CURMUDGUCATION blog:  Education vs. Poverty

Education vs. Poverty

Posted by Peter Greene: 31 Aug 2016 

Ben Spielberg, at 34justice, has put together a short stark piece that juxtaposes five simple pieces of data. There is nothing new here, but putting these five points side by side is compelling.

1) There are achievement gaps already present by the time children enter kindergarten, and they are related to family income.

2) School quality is a minor factor in explaining the testing (aka “achievement”) gap.

3) Economic success in this country is less common for low-income students who are successful in school than for high-income students who are unsuccessful in school.

4) The test scores of students in the United States relative to the test scores of students around the world aren’t all that different than what students’ self-reports of their socioeconomic status would predict.

5) The distribution of educational attainment in the United States has improved significantly over the past twenty-five years without significantly improving students’ eventual economic outcomes.

None of these are news, though #5 in particular is often overlooked. We’ve been improving achievement among students for decades; according to the theory of action among some reformsters, we should be seeing an increase in student success as they go out into the world. According to the theory, if Chris got better test scores than Chris’s parents did, then Chris ought to have a better job and higher income. That hasn’t been happening, just as students who spent their whole academic careers soaked in Common Core have not suddenly been tearing up college campuses.

Speilberg’s conclusion is pretty simple… Read more about it here:

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