"So what is the problem? That brings us to the new study from the Southern Education Foundation. Cross-referencing and education data, researchers found that that a majority of all public school students in one third of America's states now come from low-income families. How much does this have to do with educational outcomes? A lot. Social science research over the last few decades has shown that two thirds of student achievement is a product of out-of-school factors – and among the most powerful of those is economic status. That's hardly shocking: kids who experience destitution and all the problems that come with it have enough trouble just surviving, much less succeeding in school. All of this leads to an obvious conclusion: If America was serious about fixing the troubled parts of its education system, then we would be having a fundamentally different conversation."