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News and Opinion May 17, 2016

Turnaround featured in Paul Tough’s article in The Atlantic

1920[1]In his article, How Kids Learn Resilience, Paul Tough opens with a startling statistic – in 2013, 51 percent of public-school students in this country fell below the federal government’s low-income cutoff, an inescapable reminder that the challenge of teaching low-income children has become the central issue in American education.

Despite two decades of national attention, education reform efforts have done little or nothing to close the gap between poor students and their better-off peers. Tough’s article looks at what types of environments students need to be exposed to in order to develop the skills and mindsets necessary for success in school and life. He highlights the work of Turnaround for Children and a visit to partner school MS 45 – Thomas C. Giordano Middle School in the Bronx. Here is an excerpt:

5d92c2b49[1]“When Turnaround is contracted to work at a particular school, its intervention team, usually three or four people, begins by addressing the psychological needs of potentially disruptive students, sometimes offering them on-site counseling and mentoring, often referring them and their families to mental-health services. At the same time, the organization’s team works to improve the classroom environment as a whole, coaching teachers in behavior-management techniques that dial confrontations down rather than up, and giving them strategies to help create a climate of belonging and engagement in the classroom.”

This article is adapted from Paul Tough’s book, Helping Children Succeed: What Works and Why, published May 24, 2016. Read the full article in The Atlantic here.