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By Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A February New York Times article takes on a complex problem. Citing research by Sean Reardon at Stanford University, it reports that the achievement gap between rich and poor children is widening.

Reardon says that “we’ve moved from a society in the 1950s and 1960s in which race was more consequential than family income; today family income appears more determinative of educational success than race.”

His analysis shows that the gap between poor and higher-income students has grown by 40% since the late 1980s and another study cites the imbalance between rich and poor kids in college completion that has grown by 50% since the late 1980s.

Wealthy parents are now investing more time and money on their children, while lower-income families are increasingly stretched. Affluent Americans were spending five times as much per child as low income families in 1972. By 2007, the gap was nine to one.

This article has important implications for policy makers.

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