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Kelsey Rinella
United States
Rochester
New York
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Just saw this. Some excerpts:

Quote:
The schools then invited kids with attendance problems to bring in their laundry to be cleaned while they were in class.

The results were astounding: over 90% of participating students increased their attendance that year, at-risk students attended almost two more weeks of school, and each student got approximately 50 loads of laundry done at school.


Quote:
Enter Dr. Melody Gunn, the former principal of Gibson Elementary School in St. Louis. While talking with the parents of some of her students, she learned that they had significant trouble being able to afford to do laundry or scheduling a time to go to laundromats from week to week. She approached Whirlpool and asked if they would donate a washer and dryer to her school. Whirlpool got interested, did its own research, and found that one in five students in the United States have trouble finding clean clothes to wear to school.


I confess, I'm deeply skeptical, but this does sound pretty cool. Among the red flags for me were the number of mentions of Whirlpool, which made this sound like a press release from their PR folks more than a serious attempt to learn something; the claim that it was students with attendance problems who were given the opportunity (which seems to leave lots of room for confounds and biased sample selection or regression to the mean), and the inference that the causal factor here is dirty school clothes (though I do recall Duquan from The Wire). I don't see any attempt to rule out that parents are more willing to put their foot down about their kids going to school if they can send in the family's washing. I also don't have a sense for how they get a load of laundry to and from school.

But, still--cool. Makes me wonder how many schools already have laundry facilities for their athletic programs, and whether these might be put to additional good use. Or, indeed, whether I'm behind the times and this is already being done by creative and benevolent folks at many of our schools.
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Based upon my poor understanding of history, science, and ethics...
United States
North Pole
Alaska
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Good to try something different. Come to school and learn about global warming and diversity seems to be a losing strategy.
 
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Isaac Citrom
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
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This indeed rings true. I was recently listening to an interview of a NY charter school principal who serves almost exclusively Black and Hispanic students. He's not supposed to do interviews so he gave the talk incognito.

This charter school, like many of the successful ones, deals in reality. The school is almost a military academy, such that no excuses are tolerated and discipline is a core element. This is so because of the total lack of life discipline characterizing these two underclass communities.

The teachers are mandated to not allow things to slide. So, for example, this principal was recounting the anecdote of a truant Black girl. He went to her home one morning, got her out of bed and demanded to know why she's not in school. She said she had no clean uniform. They washed her clothes together and then he took her to school.


Having said that, the students need to have the self-discipline to make sure their clothes are clean for school. But, it's the chicken and the egg because this discipline is taught to them in school (charter and private schools).

So, yeah, maybe they ought to have washing machines in the schools. But then, they need to be fed breakfast and lunch; they need after-school programs to make sure they do their homework, and on it goes. In effect the school is becoming surrogate parents. Where should it end? Remove the children from these dysfunctional homes and lack of parenting? Make them all boarding schools?


The reality is not patriarchy and white privilege. The Black and Hispanic communities need to find the way to look at themselves and the deficiencies of their cultures and life choices. As immigrants, Asians, Jews, etc. have all found paths to excel because of the opportunities afforded to them by Western democracies. What they are entitled to is a non-existent topic in these communities.

I don't espouse a visceral hatred of President Obama. In my opinion, he's one of the most ineffectual US presidents. He, among a very few, had the moral authority to address the entirety of US African America and lead them to introspection and true change. It's too bad that that opportunity has flown.
.
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Andy Leighton
England
Peterborough
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isaacc wrote:

Having said that, the students need to have the self-discipline to make sure their clothes are clean for school.


The OP was about an elementary school. I doubt you will find many kids who have the self-discipline and self-reliance or the money to go down to the laundromat to wash their clothes. Or to be able to hand-wash their clothes in a sink for that matter.

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David Dearlove
United Kingdom
Isleworth
Middx
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Koldfoot wrote:
Good to try something different. Come to school and learn about global warming and diversity seems to be a losing strategy.

I have no idea what you learnt in school either, but critical thinking wasn't included.
 
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Boise
Idaho
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andyl wrote:
isaacc wrote:

Having said that, the students need to have the self-discipline to make sure their clothes are clean for school.


The OP was about an elementary school. I doubt you will find many kids who have the self-discipline and self-reliance or the money to go down to the laundromat to wash their clothes. Or to be able to hand-wash their clothes in a sink for that matter.



Yeah, well, I posted this article on FaceBook and several people have already responded regarding the problems they had or witnessed WRT clean clothes when they were in school or that were observed helping out at school. One person related that there was a couple girls who were "sneaking" clothes into the gym laundry and that she had them put their names on their clothes, bring them in their backpack and ensured they got washed and dried at school.

When I was a 13 year old I worked at a laundromat in Texas. We called them Washaterias there. I lived in a low income area of old apartments and crumbling residential homes and saw many of my school mates and even kids in elementary school coming in to do family or personal laundry. I do think there has been a shift over the decades and lots of teens get to age 13 having no idea how to launder their clothes.

Schools need to drop all those social justice feelgood classes Koldfoot alluded to and put home ec and life skills back on the schedule.
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Isaac Citrom
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Montreal
Quebec
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This!

DWTripp wrote:
Schools need to drop all those social justice feelgood classes Koldfoot alluded to and put home ec and life skills back on the schedule.
 
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Boise
Idaho
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isaacc wrote:

This!

DWTripp wrote:
Schools need to drop all those social justice feelgood classes Koldfoot alluded to and put home ec and life skills back on the schedule.


Here's a weird thing - some may know I have a 13 year old son who has to overcome a disability in his daily life in order to learn the educational skills most here (like me) take for granted. He reads near grade level and has many of the peer skills expected but abstracts like time, money and scheduling, making change and shopping with coupons are terrible for him. Guess what they have had on his school schedule the last couple years?

Life Skills.

But it's not offered to the general population. Just as a "resource" class for students with an IEP. It's astounding to me, as a 25 year retailer, how many people get out of HS and can't make change, still dress like shit (and I mean clearly unlaundered) and seem to have entered adulthood sans many of the life skills and basics for home and work harmony. My kid, who is supposed to be the disabled one knows how to do laundry, clean floors, handle garbage, dog poop clean up, change sheets and a number of skills that seem to take a back seat to using schools as a social development program for future progressive voters or as a resource for the college loan industry. I teach him at home and the school helps me, not the other way around.

The article about Whirlpool (while full of bogus made up stats and feelgood progressive language like *institutional racism* and "inclusive programs*) addresses an area of educational failure that could actually be improved with or without parental participation. I'd not only vote for laundry facilities and full kitchens where students prepare their own meals as a part of their education, I'd donate time. Because I am a good cook and who doesn't like free meals?
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G Rowls
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Does it really matter ? In the sense if it is a cheap fix and work as it currently stands. Ok it could become a problem if it was to be expanded to be a national roll out with a huge beaurocracy etc.
 
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Boise
Idaho
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growlley wrote:
Does it really matter ? In the sense if it is a cheap fix and work as it currently stands. Ok it could become a problem if it was to be expanded to be a national roll out with a huge beaurocracy etc.


You mean like if it became a federal program, funded by tax dollars and schools were not only required to have laundry facilities but required to buy specific equipment? Like the brands manufactured in the states that were promised more jobs by the current administration and the unions who coincidentally paid the most for play?

Yeah, that would ruin everything. There would end up being even less clean clothes in the world.
 
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Lynette
United States
Richland
Washington
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I learned to do laundry young and then often did my own because it was embarrassing to go to school without clean clothes and I lived in an alcoholic home... so often if I didn't do it I didn't have clean clothes.

Years later I learned from my much younger brother he had problems at school for going to school in smelly clothing.

I realized that for whatever reason mom hadn't made him learn to do laundry because she always made me help her when she was wanted help, and I felt kind of bad that we hadn't taught him and that he had been embarrassed which did impact his schooling. On the other hand he never ASKED me to do his clothing when they were smelly NOR did he routinely take his dirty cloths out to where we sorted did the laundry without being ragged to do so multiple times. So he didn't try to get this resolved in the ways he did have some control in at least attempting either.

Anyway... It do believe this could impact attendance and performance and therefore overall I think this is a great idea for schools in poorer neighborhoods!!
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Rusty McFisticuffs
United States
Arcata
California
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Meerkat wrote:
I learned to do laundry young and then often did my own because it was embarrassing to go to school without clean clothes

For our 11th birthdays, my brothers & I each got laundry baskets & instructions on how to use the washing machine.


Incidentally, it was around that time that I stopped wearing clean clothes.
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Moshe Callen
Israel
Jerusalem
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kuhrusty wrote:
Meerkat wrote:
I learned to do laundry young and then often did my own because it was embarrassing to go to school without clean clothes

For our 11th birthdays, my brothers & I each got laundry baskets & instructions on how to use the washing machine.


Incidentally, it was around that time that I stopped wearing clean clothes.

From the time I was a small child, I was helping my mother with the laundry, starting with sorting out lights and darks. As I got older, I did more and more. By the end of high school when we finally no longer had to go to a laundromat, my mother would simply tell me to put on a load of clothes and I'd go do it as part of my normal chores.
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J.D. Hall
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What is so depressing about this story is the ongoing and increasing failure of far too many parents in teaching their children basic life skills and discipline, instead insisting that complete strangers (teachers and school staff) do the parenting for them. It's the baseline of every problem we have in schools, regardless if they are public, private, home school, or monkey-shined. Yet to hear it (here, there, and everywhere) it's a lack of money or teachers' unions or too much administration or crumbling infrastructure or poor classroom equipment or the onset of Gozer, whatever. My brother and my daughter are teachers, and they have absolute horror stories about the home lives of their students (incidentally, brother teachers in a upper-upper-middle class suburb of Dallas, the daughter a poor rural district in eastern Oklahoma County).
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Shawn Fox
United States
Richardson
Texas
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I'd be fine with putting in laundromats at schools if we also moved to school uniforms, which would have an ever bigger positive effect on attendance. As a kid I'd regularly have only 5 shirts to wear and 3 or 4 pairs of pants. My parents were not extremely poor, but they were very frugal and I was hell on clothes as are most young boys. There were other kids who had even less and often their clothes/shoes/etc were in really bad shape. My parents at least always made sure I had a decent pair of shoes and my clothes were not in bad shape, but it was very obvious that I was from a poor family.

In any case, based on my own experience, I've always been in favor of school uniforms with the school system providing two or three sets of clothes to the students from needy families. Kids will still sort themselves into various groups, but removing the most obvious sign that a kid comes from a poor family at least requires the kids to get to know each other before segregating themselves.
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Lee

Illinois
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Great, another activity for the girls! What's next? Dish washing and ironing for them too!?

What about the poor boys? How come they do not get any fun activities??
 
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Kelsey Rinella
United States
Rochester
New York
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I am surprised at the diversity of ways this thread has made me uncomfortable.
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Andy Leighton
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Peterborough
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sfox wrote:
In any case, based on my own experience, I've always been in favor of school uniforms with the school system providing two or three sets of clothes to the students from needy families. Kids will still sort themselves into various groups, but removing the most obvious sign that a kid comes from a poor family at least requires the kids to get to know each other before segregating themselves.


As someone who went to an all-boys* school with school uniform, the uniform didn't really do that. But the uniforms had to be bought and cleaned by the parents.

You noticed the kids who had good fitting uniforms and those who didn't (bought a little large to grow into), those who had their blazers regularly dry-cleaned. Those who wore good shirts and jumpers below their blazer, and those whose jumpers and shirts were more worn.

They may help a little but they are not a panacea.

* Well it was all boys until I got to the sixth form (age 16) and the school had its first two female students join the sixth form.
 
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David Dearlove
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Isleworth
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DWTripp wrote:
isaacc wrote:

This!

DWTripp wrote:
Schools need to drop all those social justice feelgood classes Koldfoot alluded to and put home ec and life skills back on the schedule.


Here's a weird thing - some may know I have a 13 year old son who has to overcome a disability in his daily life in order to learn the educational skills most here (like me) take for granted. He reads near grade level and has many of the peer skills expected but abstracts like time, money and scheduling, making change and shopping with coupons are terrible for him. Guess what they have had on his school schedule the last couple years?

Life Skills.

But it's not offered to the general population. Just as a "resource" class for students with an IEP. It's astounding to me, as a 25 year retailer, how many people get out of HS and can't make change, still dress like shit (and I mean clearly unlaundered) and seem to have entered adulthood sans many of the life skills and basics for home and work harmony. My kid, who is supposed to be the disabled one knows how to do laundry, clean floors, handle garbage, dog poop clean up, change sheets and a number of skills that seem to take a back seat to using schools as a social development program for future progressive voters or as a resource for the college loan industry. I teach him at home and the school helps me, not the other way around.

The article about Whirlpool (while full of bogus made up stats and feelgood progressive language like *institutional racism* and "inclusive programs*) addresses an area of educational failure that could actually be improved with or without parental participation. I'd not only vote for laundry facilities and full kitchens where students prepare their own meals as a part of their education, I'd donate time. Because I am a good cook and who doesn't like free meals?

I have a daughter who also has difficulties with life skills (amongst other things). A lot of her education was things like functional maths (making change etc.) She had a program where she planned and made journeys by public transport (initially with support but finally her only aid was someone at the end of a phone.) It did make me think that modern eduction is pretty remote from real lives. Leaving out the right wing buzz phrases. I think I have just agreed with Tripp in a post!
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