This is a workshop about class. It is a workshop about economic diversity. It is not about race because Ruby Payne's area of expertise is class, not race. This is simply about issues of class and about how class impacts so many of the things we see. Ruby took a job in Barrington, Illinois, as an elementary principal. Ninety-five percent of the parents were in the top 1 percent of household income in the United States. A myth we have in America is that if you're wealthy, you're smarter. The school had wealthy African Americans, Hispanics, Caucasians, Asians, and East Indians, and Ruby could not tell any difference among them. If they had a package of resources, they were doing equally well. The research is this: There is no difference in achievement levels of white and minority children if the net worth of the households is the same. They hired Ruby in Barrington because even though the children had so much money they weren't learning very well; their achievement scores were low. Ruby began researching what it is that makes a difference in learning. One day Ruby met a Russian man who was driving a limo. He had been a teacher in Russia, and his wife had been a medical doctor. They came to this country because of poor wages in Russia. He told Ruby, &quot;If you have to work all day just to have enough money for food for one day for one person, that's what you're going to spend all your time doing. But if you can make enough money for food in one day to keep two people alive, that other person can do something besides survive and work.&quot; That story is a metaphor for this workshop. Learning takes time. You have to devote time to learning these things because many of them are unrelated to daily life, but people don't devote the time to learning that it needs. Most people keep the same mindsets, the same habits, the same belief systems they've always had—even when they don't need them anymore—unless one or two things happen: They get relationships, they get education.
There are four research bases for causes of poverty. The first is behaviors of the individual, i.e. that individual choices create poverty. The second is human and social capital in the community. For example, people can be all dressed up and make the right choices, but if there are no jobs in the community, that is a cause for poverty. The third is exploitation, such as racism, the sex trade, pay day lenders or pawn shops, all places where people are exploited. Lastly, social and economic structures. An example of this is when banks red-line a certain district and won’t give loans in that area. All of these are causes of poverty and all four research bases are valid.
So, our Framework training addresses behaviors of the individual and resources which are human and social capital in the community. When we teach students how to negotiate the school, we are teaching students how they can negotiate what the law requires in a way that works for them, without necessarily assimilating to it, and teach teachers how to adapt what they do to help their students be more successful. We don’t directly talk about exploitation, except in this way, that in being educated one is less likely to be exploited. Our Meeting Standards course looks at political and economic structures. The more that all four causes of poverty can be addressed, the more we can serve our communities. The bottom line is that there is a place for all of us to make our contribution to ending poverty.
Module 1The objective for Module 1 is to establish a mental framework for understanding economic realities.
What is the key point in this statement &quot;Poverty is relative“? Would you be wealthy, middle class, or poor if you earned your current salary in New York City? The first point is that poverty is relative, and so is wealth. A lot of people will say to you, &quot;We were poor growing up. Everybody was poor. We didn't think a thing about it.&quot; It is really relative to what you know. Many people in wealth will say to you, &quot;You know, it's all on paper anyway.&quot; Or they'll cite someone who has more than they do. It's really relative to your situation.
Poverty occurs in all races. Poverty is increasing; the disparity between the wealthy and the poor is growing. This is the fourth time in the history of the United States that the disparity has been this great. The level of educational attainment and family structure correlates with the level of poverty: These two impact children the most. The second point is that poverty occurs in all races. All races have poor, wealthy, and middle class. What we know right now in the United States is that about the greatest number and the greatest percentage of people in poverty are children. A child is defined as anybody under the age of 18. Poverty in 2001 was established at $17,600 for a family of four. The greatest number of children in poverty are white, but the greatest percentage is by minority group. The minority group with the highest percentage of child poverty seems to be Native American, followed by African American, followed by Hispanic, followed by Asian, followed by Caucasian. About one of five of children in the U.S. is living in poverty. Child poverty is growing fastest in rural areas and first-ring suburbs. There are two reasons: education of parents and family structure. There are five main reasons for poverty in the United States. The first reason is the educational attainment level of the adult. The second reason: family structure. The third one is immigration. The fourth is language issues. And the fifth reason is the addiction issues of the adult or adults in the home.
Many of you are saying, &quot;If I'm rich, where is the money?&quot; Educators tend to compare their households to other people with like education. But if you compare it to the United States in general … $86,861 or more is the top 20 percent of U.S. households; $154,120 or more is the top 5 percent; $17,984 or less is the bottom 20 percent of households in the U.S. There is a relationship between wealth and education. African Americans in the last decade have had the highest percentage of people move into the middle class.
Generational and situational poverty are different. There is a distinction between generational and situational poverty: Generational means a person has been that way for two generations or more; situational poverty is when there is a death, a divorce, or an illness—and resources are temporarily reduced (college days or the first few years of teaching). There is as much difference in thinking between generational and situational poverty as there is between old and new money. Middle class equals education beyond high school; most people move one class in a lifetime. When you're moving from poverty to middle class or middle class to wealth, you're using part of the rules you grew up with and part of the rules you are moving to. But when you have been in poverty two generations, those are the only rules you know. They shape your thinking. Forty percent of American adults live in the class they were raised in. The term poverty in this workshop means generational: It has been that way for at least two generations.
The next point is about patterns. The longer the child is in poverty, the less opportunity there is for change. This is a pattern. If you talk about a group of people, you have to talk about their patterns. But if you apply those patterns to everybody in the group, you've stereotyped. That is not what this is about.
The patterns we're going to talk about are economic, because most schools operate from middle-class norms and values. [Use Rita's story about the boy who had no alarm clock.]
Shown on this diagram are the key points concerning patterns about poverty, middle class, and wealth. Remember, we are talking about patterns, not stereotypes. When we stereotype, we apply a pattern to everyone in the group. Be sure this is not the case. If you've been in that middle-class mindset two generations or more, virtually all your decision making is made against three things: work, achievement, and material security. Those three things shape middle-class lives every day. In wealth, your decision making is made against three things: social, financial, and political connections—for two reasons: No. 1, they keep you safe, and No. 2, they help you make more money. The rule about money is that you just don't talk about it. Investments yes, money no. After two generations in poverty, you don't have much stuff. Virtually all your decision making is made against three things: relationships, entertainment, and survival, because you have only one real possession, and that's people. Additional patterns in wealth : It is not OK not to be perfect. Details are very important. A person is not respected unless he/she has expertise. Rules do not apply to my child. Social exclusion is a key weapon of choice in wealth. Additional patterns in generational poverty : Noise level is higher. Important information is given non-verbally. Entertainment gives value to your group. Respect is given to those who are personally strong.
We are this rich piece of fabric that is very different from person to person. We have a thread that came from our race, our religion, the region of the country we grew up in, aging, economics, and cross-cultural threads like gender. Each of us in here brings with us a whole set of hidden rules. One of the areas we have hidden rules about is food. Food is very important because food is often the line between being destitute and merely being poor. The issue around food and poverty is quantity. The question after a meal is &quot;Are you full? Did you have enough?&quot; In middle class people have too much food. They're always on this or that diet. So the issue around food is quality. The questions after the meal are &quot;Did you like it? Was it good?&quot; In wealth the issue around food is presentation. The questions after a meal are &quot;Was it artistically presented? Did it have aesthetic appeal? Did it go with the theme?&quot; The big problem with hidden rules is that they're seldom articulated. But more importantly, they're equated with intelligence. Members of the group that has the most power, the most money, or the greatest number of people … believe that their hidden rules are the best. So if you don't use them, it's because you're either stupid or rude.
We're only looking at this one tiny thread in the fabric of an individual's life, and that's the thread around economics. There are many cultural differences, but Ruby says she doesn’t feel qualified to discuss them. This study is cross-cultural and focuses on economics.
What are we going to do about all of this? The thing people want to do is to be mad or to feel sorry. The problem is that neither of those approaches is going to help that particular student. Not everyone wants to be middle class, though just about everyone wants the money. This is about choice. There is no choice if you are not educated. At least a ninth-grade reading level is needed to make it out of poverty.
What we do is teach them (the students) that there are two sets of rules. If you're in a poor area and you can't physically fight, you're not going to make it. If you bring physical fighting into the school, you're out. We must teach students this: There are two sets of rules; you need more than one set. One of the myths of middle class is that everybody wants to be middle class, and that isn’t true. What just about everybody wants is more money. One of the myths of wealth is that everybody wants to be in wealth. No. Everybody wants more money—not necessarily the lifestyle. When you educate, you give choice. When you're educated, you can choose whether you want to make a change or not. But when you're not educated, you never even have the choice.
The dilemma is about time; a person has to choose. The reason many adults in poverty choose not to leave and why many students in school quit learning is this: To move from poverty to middle class or middle class to wealth, there's a period of time in there where you have to give up relationships for achievement, because you don't have enough time for both.
There are two key things that help one move out of poverty: education and relationships.
There tend to be four reasons one leaves poverty: * It’s too painful to stay * A vision or goal * A key relationship * A special talent or skill
Critical mass is the percentage of people that has to buy into an idea or product before it spreads rapidly. What we see in schools is this: When more than 40 percent of the student population is low-income, it's not unusual in those schools to get a student culture where it's not &quot;cool&quot; to achieve. Dr. James Comer, an African-American educator at Yale University, says this: &quot;No significant learning occurs without a significant relationship of mutual respect.&quot; It is amazing that people think you will get learning without relationships of mutual respect. You won't. It's the primary motivator for learning. If there is mutual respect between a student and a teacher, these three things are present: No. 1: insistence. No. 2: high expectations. No. 3: support. Support is the &quot;how-to-get-it-done&quot; piece. Students will know you respect them when those pieces are there.
People are unsure of how to tell or work with students so they can get both achievement and relationships. Ruby likes to use these phrases: &quot; You need to learn this &quot; or &quot; you need to do this &quot; so you can be in control and respected. Control and respect are huge in poverty. &quot; You need to learn this &quot; or &quot; you need to do this &quot; so you can be smarter. Stories of heroes in generational poverty are either trickster heroes or anti-heroes (for example, Robin Hood) who go up against society and win. To be either of those heroes, you have to be smarter. Anything that will make you smarter is admired. &quot; You need to learn this &quot; or &quot; you need to this &quot; so you win more often. The preferred style of conflict resolution in poverty is win/lose because it's about survival. So anything that's going to help the students win really interests them. &quot; You need to learn this or do this &quot; so that you won't be cheated. People get cheated a lot more frequently in poverty. &quot; You need to learn this or do this &quot; so you'll be safe when you're old. Poor neighborhoods tend to be violent and, if you’re old, you're a prime target. &quot; Yo u need to learn this or do this &quot; because life is like a game. We get bad hands. It's this whole concept of how you're going to cope with situations. &quot; You need to learn this or do this &quot; because the mind is a tool or weapon that no one can take away from you. A technique that Ruby has had principals use involves the concept of how important relationships are to learning. One principal took a group of 40 extremely at-risk students and paired them with a faculty member who spent 5-10 minutes every day with them. The school's state assessments scores went up 30 points in one year. In another case the principal had 133 staff members pair up with students who had never passed the state assessment. At the end of the year, 88 out of 133 students passed for the first time. It's simply having that relationship of mutual respect. Frequently, it’s the phrases we use with the students that show support. This is about power and winning; your mind is a tool or a weapon; you will be safe when you are old.
Module 2The objectives for Module 2 are to analyze the eight resources of an individual and make interventions based on the resources that are present, to understand that failure is often related to missing pieces, and to identify ways to provide missing resources. Typical questions ﾉ * &quot;Why do some people make it out of poverty, while others don't?&quot;* &quot;Those people have so much money, and they are so miserable. Why?&quot;* &quot;We made an intervention. It didn't work. Why not?&quot; * &quot;Look, if I made it out of poverty, anybody can; why can't they?&quot; The answer to all of these questions depends on how many of the eight resources are present.If you make interventions based on resources that aren ﾕ t available to an individual, they're not going to work. You must identify ways to provide missing resources.
Resources If you have fewer than three resources, you will be more likely to make poor choices. Of these resources, which one in the research makes the biggest difference in lifelong learning? It's relationships/role models. In the research in his brilliant book The Growth of the Mind Stanley Greenspan shows that almost no learning occurs without a significant relationship. It just doesn't happen. This is the same point Dr. Comer made earlier. Among wealthy students, Ruby found this is the resource (relationships/role models) that they usually don't have. The irony of this is: That's the one resource on the list money can't buy. Which one of these do you think makes the biggest difference in your lifelong stability? It's emotional resources. It's the ability to be alone when times are bad and not be destructive—to self or others. You get a lot of your emotional resources from relationships. Emotional resources involve the internal line that we don't cross when we're angry. Which one would you guess makes the biggest difference in school success? It's really support systems, which are not just money and friends but know-how. That's why the research is that there's no difference between minority and white achievement if the net worth of the household is the same. Net worth speaks to the level of the support system. The way a support system shows up in school is in homework and projects. Support systems include such things as health insurance, knowledge base, friends, and family. Do you have someone who can help you out with it when you cannot or do not want to do it? Why would spiritual resources be on this list? They give hope. The second thing is this: In the resiliency research on adults who have made it out of very difficult situations, one of the high, high correlates is they had a strong belief in a higher power. Mental resources are on this list, and they just mean you read, write, and compute. What mental resources really give you is the ability to know whether or not the information you have is correct. Inappropriate behavior usually begins when some of these are missing. Students may want you to focus on their behavior rather than on their lack of academic skills. Physical resources means your body works. It does not mean you have a car. If you have ever been sick and aggravated that you couldn't get up and do something you needed to do, you know what a difference physical resources can make.
Resource Analysis In your workbook are 14 case studies. Read the first case study (Sally and SueAnn) with your neighbor. What resources are in this household? We usually look at household resources. Let's talk about money before we talk about resources. There are two issues in money and poverty. One is when you don't manage what you have. The other one is when there's not enough. Let's look at SueAnn and Sally's resources. Are there financial resources there? No. Emotional? No, because Mom can't live without a man. Mental resources. Yes, SueAnn can read, write, and compute. Spiritual? It doesn't say. Physical? Yes. Support system? It isn ' t good. Relationships/role models? SueAnn loves her children … she works two jobs … she's not there.
This chart shows the scenario characters and the resources that are available. This can be shown after the participants have completed the Resource Analysis chart and discussion is complete.
These are the questions to ask about resources.
For interventions to be successful, use the resources that are there, then augment those resources. Example: If students do not have homework help available at home, maybe the school people can start a program at school to help with homework.