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.
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Due to the rising costs of tuition of college, children of parents who are impoverished, begin to be distanced from his or her chance of escaping poverty. With a college degree, someone who has remained in poverty can take the first beginning steps of bettering his or her life. In just four years, this person is able to obtain a higher
The issue of poverty in the United States is complex, and no one root cause is sufficient to explain why, in a wealthy developed nation, such poverty should exist. However, a principal factor which may contribute to the nation’s poverty lies in problems with the U.S. labor market. According to Freeman, while the U.S. has witnessed a “substantial growth in GDP per capita” (20), only a relatively small portion of the population, the wealthiest Americans, has seen the benefits of that rise in GDP. Many poor and working class Americans do not have access to this wealth and receive little actual benefit from the nation’s increased wealth and prosperity. While productivity has increased in recent years, the gains from the nation’s economic growth has not increased the real wages and benefits for U.S. workers (Freeman 20). The U.S. labor market fails to distribute gains to low wage workers, resulting in their poverty, which in turn, puts their children at a higher risk for being in poverty themselves.
Poverty: a never ending cycle of American disappointment. There are many reasons why poverty is so prominent: the corrupt government, education systems, the never-ending circle, the materialized world, and the morality of it all. Throughout time, people have stumbled among the dilemma of helping or ignoring. We often stumble on the questions, “How do we fix this issue? Can we? Would we?”. Everyone has his or her own opinion on the topic, but does that change the morality of it? Poverty is a very controversial issue in America, but when broken down into causes and solutions it is actually very simple.
The value of a college education has never been more apparent with 70 percent with the workforce having at least an associate’s degree. To emphasize the worth of a college education, the “net cost of college is a negative $500,000” (Leonhardt 2014), which means that, over a lifetime, one gains a half million dollars if they attended college. This demonstrates how essential education is for the social mobility of the lower class. “[W]ithout a college degree a child born into a family in the lowest quintile has a 45 percent chance of remaining in that quintile as an adult and only a 5 percent chance of moving into the highest quintile. On the other hand, children born into the lowest quintile who do earn a college degree have only a 16 percent chance of remaining in the lowest quintile and a 19 percent chance of breaking into the top quintile” (Greenstone 2013). Essentially, a college degree increases the likelihood of a lower class member to move up the social ladder but the lack of a degree may prevent this mobility. The unequal education influenced by family income and public school funding may prevent low-income students from attending college, restricting their potential economic
After substantial decreases in the 1990s, poverty rates stopped their decline in 2000 and have actually started to again creep upward. The great conundrum of how one simultaneously alleviates the multiple causes of poverty has become a central obstacle to poverty reduction. Into this debate comes author David Shipler, a former New York Times Pulitzer Prize winner, with an aptly titled look at the state of poverty in America today, The Working Poor. Shipler's book is more anecdotal and descriptive than analytical and prescriptive. Yet it is a valuable portrait of poverty in America, just as Michael Harrington's landmark book, The Other America, was in 1962. While he does not offer many concrete solutions, Shipler provides readers with an intimate glimpse of the plight of the working poor, whose lives are in sharp contrast to the images of excess w...
Although poverty is a tremendous issue in America, there are practical solutions to remove, or at least lessen, the inequality it poses in society. Through government intervention and an active commitment to the issue by citizens, progress can be made.
The poverty rate in America was at a stable fifteen percent during the 2011-2012 year. Though based on an official recording, poverty today is much higher than before. This fact may seem depressing, and suggests that people who pay tax are wasting millions of dollars a year attempting to fight a losing war on poverty. According to Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, we spent “$15 trillion fighting poverty,” though currently we have “the highest poverty rates in a generation, 15 percent of Americans in poverty.” There is no doubt that it may seem as if our valiant effort was for nothing, though poverty itself is a strong and persistent foe that has been strongly combated and oppressed over the years.
In this day and age, it is almost impossible to be a middle or upper class citizen without a college degree, so without the ability to finish high school or have enough educational merit to get a college scholarship, these kids will always be in the lower class. Fixing this issue would prepare the United States for a future with more black people in the middle and upper class. A solution to this problem is to have more government funding to high schools in poor neighborhoods. This can provide better school supplies, more qualified teachers, and improved school facilities. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, A twenty percent increase in per-student spending a year for impoverished children can lead to an additional year of completed education, twenty five percent higher earnings, and a twenty-percentage point reduction in the chances of poverty in adulthood (Samuels, Alana). Overall, a change like this, a more complete education, can greatly impact the future a student’s life and the lives of an entire population of
Having a college degree is more important now than ever before as there are fewer and fewer high paying jobs available to those with just a highs school diploma in America. This may sound like a good thing as it incentivizes more people to obtain at least an associate’s degree, but in recent years we have seen a steady decrease in college enrollment from its peak in 2010. This decline is focused mainly in community colleges where there were over 800,000 fewer enrollments according to government data (cite 6). The number of students that enroll in community college is particularly telling as these campuses cost far less and therefore draw heavily from low-income households. This data shows us that those in the poor of our country are increasingly less likely to get an education that would get them into the middle class or above. The brunt of this downturn can be blamed on the ever increasing price of a college tuition and the perceived lack of social mobility in America. The costs of a college education would be impossible to pay for most Americans without getting into student load debt that averaged $37,000 for the graduating class of 2016 and is only increasing (cite 8). As inequality grows there are more and more Americans for whom these staggering costs keep them from pursuing a degree. Furthermore, research by
Lack of time due to the conflicts that must be faced can prohibit ones full potential of reaching their dreams in the future, consequently this is the circumstance that both students and communities in poverty have to face. Why do they have to face this? Is it right for young children to work when they should be focus on studying? It is not fair, yet they have to do so in order to survive. Some of the hardship they must go through in order to get education, are the dwindling amount of resources that prohibits a student of reaching the required amount of academic studies. Having little as to no time to focus on school, caused by work or labor that must be done outside of school in order to live is a headache. The school, neighborhood, and even their lives at home are affecting the child’s ability of success in advancing with learning as well as social ability in school. It is devastating to know that they can not proceed into the future because of the fact that they are experiencing with hardships in contrast to wealthy families. Poverty affects student education in various ways adding an extra amount of stress, stress that some will never be able to fathom; that is something that no one wants to preserve in their mind.
Education has been historically considered as an equalizer of society in America, allowing the opportunity for even the disadvantaged to reach success. Race was once the strongest factor in determining future achievement, but today Stanford Sociologist, Sean F. Reardon, says income level has become more consequential (Tavernise). President Barack Obama was one of the lucky few able to overcome the obstacles he faced growing up being both African American and underprivileged, but most children are not as lucky (Rampton , Nawaguna). In The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot, the Lacks family lived in poverty and struggled to perform well in school, resulting in many of them dropping out even before high school (Skloot). The success gap between high and low income students in the U.S. has increased significantly in recent years (McGlynn). The educational achievement of students is significantly affected by their home life, and those living in poverty are much more likely to fall behind academically than children coming from affluent families.
Many people do not realize that there are tens of millions of people in America who are living in poverty because they are stuck on the fact that America is one of the richest nations. People who are living in poverty barely have enough money to survive on basic necessities like food, shelter and electricity. They often have a hectic schedule filled with work, school, or other activities that they have to do in order for them to live a somewhat stable life. Unfortunately, there are others who are living in poverty that may be ill or disabled and barely able to survive even if they are receiving money to help with their situation. There are a few programs that help those in poverty with their financial problems, but they only help them to a certain extent. Changes need to be done to help alleviate the poverty rate because these people should not have to deal with all of these hardships or have such a negative perspective of life. Therefore, America can reduce its poverty by raising the minimum wage, making health care more accessible, and by making child care more affordable. These solutions will be a great start to reducing poverty and they will lead America into a brighter future.
Hundreds of millions of people around the world do not have access to good education. Without education these people can struggle to function in society, which leads into an endless cycle of poverty. To help move our nation's forward we need to help struggling and developing nations to provide education for communities that are struggling. The first step is helping over half the population learn how to read and write. This would be a huge step forward in helping each other share thoughts and ideas with each other. Considering the numbers when only 27% of the population of South sudan is literate, that leaves a majority of the country unable to communicate in a different form (Oregon MUN). Being able to write and read not only helps with communicating
Currently, relatively few urban poor students go past the ninth grade. The graduation rates in large comprehensive inner-city schools are abysmally low. In fourteen such New York City Schools, for example, only 10 percent to 20 percent of ninth graders in 1996 graduated four years later. Despite the fact that low-income individuals desperately need a college degree to find decent employment, only 7 percent obtain a bachelors degree by age twenty-six. So, in relation to ...