Rich, Poor Kids Face Widening Education Gap
Achievement divide soars since 1960s, studies say
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Feb 10, 2012 1:18 PM CST
There is a growing gap between wealthy and low-income children's educational success.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – There's a vast gap in educational success between lower-income and wealthy children, studies say—a divide that has received relatively little attention until now. In recent decades, the achievement gap between rich and poor children has grown as the gap between black and white students has shrunk, the New York Times reports. "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," says a Stanford sociologist.

His research suggests that the gap between wealthy and poor students' standardized test scores has increased 40% since the 1960s. Another study found that that since the late 1980s, the gap between the groups' college completion rates has grown 50%. And with data ending in 2008, "there’s a good chance the recession may have widened the gap" even further, says the Stanford professor. Among the multitude of reasons for the disparity: Wealthy parents are spending record amounts of time and money on their kids, while lower-income families are increasingly run by a single parent whose time is limited. Click through for more on the education gap.

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Showing 3 of 52 comments
Feb 11, 2012 5:51 PM CST
hey, obama just fixed that in 11 states ... drop no child left behind.
Feb 11, 2012 4:59 AM CST
I was raised poor but my dad did buy a set of World Book Encyclopedias. I can only imagine how much those must have cost him in so many ways. I would get bored sometimes and go over to the rack and just pick one and start thumbing through it and reading the entries. It became obvious to me there was a whole buffet of knowledge out there just waiting for me to feast on. I grew to love learning about anything. You all can blame whoever you want but everyone makes their own choices and they will suffer or prosper by them. Never in the history of the world has so much knowledge been available to so many at so little cost. But in the end, each person has to want it. They must long and thirst for it. My word, the internet alone makes my pitiful World Books look silly, but how wonderful they were to me at the time. So you all keep blaming the poverty, the parents, the lack of funding (hahahahaaa), or anything else besides the actual person. At the end of the day though, that's who is responsible for their own ignorance now. The vast buffet is too huge and free, to blame anybody else. P.S. Its has amazed me as I go through life how many successful, intelligent, educated people have the same story as mine about the encyclopedias.
Feb 11, 2012 3:19 AM CST
Well, I put a lot of that disparity in the lap of parents. I am not rich, my daughter goes to public school, and was reading at a 12 grade level before the 5th grade. Is it because she is some super genius? NO. It's because her PARENTS, were, well .....parents. We take an active part in her education, and make DAMN sure she does her homework, and works hard to get good grades. The homework load for 7th and 8th grade was fricken ridiculous....there were times when we all stayed up past 0100 to get it done, go over mistakes, and have her re-do the questions until she got it correct. Education is what you put into it. "GIGO" I believe is the ole computer programmers it not?