A new book edited by Greg J. Duncan and Richard Murnane, “Whither Opportunity? Rising Inequality, Schools and Children’s Life Chances,” offers clear evidence that programs that increase income for families living in or close to poverty, like the earned-income tax credit, have positive effects on educational performance, as do programs that reduce economic segregation.
In other words, human capital isn’t produced in schools alone. In a thoughtful review of this book, Richard D. Kahlenberg explains, “If we want to make a difference in schools, we cannot ignore what goes on outside them.”
Firing teachers, closing schools, blaming unions, and basing public policy on a fictional movie you saw may all seem like "feel-good" solutions to income inequality and poverty.
But guess what?
You can fire as many teachers as you want, close as many schools as you want, privatize the entire system if you want and bust the teachers unions completely and you will STILL have income inequality and poverty in this country.
The problem isn't what happens IN schools.
It's what happens IN American society.
Currently we have an American society rigged for the top 1% to steal as much as they want with impunity as they squeeze the rest of us and force us to compete for fewer and fewer resources.
You want to fix income inequality and poverty in this country?
End the plutocracy.
Stop blaming teachers.
Blame the plutocrats.