EDUCATION DISPARITIES IN AMERICA’S GROWING POVERTY DIVIDE – THE SPIRIT OF “ACADEMIC ADOPTION” NEEDS TO ARISE
Sabrina Tavernese has written an indepth article on educationalists’ research addressing the poverty divide and how this affects education of America’s youth.
To read her article in full, clickit here.
Highlights follow: “Education in the USA once used to be the great equalizer, helping achieve the notion of The American Dream. Today this dream is divided as the achievement gap between rich and poor children is widening.
The income divide has received far less attention from policy makers and government officials than gaps in student accomplishment by race.
Sean F. Reardon, a Stanford University sociologist is the author of a study that found that the gap in standardized test scores between affluent and low-income students had grown by about 40 percent since the 1960s, and is now double the testing gap between blacks and whites.
Researchers from the University of Michigan, the imbalance between rich and poor children in college completion — the single most important predictor of success in the work force — has grown by about 50 percent since the late 1980s.
Both studies were first published last fall in a book of research, “Whither Opportunity?” compiled by the Russell Sage Foundation, a research center for social sciences, and the Spencer Foundation, which focuses on education.
One reason for the growing gap in achievement, researchers say, could be that wealthy parents invest more time and money than ever before in their children (in weekend sports, ballet, music lessons, math tutors, and in overall involvement in their children’s schools), while lower-income families, which are now more likely than ever to be headed by a single parent, are increasingly stretched for time and resources.
A study by Sabino Kornrich, a researcher at the Center for Advanced Studies at the Juan March Institute in Madrid, and Frank F. Furstenberg, scheduled to appear in the journal Demography this year, found that in 1972, Americans at the upper end of the income spectrum were spending five times as much per child as low-income families. By 2007 that gap had grown to nine to one; spending by upper-income families more than doubled, while spending by low-income families grew by 20 percent.
“The pattern of privileged families today is intensive cultivation,” said Dr. Furstenberg, a professor of sociology at the University of Pennsylvania.
James J. Heckman, an economist at the University of Chicago, argues that parenting matters as much as, if not more than, income in forming a child’s cognitive ability and personality, particularly in the years before children start school. “Early life conditions and how children are stimulated play a very important role,” he said.
Meredith Phillips, an associate professor of public policy and sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles, used survey data to show that affluent children spend 1,300 more hours than low-income children before age 6 in places other than their homes, their day care centers, or schools (anywhere from museums to shopping malls). By the time high-income children start school, they have spent about 400 hours more than poor children in literacy activities, she found.
Charles Murray, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute whose book, “Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010,” was published Jan. 31, described income inequality as “more of a symptom than a cause.”
–Children most at risk are from single parent households with only one income earner at best.”
Perhaps voluntary study groups across key skill sets set up in every neighborhood of the USA, could help close this gap week-by-week. That’s 56 giant leaps forward in ever neighborhood of the US, if this happened for children and learners. It’s not enough to academicize this divide. Actions need to happen quickly to bridge this gap. Or, put another way, braniacs of the US need a spirit of education adoption, while the wealthy be the wings behind their abilities to run these commnity programs and academically educate, upskill, reproduce America’s intellectual DNA in the emerging generations.
What do you think, we can do to help more?
~Posted by Horiwood.Com, Aotearoa New Zealand, Polynesia Asia-Pacific. 10.2.1~