Closing the Education Gap by Attacking Poverty Among Children

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How much does location affect ability to get a job, because the folks living on $2 a day tended to live in cities or in old manufacturing towns. Due to locational limits, cultural and economic capital were restricted and the parents therefore could not provide a substantial education for their kids.

In reference to the never-ending cycle of educational inequality for people lacking social and economic capital, Joseph Wresinski observes that the poor are pushed into areas where others dare to penetrate: inner city slums, the outskirts of towns, and isolated rural dwellings. When they appear in the public eye, it is often because they have been made homeless in their own neighborhoods or because they seek to interact with those in a drastically better neighborhood. Geographically segregated and socially isolated, they are cut off from the cultural, political and civic life of the country. Wresinski’s 1987 study suggests that it is this exclusion that traps poor families in a second-class-citizen status and that any effort to reduce poverty cannot be successful unless it addresses the effects of exclusion. Social inclusion is seen as a key characteristic in many approaches to eradicating poverty in Europe. Measuring social exclusion is difficult because it focusses on specific failures and social relations, which may be due to the nature of the situation. Several attempts have been made in different European countries, specifically Belgium and the United Kingdom, to estimate social exclusion, and to establish a relationship between social exclusion and other aspects of poverty that lead to the denial of basic freedoms. This growing appreciation for the detrimental effects of social marginalization has contributed to the current holistic view of poverty as being a composite of income level (below a minimum level barely sufficient to meet the basic needs), human development (deprivation of food, health, education, housing and social security needed for any human development), and social exclusion (being marginalized, discriminated, and left out in social relations).

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One of the most severe effects of poverty in the United States is that poor children enter school with a “readiness gap,” which frequently grows as they get older. Children feel alienated from society and suffer insecurities because of their socioeconomic status. Those from lower-income families are more likely than students from wealthier backgrounds to have lower test scores, and they are at a higher risk of dropping out of school. Those who complete high school are less likely to attend college than students from higher-income families. Although many governments have eliminated the biggest obstacle to enrollment by taking away school fees, other financial barriers such as uniforms and exam fees still prevent many of the poorest children from going to school. For many poor families, the long-term benefits of sending their children to school, especially their daughters,

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