How many times have we heard “reformers” like Duncan, Rhee, Klein, Gates, etc. say that the way to “fix poverty” is to fix schools. By that, they mean that “no excuses” schools and Teach for America will solve the poverty problem. That’s a lot less costly than using government programs to change the tax code or create good jobs or do anything that directly reduces poverty. Better to open charter schools, give vouchers, fire teachers who can’t raise test scores, take away tenure, destroy unions.

Yet here is a guest blogger for Rick Hess with a powerful message for reformers: poverty matters.

It matters a lot.

The US has too much poverty.

Jonathan Plucker writes:

“Why don’t we get more worked up about childhood poverty in the U.S.? When I talk with people about poverty, I ask them, when they leave the building, to look for poverty. Really LOOK for it. It’s everywhere, in every community, but we generally don’t see it. We don’t talk about poverty more in education reform – when perhaps it should be the foundational issue – because we’ve chosen not to see it.

“It’s everywhere, it’s solvable, and education reform can’t truly succeed until we start reducing it.”