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Deborah Meier and Diane Ravitch have found themselves at odds on policy over the years, but they share a passion for improving schools. Bridging Differences will offer their insights on what matters most in education.

In recent years, we have become accustomed to hearing prominent reformers like Secretary Duncan, Michelle Rhee, and Joel Klein say that reference to poverty is just making excuses for bad teachers and bad schools. But there is plenty of evidence that poverty affects students’ readiness to learn. It affects their health, their nutrition, their attendance, and their motivation. Being hungry and homeless distracts students and injures their health; living in an environment where drugs and violence are commonplace affects children’s interest in academics. Living in communities where many stores and homes are boarded up, and where incarceration rates are very high, affects children’s sense of possibility and their willingness to plan for the future. Go to the original…

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