When Paul Reville was secretary of education in Massachusetts, he wrote this piece for Education Week titled “Closing the Poverty Gap: The Way Forward for Education Reform.” The whole thing is worth reading, but one sentence says it all about the notion that school reform can be successful if it does not address the out-of-school problems that children who live in poverty face.

Some want to make the absurd argument that the reason low-income youngsters do poorly is that, mysteriously, all the incompetency in our education systems has coincidentally aggregated around low income students.