No one believes that education shouldn't be improved. And no one believes the improvement of education should wait until poverty is "fixed."
So stop pretending that anyone believes that.
Poverty is a factor–a big factor–in students' academic outcomes. You can rail all you want about not using it as excuse, but you can't will it and its effects out of existence. The more you scream, "Poverty is just an excuse," the more poverty will still be living in certain neighborhoods and popping kids' dreams like pregnant red balloons. It won't stop hurting children just because you insist that its effects must be ignored.
And the public school teacher who will not remain silent says this:
"What are you going to do about this poverty that is hindering a proper education for children?"
That isn't an excuse. It is a demand for sound public policy. Reality stinks sometimes, but the reality is that the "poverty doesn't matter" brigade is full of platitudes and pomp, but empty when it comes to solving America's problems.
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