Teachers: Poverty's impact should be considered

Poverty should not be an excuse to accept failure in the classroom, but also cannot be ignored as a reason that students face setbacks, according to an applicant for the Philadelphia, Pa., Teaching Fellows Program who wrote to Washington Post columnist Jay Mathews. A Prince George's County, Md., teacher agreed saying that if teachers know details about their students' lives outside the classroom and potential obstacles they face, they can adjust instruction to help students succeed.

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