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.

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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.”

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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.

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This article has important implications for policy makers.