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July 01 , 2007

An African Centered Response to Ruby Payne's Poverty Theory


This challenge to influential educator Ruby Payne's theories about the impact of class differences and economics on teaching and learning puts forward other factors as better predictors of student performance. Pointing to success stories in schools that serve low-income students, this refutation of Payne's popular teacher-training program asserts that teacher expectations, time on task, and the principal's leadership are the main factors in determining educational outcomes at a school. Abandoning Payne's framework of teacher-student income disparities, racial makeup, and per-pupil expenditure, this critical analysis asserts the human component as the most powerful tool for improving education in failing schools.

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