, ,

There was a time, some number of years ago, when teen pregnancy received the same kind of media attention that bullying does, now. That hasn’t been the case for a while, though whether because it’s become less stigmatized or for some other reason, I couldn’t begin to guess. I found this article interesting and encouraging, though. It’s about a school in Detroit that has made it their mission to nurture teen mothers, making sure they earn their high school diplomas and, in many cases, go on to college.

While I’m not currently employed at a school, I assist groups of upper-elementary school children with their homework on a daily basis. I’m confounded at times by the many different ways students are encouraged to work their math problems. I can think of at least half a dozen approaches to multiplication that I’ve seen in the past five years, and none of them resemble the method I learned back in the dark old days. I’m not a trained math educator, so my approach to each method is to have a student show me how it’s applied, and then to store that knowledge for use in my encounters with other students. I have no interest in overturning the hard work those students’ teachers are doing, nor do I question that their understanding of the best pedagogical approaches (as proven by current research) far exceeds my own. Still, I do wish that more of my fifth and sixth graders knew their multiplication facts without having to reach for a calculator. And … no, this doesn’t have anything to do with school counseling, so I’ll move along now.

The American public is becoming increasingly aware and resentful of the class distinctions and income inequality that separate the top 1% of citizens from the rest. One place that growing divide is glaringly apparent, is in the field of education, where schools, still funded by property taxes, have high failure rates in poor districts, while sending students who come from wealthy districts to elite colleges at incredible rates. This article takes a look at why so few high-achieving students from low-income households even apply at elite universities.