Showing posts from June, 2010

From Plantations to Ghettos: The Plight of the Black Poor

What does the face of racial inequality look like? Rather than list a bunch of boring statistics, this depiction by The Alameda County Public Health Department of the differing life opportunities for black and white children born in Oakland, California, in a report titled, Life and Death from Unnatural Causes: Health and Social Inequity in Alameda County , says it all: "Compared with a White child in the Oakland Hills, an African American born in West Oakland is 1.5 times more likely to be born premature or low birth weight, seven times more likely to be born into poverty, twice as likely to live in a home that is rented, and four times more likely to have parents with only a high school education or less. As a toddler, this child is 2.5 times more likely to be behind in vaccinations. By fourth grade, this child is four times less likely to read at grade level and is likely to live in a neighborhood with twice the concentration of liquor stores and more fast food outlets. Ultimate

Closing The Achievement Gap Won’t Be Easy; And Charter Schools Will Not Be The Answer

The U.S. is becoming an increasingly diverse society. Nowhere is this more evident than in the nation's public schools. According to a new report, The Condition in Education 2010 , by the U.S. Department of Education National Center for Educational Statistics , between 1988 and 2008, the percentage of white students in the nation's public schools dropped from 68 to 55 percent. During the time period covered in the report, white enrollment decreased in every region of the country, while Hispanic enrollment increased. In fact, Hispanic students experienced the most growth. Between 1988 and 2008, the percentage of students who are Hispanic increased from 11 to 22 percent. Black student enrollment remained stable, while Asian student enrollment increased in the Northeast and Midwest and remained stable in other regions of the country. Even though the nation's student population is becoming increasingly diverse, racial and ethnic isolation in the schools is nearly as bad as it w

No Surprise Here: Growing Socioeconomic Segregation and Racial and Ethnic Isolation In the Schools.

The U.S. Department of Education National Center for Educational Statistics recently released its annual Condition of Education report. This year's report includes a special section that focuses on high-poverty schools in America, examining the types and locations of schools, the characteristics of the students and their teachers and principals; and student achievement. According to the report, The Condition in Education 2010 , socioeconomic segregation in the nation's public elementary and secondary schools is on the rise, leading to a wide and persistent gap in educational achievement between racial and ethnic groups. Between the 1999-2000 and 2007-2008 school year, the percentage of students who attended high-poverty schools (schools in which 76-100 percent of students are eligible for free or reduced-priced lunch (FRPL)) increased from 12 percent to 17 percent – a 42 percent jump. Just about 20 percent of elementary school students and 6 percent of secondary school stude

I Earned My Bachelor’s Degree Without A Ton Of Debt; But That Was a While Ago, When A College Education Was Affordable

It's hard for me to believe that I graduated from high school nearly 26 years ago. I was only 17 when I enrolled in Eastern Michigan University (I turned 18 in October of my freshman year) in 1984. It's even harder for me to believe that I earned my bachelor's degree without burying myself in debt. Looking back on it all, it was highly improbable that I would attend college; it was even more improbable that I would go on to earn a Ph.D. eleven years later. The odds, it seemed were stacked against me. First of all, I grew up in a welfare-dependent household. Second, neither my mother nor my father had earned a high school diploma. And last, even though two of my siblings had attended college, neither had successfully completed their degree. That I enrolled in college was pure luck. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't a terrible student, but, at the same time, I wasn't a great student either. And although my parents had not attended college, they stressed that all their