Poverty/Education the Chicken and Egg Problem

At last summer’s CSTA conference a speaker from the department of education talked about education being the answer for fixing poverty. And yet many teachers will tell you that the problem with providing a good education is poverty. It is hard for a student to learn if they don’t have enough to eat, have to work long hours to help support the family or miss out on health care for financial reasons.

Yes a good education can help people break out of poverty. We see it in literature, movies and even occasionally in people we actually know. But it is hard to get that education sometimes when you are poor.  We can’t wait for one problem to fix the other. We have to work on both problems at once.

One Response to “Poverty/Education the Chicken and Egg Problem”

  1. Richard Thompson says:

    Totally agree. In my experience as a former social worker and now as an elementary school teacher, anomalies exist where children born in poverty beat the odds and break out of poverty. But the majority do not for a variety of factors, some environmental and others psychological. Studies have repeatedly shown that the single independent variable that best predicts how well a student will do on Standardized Tests is family wealth. Note I did not say family income. Family wealth speaks to the back story of opportunity and experience that helps shape a child’s life and expectations for success.

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