Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Overriding Influence of Poverty on Children's Educational Achievement

Some blog followers might be interested in a recent discussion-list post
“The Overriding Influence of Poverty on Children’s Educational Achievement” [Hake (2011)]. The abstract reads:

ABSTRACT: In response to my post “Why Minnesotans Excel at Math and Other Mysteries of the Nation's Report Card” [Hake (2011)], EDDRA2’s Gary Ravani wrote (paraphrasing): “That children in Minnesota and Massachusetts excel at math could be explained by the fact that those two states have child poverty rates (14% and 15% respectively) well below the national rate of 22%.”

The overriding influence of poverty on educational achievement has recently been noted in, e.g. (alphabetical order by author):

a. Whither Opportunity? Rising Inequality, Schools, and Children's Life Chances [Duncan & Murnane (2011)] at;

b. “Re: Economic Inequality: The Real Cause of Urban School Problems #2” [Hake (2011b)] at;

c. “Class Matters. Why Won't We Admit It?” [Ladd & Fiske (2011)] at;

d. “Failure of U.S. Public Secondary Schools in Mathematics: Poverty is a More Important Cause than Teacher Quality” [Marder (2011a)] at;

e. “Education and Poverty: Visualizations of World, US, and State-level Educational Data” [Marder (2011b)] at;

f. “The hard bigotry of low expectations and low priorities” [Ravani (2011b)] at;

g. “Unaddressed Link Between Poverty & Education” [Schaffer (2011)] at

To access the complete 9 kB post please click on

Richard Hake, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Indiana University
Honorary Member, Curmudgeon Lodge of Deventer, The Netherlands
President, PEdants for Definitive Academic References
which Recognize the Invention of the Internet (PEDARRII)
Links to Articles:
Links to SDI Labs:

“. . .let's not pretend that family background does not matter and can be overlooked. Let's agree that we know a lot about how to address the ways in which poverty undermines student learning. Whether we choose to face up to that reality is ultimately a moral question.”
Ladd & Fiske (2011)

REFERENCES [All URL’s shortened by and accessed on 14 Dec 2011.]
Hake, R.R. 2011. “The Overriding Influence of Poverty on Children's Educational Achievement” online on the OPEN! AERA-L archives at Post of 14 Dec 2011 09:56:02-0800 to AERA-L and Net-Gold. The abstract and link to the complete post are being transmitted to several discussion lists.

Ladd, H.E. & E.B. Fiske. 2011. “Class Matters. Why Won't We Admit It?” New York Times Opinion Piece, 11 Dec; online at

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