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On poverty and the achievement gap

Duke University professor Helen Ladd had an interesting op-ed in Sunday’s New York Times in which she writes about the unaddressed link between poverty and education. Here’s a short excerpt:

“The Occupy movement has catalyzed rising anxiety over income inequality; we desperately need a similar reminder of the relationship between economic advantage and student performance.

….Results of the 2009 reading tests conducted by the Program for International Student Assessment show that, among 15-year-olds in the United States and the 13 countries whose students outperformed ours, students with lower economic and social status had far lower test scores than their more advantaged counterparts within every country. Can anyone credibly believe that the mediocre overall performance of American students on international tests is unrelated to the fact that one-fifth of American children live in poverty?”

Click here to read Ladd’s full article, “Class Matters. Why Won’t We Admit It?”

One Comment


  1. Beverly

    December 13, 2011 at 1:40 am

    Thank You. WHEN will we have the social conscience to admit that the largest SES Group of impoverished in the U.S. is Caucasian Poor. So rarely, is that acknowledged we would not be dealing in hyperbole to say NEVER is it acknowledged ~ once a decade? in some obscure conversation heard by a minuscule number of people too afraid or beat down to verbalize what they’ve dared thought entered their hearing?

    WHEN will we hear of and see any attention actually directed toward research, resolutions or budgets put in place to execute plans to lift this population out of the ranks of the under-served, overburdened, and ignored ~for the sake of some skewed notion of “political correctness.”

    Fifty years ~ nearly 3 Generations ~ of racial equity standards politics seems to have been designed to leave this population further and further behind (or deeper and deeper under the feet of everyone else) as the social collateral damage of the race to “equity” U.S. equity standards purported to promote.

    Is this Political Correctness “Social Justice?” Or is it Political “Social Retribution?” For the majority of the impoverished class it appears to have been 3 Generations of Political & Social See No Evil Hear No Evil Cowardice.

    If your from a family among those that HAVE financial resources to, you can easily afford to ignore the economic injustice engineered over the last 3 Generations. If you are the majority of people without such insulation where is there recourse?

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