May 5, 2015 by

Watch Live: Whole Child Symposium Explores Link Between Poverty and Education

wcs_banner590x150The growing gap between rich and poor is affecting many aspects of life in the United States, from health to work to home life. Now, the one place that’s supposed to give Americans an equal chance at life—the schoolhouse—is becoming increasingly unequal as well.

Fifty-one years after President Lyndon B. Johnson launched the War on Poverty, fifty-one percent of public school students in the nation are from low-income households. In a recent article, ASCD Executive Director Judy Seltz writes, “Ignoring poverty in our schools is not the answer. Paying attention to resources and services for the whole child—and families and communities—is the only way to counteract poverty’s devastating effects on children.”

Socioeconomic status is considered one of the major determinants of academic success. How are we addressing how it affects student learning and lives as a sector and in our schools and classrooms? The spring 2015 Whole Child Symposium will explore the connection between poverty and education and discuss its relevance to school reform and education improvement efforts.

Join the Conversation

Watch the live stream of the symposium on Wednesday, May 6, from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. eastern time at www.ascd.org/wcsymposium. You’ll hear from

Follow @ASCD on Twitter and use #WCS15 to learn more about the topic, ask questions, and share your input.

Learn More: Teacher Leadership Report from the Fall 2014 Whole Child Symposium

The fall 2014 Whole Child Symposium addressed teacher leadership, another timely topic. In that event, panelists including ASCD authors Peter DeWitt and Robyn Jackson, NEA vice president Becky Pringle, and U.S. Department of Education teaching fellow Maddie Fennell discussed why collaborative, shared leadership is essential to meet increased student expectations and determined that frameworks for teacher leadership are needed, although overstandardization should be avoided. To learn more, access the full fall 2014 Whole Child Symposium report here (PDF).

Klea Scharberg is project manager for Whole Child Programs at ASCD where she works to build awareness and perform outreach for the Whole Child Initiative. The initiative is part of a broad, multiyear plan to shift public dialogue about education from an academic focus to a whole child approach that encompasses all factors required for successful student outcomes, enhancing learning by addressing each student's social, emotional, physical, and academic needs through the shared contributions of schools, families, communities, and policymakers.