In suburbia, a dizzying fall from middle-class grace

by Petula Dvorak

PREP Simone Brown helping a student at Intermediate School 292 in Brooklyn prepare for the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test, the subject of a recent lawsuit. One study indicated that children of professionals were, on average, exposed to approximately 1,500 more words hourly than children growing up in poverty. This resulted in a gap of more than 32 million words by the time the children reached the age of 4. Photo: Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times

“It’s how I can buy her a dress like this,” explains Yemmy Fashoto, pointing to the turquoise confection her 9-year-old daughter had slipped on over her clothes, and tearing up a little when she talks about her new shopping habits.