Politicized religion
U.S. welfare state

Education gap

Academic-Achievement-GapA good friend cautions that practically anything can be correlated to something else in a way that makes it appear to be its cause.

For example, one British study found that shaving less than once a day increases a man's chance of stroke by 70%. Another study showed that working the night shift increases women's risk of breast cancer by 50%.

So I submit this study with some trepidation. Especially since it touches on two politically sensitive topics -- race and income inequality. 

Stanford University researchers have found that family income has replaced race as the determinant of educational success.

Sean F. Reardon, a Stanford University sociologist authored a study showing how the gap in standardized test scores between rich and low-income students grew by about 40 percent since the 1960s. It is now double the testing gap between blacks and whites.

Education Gap.017“We have moved from a society in the 1950s and 1960s, in which race was more consequential than family income, to one today in which family income appears more determinative of educational success than race,” he wrote.

Some believe income inequality is more sympton that cause -- the poorly educated aren't equipped to get the best-paying jobs.

Others say the poor can't get a good education because, well, they're poor. They live in neighborhoods with inadequate schools and have to cope with social problems from joblessness to broken family structures.

The causes of the educational gap are undoubtedly complex and stubborn.

But whether cause or correlation, there's little question that the rich get better educated, the better educated get rich, and so on.

And wherever you get on this merry-go-round, what seems certain is that it has to be tackled from both ends. The rich need to see this as their problem too.




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