About the workshop

Poverty and inequality are powerful forces that shape our children’s educational success and attainment of the American Dream. But inequality is not inevitable, and poverty is not destiny. Understanding the role of poverty and inequality in shaping opportunity—and the potential for families, schools, and society to expand opportunity—is essential to thinking about how we can ensure that all children have an equal chance to succeed in school and to lead productive, fulfilling lives. The Workshop on Poverty, Inequality, and Education is an initiative of the Stanford Graduate School of Education focused on building knowledge about poverty, inequality, and educational success. The initiative includes a series of events, including speakers, panel discussions, film screenings, and conferences, as well as an ongoing course (educ 157x) that is open to undergraduate and graduate students and auditors. Throughout the year, we will engage in an ongoing conversation about the issues surrounding poverty, inequality, and education. Everyone is welcome at these events – please join us, and be part of the solution!

News

Greg J. Duncan, and Richard J. Murnane, Phi Delta Kappan, March 2014

The first of two articles in consecutive months describes the origins and nature of growing income inequality, and some of its consequences for American children. It documents the increased family income inequality that’s occurred over the past 40 years and shows that the increased income disparity has been more than matched by an expanding gap between the amounts of money that low- and high-income parents spend on enrichment activities for their children.

Thomas B. Edsall, New York Times, March 2014

Anemic economic growth and the gutting of middle class jobs have given new impetus to a debate over “optimal inequality,” a concept dating back at least six decades to a legendary speech given in 1954 at the annual meeting of the American Economic Association by Simon Kuznets, a Nobel Prize-winning economist, who asked, “Does inequality in the distribution of income increase or decrease in the course of a country’s economic growth?”

Matthew O'Brien, The Atlantic, March 2014

Inequality is a choice, but it's not one we have to make to grow. Redistribution might actually increase growth, at least within limits. That's the conclusion of a new paper from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that looks at how inequality and redistribution affect how much and how long the economy grows.

Jairo Ramos, NPR, March 2014

Hispanic students are significantly more likely than African-Americans or whites to be the first in their families to graduate from college.

Research

Brown fades: The end of court-ordered school desegregation and the resegregation of American public schools. Sean F. Reardon, Elena Grewal, Demetra Kalogrides, Erica Greenberg, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Forthcoming.

We find that racial school segregation increased gradually in school districts released from court oversight (relative to trends in segregation in districts remaining under court order). This suggests that court-ordered desegregation plans are effective in reducing racial school segregation, but that their effects fade over time in the absence of continued court oversight.

The Widening Income Achievement Gap. Sean F. Reardon, Educational Leadership, 2013.

Historically, low-income students as a group have performed less well than high-income students on most measures of academic success. This paper reveals that these income-related achievement gaps have systematically widened over time. If we do not find ways to reduce the growing inequality in education outcomes between the rich and the poor, schools will no longer be the great equalizer we want them to be.

Closing the Opportunity Gap: What America Must Do to Give Every Child an Even Chance. Prudence Carter, Kevin Welner (eds) , Oxford University Press, 2013.

While the achievement gap has dominated policy discussions over the past two decades, relatively little attention has been paid to a gap even more at odds with American ideals: the opportunity gap. Opportunity and achievement, while inextricably connected, are very different goals. Every American will not go to college, but every American should be given a fair chance to be prepared for college.

Upcoming Events

Wednesday, April 23, 2014 - 6:00pm to 7:30pm
5pm reception to be held in front of CEMEX, 6pm event

CEMEX Auditorium, Knight Management Center, Zambrano Hall (641 Knight Way)

Tuesday, April 29, 2014 - 5:00pm to 7:00pm
5pm reception, 5:30pm talk

CERAS Learning Hall, Stanford

Tuesday, May 6, 2014 - 3:30pm to 5:00pm
3:30pm talk, 5pm reception

CERAS Learning Hall, Stanford