Spotlight Exclusives

Congrats to Haskins and Sawhill: New Book a Must Read

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It۪s a rare occurrence when experts working in the same field but on opposite sides of the aisle can come together and write an important book. So OOTS is particularly happy that the field of fighting poverty will benefit from Ron Haskins and Isabel Sawhill۪s Creating an Opportunity Society. They are friends and supporters of Spotlight, and we are proud of their accomplishment.

Haskins, a former special adviser to President Bush and a member of Spotlight۪s Advisory Council, and Sawhill, an associate director in the Office of Management and Budget under President Clinton, are co-directors of the Center on Children and Families at the Brookings Institution. Their book argues for a three-pronged method to reduce poverty and promote real opportunity: increasing education, providing work support, and encouraging stable families.

They argue that increasing education for youth at the preschool, K-12, and postsecondary levels will help end the cycle of poverty and enable the next generation to reach the middle class. For work supports, they write that the 1996 welfare reforms have shown that encouraging low-income people to work is one of the best ways to help them escape poverty, and that wage supplements can help them achieve success despite low skills and wage stagnation. Finally, Sawhill and Haskins suggest that broken families are one of the primary reasons for child poverty. According to Creating an Opportunity Society, lowering the number of out-of-wedlock births and increasing the share of children raised by married parents will help low-income children succeed.

Haskins and Sawhill will be participating in a panel discussion “Is America Really an Opportunity Society?” on October 27at Brookings. The event will be moderated by Washington Post columnist and Spotlight contributor E.J. Dionne. It will also feature the New York Times۪ David Brooks, NPR and Fox News۪ Juan Williams, and Linda Gibbs, New York۪s Deputy Mayor of Health and Human Services.

Here at Spotlight, we۪re excited to see leaders on both sides of the aisle work together to think about how we can provide opportunity for those that need it most.

Spotlight hopes to put both authors under the kliegs for our own webcast, so look for an announcement soon.

Posted by Mike


Here at Out of the Spotlight, we offer a behind-the-scenes look at the latest news and information essential to anyone working to fight poverty. From key political appointees to clashes over policy, we cover the news that doesn۪t always make the evening news. Check out Out of the Spotlight for our take on the twists and turns of the latest political developments and its impact on poverty reduction. Topics and ideas are welcome! Just contact or

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