From the perspective of most teachers, poverty explains education problems. A valid point. Reformers insist that school quality, especially effective teaching, can make a sizable dent in the learning inequities we see across the lines of race and income. Also a valid point.Andy Rotherham at Eduwonk adds,
Mostly, however, the two sides no longer engage about their differences. They just glare and shout. Abortion has nothing on education, except bumper stickers. And I can only assume those are in production.
Today about 8 percent of low-income kids can expect to earn a college degree by the time they’re 24 – a figure that is actually lower in some American cities. And high school dropout rates for black and Hispanic students are, on average, around 40 percent – and far worse in many urban and rural communities. That’s a catastrophic problem perpetuated by an incredibly powerful and durable set of political and stakeholder arrangements that are now under unprecedented scrutiny. So, given the history of social change in this country, it’s also worth asking if we’re going to see major changes without a lot of contention?