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

Thursday, June 19, 2014

A Brief Video Tutorial on Why "Poverty [or Zip Code] Is Not Destiny" Remains a Lie


  1. Well, this is a statistical correlation. Let's make a thought experiment: would you ever expect all the people from "rich" districts to raise kids who fail in school and later then to move to the "slums"? From where, magically, their children rise to become professors and move into the deserted "rich" houses that once again were deserted by the children of those who were once well off but whose children failed at school? Now this would be less intuitive that the scenario you describe, wouldn't it? Now then, if you would like to argue that correlation is causation, as you do with these "unfavorable" zip codes you need to do it vice versa too. Once this has been admitted, then, and only then, can remedies be discussed and hopefully be implemented. In the meantime it would pay to study those "from rags to riches" stories that actually happen in the US every day. From Colin Powell to Andy Grove or Booker T. Washington.

    1. It might "pay to study" the 4 percent make it from rags to riches, but there are the 96 percent who need the help staying afloat. From Pew, 2012:

      "Only 4 percent of those raised in the bottom quintile make it all the way to the top as adults, confirming that the “rags-to-riches” story is more often found in Hollywood than in reality. Similarly, just 8 percent of those raised in the top quintile fall all the way to the bottom."

      As for Booker T. Washington, he was made by white philanthropists to promote white supremacy and second class citizenship for African Americans.