Academic Achievement and Housing: A link that needs more discussion

When I joined Teach for America in 2006, I needed no reminder that the “achievement gap,” the gap between educational progress in white and minority students, was largest here in Connecticut. But what is the “gap”? What is the cause? What is the solution?

A recent policy report by the Partnership for Strong Communities links educational inequalities to the problem of affordable housing. Perhaps the most shocking statistic shared in this report involves the number 824: the number of children who were homeless on a single night last January.

How aware are teachers of the housing situations of their students? The PSC report highlights the effects of frequent moves and homelessness upon the average child in such circumstances. If we all know that learning requires stability, that if one’s basic needs aren’t being met, reading and math become luxurious considerations, why are these issues so rarely discussed?

Malloy promises that this year, the “Year of Education,” will be filled with change. There is an Achievement Gap Task Force, a program called HOMEConnecticut, and new research on affordable housing and school performance.

If you want to join the conversation, PSC has organized a forum series. The next event is on ending homelessness, and takes place on March 20. It is a free event, and is “ for people on many sides of homelessness problems and solutions: social services, housing, shelters, education, job training, healthcare, criminal justice, veterans, domestic violence, children & families” (PSChousing.org).

What are your hopes for the “Year of Education”?

-Stacie Vos

See full policy report here: http://pschousing.org/files/PSC_PolicyBrief_Hsg%26Education.pdf

Link to related NYTimes article: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/05/nyregion/ordinary-families-cloaked-in-a-veil-of-homelessness.html?pagewanted=all

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One Response to “ Academic Achievement and Housing: A link that needs more discussion ”

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