Poverty in the Classroom

Raising Parent Wages Is Most Effective Way To Improve Education Performance of Students

Lifting families out of poverty through increased wages would have a significant and positive  impact on academic outcomes for low-income students. Studies have shown that every additional $1,000 in annual income translates into a one point increase in an intelligence test, leading to significantly higher math and reading test scores. Raising income levels above the federal free or reduced lunch thresholds would also have a dramatic positive impact on graduation and college readiness rates. The findings following a study that looked at the impact of poverty on learning and student academic success.

Examine the outcomes of this study, produced in partnership with the Chicago Teachers Union. http://standupchicago.org/files/2012/12/standupctuedreport1.pdf

There is a direct relationship between education and poverty. Students living in or experiencing childhood poverty are much more likely to face significant unaddressed obstacles to classroom learning than their middle- and upper-income counterparts, and this impacts educational outcomes. In fact, data shows that family income is now the most significant predictor of academic success among students in the U.S.

Stand Up! Chicago released the new report (December 2012) detailing the impact that poverty-level wages have on educational outcomes for Chicago kids. Stand Up! Chicago’s Elizabeth Parisian says the report shows if you’re serious about improving student performance raise their parent’s wages.
[Elizabeth Parisian]: “Low-income students face a number of challenges in the classroom. Health problems to having to move frequently, hunger – you name it. And those obviously impact our outcomes. So what we’re seeing in Chicago has been this movement to hold teachers accountable for these out of school factors like a parent’s income. So what our report finds is that if you simply raise wages for minimum wage and low-wage workers it’s the most effective way to improve academic outcome for CPS students.”
The report found to meet basic needs a one parent one child family needs $17.24 an hour in Chicago. Double what many food and retail workers there earn.

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