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Serious advocates of improving educational outcomes know that the single most important education policy is something that never gets included in education bills: reducing poverty among children. The United States has shockingly high childhood poverty levels; on a list of 35 developed nations, only Romania has a higher percentage of children living in relative poverty (defined as less than half the median income). Children living in poverty face a host of educational challenges; they are more likely to be food insecure, exposed to lead and cigarette smoke, less likely to have had early childhood care that would be expected to prepare them for school. The educational results are clear:
Bar graph showing NAEP reading scores by free and reduced lunch status. Fourth graders eligible for free lunch average 206, eligible for reduced price lunch average 218, not eligible average 235. For eighth graders it's 250, 261, 275.
And the cost to the United States of childhood poverty is estimated at $500 billion a year. Why does it cost so much? Because childhood poverty has long-lasting effects on people's participation in the economy as adults:
Table showing adult outcomes by poverty status from prenatal year through age 5. Children below the poverty line grow up to complete fewer years of education, earn less, work fewer hours, get more food stamps, be arrested more (men), and have more nonmarital birth (women).
If you want to fix the education system and strengthen the economy, reducing childhood poverty is a fantastic policy solution. Republicans—and too many Democrats—would say we can't afford it. But if they were honest about the costs, they'd have to admit we can't afford not to.

(Via The Answer Sheet)

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 01:20 PM PDT.

Also republished by Kansas & Missouri Kossacks and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  But instead they're racing to privatize/charterize (9+ / 0-)

    the school systems, meaning that if your kid doesn't already get into the top 20-30% (essentially from toddlerhood on), s/he will be completely S.O.L. for the rest of his/her life.

    Unless you're rich, of course.

    Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
    I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
    —Spike Milligan

    by polecat on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 01:48:12 PM PDT

    •  There are some great schools out there (5+ / 0-)

      Many of which you've never heard of, some of which are serving very low income kids.

      IME, a motivated kid with parents who follow through and value education is generally very well served with our current system. The problem is that we have a lot of kids who are severely traumatized by their living situations, and kids who don't have the stability to follow through - no quiet, safe place to read or do homework, no parents who support and assist them, stresses like constant moves that disrupt their days and have them always moving to new teachers in new schools, etc.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 02:02:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's true. And what has this administration (0+ / 0-)

        done to improve "the lot" of the children's parents, so that they have the resources (as well as the time and the energy) to lift the 'entire family' out of poverty.  

        This would clearly alleviate many of the "stressors" that you accurately point to.

        Any mention of raising the minimum wage sounds pretty much like a 'talking point,' which is basically thrown out during an occasional speech.

        And the intent seems to be to rally the base for "austerity measures"--such as "replacing" the "Sequester" with the "Grand Bargain."

        Mollie

        "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


        hiddennplainsight

        by musiccitymollie on Sat Jul 27, 2013 at 03:24:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  That's right. And Dems, with their minion who led (0+ / 0-)

      the charge to privatize Chicago's School System (Charter Schools are not "public" schools, in the true sense of the word), Arne Duncan, are in the forefront of this movement.

      Why is there not a massive movement "on the left" to push back on Duncan's misguided policies?  [This is what puzzles me.]  ;-)

      Mollie

      "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


      hiddennplainsight

      by musiccitymollie on Sat Jul 27, 2013 at 03:18:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The problem with charter schools (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        smartalek

        is that they usually don't perform any better than the nearby public schools, they're less stable, and they split a shrinking pie of education money into smaller slices, the least efficient use of he money. And in Ohio, we have the added obscenity of for-profit charter schools which deliver rotten education (most are in academic watch or academic emergency) at a bargain basement price, while pocketing most of the money to make private individuals richer. These should be banned.

        Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it. http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/

        by anastasia p on Sat Jul 27, 2013 at 03:24:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Highlight the truly shocking percentages: (12+ / 0-)

    Nearly a quarter of all American kids live under the poverty line.

    This means, in a classroom of 24 kids, on average, 6 of them would be living in poverty.

    The poverty line in 2013 is $23,550 for a family of 4.

    Students whose families make less than 185% of the poverty line are eligible for free or reduced lunch.

    68% of American children qualify for free or reduced lunch. 59% qualify for free lunches.

    In Europe, less than 10% of kids live below the poverty line.

    When we compare our schools with fewer than 10% qualifying for FRL, their test scores knock the socks off the kids in every other nation. We're competitive until we get down to the 40% concentration.

    We have schools in California where nearly all the kids are FRL.

    So obviously, the way to improve education in this country is to ensure that no school has more than 10% of kids living below the poverty line.

    You can't do that by moving the kids around. We have to address low incomes and lack of access to health care.

    I have said frequently that if we want to duplicate Finland's academic marks, we should consider granting all our workers 6 weeks paid vacation. I'm not really joking.

    Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

    by elfling on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 01:58:47 PM PDT

    •  Actually it is worse (9+ / 0-)

      The thing that is worse than poverty, which is hard to overcome, is concentrated poverty. Although 6 out 30 kids might be in poverty in an average classroom across the country, in reality those 6 kids are with 20 others in an urban or rural school, meaning kids with so many needs are lumped with 25 others, and maybe four who don't need as much help.

      Poverty is bad. Te concentration of it makes it worse.

      •  I agree, the concentration makes it much worse (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bkamr, cocinero, ban nock

        Thus the benefit of having it below 10%.

        When a low income child is surrounded by higher income peers, the child gets more opportunities as a friend of the other kids, benefits from higher spending and volunteerism in the school, benefits from a classroom where the teacher has to give only a few people extra help.

        When I sent my daughter to kindergarten, I packed her a lunch. I was surprised when I found out hardly any of her friends took lunches. Then I realized that there were only three or four kids in her class that didn't qualify for FRL.

        Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

        by elfling on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 11:19:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I work at a school where... (0+ / 0-)

          ...roughly 25% of students are F/RL. More than 3/4 of them live in one of 6 apartment complexes. It's not like we don't "know where the challenges are" in many cases.

          When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

          by Egalitare on Sat Jul 27, 2013 at 03:37:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Agree (0+ / 0-)

        I agree, and concentrated poverty is corporate and political misuse of the welfare system for either cheap labor or vote farming.

    •  Speaking in broad terms. (0+ / 0-)

      Saying "In Europe, less than 10% of kids live below the poverty line." is false. Belgium, Luxemburg, Estonia, Slovakia, Poland, Portugal, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Spain, Latvia, and Romania all have childhood poverty rates higher than 10%.

      I do not think Finland’s paid vacation is the reason for its high academic marks.  Spain and Italy also have 4-6 weeks of paid vacation per year, and they rank lower academically than the U.S.

      This link (2007 data) supprised me.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/...

  •  We have become the nasty Europeans we cut our (10+ / 0-)

    selves off from.  If we were part of Great Britain, we would have universal health care.  Instead many American live in fear and panic if they have to see a doctor.  We shame people and then get angry when they must get help or die.  Almost one quarter of kids are living below the poverty line in the US while 10% of kids in Europe live below the poverty line.  Shameful!!!

    •  Please don't forget, that European (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      grimjc, cocinero, smartalek

      number is growing rapidly as the American corporate model expands globally.

      It should be clear by now that TPTB have no interest in improving education: compliant, indebted, disposable wage slaves are all they need, and for that you don't need education, you need conditioning.

      Given the success of the right's insistence that everyone's responsible, personally, for his/her own good or misfortune (blame-the-victim mentality), "they" are off the hook for help.
      It might be helpful if the left didn't buy into the BS, but for the most part they do more and more.

      No, we don't need reform, and we don't need protests, we need a fundamental reorganization.

      None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free. -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

      by achronon on Sat Jul 27, 2013 at 02:57:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Attacking poverty (4+ / 0-)

    would require a long, sustained effort. It's so much easier to blame teachers. Not unlike doing something about CO2, now that I think of it.

    Society is merely organized injustice. Clarence Darrow

    by Van Buren on Sat Jul 27, 2013 at 02:08:28 PM PDT

    •  Hear, hear! N/T (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sandblaster

      Mollie

      "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


      hiddennplainsight

      by musiccitymollie on Sat Jul 27, 2013 at 03:27:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Some teachers are at fault. (0+ / 0-)

      Going to school in an economically depressed area, I saw personally teachers, bitter old women , make it there calling in life to destroy the self confidence and ambition of boys, especially African American boys. The African American boys, typically having little support structure at home, have a very high failure rate.  These teachers did what they did because of a warped sense of feminism that did not seek to elevate themselves, but to bring others down.

  •  How? (0+ / 0-)

    "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

    by GussieFN on Sat Jul 27, 2013 at 02:12:02 PM PDT

    •  How about we have a Progressive Movement and (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GussieFN, cocinero, quill, smartalek

      Strong Labor Movement go after the Robber Barons?

      Again.

      Plutocracy (noun) Greek ploutokratia, from ploutos wealth; 1) government by the wealthy; 2) 21st c. U.S.A.; 3) 22nd c. The World

      by bkamr on Sat Jul 27, 2013 at 02:21:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, but how? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        quill, historys mysteries

        Haven't we been pushing for a strong progressive and labor movement for years? Decades? We just do more of the same, and it'll work better because of demographic changes? (God, I hope so.)

        We absolutely need to attack America's high childhood poverty rate, and we could definitely use a strong progressive/labor movement to get there. But I worry that that's a little like saying that in order to achieve teleportation, we just need to build a teleportation device.

        "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

        by GussieFN on Sat Jul 27, 2013 at 02:26:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't know, have we? The progressive (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          GussieFN, bkamr

          community (blogging and otherwise) will never make strides until they quit electing corporatist Dems.

          Especially ones who make appointments to the Dept of Education like Arne Duncan.  ;-)

          Mollie

          "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


          hiddennplainsight

          by musiccitymollie on Sat Jul 27, 2013 at 03:34:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I can't say I disagree, but (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            musiccitymollie

            how do we quit electing corporatist Dems? All the progressives I know always try to vote for the more progressive of candidate at every stage. In the primary, we vote for the more progressive. If they lose, then in the general, we vote the more progressive again.

            And we end up, if we're lucky in the general, with a corporatist Dem.

            Do you think we're better off not voting for the crappy Democrat in the general, over the horrific Republican?

            "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

            by GussieFN on Sat Jul 27, 2013 at 03:42:35 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Good question. (Never said I have all (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              GussieFN, smartalek

              the answers, LOL!)

              We need to take an honest look at where "the lesser of two evils" has gotten us.

              I think it's clear that if Establishment Dems don't fear "primarying," they are not going to move to the left.

              We probably need to start there, in a very serious way.

              The idea of "anointing" the Dem Party Presidential nominee in 2016, is absolutely anathema to all that I've thought "democracy" stood for, frankly.

              I'm not one who "buys the notion" that the only thing that matters is the House and Senate (I've actually seen this argued--mindboggling!).

              We need to concentrate on actually nominating a truly progressive presidential candidate for 2016.

              I believe that we are in the environment where one would be quite successful.  Look at the misery everywhere!

              Or else we'll just get "more of the same," IMO.  ;-)

              Mollie

              "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


              hiddennplainsight

              by musiccitymollie on Sat Jul 27, 2013 at 03:53:06 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I'm definitely on a quest to find (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                musiccitymollie

                the person with all the answers, and I'm starting to get pissed that she or he is hiding away!

                Primaries strike me as of critical importance. The right seems to have an easier time using them, because they will cut off their noses to spite their face. Again and again. Until the remaining noses get the message.

                Er. What a metaphor.

                But we don't do that. If we run someone 'too left' and they lose, we learn the lesson, instead of teaching one.

                "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

                by GussieFN on Sat Jul 27, 2013 at 03:57:27 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Here's how a 'true' progressive talks . . . (0+ / 0-)

                Video of Rep Marcy Kaptur on the Floor of the House.

                [Video Credit: Michael Moore's 'Capitalism: A Love Story' - 'You Be Squatters in Your Own Home,' YouTube, mmflint]

                Would Marcy Kaptur stay true to the "fiery populism" that she displayed on the floor of the House?

                Who knows.

                But I do know that the language that she used on the House Floor that day, gives me much more hope and comfort than the drivel that the Democratic Party Establishment Dems regurgitate, LOL!

                Hey, it's "Food for Thought."

                Mollie

                "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


                hiddennplainsight

                by musiccitymollie on Sat Jul 27, 2013 at 04:07:33 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Agree about Duncan. Education is an area where (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            musiccitymollie

            I have been critical of President Obama from day 1.

            Plutocracy (noun) Greek ploutokratia, from ploutos wealth; 1) government by the wealthy; 2) 21st c. U.S.A.; 3) 22nd c. The World

            by bkamr on Sat Jul 27, 2013 at 03:56:17 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Ditto, bkamr. And it's amazing how skillfully (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              bkamr

              the Administration has been able to camouflage its educational 'agenda.'

              Many very left leaning Dem activists appear to have no idea just how toxic Arne Duncan's educational policies are.  

              Go figure.

              Mollie

              "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


              hiddennplainsight

              by musiccitymollie on Sat Jul 27, 2013 at 04:17:54 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  if dems managed to get some legislation going to (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GussieFN

      fix the problem or address it, and after thousands of activist hours it started getting somewhere, the GOP/chamber o commerce think tanks would then put together a counter PR effort and pump it through your local RW radio stations to distort it and drown it out and enable rabid uninformed dittohead teabbager opposition.

      the many activists and politicians working on the solution and pushing it might put a lot of time and recourses into it but all the right needs are a few blowhards reading the talking points over and over, basically at no cost to the corporate right, when it really counts.

      and there's a good chance the loudest of those stations in your state would display the team logo of one or more of your state's biggest universities on its megaphone!

      until that's fixed, good luck to us.

      This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

      by certainot on Sat Jul 27, 2013 at 02:38:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Stop diverting resources to war (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GussieFN, historys mysteries, bkamr

      LBJ started his war on poverty, but the resources were diverted to the war on Viet Nam. Think what could have been done with the money wasted in Iraq.

      •  Yes, but how? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        historys mysteries

        (And I know, I know, I sound like a five year old. 'How? How that? How that?')

        If we had the political impetus to stop diverting resources to war, we'd be able to fix all sorts of problems. But how do we get that impetus?

        "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

        by GussieFN on Sat Jul 27, 2013 at 03:34:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Hillary's State Department has been "to the right (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        smartalek

        of" the Administration--on Syria, etc.  (Heck, even former President Clinton came out in favor of more aggressive engagement in Syria, not long ago.)

        I have to wonder how the progressive community will "help itself" in this regard, if they nominate Hillary.

        Good point that you brought up.

        Mollie

        "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


        hiddennplainsight

        by musiccitymollie on Sat Jul 27, 2013 at 03:37:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  This has been an obvious solution for decades, (4+ / 0-)

    but too many voices are screaming that "it's too big a problem to fix, so let's concentrate on something we can do!"

    Many of them here on dK, as difficult as that might be to believe.

    Such an attitude is a load of steaming horseshit, if you'll excuse the expression.

    Suppose your mechanic said, "Well, I didn't bother rebuilding your engine, because that would have cost too much, but I did fix your alternator, transmission, power windows, and stereo for you. When do you want to tow it home?" What would be your response?

    Or a doctor, who won't treat your liver failure but will happily treat your hangnail?

    If we can't be bothered to treat the disease, instead of the symptom, we will never be healthy.

    And those who deliberately advocate treating symptoms, whether well-intentioned or not, are part of the problem.

  •  Owe a diary (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cocinero, quill, Egalitare, bkamr, smartalek

    This week Georgia dropped "Common Core" from its state objectives. They didn't change the standards, just didn't want anyone to think they were cooperating with the Federal Government.

    Your diary makes valid points. But I just spent four hours reading Jacoby's "The Age of Unreason" and especially savored her analysis of education and anti-education in America.

    It is poverty. It is prejudice. But it's more. The money boys like it this way.

    •  good for Georgia, if that's all they did (0+ / 0-)

      Common Core is a manifestation of the awful and just plain wrong NCLB/RTT education policy currently being imposed on the nation from the federal level. I wish that more states can resist the RTT carrot and stick approach to impose CC but am not hopeful.

      History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce - Karl Marx

      by quill on Sat Jul 27, 2013 at 03:28:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  One thing we should look into is the concept of... (4+ / 0-)

    ...Basic Income Guarantee.

    I've been looking into this for a while.  One of the key guys behind it is a neighbor.

    I believe that it may be useful to solve childhood poverty and even Detroit.

    The Basic Income Guarantee (BIG) is a government ensured guarantee that no one's income will fall below the level necessary to meet their most basic needs for any reason. As Bertrand Russell put it in 1918, "A certain small income, sufficient for necessities, should be secured for all, whether they work or not, and that a larger income should be given to those who are willing to engage in some work which the community recognizes as useful. On this basis we may build further." Thus, with BIG no one is destitute but everyone has the positive incentive to work. BIG is an efficient, effective, and equitable solution to poverty that promotes individual freedom and leaves the beneficial aspects of a market economy in place.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Sat Jul 27, 2013 at 02:54:08 PM PDT

  •  what would happen to wal-mart (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cocinero, Egalitare, sandblaster

    if everyone was able to obtain a proper education?

    where in the world is edward snowden?

    by Krush on Sat Jul 27, 2013 at 02:57:22 PM PDT

    •  more educated Walmart workers? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bkamr

      More empowered too, and possibly more likely to unionize and demand fair wages and benefits.

      History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce - Karl Marx

      by quill on Sat Jul 27, 2013 at 03:31:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  All the Walton heirs... (0+ / 0-)

      ...would either laugh out loud or clutch their pearls, then laugh out loud at the very idea.

      When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

      by Egalitare on Sat Jul 27, 2013 at 03:40:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  more importantly what would happen to Walmart (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dfarrah

      if everyone working there was paid wages above poverty?

      Education is fine but everyone still needs to work. Living in poverty while working makes life not great. A working wage makes drudgery work much more enjoyable. Walmart is no worse than many other jobs.

      “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

      by ban nock on Sat Jul 27, 2013 at 06:21:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, this diary (0+ / 0-)

        overlooks the drivers of poverty - the high unemployment and the lack of decent paying jobs.

        Everyone is always whining about how we don't have money for this or that - well, fix the job and wage problem, and that solves numerous other problems.

        The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

        by dfarrah on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 09:15:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  If education was their goal (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bkamr

    then this would make a lot of sense.  But we all know the last thing they want is an educated electorate.  They want dumb, tractable people who consume and do as they're told.  

    Odds and ends about life in Japan: 1971wolfie.wordpress.com

    by Hatrax on Sat Jul 27, 2013 at 03:46:25 PM PDT

  •  Record Childhood Poverty in the USA (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bkamr, smartalek, BeninSC

    Sadly, the fact that the USA ranks with Romania in childhood poverty (incomes less than half the country's median) and below 35 other developed countries is not a surprise. This is what years of Trickle Down economics and Republican rule looks like. And the GOP wants more! This country is vastly divided between the 1% and everyone else. We must rstore the wealth of the middle class and raise the standard of living of the majority of Americans. Failure to do this, will lead to continued downward spiral of America and our loss of standing in the global marketplace.

    •  Childhood poverty is the worst. (0+ / 0-)

      And the least excusable. Republicans use 'framing' that doesn't even acknowledge their existence to avoid dealing with them. It's the epitome of political cowardice.

      Welcome from the DK Partners & Mentors Team. If you have any questions about how to participate here, you can learn more at the Knowledge Base or from the New Diarists Resources Diaries. (Click on orange text to go to linked content.) Diaries labeled "Open Thread" are also great places to ask. We look forward to your contributions.

      "The opposite of war isn't peace, it's CREATION." _ Jonathan Larson, RENT -9.62, -9.13

      by BeninSC on Sat Jul 27, 2013 at 08:23:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Cultural problem not poverty problem (0+ / 0-)

    Poverty is a symptom.  The problem is cultural.  I am from a city that has about %50 of the populus living on welfare. About %30 of county's populus is on welfare. These numbers do not include people on SS retirement or disability.  Going to school, at least 2/3's of the students had no ambitions in life.  The only reason they were even in school is that it was required by law.

    How do we change this? In the same area where I have seen three generations of a family do nothing with there life.  I have seen others, an impoverished couple with 5 children, open a liquor store, and send all 5 of there children to college.  Now all 5 of there children are doctors.

    Truthfully, I think a missuse of the entitlement/welfare systems by companies (for cheap labor), and politicians (for votes) breeds these problems.  The mississippi river is the epitomy of this (government and companies misusing welfare for there benifit).  Clovis, NM a perfect example of a place where Companies (google shifty fifty), completly control the economic system to depress the working class to prevent any upward mobility.

  •  Reducing childhood poverty is a great idea. (0+ / 0-)

    The U.S. spreads billions around the World like peanut butter on graham crackers.  If we really value our security, we need to fix our problems first.  Lead by example not by the gun.

    It would take pennies to make sure children have enough to eat and a safe place to live and access to resources like the web and the hardware to use it.  

    Building generations of educated people will have a snowball effect.  A child who becomes educated and finds a better job because of his education and has the money to take care of his own and provide proper guidance during the childs formative years will have happier, healthier children of his own that take an interest in their own education.  

    That person should still get basic support - good food, safe living accommodations etc.  The investment will pay off in ways that you can't imagine.  

    If we can spend billions in the MidEast, we can afford to build a better society from the children up.  The children are the foundation of our society we can't afford to ignore them.

  •  Time for an experiment (0+ / 0-)

    We have tried everything in terms of improving education.
    Now, for something new and different.

    Change the parents.
    Take children away from poor, uneducated parents and give them to rich, educated people.

    Come back to me in 10 years and lets look at the results.

  •  Specialized high schools in NYC (0+ / 0-)

    Poverty is not always linked to poor performance in schools. In fact, at the specialized high schools in NYC (Stuyvesant, Brooklyn Tech, Bronx Science, etc.), a large number of students, as many as 50%, are Title 1. However, they tend to be recent Asian immigrants. They are able to buck the trend.

  •  Cause vs. Effect and Vice Versa (0+ / 0-)

    If you look at the correllations between children in poverty and education, I think you must consider the impact of our culture, and particularly the typical culture of business and of academia.

    Still, now, in 2013, (and as experienced over the last decades) having children often bears a huge career penalty.

    The problem will not be solved solely by improving education resources or by improving the educational resources to mothers in poverty.

    Having children can easily derail a smart, capable woman's career and land her unemployed or permanently under-employed status.

    To gain the larger benefits of education on our society and economy, business and academia will have to be more supportive of "family career paths" for higher level careers--more than "mother-friendly" policies for part-time or hourly workers.

     

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