In the attached article in the Spring 2007 issue of the American Educator, the official journal of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), Antonia Cortese summarizes five essential steps we should take as helping professionals to better meet the needs of poor students.

All five steps are backed by a growing body of research and include; 1) Focusing on teaching quality, and in particular, create the conditions and incentives that would stem the exodus of teachers from high-poverty schools and attract qualified teachers to them; 2) Improving student behavior by using effective approaches in the earliest grades to establish a positive, respectful school culture; 3) Diagnosing reading problems early and intervene right away; 4) Providing a knowledge-rich, grade-by-grade core curriculum; and 5) Making sure that the schools that serve the neediest students get the extra attention, expertise, staff, time, and resources they need to meet the greater challenges they face.

The Boost that Poor Children, Their Teachers & Their Schools Really Need – Full Report