Why Some Students Fail

Why Some Students Fail

Another semester is about to begin at the community college where I teach. Some of my students come from middle class backgrounds. They went to excellent high schools, enjoy financial and emotional support from their parents, and have what it takes to excel in...
Our Social Structure is Rigged

Our Social Structure is Rigged

“It’s structure vs. agency,” my professor said to me, as if that cleared everything up. It didn’t. It was my first week of graduate school in sociology, and I had no idea what he was talking about. Fast-forward three years, and I’m now teaching an...
An Anti-Poverty Program That Makes It Pay to Work

An Anti-Poverty Program That Makes It Pay to Work

Imagine a government-funded anti-poverty tool that encouraged people to work. Now imagine that it’s popular with both Democrats and Republicans, in red states and blue. Turns out we’ve had just such a tool since 1975: the Earned Income Tax Credit, or EITC....
Don’t Lie to Poor Kids About Why They’re Poor

Don’t Lie to Poor Kids About Why They’re Poor

Work hard and you’ll get ahead — that’s the mantra driven into young people across the country. But what happens when children born into poverty run face first into the crushing reality that the society they live in really isn’t that fair at all? As new research...
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