Poor kids in Georgia get least experienced teachers. Can we change that?

no hedA new federal study says a greater proportion of teachers in Georgia’s highest-poverty schools are first-year teachers, compared to the lowest-poverty schools.

When my oldest child began school, I appreciated the energy of brand new teachers. However, as I had more kids and spent more time observing classrooms, I recognized novices lacked the classroom management skills of more experienced peers.

A leading expert on teacher recruitment once told me he found new teachers too inexperienced and older teachers too jaded – he felt teachers were at their optimum in years seven to 11.

I can’t personally discern any magic number. One of the best teachers I ever saw in action had been in the classroom for 30 years. She only improved each year. But some of my older children’s favorite high school teachers were fresh out of grad school.

However, the research shows students learn more with more experienced teachers at the helm so the distribution of experience is important.

As AJC education reporter Molly Bloom noted:

First-year teachers are generally less effective than more experienced teachers. And because teachers’ pay is mostly based on years of experience, teachers in high-poverty schools make less than their peers in more affluent schools on average.

Those trends hold along racial lines too: Georgia schools with the most nonwhite students also have more brand-new and lower-paid teachers.

The federal reports, which echo findings from piles of previous research, are part of federal efforts to encourage states to improve their teacher workforces and ensure that poor and nonwhite students have great teachers. States must submit improvement plans to the U.S. Department of Education this spring.

Among the report’s key findings for Georgia:

> About 6 percent of teachers in the highest-poverty schools are in their first year, compared to about 4 percent in the lowest-poverty schools.

> Their average salary is about $48,000 compared to about $51,000 in the lowest-poverty schools.

> In Georgia and neighboring states, more teachers in schools with the fewest nonwhite students are absent for more than 10 days than teachers in schools with the most nonwhite students.

> The average salary in Georgia’s highest-poverty schools is higher than the regional average. However, Georgia has one of the biggest salary gaps between teachers in the highest- and lowest-poverty schools.

To entice its best teachers to its neediest schools, Fulton County plans to create a model incentive program that will offer stipends up to $20,000 to teachers willing to move.

As the AJC reported:

As part of the plan, Fulton would initially place up to 20 high-performing teachers in at least two elementary school and one middle school that are under-performing. The teachers would be expected to stay at the school at least two years. To qualify, a teacher would be in the top 25 percent on Georgia’s new student growth measure, which is based on standardized test performance.

Close to 20 Fulton schools in the bottom 20 percent of the state’s College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI) scores are considered “potential receiving schools” for the highest-performing teachers. Only a few of those schools would be included, to begin with. Principals and interview panels would ultimately determine which teachers are the best fit for their schools, Fulton leaders say.

Eligible teachers for the stipends cannot be at a “potential receiving school.” But the district is looking to offer $10,000 stipends for existing teachers at the receiving schools who meet eligibility criteria as a “way to provide some compensation to those ‘superstar’ teachers already serving in those schools,” said Ken Zeff, chief strategy and innovation officer with Fulton schools.

He said the stipend is higher for teachers moving into those schools because “bonus models that simply pay teachers for a job well done do not lead to improved student outcomes. Therefore we want to devote more of our resources toward enticing more high performing teachers to come in and work in struggling schools.”

Fulton leaders say they’re modeling the plan off a recent study commissioned by the U.S. Department of Education that looked at 10 districts in 7 states, which tried a similar program. The study found that with the teacher transfers to low-performing schools, test scores at the elementary level rose while those at the middle school level were mixed.

 

Reader Comments 0

100 comments
BCW1
BCW1

Yes, give them the flexibility, resources, and then get out of their way. When you have the red tape, constant changes, and all the EXPERTS telling you what to do, it is frustrating.

Looking4truth
Looking4truth

New teachers enter the field thinking they can change the world.  There is so much turnover in lower income schools because they soon realize they can't.  Idealism meets reality in the first year alone in a classroom.  

OldPhysicsTeacher
OldPhysicsTeacher

NEWS FLASH, NEWS FLASH:

A statistical study has been performed on NCAA Division I football teams.  

      1) The teams with the poorest records have the greatest number of head coach firings. 

      2) High quality head coaches (HQHC) refuse all hiring offers from the schools with the poorest players - no matter what the pay.  

      3) Hungry, low-level assistant coaches (LLAC), losing high-school coaches (LHSC), and anybody who can spell "football" (LOSERS) will accept coaching positions at the losing school at ANY pay under ANY conditions.

      4) In the event that the newly-signed head coach (NSHC) actually wins by spending 26 hours a day preparing and 12 hours a day coaching, AND ACTUALLY WINS, (RON CLARK), they will immediately quit working at that school and find a better position.

Duh!!!  

MiltonMan
MiltonMan

What decent teacher would want to teach at a dump of a school where kids are under-performing and their lame parents could care less about their education???


There is a big, big reason teachers in the APS system are cheating scumbags.

gactzn14
gactzn14

@popacorn- according to your own definition he would be right- plural in form and singular in meaning- at least according to you-smh

duke14
duke14

Few things demonstrate the idiocy of socialist redistribution more clearly than the idea that you can make the bottom students smarter by making the top students dumber.

duke14
duke14

In 1957, when I was 11 years old, my mother took me out into the yard; and we peered up into the night sky, trying to get a glimpse of Sputnik. The Soviets had gotten a satellite into orbit before we did! Soon a policy was promulgated instructing schools to identify those students who had aptitude for science and math, and put them into special classes with an accelerated curriculum. American scientists from that generation were the best in the world. Our graduate schools of science and math are still the best, but all the best graduate students are foreigners. In those days all the emphasis was on the best students, pushing them to achieve their highest potential; but the performance of the whole school was thereby enhanced, The accelerated students stood as an example of academic excellence for others to emulate, and we were always willing to help any classmate who cared enough about learning to ask for help. Most did not care that much, but they achieved a certain academic maturity simply by being in that environment. In modern schools, where all the emphasis is on the worst-performing students, that atmosphere does not exist. Modern schools do not resemble academic institutions in any serious sense. They are experimental laboratories for social engineering.

In John 12, a woman anoints Jesus with an expensive ointment. Judas indignantly demands, "Why was not this ointment sold, and the money given to the poor?" Jesus replies, "The poor ye will always have with you, but Me ye have not always." That is the incident that provoked Judas to betray Jesus. There will always be poor schools; and in any school, there will always be poorly performing students. We cannot save this world (i.e., reform the world system); we can only save a few individuals out of this world, namely, those who are willing to accept our help. Those are the ones who should get the best teachers.

Christians have always been the ones who do the actual work of ministering to the poor. Despite that confrontation between Judas and Jesus, caring for the poor is in our theological DNA; but we are not "fighting against poverty". Liberals don't really care about the poor; they care about abolishing poverty. To that end they pass laws, and send lawyers to sue people under those laws, making a bad situation immeasurably worse.

Mother was a county librarian in middle Georgia during segregation. She worked very hard to establish a Black library in our county, and to find a qualified Black person to serve as librarian. Most Black people never went near the library, but a few Black lives were permanently transformed by that opportunity. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, and former Secretaries of State Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell, all grew up in the South under segregation; and they have become three of the most accomplished Black people of our age. Ms. Rice's parents told her she would have to work twice as hard because she was Black, so she did. There were always White people, mainly Christians, who were willing to help those Black students who were willing to work; but they were not trying to abolish segregation. They didn't necessarily approve of segregation; but they thought that social activism was not likely to do much good, and would probably do much harm. All the emphasis was on the few best Black students, but Black schools in that era achieved a literacy rate near 100% in the Black community. Today 25% of college freshmen are illiterate. The race of those freshmen is  never reported, but the overwhelming majority is almost certainly Black. That is what happens when you pour your best educational resources into the bottomless pit of students who are resolutely determined not to receive anything you have to offer.

I'm not saying we should return to segregation by race. But we should return to segregation by academic achievement levels and by behavioral standards, and we should devote our best educational resources to those students who will take advantage of them.

Mack68
Mack68

@duke14

Oh, Lord - really? In those days a great many girls dropped out of high school (and a lot of boys, too). They could get a decent job at the mill (or the girls could go off and get married as teenagers to boys who had a job at the mill). 

My mom is one of 4 girls, and only 2 had a high school diploma (50s/early 60s). Her parents were former sharecroppers who did a pretty good job with their lot in life. The schools were segregated (in the south). There were no disabled/special needs children in public schools then.

How do you begin to compare your personal experience with what is the reality today?

You just weren't aware of all those other kids in your past.


OldPhysicsTeacher
OldPhysicsTeacher

@duke14 Actually, the USA had gotten satellites up earlier than the USSR.  They were kept secret as they were examining (spying on) the USSR.

teachermom4
teachermom4

Given the choice between good and bad conditions, most workers (in any field) will choose good. In order to get a foot in the door and gain that experience, many teachers have to start in the more difficult environments. Once they have enough experience to move on, they do, if they last long enough. I'm not sure why it's so puzzling. Hmmm.... I can work with kids who are already far behind when they enter kindergarten, who behave disrespectfully, whose parents are difficult to contact and combative when I do, all while having my feet put to the fire over test scores that don't reflect the effort I put into my job every day or..... I can teach in a community with kids who come to school with basic skills, respect their teachers, are invested in learning, and whose parents support me, and my students' test scores reflect my effort. Which would most people choose? There will always be doctors who choose to work in free clinics in poor neighborhoods, lawyers who choose to be public defenders, and teachers who choose to work in poor neighborhoods. Most people can't do any of these for long without burning out from the stress. Most will leave when they can for self-preservation.

eagle9857
eagle9857

Don't forget that our lowest achieving students in any school are also getting the least experienced teachers while the teachers with the most experience and knowledge to pass on are teaching the honors and AP classes. 

newsphile
newsphile

@eagle9857 With many teachers in my family who are in different school systems, I can tell you with certainty:  there are good teachers in poor schools and there are terrible teachers in affluent schools.  It's not as cut and dried as this article states. Honors classes in our high school have very young teachers.  Is this always good? Is this always bad?  I say it depends on the individual teacher.   Experience doesn't always ensure a teacher is good, and inexperience doesn't always mean a teacher is ineffective.  I say again, with 4% vs 6% of inexperienced teachers used for comparison in this article, we are taking about a difference of less than 1 teacher in most schools.  Do the math! 

Betsy Ross1776
Betsy Ross1776

OP wants to split hairs and grasp at straws to try to defend apathetic parents.

OP says " This statistic (73% of all blacks are born illegitimate) only means that the parents were unmarried when the mother gave birth.  It does not mean that the father has abandoned the household. Many couples live together without marrying. Or the father maintains contact with the family and contributes to its support. Illegitimacy does not necessarily mean abandonment."

----------------------------------------------

What OP cannot bear to admit is that:
Illegitimate almost always means Uneducated

....and....
Uneducated parents CREATE Uneducated children.

Uneducated parents AND their Uneducated children create poverty, crime and an enormous burden to taxpayers and citizens. 
What ALL EDUCATED citizens and parents know is what OP won't admit:
It isn't the social status of illegitimate/legitimate that is the problem.
The problem is that so-called "parents" encourage and condone all their very young, immature, poor girls and boys to have sex and create children they cannot financially afford to support and cannot and will not emotionally and responsibly raise and handle.
These so-called parents do not hold themselves accountable for their own actions and the actions of their children.
When a so-called parent allows their children to run wild in the streets, get into fights, steal and have unprotected sex, the rest of the world suffers and has to pay.
MOST LEGITIMATE children come from educated parents who value education. They first get an education, then they get a job and save money, find a mature partner to marry and then, after being prepared, THEN they have children.
MOST ILLEGITIMATE children are born to young, poor, irresponsible kids who get themselves pregnant and then expect the rest of the world to bow down to them and solve all the problems they created for themselves.


OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@Betsy Ross1776 

You're fond of the "straw man" fallacy, aren't you? Exaggerate what I say into a false statement that I never made--the straw man--and then knock it down. You do it over and over...and what does all this have to do with the topic about minority students who are poor getting the least experienced teachers? And what can we do about that?



popacorn
popacorn

@OriginalProf   Stop excusing and rationalizing the child abuse of abandonment at conception. You ARE part of the problem. And stop putting so many words in bold. We get your point without them. 

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@popacorn @OriginalProf 

Sorry---we've had this go-around before and I won't change what I say--you assume that the fact a child is illegitimate means that the father has abandoned the mother and child. But that is not what the word means! They are not married when the child is born. That's all. Some couples never marry but stay together; some live apart but the father supports and visits his child; some marry later on. You don't know from that statistic what happens after the birth.

dcdcdc
dcdcdc

Best solution is to allow the few parents/students from these "under performing schools" who actually care about education, to get out and move to a school where they can be surrounded by other kids who care, and teachers who demand learning.  And to take their funding with them.  


But of course, to some, that's "not fair" to the "kids left behind".  So their solution is to just force the ones who care, to stay and be held back until they give up?


Yeah;....that's compassionate........

dcdcdc
dcdcdc

@Wascatlady @dcdcdc Better question is how.  The current approach is failing miserably.  So hopefully some group (most likely private, since innovation and public schools obviously don't fit together) will come up with a completely different way to prepare these kids for life.


And making them "college eligible" isn't likely to be a major focus.  That idiocy has led to a complete mess with kids who should be focused on getting a job, not going to college - since they don't care, and aren't willing to prepare themselves.

lvg
lvg

Okay- one more reason this state is slipping backwards - highest unemployment in the country; terrible transportation in metro areas; separate but unequal schools for minorities(how many white children attend majority black schools?) ; severe cut backs in education budget; new limitations on voting rights; gerrymandering of minority districts into GOP controlled districts with single candidates in many of them; and now in today's AJC- people thrown in the street as hospitals close and one of the the highest  rates of uninsured.


And the voters reelect the person responsible for this fiasco a second time.


newsphile
newsphile

@lvg  And then there are the black colleges who scream when attempts are made to integrate them into other colleges.  Until there is no more Miss Black USA, Black this and Black that, it's difficult to believe part of the current racial issues aren't self-imposed.  These are choices to remain segregated and to exclude other races, choices made by the black race; none of which is imposed segregation.  You can't have it both ways.  Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and other such leaders are left without income and prestige in the black community, if they allow racial issues to be resolved. 

anothercomment
anothercomment

I have made 3 attempts to hire from these schools. The only success of the three I had in the work place was the one female who had gone to St.,Puis X then Tusgegee. She later told me when I talked to her several years later that Tusgegee was the worst experience of her life. She was called " white girl " she is very dark black, then when she befriend the one or two white persons who actually went their it was worse. She told me all of her classes were a joke compaired with St. Puis X.

Now the two. Hired from HCSB one would literally hide! and never turn in any projects. The other one was the expert at being a snake and going to the EEO office. We called them " Forrest Gump" for all the big projects they claimed to have worked on, but clearly did not have the experience or knowledge.

I personally will never hire anyone who attends an HCSB in this day and time. There should be no need for them, except to cover up the poor K-12 educations.

I don't get why blacks want this vestage of segregation. I have also noticed only the St. Puis grad would integrate the lunch room tables. I will not promote anyone with a college degree who can not integrate themself at the break room or cafeteria.

Betsy Ross1776
Betsy Ross1776

None of the researchers featured on the Get Schooled blog ever measure what happens at home.
You will never find a study nor a paper nor an opinion by anyone that measures parental involvement and influence featured on the Get Schooled blog.
The AJC writers and journalists want to try to persuade all of us that parents don't matter.
They will say anything to avoid holding people accountable for their own actions.

heyteacher
heyteacher

My concern, having started my career in a struggling school, is that the highly paid teachers will not be well received by the current staff. Teaching is a team sport, not an individual one -- if teachers are unwilling to work together to improve a school it will be a rough road no matter how much the new teachers are being paid. Will those highly paid teachers be expected to work longer hours for example? I can see having modest signing bonuses to fill positions but 20K? I also agree with Bear -- with commuting issues here in the ATL I don't see anyone with a lot of experience wanting to do this even for 20K -- not sure FCS will be able to attract the experienced teachers they have in mind. If you have a house in North Fulton would you want to commute to the airport area every day?

Betsy Ross1776
Betsy Ross1776

What is the difference between an apathetic parent and a caring and involved parent?
It's what they do when they are not at work.

My kids are out of school for Christmas break and when I get off work, we practice math the old-fashioned way.
We wash our hands and count beans in groups of two, five, ten and twenty. We put them into piles and count them using multiplication. We measure them with plastic measuring cups and spoons, boil them and eat them for dinner.
It's a cheap and easy math lesson and all it takes is my effort and time.
Apathetic parents are parking their kids in front of the television set or letting them loiter in the streets and fight while the parents watch TV.
Both of these sets of kids will be taking GA's standardized tests in school next week.
My kids will outperform the others.
It won't be because of the teacher's experience.
It won't be because of anyone's race.

It won't be because of anyone's money.
It's all about one thing -- how parents choose to spend their time.

Betsy Ross1776
Betsy Ross1776

The problem is not inexperienced teachers. The problem is apathetic parents.
When you find a failing school, you find apathetic parents. When you find a good school, you find involved, caring parents. Schools cannot fix society's problems; they can only nibble around the margins. 


Concerned Parent2015
Concerned Parent2015

FCS already has a learning community model in these low performing schools that on paper indicates support to these same schools that continue to underperform. Why is that model not producing the outcomes for these schools? So you counter underperformance by offering financial incentives "Are you kidding" to the mix to see if high performing teachers (are their outcomes from demographically similar schools?) will come to the rescue. Oh by the way those of you who are "proven" in the schools already you get half of what we offer those who are being dispatched to the rescue. (Really)

Innovation at its finest......why not create teacher leader teams to go into these schools to help improve the crafts of the teachers who are in these underperforming schools. You ask these folks to commit two years to these schools how about a commitment to leading the teachers in this school that has no timeline.You know teach someone how to fish! Excuse me for questioning such a progressive move.

straker
straker

Maybe these highest poverty schools are also the most violence filled.


Who knows? That might actually keep many teachers away.

gactzn14
gactzn14

 Single parent households have been around for ages, and successful students graduated and went to college who lived in these situations.  That is not so much of the issue as the lack of parenting skills are.  Many parents have come here with the desire to take on "HotLanta".  Atlanta not only attracts professionals but troublemakers also who bring many of their problems and poor value systems with them. Teachers can only tolerate so much before they have no other choice but to flee for sanity's sake.  Also, some of the leadership in these schools is questionable.

Mack68
Mack68

@Lexi3 @gactzn14

The source data you reference stops at the year 2000. In fact, the rate peaked around the year 1990 and has been declining ever since. The teen pregnancy rate, in particular, decreased by 56% in the 20 years between 1990 and 2010. So progress HAS been made, but more is needed. Unwed teen mothers of any ethnicity are the ones most likely to struggle with a life of poverty. 

http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/USTPtrends10.pdf 

Lexi3
Lexi3

@Mack68 @Lexi3 @gactzn14 


Perhaps the black teen rate trend tends downward, but I was not writing about illegitimacy rates of teens. The most recent National Vital Statistics based data reflect that for 2010 the illegitimacy rate for black mothers was 72.5%.

National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 61, No. 5, October 3, 2012 link at http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/329432/latest-statistics-illegitimate-births-roger-clegg (for whites, 29.1; Asian 17.2)


Fact is in the era of sensitivity to "sustainability," those data indicate a civilization that is not sustainable.













Mack68
Mack68

@Lexi3 @gactzn14

And I'm sorry again, but the source document for the National Review article has nothing in it to validate the illegitimacy rate you quote. 

Lexi3
Lexi3

@Mack68 @Lexi3 @gactzn14 


Yep. The National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 61, No. 5, October 3, 2012 Table 1 on page 7, far right column, denominated "Percent of Births to Unmarried Women" contains the data you could not find.

gactzn14
gactzn14

@Lexi3 @gactzn14 Also consider that there are single parent households where the female counterpart has still inculcated those same values.   Correlation does not equal causation.  Illegitimate births may be a contributing factor, however, they are not the sole reason for a lack of value for education if there are additional outlets and supports instituted for the child.  I am still convinced that a great deal of this is about how education is valued, deficient parenting skills, and accessibility to pro-social supports for these children.  I have seen successful single parents raise successful students utilizing a variety of social and community supports.  Anything is possible- as long as there is a loving and caring parent who will go the distance for a child. A caring household with one parent can be more beneficial than a defunct one with two.

gactzn14
gactzn14

@Lexi3 @gactzn14 Two parent households can offer some form of economic stability to a family, however, even those households must hold a value for education.  "Civilized behavior" is not indoctrinated solely in traditional nuclear family households. Also, consider that there are still "involved" fathers who are proactive and assist in co-parenting on a regular basis.   A changing family structure that does not fit the traditional family mold would still figure in illegitimacy rates.  Illegitimacy rates tend to assume that there is no father present at all when reality would challenge that.  Some parent co-habitate and never marry.  Some co-parent for the benefit of the child with arrangements.  Both can be professionals.  Sometimes statistics can narrow our view.

Lexi3
Lexi3

@gactzn14 @Lexi3 


No one said illegitimacy was the sole cause of all behavioral problems in schools, though it doubtless is a major contributing cause there and beyond.  And, there is a large distinction between being a single parent, rendered so by death or divorce, and being someone who recklessly chooses to give birth without the bother of marrying.

Yes there are successful people who come from broken homes--Dr. Ben Carson, the renowned neurosurgeon comes to mind, though the chances of succeeding when starting in that environment are statistically daunting.

Lexi3
Lexi3

@gactzn14 @Lexi3 

Right. "Changing family structure."

People by and large tend not to marry when producing offspring because they: (1) respond to perverse economic incentives of welfare doled out to single mothers; (2) want to keep their options open, in case something better comes along, because "we only live once" after all; or (3)  both of the above.

The emotional instability inherent in a "family" structure where daddy may disappear has a deleterious effect on children, notwithstanding what the commissariat declare about "financial stability" as a replacement for a male figure. Welfare checks may be a stable source of income, especially when they represent an intergenerational way of life,  but they cannot parent. And while a single parent can pass along a high regard for education, folks who are content to live off welfare rarely do that. Who needs an education when one's life ambition is to live off the sweat of other people's brows?

gactzn14
gactzn14

@Lexi3 @gactzn14 What you speak of relates to all races not just Black.  Just consider that fathers have not disappeared due to the illegitimacy rates.  Illegitimacy rates do not necessarily correlate with absent fathers, just children born out of wedlock.  Also, welfare comes in many forms.  Consider unemployment benefits (a type of welfare).  Many have to decide to continue receiving unemployment benefits or go to work and make less and lose it.  Also, people may agree they are not a great fit for one another prior to marriage. Your above three reasons  listed are not the only reasons people decide not to marry. There are many dysfunctional marriages that appear sound.  Also there are many single parents who have larger support systems and are not receiving welfare benefits- at least not at any higher a rate than that of other races receiving benefits. Welfare queens come in all shapes, sizes, and colors.  Please broaden your view- illegitimacy rates don't equate to absent fathers (or male figures).  Family structures are much more complex than you perceive them to be.

gactzn14
gactzn14

@Lexi3 Remember welfare encompasses a variety or resources that blacks to not overwhelmingly partake in (social security, financial aid, etc.).

Lexi3
Lexi3

@gactzn14 @Lexi3 


Unemployment benefits are not means tested freebies. They are paid for by insurance premiums levied on employers, though ultimately paid for by employees, who must meet certain work related requirements to earn eligibility for them, and even in the world of play money spent by the current administration, they are not endless. If employees weren't covering the costs of their employment, and contributing to profit, they would not be hired to begin with. God help anyone who can make more on unemployment than by his labor.

No one wrote that only blacks have illegitimate children, though almost 3/4 of black births are illegitimate and the vast majority of those children are doomed and will have children who are doomed. Way to go, Great Society.

Pretend as we might, having a temporary father in a new fangled "family" is not the same as having two loving parents married to one another, as a source and model of financial, and emotional, stability. And the outcomes for children of divorced parents, whose fathers still deign to remain "involved" in the lives of their children are still, on average, worse than for children of intact marriages. 

Lexi3
Lexi3

@gactzn14 @Lexi3 


Again, social security, like unemployment, is not means tested. One doesn't draw social security unless one has contributed to the system for a set number of quarters in his working life (setting aside disability). One can draw welfare simply by breathing and, in the aggregate, voting the right way to confiscate the money of others who acquired it lawfully.


And, people who find they are not a "right fit" to marry are certainly not right fits to have children together. The act is pure selfishness combined with a huge dose of poorly thought out behavior.

Lexi3
Lexi3

@gactzn14 @Lexi3 


I will type slowly so it may register. My-comments-are-not--limited-to-the-behavior-of- blacks, though 3/4 of black births are illegitimate. We agree on something-low rent is colorless, but still low rent, and illegitimate births are a disgrace.


It's apparent I touched a raw nerve with you, but a father who remains only "active" in the lives of his children, whatever that means, is not much more than a sperm donor.

gactzn14
gactzn14

@Lexi3 @gactzn14 Active in the same since as a father in any other home.  I just think you narrow your perspective on certain issues at times in your posts and ask that you consider alternative views as well.  I recall a friend whose stepfather, a police officer, came home and went to his room on a daily basis.   He was there, he provided a nice home and footed the bills but was present and absent at the same time. He just  did not want to be bothered by anything outside of working and paying bills, and resigned to living in his bedroom practically.  The entire family was miserable. I simply say it is not as formulaic or simplistic as you suggest.  

gactzn14
gactzn14

@Lexi3 @gactzn14   What about  level of education and employment opportunities as well as race- or a triage of all three?  Wouldn't those be better indicators than just being a single parent?  Not wishful thinking just realities that are not in alignment with the limited and formulaic ones you cling to.

Lexi3
Lexi3

@gactzn14 @Lexi3 


Wishful thinking. As Dandy Don used to repeat: "if if's and but's were candies and nuts, we'd all have a Merry Christmas."

The variable I cited, single parenthood as the strongest predictor [determinant] of poverty, is widely known and accepted. See that bastion of comfort food for progressives, Slate: http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2014/01/new_harvard_study_where_is_the_land_of_opportunity_finds_broken_families.html


which focuses on constrained social/economic mobility of poor children growing up in single parent households.


These are not radical concepts. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the democrat senator from New York, raised the alarm in 1965 when the rate of unmarried births was a small fraction of today's level in The Negro Family: The Case For National Action.


In your broad-minded search for truth you might enjoy Robert Rector's report: http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2010/09/marriage-america-s-greatest-weapon-against-child-poverty


"Abstract: Child poverty is an ongoing national concern, but few are aware that its principal cause is the absence of married fathers in the home. Marriage remains America’s strongest anti-poverty weapon, yet it continues to decline. As husbands disappear from the home, poverty and welfare dependence will increase, and children and parents will suffer as a result. Since marital decline drives up child poverty and welfare dependence, and since the poor aspire to healthy marriage but lack the norms, understanding, and skills to achieve it, it is reasonable for government to take active steps to strengthen marriage. Just as government discourages youth from dropping out of school, it should provide information that will help people to form and maintain healthy marriages and delay childbearing until they are married and economically stable. In particular, clarifying the severe shortcomings of the “child first, marriage later” philosophy to potential parents in lower-income communities should be a priority."


The notion that there are fungible arrangements for child-rearing with beneficial effects like two parent families is beyond misguided--it's dangerous to children and society.

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

@Lexi3 @gactzn14 OR, read "Promises I can Keep," a book that examines this "alternative family formation" phenomenon.  Be informed instead of merely spouting what you THINK you "know."

Lexi3
Lexi3

@gactzn14 


While single parent households have been around for ages, the rate of unmarried pregnancies (illegitimate births) exploded between 1960 and now. See http://www.pbs.org/fmc/book/4family10.htm.


Illegitimate births of blacks rose from around 20% to almost 70% in that period, largely because the architects of the "Great Society" (Great Leap Backward) created perverse financial incentives--welfare-- rewarding those births. There have been similar shifts in illegitimate births among those of other races, though for non-Hispanics the rates themselves are much lower. The result has been an enormous breakdown of minimum standards of conduct and civilized behavior, traditionally inculcated in two parent families.

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@EdUktr @gactzn14 

This statistic only means that the parents were unmarried when the mother gave birth.  It does not mean that the father has abandoned the household. Many couples live together without marrying. Or the father maintains contact with the family and contributes to its support. Illegitimacy does not necessarily mean abandonment.


gactzn14
gactzn14

@Lexi3 @gactzn14 Next question- black, white, or other- how many families fit the criteria  you describe? I disagree- you believe what you say because you say it over and over again- you cannot overlook that social security benefits and medicaid are taken advantage of by whites overwhelmingly as well as food stamps.Further, because you do not know any better you believe that fathers are not active in the lives of their illegitimate children.  You are so caught up on the concept of illegitimacy and how integral it is to your poorly conceived argument- that you choose to blind yourself to facts and exceptions that challenge your rationale.  Broaden your mindset and get out more and meet other types of people.  I don't hold your narrow-minded perspective against you since I know that you do not know any better.  Patriarchal notions of family-hood are not the only legitimate ways in which to raise successful children. How are illegitimate children more doomed than those from parents of divorce or one who is widowed?

popacorn
popacorn

When one doesn't or can't understand the overwhelming influences of genetics and evolution, then one will rationalize and enable, ad nauseum, the devastating child abuse inherent in the 'conceive and leave' lifestyle. Blabbing about it may make one feel better, but you might as well be farting in outer space. 

Lexi3
Lexi3

@Wascatlady @Lexi3 @gactzn14 

Wish I had time for pop sociology "studies" ["Promises I Can Keep"], by objective Harvard feminists, of 162 women who self report their reasons for electing a lifetime of welfare and despondency for themselves and their children.

Mack68
Mack68

@Lexi3 @gactzn14

Ah, I see - so it's the responsibility of the government "to take active steps to strengthen marriage".  The government shouldn't have any involvement in the actual education of the children (you know, the 3Rs and such), but it does have an obligation to "provide information that will help people to form and maintain healthy marriages and delay childbearing until they are married and economically stable." And it has this obligation because "the poor aspire to healthy marriage but lack the norms, understanding, and skills to achieve it". So if all children were born to, and raised by, married parents the vast majority of society's ills would be cured? Why not mandate that every girl child receive birth control implants by the government upon coming of age, that can only be removed upon marriage and proof of financial stability? Never mind the fact that efforts to reduce teen pregnancy have been quite successful over the past 20 years - something that will (not) hit the school age population in the years to come. I happen to be married, and value it as a sacred institution. But I do not subscribe to this simplistic, paternalistic, moralistic prescription of marriage as the cure (and even less so the notion that government should be more in the marriage business but not in the K-12 education business).

Lexi3
Lexi3

@Mack68 @Lexi3 @gactzn14 


Hey:


I didn't cite the study for its policy prescriptions, and agree that the government should not coerce marriage. However, it shouldn't adopt policies, like welfare payments for unmarried women , but exclude struggling intact families, either. The Great Society has been a major catalyst for the breakdown in 2 parent families, something I believe in my paternalistic head, is good for children and society.

Were you able to find Table 1 of the National Vital Statistics Publication I cited concerning illegitimacy rates of blacks and other racial groups?

Lexi3
Lexi3

@gactzn14 @Lexi3 


You write about statistical outliers, not norms. And, consider the possibility that I've pondered those views (often called "wishful thinking") and have put them in proper perspective: those new fangled "family" arrangements are ill-thought out couplings that have dastardly effects on the offspring. The greatest predictor of poverty in this country is single parenthood, and, when one controls for that alternative lifestyle, blacks have levels of income (and outcomes) similar to whites.

Mack68
Mack68

@Lexi3 @Mack68 @gactzn14

Thank you, Lexi3. I see that now. I also see in Table 7 on page 14 that the majority of those births to unmarried women are to those 24 and younger (55%). Eighteen percent are to girls under 20. Unfortunately, this doesn't break out births to unmarried women by age and ethnicity. But it still points to a problem of unmarried girls having babies too young, even though the trend has been going down for a while. The more we can provide sex education to young people, provide access to contraceptives, and educate them in home economics in school (no, not the old version - the new version that teaches financial literacy, managing a budget and living well), the more we will continue to make inroads. Through that, they may also see the value of marriage as part of the picture. There was no way I could have worked and supported a child, single, at the age of 24, even with a master's degree. It was more that knowledge, rather than a reverence for marriage as a prerequisite for children that was the driving factor (call it self-preservation perhaps). Unfortunately, sex education and home economics are not so often found in schools any more.

newsjunkie3
newsjunkie3

@gactzn14 @Lexi3 Yes, it can happen that children in single parent households are successful. Sadly, the statistics show children lacking a two parent home are not successful. Why don't we see these facts promoted by those who have the bully pulpit and could change this statistic for the betterment of a child?

Lexi3
Lexi3

@newsjunkie3 @gactzn14 @Lexi3 

Because there are folks who make and maintain enormous political and financial fortunes manufacturing and magnifying putative race-based grievances