On Tuesday, April 20th, my group, LC2, prepared a learning experience for that class. Our reading was called, “Urban School Reform, Family Support, and Student Achievement”, written by Kiersten Greene and Jean Anyon. There were many themes developed by the authors who wrote the article and many themes that they tried to make standout to the reader. One of the main themes the author’s pointed out was the obvious segregation that the economy implemented due to the fact of redlining. In the learning experience, we discussed redlining for a bit and the definition of the word goes, “To refuse (a loan or insurance) to someone because they live in an area deemed to be a poor financial risk”. Many businesses in the cities were given incentives to move locations to the suburbs which brought essential businesses such as grocery stores, pharmacies, department stores, and much more to them result in lost job opportunities to the families and people living in the cities. This led to redlining a bunch of businesses and schools to have little to no funding which then led to a negative education lifestyle for these city children.
The author gives many details and evidence by using statistics by revealing the differences of children’s learning capacities of the same age but the only difference these children have are the locations that they grew up in. In our PowerPoint we presented, a statistic we brought up from the reading was, “84% of low-income 4th graders in 11 of the nation’s largest urban districts scores at or below the basic level in reading”, which was compared to the children going to schools in the suburbs. The education system and supporting economic funding are not supporting the children that come from poor families living in the cities to get better access to a more well-versed education to then leads to better future opportunities. Also, the authors also brought up that these city schools do not provide the necessary needs for the children to excel which includes better school supplies, after-school programs, free tutors, etc.
After reading this article, I took a step back to comprehend and really understand the reading further. A plethora of main points stuck out to me as this is such an issue that could be helped by many programs and overall better funding. In class, we talked about how many lost opportunities black “poor” families lost. I also talked about a study that was in the reading which basically studied “poor” families in North Carolina in 2001 for the first half of the study. They found children and families being absent from one another, children not doing well in school, getting into more vandalism and criminal activities, etc. Towards the second half of the study, a casino donated its profits to these families and the results were amazing. The families could finally be families again with less worry about money, children got out of trouble, and school became more of a priority for them. I thought the study done in 2001 was extremely interesting on how much stress can be taken off from a family just by helping them out and lifting them up on their feet. It got me thinking to why there aren’t more programs and funding for such families to grow their future opportunities versus just giving them the bare amount of money to pay for necessities like food, rent, etc.
The themes our LC chose to emphasize were also what the authors emphasized in the reading. Those themes being how money in cities and the suburbs isn’t distributed properly which them tremendously effects children’s education and lost basic opportunities. We wanted our students (our classmates) to learn about redlining, the history of funding of cities, the differences between children’s development from kids in the city and kids in the suburbs, and how. This directly effects families and family time. For this lesson plan, my contributions consisted of helping with the PowerPoint and making the slides to take about the article itself and get more into the article and have more of a perspective on such. I also created questions for my classmates to answer or even just think about. My responsibilities for the lesson consisted of reading my slides about the article and making sure everyone understood the main points that the authors try to convey in the reading with also following it up with questions. Overall, I thought this reading was extremely impactful and quite sad how not more is done to fix the problem.