In this interview with the Stand for Children Executive Director on a New England morning show, both the journalist and the director seem to dance around the causes of rising childhood poverty to get to the SFC mantra of "access to great schools". Both overreach in their attempt to reconcile rising poverty with another poll of public school parents who express satisfaction for their local schools.
Public schools are prone to be used as a scapegoat for poverty in this country when in reality it is caused by broad systemic and market-based inequalities of opportunity in this country.
A representative with the foundation that conducted the poverty studies insisted on the PBS Newshour last night that childhood poverty can be fought with more a robust unemployment insurance system, child tax credits, vigorous pre-natal and childhood health care, and a commitment to education in a broader sense than "access to great schools". I would add to those remedies a more equitable wage system, perhaps a "living wage" for families with children. We should not underestimate the impact of our market system on the shrinking middle and working class as the wealthy continue to sock profits away for themselves rather than paying fairly for labor.
To a certain extent Stand for Children seems to thrive off dissatisfaction with public education and propensities, both conservative and liberal, to blame the institution for a host of ills in American culture. So, I'm not surprised that both the director and the sympathetic journalist were turning cognitive cartwheels trying to deal with the fact that parents are generally satisfied with their local schools.
The organization requires a state of crisis in need of superheroes in order to attract more resources, but the crisis of poverty isn't easily attributable to villainous public schools. We already have a better, more comprehensive explanation for the causes of increased poverty that is also more consistent with findings on attitudes toward schools.