Poverty and the Achievement Gap: The Missing Link

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Some things are so clear. Such is the case with the impact of socioeconomic status on student achievement. But it’s taking us way too long to connect the dots.

This week, Renee Wilson-Simmons, executive director of the National Center for Children in Poverty, and I took a stab at it in a conversation at NCCP’s new online book club, for which Squandering America’s Future was the July selection.

Renee jump-started our discussion with a slide highlighting child poverty in America. Of 35 economically advanced nations, the U.S. rate of just over 23 percent puts . . . Read full article →

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Where's the Money to Help Every Child Achieve?

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The nation’s youngest children got the shaft. Again.

Everyone’s been on tenterhooks this week, awaiting the fate of the Every Child Achieves Act. Today, “yes” filled the Senate chamber, a bipartisan majority approving the very belated reauthorization of No Child Left Behind.

Annual testing—the cause of great consternation—is still with us, alas. Federal sanctions have gone, leaving that business to the states. Private-school vouchers are out. The Secretary of Education can dictate neither curriculum, standards, nor tests, and is barred from tying test scores to teacher evaluations. As Diane Ravitch, the nation’s education historian-in-chief succinctly put . . . Read full article →

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Early Care and Education for All: Jesse Helms and the Dung of the Devil

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“Just in case you hadn’t seen this,” a friend wrote, passing along the latest piece by Greg Sargent at the Washington Post. “The next big liberal cause,” he called universal child care. “Does it really have a chance?” my friend asked. The multi-billion-dollar question.

Sargent’s “next big liberal cause” was Strong Start for America’s Children, introduced by Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania as an amendment to the measure reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and overhauling No Child Left Behind. Last week, my screen lit up with pleas from advocates for children across . . . Read full article →

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