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Re: Is it that different?
Community plays a HUGE part in success. The demographics I teach are just like the person you replied to, but the community is lazy. The kids get this from the parents and they bring it into the classroom and band hall. We are "successful" (we aren't close to honor band material, but we make our 1's) but it is a struggle and we lose a lot of kids who don't want to put in the work. The sad thing is that we used to have a better work ethic in our community and school but it has slowly changed.
So, I have all the demographics that you named and we are Title 1. Yet, I have a good band program (nope didn't inherit it) and we make sweepstakes all the time. Maybe the real disadvantage in these situations where it fails is having the wrong teacher?