Sunday, July 16, 2017

Income a crucial role in determining a child's prospects

It's a hell, life in small towns. It's not because of actions it's the
why do they do such actions. Or even not asking why!
It's like to say that crime is getting too high we need to make 
more prisons, but not asking why are they doing the crime?

With the light of that, you see the point to ask why!
My town I live in has been the child abuse capital
of Oklahoma for a long time. Mostly from child neglect 
and that is a sign of low wages. Relating as many people
that let their kids run around. And that is from the job
the parents have. My ex girlfriend I had at the time
had kids in high school. We worked overnight at Walmart 
so we went to bed 11 am and woke up around 10 pm. 
So her kids where on the loose as we where sleeping.

Missouri aka "misery" many have locked up their kids in 
a child safe room with a pad lock on the door for 4 hours
checking on the kid during lunch going back to work after.
It's common in Missouri. My EX girlfriends kid did that
but he also got caught with the 14 year old babysitter 
by his wife. Her kid was locked up in a room,
as my ex girlfriends son and the babysitter...
The wife knew about her kid being locked up
as they did that a lot not being able to afford babysitters.
What are they to do? They make low pay! The low pay life!

Why do they do those things? Lack of income,
no foundation to act normal. Who can afford to act normal anyway?
Reflecting the low income fixes many do, even me!
Why do people put a homemade coil cooler, or a fan
on a PC? Because they live with no AC on it's 90 degree
in their home and the PC overheats!
I asked and found out!

All of this is a point of low pay is a low labor force.
For adults walking with no cars to work is bad for productivity
as they burnout just going to work having a heat stroke in the
100 degree temperatures. People walk everywhere, and those
adults also have kids. They are tagged along because of the
lifestyle of low pay... Low everything, they are low also!

So for kids being low in these days is not a good thing.
In the 1940's you could work yourself up to better pay.
But in small towns and bigger towns you work hard and make
the same pay. Anything the same makes no growth!

So this points to a need to raise the pay because you get what you pay for!

~~~~~Household income plays crucial role in determining a child's prospects – report
The importance of money in determining a child’s life prospects is highlighted in a major new study published today – with household income found to have a significant impact on everything from children’s cognitive and educational outcomes to their social development and physical health.

“We can now confidently say that money itself matters and needs to be taken into account if we want to improve children’s outcomes,” says the review’s co-author, Kerris Cooper. “We often focus on gaps at school – but what the evidence shows is that money doesn’t only make a difference to children’s cognitive outcomes, it also makes a difference to their physical health, to birth weight, and to social and behavioural development.”

Fifty-five of 61 studies carried out in eight countries over the past three decades showed increases in income to have a positive effect across a variety of measures, according to the systematic review carried out by Cooper and Kitty Stewart of the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion at the London School of Economics.

The strongest evidence points to causal relationship between income and cognitive gains: an increase of US$1,000 in the year 2000 (roughly £860 in today’s currency) is associated with an improvement of between 5 and 27% in the “standard deviation” – meaning 5 to 27% of the gap between a poor and an average child would be closed if the former’s family had its income increased by this amount.

One US study, based on a randomized control trial and published last year, also shows how increased income reduces the likelihood of abuse or neglect.

While some of the effects seem modest in size – the measurable effects in the most recent studies, all of which were carried out in OECD or EU countries, ranged from 1 to 15% – researchers and campaigners say the significance of findings based on so much high-quality evidence, about so many millions of people, cannot be overestimated.

Alison Garnham, chief executive of Child Poverty Action Group, says the findings are a “hugely inconvenient truth for a government committed to implementing benefit cuts that are expected to tip more families into poverty and make already-poor families significantly worse off”. She adds: “When hard-up families have more money coming in, we know the extra is spent on fruit, vegetables, books, clothes and toys.”

The research, funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, builds on a 2013 review with data from 27 studies published over the past five years, including four British ones. The study also looked at intermediate outcomes – that is, factors known to have a knock-on effect on children’s progress – and in the case of maternal mental health, found some of the strongest evidence that a lack of money has adverse effects.

We can now confidently say money matters and needs to be taken into account if we want to improve children’s outcomes.

Significantly, the measurable impact of increasing a family’s income is similar in size to the measurable impact of investment in education – suggesting that attempts to boost poorer children’s attainment at school, for example via the pupil premium paid to schools educating the poorest children, or subsidised early years education and nursery places – may be misdirected, if at the same time family incomes are falling.

Closing the income gap between the households of children entitled to free school meals and average households, the researchers estimate, might be expected to reduce the achievement gap by more than half, while at the same time delivering other positive effects such as health benefits in the home.

While the correlation between a child’s deprivation and bad outcomes ranging from lower test scores to physical abuse has been widely recognised for decades – Child Poverty Action Group was set up in 1965, and reducing child poverty was one of the pillars of New Labour social policy – the growing body of scientific evidence showing a causal relationship between financial income and children’s outcomes is highly significant in policy terms.

Child poverty in the UK has increased sharply since 2013 following benefit cuts, and the Institute for Fiscal Studies forecasts a further 50% increase in relative child poverty between 2014/15 and 2020/21. Last month, the social mobility commission chaired by former health secretary Alan Milburn delivered its report on two decades of government efforts to increase social mobility, and concluded that they have not worked. While early years and schools policies were found to have been more successful than those aimed at youth and employment, the report said it would take 40 years to close the gap between poor five-year-olds and their better-off peers.

Now campaigners believe the changed economic position, combined with new evidence from social scientists and neuroscientists investigating the impact of poverty on the development of young children’s brains, should prompt a rethink, particularly since there is little evidence that unemployment itself affects child outcomes, while some evidence on parenting interventions is mixed.

“I don’t think we can say that parenting classes and those kinds of investments aren’t important,” says Cooper, “but what we can say is that the economic context in which parenting takes place cannot be ignored. You are only going to get so far by focusing on parenting classes if you don’t address income poverty at the same time.”

Cooper’s own research on parenting finds mixed results, with some evidence showing that poorer parents help children more with maths and writing, but score “worse” when it comes to the number of outings and trips, and the amount of time children spend watching television or playing on computers.

Labour MP Frank Field is one of those associated with the shift away from poverty reduction measures and towards “non-financial elements”. Commissioned by then-prime minister David Cameron in 2010 to produce a report aimed at refocusing government efforts on behalf of poor children away from income transfers, Field recommended a new set of “life chances indicators” and argued that their experiences of the first five years of life “matter more to children than money”.

Seven years on, he stands by his report’s finding that factors including maternal mental health and home learning environment trumped income and class in determining how ready children are for school. But he points out this research was done in 2010 “when families were doing massively better” – before the full impact of the recession was felt, and before the “mega mega mega cuts” to benefits that have seen families’ income decline “to the extent that we are seeing the emergence of destitution”. Today, Field believes reversing these cuts should be Labour’s priority.

The newly appointed children’s minister Robert Goodwill, when asked whether insufficient attention had been paid to the impact on children of income itself, referred instead to the government’s record on getting parents into work. “Work and education are the best routes out of poverty,” he said. “Employment levels are at a record high, and there are 590,000 fewer children in workless families compared with 2010.”

Goodwill added that the attainment gap between better- and worse-off pupils is narrowing, and highlighted the continuation of the pupil premium, alongside investment in 12 of what the government calls “social mobility coldspots”.

Alternative explanations for unequal outcomes, such as genetic differences, have not gone away. Though they are sometimes shy about saying so in such bald terms, some defenders of a highly stratified system – in which inequality itself is not seen as a problem, so long as mechanisms exist to enable some of those who start at the bottom to rise to the top – continue to believe that richer people as a rule are cleverer and more deserving of success. An echo of this view can be heard in Theresa May’s “great meritocracy” speech last year, in which she described meritocracy as a way of assisting “the brightest among the poor”, and repeatedly distinguished “talent” from “hard work”.

“It’s all connected up,” says Cooper. “The implication that workless parents with less education parent differently … is part of the same idea that poor people themselves are to blame for their children’s outcomes, not the structural and economic conditions of poverty.”

It seems unlikely that policy-makers will heed the researchers’ call to look afresh at income inequality when considering childhood outcomes – and, crucially, to increase state benefits to the poorest families who, in the UK, have seen them removed. But should this government or another one seek a change of direction, there is now plenty of evidence to back them up.

~~~~~Who are America’s Poor Children?
Fourteen million American children live in families with incomes below the federal poverty level, which is $22,050 a year for a family of four. 1 The number of children living in poverty increased by 21 percent between 2000 and 2008. There are 2.5 million more children living in poverty today than in 2000.

Not only are these numbers troubling, the official poverty measure tells only part of the story. Research consistently shows that, on average, families need an income of about twice the federal poverty level to make ends meet. 2 3 Children living in families with incomes below this level – for 2009, $44,100 for a family of four – are referred to as low income. Forty-one percent of the nation’s children – more than 29 million in 2008 – live in low-income families. 

Nonetheless, eligibility for many public benefits is based on the official poverty measure. This fact sheet – the first in a series focusing on economic and material hardship – details some of the characteristics of American children who are considered poor by the official standard.

~~~~~Negative childhood experiences have serious education consequences, experts say
One expert calls negative early childhood experiences the most important public health issue of our time.

Amanda Sheffield Morris, speaking last week in Oklahoma City, said bad experiences set the stage for academic struggles in school and possible substance abuse during the adolescent years.

Morris, foundation chair in child development at Oklahoma State University, was a breakout session speaker during the Oklahoma Early Childhood Coalition Summit, organized by the Potts Family Foundation. Also addressing the issue was Lana Beasley, associate professor of human development and family science at OSU.

Examples of an adverse childhood experience, or ACE, are abuse, neglect and witnessing domestic abuse or substance abuse by a parent. Divorce, parental incarceration and poverty are other factors the speakers said can hamper the life of children as they enter school.

"Oklahoma has one of the highest ACE rates in the nation," Morris said. Quoting Kaiser Foundation studies, she said 45.5 percent of Oklahoma children are "at risk," with three or more ACE's. She said Oklahoma has one of the highest divorce rates, and 11 percent of children have witnessed domestic violence.

The good news, Beasley said, is that something can be done to offset the problems caused by adverse childhood experiences.

"Good quality early childhood education can make a difference," she said.

Beasley cited work done on the Perry Preschool Project. The program, started in 1962 in Michigan, was offered to more than 100 disadvantaged children, and follow-up studies have been done over the past 50 years.

What was discovered, she said, is that project participants grew up to have fewer children out of wedlock, earned higher incomes and were less likely to receive government assistance.

"Communities and organizations have to come together to minimize ACE's," Morris said. Intervention and prevention at an early age pay dividends, she said.

Beasley said the return on investment ranges anywhere from 7 to 13 percent.

During a question-and-answer session, one participant wondered if money now spent on corrections could be diverted to early childhood education.

Both speakers said investments early in a child's life are cheaper solutions than incarceration later in life. They also encouraged mental health support for parents to prevent physical abuse as well as substance abuse, and advocated safe and affordable housing as well as investment in education.

"Our legislation and policies must focus on child safety," Beasley said. Beasley said her work with at-risk families has at times left her heartbroken as she hears from parents who are afraid to send their children to school with violent students. Some say they must drive to parks across town, because their neighborhood parks are not safe.

Morris said society needs to reshape its thinking toward students who struggle in school with academic and behavioral issues.

"Instead of asking them 'what is wrong with you,' we need to ask 
'what happened to you?'" - (*Note 48) 

Income inequality is a factor if the foundation is low everything follows it.
I believe in the Common Core being you can't fix the kids test score unless 
you know what is lacking. 

I do not believe in high stakes testing in that you would only be
punishing the kids and holding the Teachers accountable to the towns income!

Case in point, "The 20 ‘Worst’ Public Schools in America"
"1. East St. Louis Lincoln Middle School"