Paul Gorski on Grit

If you are still on the “grit” of “mindset of poverty” bandwagon, consider this. Compared with schools with low percentages of students experiencing poverty, schools with high percentages of students experiencing poverty are more likely to have:

  • less access to school nurses and college counselors;
  • more limited access to computers and the Internet;
  • inadequate learning facilities such as science labs
  • more teacher vacancies and substitute teachers
  • more teachers unlicensed in their subject areas;
  • less rigorous and student-centered curricula;
  • inoperative or dirty student bathrooms;
  • serious teacher turnover problems;
  • higher student-to-teacher ratios;
  • insufficient classroom materials;
  • fewer extracurricular programs;
  • fewer experienced teachers;
  • lower teacher salaries;
  • larger class sizes; and
  • less funding.

This is on top of all of the out-of-school challenges, such as less access to preventive healthcare, stable housing, and more.

So explain to me how we can meaningfully respond to the impacts of these conditions by completely ignoring these injustices while “fixing” the mindsets, cultures, or grittiness of students or families experiencing poverty.

By the way, this list can be reproduced with great precision for students of color, so stop using grit on them, too.

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