Poverty Through Education

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Breaking the Cycle of Poverty Through Education
Poverty is a germane problem that has plagued America for decades, affecting not only the impoverished, but the country as a whole. The growing portion of the population below the poverty line inhibits growth of the American economy and U.S. long-term competitiveness in global affairs. With each year, increasing numbers of people are falling below the federally designated poverty line, thus increasing this impact, and pushing the coveted American Dream further and further out of reach for a large portion of the American people. Once impoverished, it is nearly impossible and especially unwonted to complete the upward climb to financial success and stability. This phenomenon is appropriately …show more content…

Especially for those who are born into poverty-stricken family, obtaining a postsecondary degree or credential can mean the difference between a lifetime of hardship and a halcyon economic future. A study called the Pew Project on Economic Mobility found that the relative mobility, or the probability of an upward climb on the economic ladder (Harkinson, 2014), of children born into poor families who earned a college degree was astronomically higher than those who did not. The study found that “47 percent of those who did not complete a four-year degree remained stuck in the lowest income quintile as adults; just 10 percent of those who earned a four-year degree faced the same fate” (Kelly, 2014). The advantage that a college degree offers in today’s society is incontestable. Without the post-secondary education that quality primary and secondary education makes people likely to avidly pursue, escape from the cycle of poverty is nearly impossible. For this reason, it is overt that leading upcoming generations of impoverished individuals to pursue higher levels of education is the key to diminishing poverty in …show more content…

This is shown in a study called the Perry Project, an intervention that randomly selected children born into poverty for high-quality primary education and followed those students throughout their lives, the project found that “those who attended preschool had higher earnings, were more likely to hold a job and had committed fewer crimes than the control group that did not attend preschool” (Semeuls, 2014). As the Perry Study substantiates, early childhood education is crucial in the development of cognitive and social skills that affect life through adulthood. It is crucial that this development starts early in childhood, and is not at all impaired by a family’s socioeconomic background, or the inability to pay. The Abecederian Project was a similar comprehensive early education program that provided low-income families with excellent education for children through age 5; these children had higher cognitive test scores, were more likely to attend a four-year college, and waited longer before having a first child than children in the control group (Semuels, 2014). Provision of free, quality education to young children in poverty-stricken areas, to emulate the results of these studies on a larger scale is the first step in breaking the cycle of poverty.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that poverty has plagued america for decades, affecting both the impoverished and the country as a whole.
  • Argues that postsecondary education is the defining aspect that distinguishes the impoverished from the successful.
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