aera-l | In response to my post "Barriers to Better K-12 Math Education: Poverty and the Inadequate Undergraduate Education of Prospective K-12 Teachers [Hake (2013)] at Ed Wall (2013b), in his Math-Learn post at made 2 points: (1) My statement that Wall implied that the dumbing down of elementary school mathematics in the U.S. is due to Math Education Researcher's preoccupation with the secondary years is "more than a little un-thoughtful." (2) His post "Re: Do We Learn All the Math We Need For Ordinary Life Before 5th Grade?" [Wall (2013a)] at had more to do with (a) his agreement with David Hawkins - see signature quote - which Wall assumes I have refuted, and (b) people such as myself who " 'imply' that children are less than capable because of their socioeconomic status." [Non-subscribers to Math-Learn can access Wall's post by taking a minute to "Join this List" at the Math-Learn archives.]
Here I refute Wall's 2 points with emphasis on Wall's incorrect point 2b: "people such as myself 'imply' that children are less than capable because of their socioeconomic status." On the contrary, I implied that children *in poverty* are less capable of *academic achievement* than children not in poverty.
I think that children in poverty are probably just as *inherently* capable as children not in poverty, but societal and home factors conspire against their academic achievement. For example many of them: (a) are subjected to poor teaching, (b) attend dilapidated schools with high student and teacher turnover, (c) have academically uninvolved parents, (d) partake of few out-of-school enrichment activities, (e) have limited access to books, (f) receive inadequate nutrition, (g) live in slums, (h) come from broken families, (i) are threatened by gang violence, (j) have few academic role models, and (k) suffer from environmental hazards such as lead poisoning.