A recurring ad on the tv lately talks about the things we need to do to improve education. They mention investing in new buildings and up-to-date technology. But their takeaway is investment in teachers: better preparation, support, etc. OK, but wait.... Nobody (ever?) mentions the real and most serious problem: children going to school who live in poverty. If we ended child poverty, the other things would pretty much take care of themselves I suspect. Finland did it, and so could we, but we have to first shed our national cultural fantasy that poverty is a natural part of the social and cultural landscape.