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Equity in American Education: Key to US Economic Growth


Equity in American Education: Key to US Economic Growth

New Book by Author Dr. Essie B. Hill Examines Quality Education for All Students and its Link to Sustained Local, State, and National Economic Growth

PR Newswire

DALLAS, Aug. 23, 2018 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- Just in time for the start of a new school year, a riveting new book by experienced educator, Dr. Essie B. Hill, urges education policy makers, visionary local administrators and educators, families, and communities to partner and recommit to make the advantages of education available to all our students. Specifically, she examines the equity that could be achieved by addressing the imbalance in America's educational system between low- and higher-income students, as the imbalance has a negative impact on achieving educational potential and on the US economy.

Today, a stronger connection exists between income and a child's academic success, indicating that the growing inequality in education outcomes between higher- and low-income students must be addressed if education is to become a realistic path to social mobility in the US. Backed by research and statistics, the book highlights a problem that is not going away and needs immediate attention to bolster the future of local, state, and national economic growth.

  • Low-income families continue to rise as the number of middle class families decrease. Approximately one in five children in the United States live in poverty and 40% of which are not prepared for primary school.1
  • Economically disadvantaged students are 1.3 times more likely to suffer developmentally from exposure to constant stress and adversity, and have challenges engaging in learning, reducing academic achievement.2
  • The achievement gap in standardized test scores between low-income and higher-income students has grown by approximately 40% since the 1960s.3
  • The rate of income-associated gaps in high school completion and college enrollment and completion has jumped by roughly 50% since the 1980s.4
  • By 2020 65% of all jobs in the economy will require postsecondary education or training—pathways that many low-income high school students are underprepared for.5

Education is the number one factor in escaping poverty. "But, education disparity perpetuates a full slate of social, economic, medical, and law enforcement problems—and this is our status quo. All of society loses when students don't develop the capacity to become economically productive and achieve social-emotional well-being to contribute to the common good," stated Dr. Hill.

Specifically, her book, Caring & Engaging Schools: Partnering with Family and Community to Unlock the Potential of High School Students in Poverty, examines the consequences of our failure to effectively address the needs of low-income students, given the poverty-related struggles that impede academic learning, personal growth, and ultimately positive life outcomes. While she highlights the quality education critical for combating poverty that can be accomplished when equity is achieved within our education system, she also calls for an integrative program that will enable both struggling low-income high school students and youth of all socioeconomic backgrounds and ability levels to develop cognitively, socially, and emotionally.

Hill's Caring & Engaging Schools model advocates a strengths-based, whole-child education approach to creating demanding but encouraging learning environments for preparing all students to become healthier economically as well as psychologically by motivating them to engage in academic learning, solidifying the skills and knowledge that will help them to fulfill their potential.

As we approach the start of a new school year, this is the perfect time to read Caring & Engaging Schools: Partnering with Family and Community to Unlock the Potential of High School Students in Poverty. Dr. Hill examines inequity in education and focuses on solutions that can be implemented now by educators, working with families and the community. The rate of return is high, and when we invest in our youth, we are investing in our future as a nation.

Dr. Essie B. Hill is a veteran educator who has dedicated her career and personal time to the growth and development of students throughout the United States and globally. She is part of the first generation in her family to attend college and identifies with the struggles of today's economically and impoverished youth. At several points during the first 23 years of her life, she lived near, at, or below the federal poverty level. She attributes her own emergence from poverty to positive school experiences, exposure to new resources and opportunities, and the immeasurable gift of caring and supportive relationships.

Hill's professional career spans 20 plus years in both classroom and leadership assignments. She holds teaching and administrative certifications across several states, as well as a Master's in Educational Administration from Northeastern Illinois University and a Doctor of Education in Instructional Leadership from Argosy University. Additionally, she is president and founder of Actuate Development Company in the Dallas/Fort Worth Texas area, where she offers transformative educational strategies to maximize potential and performance critical to individuals' growth and development. Dr. Hill, a member of the Dallas Regional Chamber of Commerce, participates in the Chamber's education and workforce efforts, advocating for PreK-12 Dallas region education initiatives during legislative sessions at the State Capital, Austin, Texas. She lives in Frisco, Texas with her husband and two daughters.

Caring & Engaging Schools: Partnering with Family and Community to Unlock the Potential of High School Students in Poverty is available now on Amazon and through other major book retailers.

1 Jiang, Y., Granja, M. R., and Koball, H. (2017). Basic Facts about Low-Income Children: Children under 18 Years, 2015. Retrieved from; Gentile, James M. (2014). "Let's Focus on Improving Education for 'At Risk' Students." Retrieved from

2 2018 KIDS COUNT Data Book: State Trends in Child Well-Being. The Annie E. Casey Foundation. Retrieved from; Chaudry, A. and Wimer, C. (2016). "Poverty is Not Just an Indicator: The Relationship Between Income, Poverty, and Child Well-Being." Academic Pediatrics, 16(3S).

3 Reardon, Sean (2013). "The Widening Income Achievement Gap." Educational Leadership, 70(8); Reardon, Sean (2011). "The widening academic achievement gap between the rich and the poor: New evidence and possible explanations." In R. Murnane & G. Duncan (Eds.), Whither Opportunity? Rising Inequality and the Uncertain Life Chances of Low-Income Children. New York: Russell Sage Foundation Press.

4 Bailey, M. J. and Dynarski, S. M. (2011). "Inequality in postsecondary education." In R. Murnane & G. Duncan (Eds.), Whither Opportunity? Rising Inequality and the Uncertain Life Chances of Low-Income Children. New York: Russell Sage Foundation Press.

5 Carnevale, A. P., Smith, N., and Strohl, J. (2013). Recovery: Job Growth and Education Requirements Through 2020. Georgetown Public Policy Institute, Center on Education and the Workforce. Retrieved from

Photograph produced by Mohammad Dezfuli



SOURCE Dr. Essie B. Hill

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