Poverty and Education: Finding the Way Forward

Source: Richard J. Coley, Bruce Baker, Educational Testing Service (ETS), ETS Center for Research on Human Capital and Education, July 2013

From the press release:
While the United States is among the 35 richest countries in the world, it also holds the distinction of ranking second highest in child poverty, according to a new report from Educational Testing Service (ETS). Such poverty comes with a price — $500 billion per year in lower earnings, less taxes paid, and other long-term economic and educational outcomes. … [The report] provides an overview of how poverty is measured, describe how various levels of government attempt to address poverty through education, and review the relationship between poverty and student outcomes. The report also offers seven recommendations that are necessary to ensure that the public education system prepares every student to be successful in an increasingly competitive world…

…According to the report, 46.2 million Americans (15 percent of the population) were in poverty in 2011. Other data show:
– While White Americans comprise the largest number of people in poverty, the poverty rate for Hispanics and Blacks is significantly higher.
– Twenty-two percent of the nation’s children are in poverty.
– While 6 percent of married-couple families were poor, the poverty rate for families headed by a single female was 31 percent.
– 2.8 million children were in “extreme poverty,” surviving on less than $2 or less per person per day in a given month….

….The report documents the negative effects of poverty on later life outcomes. For example:
– Children growing up in poverty complete less schooling, work and earn less as adults, are more likely to receive public assistance, and have poorer health.
– Boys growing up in poverty are more likely to be arrested as adults.
– Girls growing up in poverty are more likely to give birth outside of marriage.
– Costs associated with child poverty are estimated to total about $500 billion per year….