We have had a lively conversation on this blog about whether poverty matters in relation to test scores, whether it is a cause or merely correlated with low scores, and whether schools alone (as some “reformers”) claim, can end poverty.

TeacherEd weighs in here:

This is just a red herring. It’s been over 45 years since the “War on Poverty” started, which first aimed the focus on “fixing” poor school children, beginning in Head Start, rather than requiring that highly profitable corporations pay their employees a livable wage. We have had decade after decade after decade of subsequent education “reforms” imposed by politicians and big business, aimed at “fixing” schools and “fixing” teachers, and now aimed at replacing schools and career teachers entirely.

We should not still be having a conversation about IF poverty is the cause of the achievement gap. Whether it’s causal or just a very high correlation does not matter when it’s so evident that this is a global issue: “International tests show achievement gaps in all countries” http://www.epi.org/blog/international-tests-achievement-gaps-gains-american-students/

This is a problem that does not just exist in America; all nations have an achievement gap between lower and higher income students, and countries such as England have been researching it, too: http://www.jrf.org.uk/work/workarea/education-and-poverty

Continuing to raise questions about the causes and effects of school failure among low income students is just a diversionary tactic. This is a planned distraction. It’s a strategy for avoiding having to deal with the root cause of poverty, which is simply not enough jobs with livable wages.

It’s a pretense for diverting attention away from the increasingly inequitable distribution of wealth in countries like America, so that while everyone is busy looking the other way, questioning whether poverty is the culprit, blaming schools and scape-goating teachers, the elites can continue to bankroll the privatization of public education, while labeling their investment “reform” when it’s really a business plan.

Poverty is the issue, in EVERY country. So forget all the bogus “research” that billionaires can purchase to support the diversion.

Instead of taking all those hundreds of millions of dollars from corporations to “reform” education, it’s time to hold them accountable for perpetuating poverty and require that companies like Walmart, and all the other highly profitable corporations that are culpable, pay their employees a living wage, because “Low-Wage Workers Employed Mostly By Large, Highly Profitable Corporations” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/19/low-wage-workers-_n_1687271.html and “more Walmart employees on Medicaid, food stamps than other companies” http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2012/dec/06/alan-grayson/alan-grayson-says-more-walmart-employees-medicaid-/

And they can well-afford equitable pay rates for their employees, instead of giving them brochures about how to apply for Food Stamps, etc: “Walmart heirs own more wealth than bottom 40 percent of Americans” http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2012/jul/31/bernie-s/sanders-says-walmart-heirs-own-more-wealth-bottom-/

This is corporate welfare and Americans should not stand for it, “Hidden Taxpayer Costs” (scroll down to see state by state) http://www.goodjobsfirst.org/corporate-subsidy-watch/hidden-taxpayer-costs

Wal-Mart is not alone and this is just the tip of the iceberg:
“Top Corporate Tax Dodgers” http://www.sanders.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/102512%20-%20JobDestroyers3.pdf

These are the conversations the billionaires investing in privatizing education want to avoid, so we MUST have THOSE talks and take action now, instead of falling for their red herring technique for another 45 years.