Saturday, November 30, 2013

Growing Number of Homeless Students

These graphics are from Education Week. (From what I can tell the graphics are not online, although the article is.) I looked at them a few weeks ago (this is Education Week's November 6th issue). Looking at it now, when I had some time to blog about it, I was reminded of Dean Dad's recent post. He writes about how different things can be for students depending on their parents' life experiences.
This matters. It matters way more than some folks would like to admit.
From my warm, cozy home with a fridge full of food, closets full of clothes, and comfy beds for all of us, it can be easy to be blind to the challenges faced by many children in our country.
In the graphics here I am struck by several things.
1. The continuing rise in homeless students is surprising to me.
2. The quote,"Of the homeless students who took state exams, around half or fewer scored at proficient levels in mathematics or reading." comes as no shock. The most surprising thing here for me is that nearly half of these students are passing. Children are astoundingly resilient. But you'd think we wouldn't be forcing them to be quite so often.
3. There are a handful of states in which the percentage of homeless students has gone down. What is going on there? Have families left those states? Have they done something positive to support those families (sadly, I am skeptical of that possibility)? Are those students dropping off the radar somewhere and not getting counted? I want a deeper story.

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