LOUISVILLE, Ky., Dec. 2, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Those born into poverty are unlikely to escape it—even if they have access to better opportunities through education. That’s a key conclusion drawn by the three scholars who have been named winners of the 2016 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award in Education.
In their 2014 book “The Long Shadow: Family Background, Disadvantaged Urban Youth, and the Transition to Adulthood,” authors Karl Alexander, the late Doris Entwisle and Linda Olson followed nearly 800 Baltimore-area urban youths from first grade through adulthood and found that socioeconomic status trumps education when it comes to life outcomes. Their research spans nearly three decades and challenges the idea that access to public education means equal opportunity.
“Studies of this depth and breadth that include census data, historical narratives, personal interviews, race, gender, family background, neighborhood and school conditions and social mobility over a lifetime are quite rare,” said award director Melissa Evans-Andris. “The authors conclude that children’s life outcomes are substantially determined by the families they are born into. For example, just four percent of the youngsters from low-income families went on to get a college degree by age 28.”
What these researchers failed to consider was the lack of education provided to children who’s parents are socioeconomically challenged.
Access to the current system of education perpetuates conditions of poverty because it does not provide the opportunity for success to every child when success is measured in terms of money instead of humanity.
In all of the data that was collected and considered, there is no mention of the possibility that it is the system of education that is flawed. Instead the concentration is on the condition of poverty giving more credence to the fallacy that being poor is an unrecoverable disease, a monetary cancer that has no cure.
When we provide every child in America a free and public education that concentrates on discovering, developing, and directing their individual gifts and talents towards becoming knowledgeable, actively engaged citizens of these United States, children born into financial poverty will be able to escape the poverty of ignorance.
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