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Research Professor of Education Policy, George Washington University

Posted By: Iris Rotberg on August 16, 2012
Stephen Krashen's comment describes the devastating impact of poverty on children's lives and on their academic achievement. He also notes Secretary Arne Duncan's argument that education is the way to overcome poverty. It is true that increased access to education can make it possible for some students to escape from poverty. Perhaps the best example of this in the United States is the enormous difference the Civil Rights movement made for generations of African American and other minority students by providing increased access to higher education and employment. However, it does not follow, either logically or empirically, that the policies the Secretary advocates--test-based accountability, merit pay, and charter schools--will strengthen academic achievement and employment opportunities, or lead to a reduction in poverty. Indeed, the research evidence does not demonstrate that these policies have even short-term academic benefits and it is a stretch of the imagination to assume that they might ultimately improve children's life chances.

Iris Rotberg
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 Research Professor of Education Policy, George Washington University by Iris Rotberg on August 16, 2012
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