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Poverty and School Performance

This year, many of the well-known IQ tests will be come out with revised editions (Wechsler, 2014). I am wondering if they will have many test questions referring to the internet or the use of use of computers or ipads. It is a tough call because believe it or not, there are many students too poor to have the internet at home. Last year at my school, an 8th grade boy came to us from another district. He was lucky to be placed into core classes with a couple of our best language arts and math teachers. The year before, these teachers wrote a grant and received two class sets of laptops, with additional technology to do all research on the internet, create PowerPoint projects, movies, and more. The students take only a flash drive home with them each day.

This boy stood out as different the first week of school. On his own, he entered the office and asked to see a counselor. He quietly told the counselor that he couldn't read and he had never used a computer or the internet. This is where our teamwork comes in handy. The counselor began each week to teach him study skills, myself and the resource teacher assessed him for learning disabilities (he did not have any), the language arts teacher bought him a flash drive and taught him how to use the computer. He was allowed to stay at school to use the library computers as long as necessary. Finally, the track coach took him under his wing and taught him to win races. I cried like a baby when he when through the 8th grade ceremony. He won many of the awards, including best athlete. A special teacher's scholarship was awarded to him, and a computer was purchased with internet service to get him through high school.

Last month, this young man went to Hawaii to participate in a Track and Field championship. This is a student who had it in him to seek out help. And now he has tasted success. I hate to put a damper on this great story, but there were 10 more in the same boat who had no interest in taking help or asking for it.

How are we going to correctly evaluate this difference in poverty and create a valid test instrument? Do you think poverty is the problem? Or is it cultural? Can the size of the sample correct for this issue in testing?

Solution Preview

I think that the main way by which to correctly evaluate this difference in poverty and create a valid test instrument, would be to test the school performance of a group of impoverished children, to have these same children enrolled in a school in a wealthier school district and providing them with the necessary materials, such as ...

Solution Summary

This solution describes the relationship between poverty and lower school performance.