Study: Hope for education differs among poor Americans

By Nicholas Sakelaris

June 4 (UPI) -- Americans who live in impoverished neighborhoods nationwide don't agree on whether their children have access to high-quality public schools, new research said Tuesday.

Gallup said in a survey that only about a third (35 percent) of Americans who live in "fragile" U.S. communities -- those with concentrated poverty and limited opportunity -- believe they have access to high-quality education. Another third (33 percent) said they have no such access, and another third (32 percent) are neutral or have no opinion.


The research was based on an analysis of "fragile communities" by Gallup and the Center for Advancing Opportunity, called the State of Opportunity in America. The study focused on residents' perceptions of public schools and college opportunities in impoverished communities.

The report noted that more whites from fragile communities (38 percent) are optimistic about access to high-quality schools, compared to just 29 percent who disagree. Those figures are nearly inverse among blacks. The response among Hispanics is very similar to whites.

"Access to high-quality K through 12 education is a critical building block for a positive life trajectory for students," Gallup said in its report. "While economic and education challenges disproportionately impact fragile communities, the CAO study reinforces that residents of these communities are not without hope.


"When students are able to complete education beyond high school, they have more optimism about their future lives and greater confidence and they can set and achieve their goals."

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