Katherine Newman

Recent Articles

The Job Ghetto

Competition in the inner city even for fast-food jobs is so great that welfare recipients will have trouble getting them.

High Stakes, Hard Choices

Over the last decade, two important social policies originating on the right have been recast as centrist and adopted nationwide. One is welfare reform, which has pushed (some would say shoved) poor and low-skill parents headlong into the labor market. The other is the turn against "social promotion" and toward high-stakes testing in public schools. Kids as young as eight years old are now held back to repeat a grade if they do not achieve specific test scores. The two policies were inspired by wholly different research findings and are being implemented by entirely different bureaucracies. Yet they are intertwined in the real lives of the working poor.