Economic class is increasingly becoming the great dividing line of American education.

Piggy_Bank_on_Books_SmallThe New York Times has published a roundup of recent research showing the growing academic achievement gap between rich and poor students. It prominently features a paper by Stanford professor Sean F. Reardon, which found that, since the 1960s, the difference in test scores between affluent and underprivileged students has grown 40%, and is now twice the gap between black and white students.

The children of the wealthy are pulling away from their lower-class peers — the same way their parents are pulling away from their peers’ parents. When it comes to college completion rates, the rich-poor gulf has grown by 50% since the 1980s. Upper income families are also spending vastly more on their children compared to the poor than they did 40 years ago, and spending more time as parents cultivating their intellectual development.

Today, there’s a much stronger connection between income and a child’s academic success than in the past. Having money is simply more important than it used to be when it comes to getting a good education.

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Source: Jordan Weissmann | The Atlantic