ERIC Number: EJ1036940
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Apr
Meeting the Educational Challenges of Income Inequality
Duncan, Greg J.; Murnane, Richard J.
Phi Delta Kappan, v95 n7 p50-54 Apr 2014
Can the nation's schools meet today's challenge of providing all students with the skills they will need to thrive in the rapidly changing economy and society of the 21st century? The authors point out in this article that a large percentage of children, overwhelmingly from low-income families, end their formal schooling without the skills to earn a decent living in a rapidly changing economy shaped by technological advances and globalization. Inequality is evident early; low-income children lag well behind children from higher-income families by the time they enter kindergarten. Differences between schools serving high-and low-income children reinforce the trend toward greater inequality. Most schools serving low-income students lack the human resources and knowledge to do their work successfully without strong supports like technical expertise and resources for developing curricula, planning and implementing effective professional development, dealing with emotionally troubled children, and learning to use student assessment. To meet the educational needs of low-income students, conditions need to be created that allow dedicated, talented educators to work together effectively on a sustained basis, and that result in instructional improvement. In the meantime, what can schools accomplish? The answer depends on the nation's commitment to a broad and comprehensive definition of education, its recognition of the immense challenges facing high-poverty schools, and its willingness to find ways to provide the consistently strong school supports and well-designed accountability necessary for lasting success.
Descriptors: Low Income Groups, Equal Education, Skill Development, Disadvantaged, Advantaged, Educational Opportunities, Educational Change, Educational Practices, Change Strategies, Accountability, School Support, Social Support Groups, State Standards, Best Practices, Barriers, Performance Factors, Academic Achievement, Educational Resources
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
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