Yesterday I talked about how important strong K-12 schools are for getting kids college-ready. But why college ready? Because jobs that pay enough to support a family but don't require a bachelor's degree now demand the same level of preparation that college demands.

Last night during the All-American Presidential Forum at Howard University, presidential candidates were asked about the connection between education and poverty.  It was a great question, because we know that Americans living in poverty are much more likely to have dropped out of high school, and that dropouts have far lower earnings over their lifetime.

So we realize the connection between education and poverty, but here are some facts everyone should know:

  • Assigning disadvantaged students to a good teacher for 4-5 years in a row would entirely close the achievement gap. However, low income and minority students are less likely to have good teachers.
  • Math and literacy skills are actually better predictors of future wages than the number of years in school.
  • Two-thirds of new jobs in America now require training beyond high school.

The solution is there.  For elected officials to end poverty, they need to start with improving K-12 education. To read more about this topic, download the fact sheet my staff put together.  It is well worth the read.  To see the candidates answer the question on poverty and education, go watch the video on

Posted by Roy Romer at 06/29/2007 01:17:19 PM | 

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