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Representing the Proposition that "Poverty Is Not an Excuse"

Publication Date: 2006-06-24

Those who blithely intone "No excuses" never come up against the grinding poverty that so many students face every day. Thank you to Steve Orel for providing us a reminder of reality.

Dear ARN* folks:

I would enjoy someone coming to our classroom at the World of Opportunity (WOO) and looking into the eyes of WOO students, and representing the proposition that "poverty is not an excuse."

Whoever accepts this open invitation should kindly bring:

*nutritious food and beverages (twelve week supply)

* 5 sets of trousers, undershirts, overshirts (economize by long sleeve only), drawers, socks, dress shoes, play shoes


*coat or formal jacket, or sweater

*tie or necklace / brocade

* 1 pair of dress pants or a dress

* 3 pairs of pajamas

* toiletries

* blankets

* sheets

* pillows

* bed frames and mattress would add to the touch

* electric fan

* electric space heater (for use when the gas service is disconnected)

* gas space heater (for use when the electricity is disconnected)

* books: texts, literature, reference, dictionaries, encyclopedia sets

* educational and recreational DVDs

* PC computer system compatible with the Internet

* paper, pencils, pens

* cash for field trips.

* art supplies

* musical instruments

* voucher for vision screening and corrective equipment, for study and sports.

* voucher for dental screening and subsequent corrective treatment

* voucher for auditory screening and subsequent corrective treatment and equipment

* voucher for check up at a local or regional family practice clinic connected to a community teaching hospital, university, or other progressive medical institution

* transportation for student and parent/guardian included for all vouchers described above

Now, all of the supplies above are needed for 300 students, ranging in age from 12-30 years.

$50.00 GED exam fees for 25 students.

Send that Burke fellow.

It would be a welcome cyber vacation for the ARN list.

We'll set up him with one of our student's families. Our students are always quite generous.
They have nothing and will share half of that.

Stay around a few days.

Now, remember that you will tell our students and their families that poverty is not an excuse.

Fortunately, there is an acute community health care clinic just caddy corner across the street from us. So, we have all bases covered.

Steve Orel
World of Opportunity (WOO)
Birmingham, AL

*Assessment Reform Network/ FairTest discussion group

Art Burke replies:

Poverty is not an excuse for poor schools.

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