The Annie E. Casey Foundation has released their 2013 Kids Count report, cataloging child well-being in the U.S. and individual states.

Let’s place the Kids Count report first in the context of Matt Bruenig’s What’s more important: a college degree or being born rich?, and his conclusion:

So, you are 2.5x more likely to be a rich adult if you were born rich and never bothered to go to college than if you were born poor and, against all odds, went to college and graduated. The disparity in the outcomes of rich and poor kids persists, not only when you control for college attainment, but even when you compare non-degreed rich kids to degreed poor kids!

Therefore, the answer to the question in the title is that you are better off being born rich regardless of whether you go to college than if you are born poor and do go to college.

Next, I want to highlight my home state of SC:

  • 45th (down from 43rd) in national ranking of child well-being
  • From 2007-2011, childhood poverty rose steadily from 21% to 28%
  • Children in homes with parents lacking secure employment, 35%
  • Increases in children in single-parent homes, children living in high-poverty communities

A couple of quick thoughts.

Evidence is undeniable that social equity and opportunity are deeply connected with educational equity and opportunity. This report simply confirms that it is irresponsible to continue to suggest that schools alone are failing impoverished children and their families. Social and educational inequity of opportunity are cancers on a free people who claim to be just and kind.

Second, where are the “no excuses” advocates when it comes to social inequity? Why aren’t they peddling their “no excuses” mantra about childhood poverty, job insecurity, high-poverty neighborhoods, low birth weights, lack of health care, child and teen deaths?

The silence and inaction are inexcusable.