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FS Underlying Social Problem

Page history last edited by pbworks 8 years, 3 months ago

The Underlying Social Problem:


Full Service Schools are a Solution





Research shows that families living in poverty deal with more stressors and demonstrate unique characteristics compared to the average middle-class family (Rothstein, 2009)[1]. The first major social class difference is in childrearing.  Children in middle class families experience broader vocabularies by the time they enter school.  Working class families tend to have fewer conversations with their babies and are less likely to read aloud to their young children as a means to start conversation and develop critical thinking skills (Rothstein, 2009).  The second key social class difference is in children's health.  Children living in low income areas are more likely to suffer from problems related to physical health, vision, hearing, oral health, and nutrition.  Additionally, higher rates of environmental health issues such as lead exposure and asthma are present in these impoverished communities (2009). Furthermore, parents in low-income circumstances often have trouble attaining and utilizing health care, insurance, and/or government aid.  While a child suffering from a single factor, such as asthma, may not be at a significant academic disadvantage, children suffering from an accumulation of these issues, as is often the case of children in low-income areas, experience drastic impediments to their school readiness Webmail



Community schools can respond to these increasing social needs in low-income students.  Community schools aim to coordinate services that meet the divergent supplemental needs of students and thus free teachers to focus on the instructional core, which is directly connected to improved student achievement (Dryfoos & Quinn, 2005)[2]. The strength of the community school model is the coordinated integration of services that dynamically addresses the myriad needs of students from low-income backgrounds.   This lateral coordination of services directly strikes at the bureaucratic and categorical silos that oversee various aspects of social welfare.  The community school model also calls for a vertical alignment of funding streams whereby government agencies pool funds targeted at children into a collective pot allowing service provision to be responsive to student needs.



  1. Rothstein, R. (2009, Summer). Equalizing Opportunity: Dramatic differences in children’s home life and health mean that schools can’t do it alone. American Educator, 33(2),
  2. Dryfoos, J. G., Quinn, J., & Barkin, C. (Eds.). (2005). Community schools in action: Lessons from a decade of practice. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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