Delayed Gratification, Vocabulary And Poverty

At every opportunity I try to explain how the achievement gap is a symptom of poverty, not the cause. Same for crappy schools--they're a symptom of poverty, not a cause.

With that, I give you this snippet:
Don’t Bite: Does Self Control Determine Class?

...on the whole, children from lower socioeconomic backgrounds tend to be exposed to far less language than their wealthier counterparts. A classic longitudinal study by Betty Hart and Todd Risley (1995) found that disadvantaged children hear far fewer word-types and far fewer words spoken overall, and receive less feedback and guidance in their production from their parents. To be clear: children from welfare families hear on the order of thousands fewer words per day than children from professional families, leading to what Hart and Risley term a “meaningful difference” over time. While it is difficult to quantify the impact this impoverished input has on learning, many researchers believe the effect to be massive. Just to give you an idea – by the age of three, children from professional families actually have larger recorded vocabularies than the parents of the welfare families....
There is a lot more at the link, but suffice it to say that if we chose to, we could provide universal health care and free, high-quality early childhood education which would do more to level the playing field than all the Gates/Broad/Duncan/Obama reform could ever hope to accomplish.

Crappy schools, small vocabularies, and ill health are symptoms. Poverty is the disease.  Eat the rich.

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