Monday, February 13, 2012

NYTimes: Education Gap Grows Between Rich and Poor

The New York Times recently pushed an article stating that income inequality is the leading factor in the widening educational gap between the rich and the poor. While race is still a contributing factor, poverty has more detrimental effects on the educational opportunities of children. I am delighted that policymakers and researchers are studying this issue. Poverty is also the leading cause of illiteracy, poor health outcomes, single-parent households, and high crime and delinquency.
It is a well-known fact that children from affluent families tend to do better in school. Yet the income divide has received far less attention from policy makers and government officials than gaps in student accomplishment by race.

Now, in analyses of long-term data published in recent months, researchers are finding that while the achievement gap between white and black students has narrowed significantly over the past few decades, the gap between rich and poor students has grown substantially during the same period.

“We have moved from a society in the 1950s and 1960s, in which race was more consequential than family income, to one today in which family income appears more determinative of educational success than race,” said Sean F. Reardon, a Stanford University sociologist.

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