How Important Is Economic Diversity in Schools?http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=130647610Poorest school districts get least-qualified teachers; affluent districts get the best, survey findshttp://www.star-telegram.com/2010/10/18/2556603/poorest-school-districts-get-least.htmlA Culture of Povertyhttp://www.theatlantic.com/personal/archive/2010/10/a-culture-of-poverty/64854/Reconsidering the 'Culture of Poverty'http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=130701401The Great Recession and Poverty in Metropolitan Americahttp://www.brookings.edu/papers/2010/1007_suburban_poverty_acs_kneebone.aspxFor much of America's history, urban areas contained the lion's share of the country's poor, an image reinforced by popular media depictions in film, television, and evening news reports. Recent news reports from the New York Times and The Economist would seem to indicate that suburban areas have larger numbers of poor people, and many are finding it hard to locate adequate social services, food banks, and other resources. This news drew on two new reports from the Brookings Institution, which found that the number of poor people in the suburbs has increased 37.4% over the past decade. Also, these findings come on the heels of a renewed discussion regarding the so-called "culture of poverty". When it was on the front page of policy discussions forty years ago, many politicians (including the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan) argued that there was in fact a unique set of cultural values and practices held by the poor that made it difficult, if not impossible, to make the transition out of poverty. As policy-makers continue to confront the shifting geography of poverty, all of these issues will require sustained conversation and significant soul-searching.The first link will take users to a news article from last Thursday's Economist which reports on growing suburban poverty trends, with particular attention to the city of Freeport on Long Island. The second link leads to a related piece from National Public Radio which talks about the performance of low-income students in schools with greater economic diversity. The third link leads to a timely story from this Monday's Fort Worth Star-Telegram which talks about a study that shows that less affluent areas (and as a result, school districts) often have the least-qualified teachers. Moving on, visitors will find a thoughtful piece by Ta-Nehisi Coates of The Atlantic where he ruminates on his own experiences with the culture of poverty and related matters. The fifth link leads to an excellent discussion on the culture of poverty with Patricia Cohen of the New York Times and Professor Sudhir Venkatesh of Columbia University. The final link leads to the two aforementioned reports from the Brookings Institution, and visitors with an interest in this type of social transformation will want to give both of them a closer look.


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