Valerie Strauss of the Washington Post's Answer Sheet education blog reads the new poverty numbers and makes the case that education reform cannot brush poverty aside as an "excuse" for low academic performance. I've got some pieces in the pipeline over the next several weeks on education and poverty that will bring this closer to home. Meanwhile, read the whole piece. She's got some great links included.
For years now, we've heard modern school reformers denigrate those who cite poverty or, rather, the effects of living in poverty on children as an impediment to academic achievement. Lovers of the status quo, they are said to be. People who just like to make an excuse for bad teachers.
President Obama hasn't helped, nor has his Education Department, by pursuing policies that mostly ignore the effects of poverty and concentrate on business-driven reforms that involve measuring how well teachers do their jobs.
While there may be some nutcases who support the status quo, and there may be folks who don't want to get rid of bad teachers, I don't know of any.