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

Sunday, December 23, 2012

A Life of Indentured Servitude for a Chance at a College Diploma: When the American Dream Goes Nightmare

Recently the NYTimes shows signs of coming out of its corporate cocoon to do real investigative reporting again.  The recent story on WalMart corruption was terrific, and in this story, the Times looks at the deepening of the categorical inequality as it plays out in the higher education arena.  

The story is based in Galveston, TX, and the charts and graphs, alone, are worth the price of the Sunday paper.  If democracy is to have a chance in the U. S., and if the American dream is to be anything other than a worn-out pipe dream,  it will not be under the current crush of rapacious capitalism gone wild that holds sway in the U. S. today.  A clip:
Thirty years ago, there was a 31 percentage point difference between the share of prosperous and poor Americans who earned bachelor’s degrees, according to Martha J. Bailey and Susan M. Dynarski of the University of Michigan. Now the gap is 45 points. 
While both groups improved their odds of finishing college, the affluent improved much more, widening their sizable lead. 

Likely reasons include soaring incomes at the top and changes in family structure, which have left fewer low-income students with the support of two-parent homes. Neighborhoods have grown more segregated by class, leaving lower-income students increasingly concentrated in lower-quality schools. . . .


  1. This Times article is so good.

    It really gets at the complex problems facing students from low income backgrounds as they face a future in a society rigged for the affluent and the connected.

    It would be nice if the guy who writes the Times education editorials actually read the article and reflected on it before writing his next "Bad Teachers Are The Reason Low Income Students Struggle" editorial, but that's probably asking too much.

    Still, it's good to see the Times run this article on the front page.

  2. ...and the lower-income schools do not have enough teachers and resources (That means paper, computers and books!)so those students are less likely to graduate and go to college. Sort of like a cycle, isn't it? Merry Christmas, Jim!