This post is embarrassing—both for the content and the fact that Petrilli appears unaware how embarrassing it is.
Single-mothers are not "bad"; they are overwhelmed.
Education is not to create economically self-sufficient people (that serves the privileged who feed off the economy). Education's goals are much BIGGER than that—self-awareness and complete autonomy, within which economic self-sufficiency is a part.
Petrilli and his ilk will not and possibly cannot admit that poverty is the product of either the negligence or intent of the powerful in any nation.
Poverty is not the product of those in poverty, and cannot be the result of the powerless.
And to continue to focus the gaze about poverty on those trapped in poverty and on education as the only or main mechanism for eradicating poverty is ultimately the greatest failure of all—and a disturbing lesson about the failure of the privileged as capable of addressing equity from their positions of privilege.
Petrilli needs to add to his reading list:
Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much