Education and poverty

Is education the key to success and social mobility?

By Keyona King-Tsikata, MPH

Education has been a recurring topic in today’s headlines. The discussions are broad and far reaching, ranging from the value of standardized testing batteries, to the flurry of reports suggesting an egregious school-to-prison pipeline and other news highlighting the connections between the juvenile justice system and high school dropout rates among American teens, and the many efforts to end this link.

Is education the key to success and social mobility? Are we preparing all of America’s children for success in the 21st century?

We have dedicated this issue of the SES Indicator to education and poverty; our guest contributors for this issue are Cynthia Hudley, PhD, and Russell Rumberger, PhD, of the University of California-Santa Barbara Givertz Graduate School of Education. These authors will offer a narrative on the epidemic of poverty and the role it plays in the poor academic achievement among students in urban, minority and otherwise coded schools. These articles will assess some systemic constraints on the capacity of education to serve as a path to the middle class for those struggling to escape poverty.

In other news, APA has joined the Youth PROMISE Act Working Group, a coalition of national organizations that have come together to advocate for passage of the Youth Promise (Prison Reduction through Opportunities, Mentoring, Intervention, Support and Education) Act, which advocates for federal legislation to prevent juvenile delinquency and gang activity. 

For those members that will be attending the 121st Annual Convention of the APA in Honolulu — stay tuned, the office will be providing its yearly edition of SES-related events and programming at this year’s convention.

We look forward to working and hearing from you this summer.

Keyona King-Tsikata
Director, Office on Socioeconomic Status