Thursday, June 30, 2011

Quotes of the Day

"Education is the New Abortion," says Richard Whitmire in the Daily News:
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.

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.
Andy Rotherham at Eduwonk adds,
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?

1 comment:

kallikak said...

Andy Rotherham's take on under-achievement by poor and minority students:

"That’s a catastrophic problem perpetuated by an incredibly powerful and durable set of political and stakeholder arrangements that are now under unprecedented scrutiny."

If you mean the influence of the teachers' union on politics, Andy, you are dead wrong. As someone who lived through the Fifties and Sixties, I would assert the crucial difference between then and now is the embedded culture of poverty and related asocial behavior that prevails among a growing segment of our population.

Daniel Patrick Moynihan was concerned in the Sixties with the break-up of low-income nuclear families which he perceived (correctly) as the precursor of social dysfunction.

His analysis applies equally to public school systems tasked with educating the children of these communities.

Methinks Mr. Rotherham has re-written history to fit his preconceptions and lack of life exposure to the way it actually was.