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ERIC Number: ED466304
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Feb
Pages: 58
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
High Stakes: Time Poverty, Testing and the Children of the Working Poor. Working Paper Series.
Chin, Margaret M.; Newman, Katherine S.
Two public policy shifts in the past 10 years--the move from welfare to work and the end of social promotion in school--are intertwined in their implementation in the lives of working poor families. This report draws on ethnographic data from a 6-year study of working poor families in New York City over the period in which welfare reform became a reality, focusing on families' adaptations as adults increased work hours and as children responded to increased demands at school. Data collection methods included a survey of 900 Dominican, Puerto Rican, and African American families, 3 interviews with 100 families conducted over a 6-year period, and the daily monitoring of 12 families with 11 elementary-aged children and 3 preschoolers over 1 year. Findings illustrate three types of family adaptations: (1) monitoring children in school despite problems of poverty and illness by parents who know how and when to intervene and have significant others on whom to rely; (2) struggling parents who lack time flexibility, with older children pressed into taking responsibility for young siblings and children exhibiting behavior problems; and (3) parents who are unable to secure steady work, are overwhelmed by family demands, are in partnerships in which the wife is unable to enlist much help from the husband, and who are limited by their own educational limitations. The report finds that as parents are being told it is up to them to ensure that their children are prepared to take standardized tests, they are also being told they must put the financial support of their households first. Most of the families in this study have already made a trade-off between these two priorities and, with few exceptions, their children are paying some of the price. (Contains 31 references.) (KB)
Foundation for Child Development, 145 East 32nd Street, 14th Floor, New York, NY 10016-6055. Tel: 212-213-8337; Fax: 212-213-5897; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Ford Foundation, New York, NY.; National Science Foundation, Arlington, VA.; John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Chicago, IL.
Authoring Institution: Foundation for Child Development, New York, NY.
Identifiers - Location: New York (New York)