My friend Vanessa had this to say about the previous post:
Interesting idea, but I have to respectfully disagree that breaking up families and instilling children with the belief that they come from an inferior cultural and family background is the best way fix the education system. My own idea, though not fully developed, is that the government should provide parent training classes annually and actually pay parents to attend. We’d be helping people be better parents and help them with the costs of raising children. Obviously this would be an expensive program, but as you say, something needs to be done to help break the cycle for poverty!
My vision is something like a professional development/continuing education program where you’d take a few hours of classes each year. When you’re pregnant you would take a class on prenatal nutrition, when your child is 4 you’d take a class on activities you can do with your child to prepare them for kindergarten, etc. The focus would be on health, safety, and education. The classes would be open to everyone for free, but you wouldn’t get paid for them if you make over a certain income. I think everyone could benefit from the help in parenting, not just parents who are low income. Classes could be offered at multiple times. Child care could be provided during the classes, or some may even be appropriate for parents and children to attend together. Just some initial ideas . . .
Breaking the cycle of poverty probably requires attacks from many different sides where a variety of programs may have to be tried. I think a professional development program doesn’t necessarily have to be government run, but can also be nonprofit, similar to how we have private universities and state-run universities.
I think the biggest problem in breaking the cycle of poverty is cultural. Poverty limits ones access to the greater world outside, and thus limits knowledge. Limited knowledge means not knowing things like basic nutrition, how to pay taxes, mandated car insurance, and the biggest one of all – OPTIONS on how to live life and knowing that there is more – things that further penalize the poor for “not being properly socialized” when their environment hasn’t provided this possibility.
Does this mean that parents from poor backgrounds can’t succeed? No, of course not. But the deck, statistically, is stacked against them. If that weren’t the case, we wouldn’t have a cycle of poverty.