This may be a short one.
While working on my Master of Education (2012, Texas A&M Commerce), I was in a class about multiculturalism in the classroom, and found some research that blew me away. I immediately sent it to my Advisor, a professor whose specialty is in school administration. He was even more shocked than I was, and added it to his curriculum.
Third-grade reading scores in low-income schools are accessed by the private prison industry, in order to estimate how many beds they will need in ten years.
Let me rephrase that. A child who's hungry, who didn't get to bed last night because he was allowed to stay up watching television, whose parents may have been at work, or even whose electricity was turned off, simply cannot stay awake and attentive long enough to properly absorb the lesson. His first-grade teacher tried but she is forced to move on with the rest of the class because she is no longer in control of her curriculum and she is punished in some way if she doesn't maintain that schedule. By third grade, that child has lost the will to learn because it's simply not working, and does poorly on the first state-mandated test. That child, and perhaps 30% of the others at that grade level, has not passed. That teacher is therefore punished for not bringing those children up to their grade level.
In ten years, those children will have dropped out, gotten in trouble (in Texas, where I taught as a substitute for three years, truancy is a criminal charge), been locked up, and the foregone conclusion has been proven true.
Teachers are the ones expected to make up the differences that income inequality creates.
Talk amongst yourselves. (SNL's Coffee Klatch lady voice here.)