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Poverty Is NOT a Learning Disability

Equalizing Opportunities for Low SES Students

These strategies, training resources, and more help improve the performance of students of low socioeconomic status by preventing their misidentification as learning disabled and supporting school-readiness skills.

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Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12, Elementary, Secondary
  • ISBN: 9781412969048
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Year: 2009
  • Page Count: 160
  • Publication date: July 30, 2009

Price: $34.95

Price: $34.95
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"This book is the perfect guide for those administrators and teachers who are truly interested in equalizing educational opportunities at all levels."
—Rebecca S. Compton, Professor of Elementary Education
East Central University

Proven strategies for increasing the academic performance of students with low school-readiness skills!

Children of low socioeconomic status often enter school with low school-readiness skills, leading them to be misidentified as learning disabled. Educators in Grades K–12 can allocate resources for special education services more effectively and meet the needs of low SES students by preventing students from being placed in the wrong program and by providing readiness supports.

Offering an in-depth look at schools that have realized effective results in remarkable time frames, the authors challenge educators and parents to consider how low expectations can affect student achievement—and emphasize optimism as a necessary tenet of schools' day-to-day teaching/learning programs and school-community relationships. This resource provides:

  • Training resources for teaching low SES students
  • Assessment tools for identifying learning needs
  • Strategies for building relationships of trust and collaboration throughout the school community
  • Data charts that illustrate the increase in student achievement from schoolwide initiatives
  • A bibliography and glossary of pertinent research and terminology

With these strategies and tools, schools can meet the developmental and environmental needs of their most vulnerable students and watch student achievement and confidence soar!

Key features

  • Training resources for teaching low SES students
  • Assessment tools for identifying learning needs
  • Data charts that illustrate the increase in student achievement from schoolwide initiatives such as "prevention intervention" and single gender classrooms
  • A bibliography of research on learning disabilities and low socioeconomic populations
  • A glossary of special education terms and Title I (low socioeconomic standing schools) terminology


Tish Howard photo

Tish Howard

Lizette (Tish) Howard has 20 years of experience as an educator working with children and parents in low socioeconomic schools. She is an elementary principal in a Title I school in which 43 percent of its families are classified as living in poverty. In this position, Howard is responsible for the design and implementation of numerous programs and a school climate that raised the level of student academic success and closed the achievement gap between students of poverty and those residing in homes of economic stability. Howard works with parents, civic associations, clergy, and the business community to level the economic playing field for disadvantaged students and has implemented numerous initiatives to provide the necessary background knowledge many children from poverty lack when entering school.

Prior to her role as a school administrator, Howard served 10 years as a speech and language pathologist with a full caseload of language delayed children. She spent eight of those 10 years delivering services to emotionally disturbed adolescent males in an alternative educational setting. It was in that capacity that Howard introduced inclusion language therapy to her school district as opposed to the standard pull-out method. This form of therapeutic delivery is now widely used districtwide.

Howard has served as an education consultant for local preschool and summer camp experiences. She designed an educational summer experience for low socioeconomic children that focused on providing a foundation for the academic challenges they would face in the upcoming academic year. She also served on the Minority Student Achievement Board for her school system and has presented programs on intervention methods at the local school and university level.

Howard earned her bachelor's and master’s degrees in speech and language pathology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and her PhD in education leadership from George Mason University. While completing her postgraduate work, Howard was a contributing writer to the USA Today educational web site, and she continues to mentor prospective administrators through the university mentoring program. She has been nominated for Principal of the Year honors in her school district, recognized by the Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development for development of positive school climate, and featured in numerous television and print articles.
Sandy Grogan Dresser photo

Sandy Grogan Dresser

Sandy Grogan Dresser is a human resources management consultant who consults with clients in the areas of compensation, performance management, management development, employee communications, and human resources policy and administration. She has more than 30 years experience in the field of human resources management, including six years in her private consulting practice and 15 years as an assistant vice president with Aon Consulting in Bethesda, Maryland. Prior to joining Aon, Dresser served as a human resources director in both the public and private not-for-profit sectors. She has also served as an executive development consultant to a number of federal departments and agencies.

Dresser served 12 years as a public school teacher and administrator, during which time she was instrumental in the development and implementation of significant educational change in the implementation of middle schools and managed the human resources function of a metropolitan school district. In addition to standard personnel administration, she was responsible for coordinating a reorganization plan that included the closing of nine junior high schools, the opening of six new middle schools, and the reassignment of 300 employees. In this role, she devised and directed a staff reassignment procedure that effected minimum disruption and a high level of satisfaction among teachers, administrators, students, and parents.

A graduate of the University of North Carolina and Kansas University, Dresser holds bachelor's degrees in history and education and a master’s degree in education policy and administration. She is the author of numerous articles published in professional journals and frequently presents seminars for professional associations on topics in the human resources management field.
Dennis R. Dunklee photo

Dennis R. Dunklee

Dr. Dennis R. Dunklee is an Emeritus Professor in the Education Leadership Department in the Graduate School of Education at George Mason University. During his twenty-five years in public schools, he served as a teacher, elementary school principal, junior high and middle school principal, high school principal, and central office administrator. During his more than twenty years at George Mason University, he taught courses in education law and school leadership and served as an advisor and chair for master’s and doctoral candidates in school leadership.
Because of his expertise and practical experience, he continues to be frequently called on to consult in the areas of effective schools, school law, administrator evaluation, instructional supervision, school-community relations, problem solving, and conflict resolution. In addition, he continues to be actively involved as a consultant and expert witness in numerous school-related lawsuits nationwide. As a university scholar and researcher, he has published, and continues to publish, textbooks, monographs, and articles on issues in the fields of school law, business management, administrative practice, and leadership theory. He also continues to present papers at international, national, regional, state, and local conferences and is a widely sought-after clinician for inservice workshops. Dr. Dunklee was an invited participant and presenter at the 2005 Oxford (University) Round Table on Education Law: Individual Rights and Freedoms.

He received his Ph.D. in school administration and foundations from Kansas State University. His major area of research was in the field of education law, and his dissertation was on tort liability for negligence. He holds a master’s degree in elementary and secondary school administration from Washburn University.

This is Dr. Dunklee’s eighth book for Corwin Press. His other Corwin books are You Sound Taller on the Telephone: A Practitioner’s View of the Principalship (1999); If You Want to Lead Not Just Manage (2000); The Principal’s Quick Reference Guide to School Law (2002 and 2006, with Robert J. Shoop); Strategic Listening for School Leaders (2005, with Jeannine Tate); Anatomy of a Lawsuit: What Every Education Leader Should Know About Legal Actions (2006, with Robert J. Shoop); and Poverty Is NOT a Learning Disability (2009, with Tish Howard and Sandy Grogan Dresser).
Table of Contents

Table of Contents



About the Authors


1. The Changing Realities of America's Public Education: Foundational Facts and Implications



School Readiness

Lack of Parent Involvement

Deficit Perceptions

Special Education and NCLB


2. The Unfortunate Link Between Low Socioeconomic Status and Learning Disabilities

Understanding Learning Disabilities

Poverty Is Not a Learning Disability

Educators' Lack of Understanding of Poverty

Teachers' Role in Learning Disability Referrals

The Cost of Misidentifying Children as Learning Disabled


3. Teaching Strategies and Techniques Proven to Work With Low SES Children

Four Teaching Strategies That Work

Creating a Positive Climate for Instruction


4. The Importance of Strong School-Home Relationships in Educating Low SES Children

The Importance of Parent Involvement

The Importance of Home-Based Involvement

The Importance of School Climate

Meeting the Challenges Presented by Low SES Neighborhoods

Embracing Cultural Diversity


5. How Strong School-Business Relationships Can Benefit Low SES Students

Creating a Partnership With Structure and Reciprocity

Looking Beyond Dollars in School-Business Partnerships

Recognizing the Partnership Value of Small Local Businesses


6. The Role Networking Can Play in the Effective Education of Low SES Students

Networking With Central Offices

Networking Beyond the School District


7. Managing Change Successfully

Why People Resist Change

Strategies to Reduce Resistance to Change and Promote Successful Implementations


8. Selecting the Right People

Identifying the Characteristics and Qualifications You're Looking For

Assessing Your Faculty and Staff's Strengths and Weaknesses to Clarify Your Needs

Communicating Your Needs and Interests to Human Resources

Structuring the Interview Process

Managing the Interview and Selection Process


9. Identifying the Core and Individual Competencies That Promote the Most Successful Learning Environment

What We Mean by Competencies

Identifying Core School and Individual Competencies That Promote Student Success


10. Identifying Expectations and Managing Performance

Some Basic Assumptions

Communicating Your Expectations

Managing Performance Around Your Expectations

Providing Constructive Feedback


11. A Proven Approach to Improving Educational Opportunities for Low SES Children

Professional Climate

Behavioral Climate

Community Climate

Instructional Practices


12. Summary and Conclusions

Being the Leader in Your School

Making the Most of an "Ambiguous" Situation




Price: $34.95
Volume Discounts applied in Shopping Cart

For Instructors

Request Review Copy

When you select 'request review copy', you will be redirected to Sage Publishing (our parent site) to process your request.