory. He also continues to present papers at international, national, regional, state, and local conferences and is a widely sought-after clinician for inservice workshops. Dr. Dunklee was an invited participant and presenter at the 2005 Oxford (University) Round Table on Education Law: Individual Rights and Freedoms.

He received his Ph.D. in school administration and foundations from Kansas State University. His major area of research was in the field of education law, and his dissertation was on tort liability for negligence. He holds a master’s degree in elementary and secondary school administration from Washburn University.

This is Dr. Dunklee’s eighth book for Corwin Press. His other Corwin books are You Sound Taller on the Telephone: A Practitioner’s View of the Principalship (1999); If You Want to Lead Not Just Manage (2000); The Principal’s Quick Reference Guide to School Law (2002 and 2006, with Robert J. Shoop); Strategic Listening for School Leaders (2005, with Jeannine Tate); Anatomy of a Lawsuit: What Every Education Leader Should Know About Legal Actions (2006, with Robert J. Shoop); and Poverty Is NOT a Learning Disability (2009, with Tish Howard and Sandy Grogan Dresser).

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Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
About the Authors
Introduction
1. The Changing Realities of America's Public Education: Foundational Facts and Implications
Diversity
Poverty
School Readiness
Lack of Parent Involvement
Deficit Perceptions
Special Education and NCLB
Summary
2. The Unfortunate Link Between Low Socioeconomic Status and Learning Disabilities
Understanding Learning Disabilities
Poverty Is Not a Learning Disability
Educators' Lack of Understanding of Poverty
Teachers' Role in Learning Disability Referrals
The Cost of Misidentifying Children as Learning Disabled
Summary
3. Teaching Strategies and Techniques Proven to Work With Low SES Children
Four Teaching Strategies That Work
Creating a Positive Climate for Instruction
Summary
4. The Importance of Strong School-Home Relationships in Educating Low SES Children
The Importance of Parent Involvement
The Importance of Home-Based Involvement
The Importance of School Climate
Meeting the Challenges Presented by Low SES Neighborhoods
Embracing Cultural Diversity
Summary
5. How Strong School-Business Relationships Can Benefit Low SES Students
Creating a Partnership With Structure and Reciprocity
Looking Beyond Dollars in School-Business Partnerships
Recognizing the Partnership Value of Small Local Businesses
Summary
6. The Role Networking Can Play in the Effective Education of Low SES Students
Networking With Central Offices
Networking Beyond the School District
Summary
7. Managing Change Successfully
Why People Resist Change
Strategies to Reduce Resistance to Change and Promote Successful Implementations
Summary
8. Selecting the Right People
Identifying the Characteristics and Qualifications You're Looking For
Assessing Your Faculty and Staff's Strengths and Weaknesses to Clarify Your Needs
Communicating Your Needs and Interests to Human Resources
Structuring the Interview Process
Managing the Interview and Selection Process
Summary
9. Identifying the Core and Individual Competencies That Promote the Most Successful Learning Environment
What We Mean by Competencies
Identifying Core School and Individual Competencies That Promote Student Success
Summary
10. Identifying Expectations and Managing Performance
Some Basic Assumptions
Communicating Your Expectations
Managing Performance Around Your Expectations
Providing Constructive Feedback
Summary
11. A Proven Approach to Improving Educational Opportunities for Low SES Children
Professional Climate
Behavioral Climate
Community Climate
Instructional Practices
Summary
12. Summary and Conclusions
Being the Leader in Your School
Making the Most of an "Ambiguous" Situation
References
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