"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Income and Achievement

Jean Anyon gets to the point in her op-ed in the Times. Let's hope the editorial writers at the paper stick this one up beside their monitors. A clip:

When low-income urban families are provided with increased wages and social supports, the school achievement of the children typically improves significantly. During the 1990's in the inner city of Milwaukee, for example, an innovative program that offered poor families an earning supplement and subsidized health insurance and child care produced significant improvements in academic performance, particularly in reading and comprehension tests. The development in Newark of full service schools that collaborate with health providers and job preparation programs — connected to employers with pay scales above the minimum — would be a step in the right direction.

In short, the new mayor needs to use the power of his office to develop a plan for urban educational improvement that recognizes that an entire community, not just the school system, is responsible for the education of its children.

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