January 26, 2011
My parents moved to the suburbs to open up the world to me.
Like many in their generation, they saw the city around them crumbling and the outskirts of town as a place to find affordable housing, community pools, and, most importantly, good schools. Their decision had the pay offs that almost any parent would want. I went on field trips to museums, had classes capped at 15, and ended up attending a small, liberal arts college with red brick, white columns, and a study abroad program. In school, I experienced diversity…but mostly in books, movies, and on our annual trip to the world cultures museum. And community became synonymous with service rather than partnership or integration.
January 19, 2011
Think of the most stressful moments of your life– the times when you’ve felt the most anxious, the most afraid or the least confident. Imagine that argument with your spouse just before leaving home in the morning, only to be rear-ended by the aggressive tail-gater and then arriving at school to teach that class of antsy third graders or administer an important test. How would you do? Children in poverty—children who come from family environments plagued by unemployment, abuse and neglect, chronic housing mobility and the like—suffer stress levels higher and more chronic than the exceptional “bad morning.” This stress has a profound impact on their cognitive abilities.