In a review of efforts over the decades to improve public education, Diane Ravitch attributes their failure to poverty (“The Education Reform Movement Has Failed America. We Need Common Sense Solutions That Work,” Time, Feb. 1). Neither vouchers, parental choice, nor charter schools have worked to boost test scores, she declares.
I don’t doubt that poverty is indeed a factor in the disappointing outcomes. But I maintain that what takes place in the home is more important. I’m talking about the values that parents inculcate in their children. If poverty indeed is the villain, then how to explain the sterling performance of so many Asian students who come from low-income families?
Proper nutrition, available medical care and decent housing will no doubt help students learn more. But they will do little to change the attitude that parents teach their children about the importance of education. All the money in the world won’t do that.
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