Behind the Headline: Does the U.S. Lead the World in Childhood Poverty? Absolutely Not.



By 11/03/2015

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On Top of the News
Does the U.S. Lead the World in Childhood Poverty? Absolutely Not.
National Review Online | 11/3/15

Behind the Headline
America’s Mediocre Test Scores: Education Crisis or Poverty Crisis?
Education Next | Winter 2016

“Bernie Sanders often claims that America has the highest child-poverty rate of any advanced democracy in the world. He uses this fact to justify his call for a European-style social-welfare state. But what if it’s simply not true?” So wonder Mike Petrilli and Brandon Wright on NRO.

Petrilli and Wright present data from a new article in Education Next that show that when cross-national poverty rates are calculated properly, the U.S. does not have a higher child-poverty rate than many other large, industrialized nations.

This raises questions about Sanders’ critique of American capitalism, Petrilli and Wright argue. They continue

It’s also important because some Americans like to point to our supposedly high poverty rate as an excuse for our lackluster international performance on a variety of social indicators, from health-care outcomes to test scores and beyond. Some teachers’-union leaders, in particular, like to argue that we have a “poverty crisis,” not an “education crisis.”  That excuse turns out to be a crutch that’s unfounded in the evidence.

The article from which the data on child poverty are drawn, “America’s Mediocre Test Scores: Education Crisis or Poverty Crisis?” was posted online today by Education Next.

In the article, the authors closely examine the argument that poverty is the major factor driving the country’s poor academic achievement.

—Education Next




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