Professors Duncan and Murnane previously have argued that the economic forces of technology and globalization are driving a wedge between winners and losers in the U.S. economy and making it tough for schools to help children from low-income families to get the skills they need to compete.
Diverging incomes among families lead to diverging destinies among children, undermining the promise of equal opportunity. Economic research helps explain why this happening and what we could do about it.
Nancy Folbre, Economix, New York Times >>
How Public Schools Can Fight Back Against Inequality: A look at three programs that are doing a good job of educating low-income students.
The Atlantic >>
Rising residential segregation by income has led to increasing concentrations of low- and high-income children attending separate schools. Peer problems, geographic mobility, and challenges in attracting and retaining good teachers have made it difficult to provide consistently high-quality learning experiences in schools serving a large proportion of low-income students.
Phi Delta Kappan >>
The basic skills of American schoolchildren are higher today than they were 40 years ago, even among poor children. The problem is that they haven’t risen nearly enough to maintain America’s economic leadership in the decades to come.
OP-ED, Orange County Register >>
A follow up to Whither Opportunity, Greg Duncan, a professor at the University of California, Irvine’s, school of education, and Richard Murnane, Thompson Professor of Education and Society at Harvard’s graduate education school, discuss interventions and supports that can help schools create more opportunities in the lives of low-income children.
BookMarks, Education Week >>
Refreshingly, Duncan and Murnane do not stop with heartwarming tales of successful schools, but also present data from randomized experiments showing the impacts on children, especially for the small high school initiative in New York City and the University of Chicago Charter Network.
Robert E. Slavin, Huffington Post >>
Greg J. Duncan and Richard J. Murnane, in their new book, note that American kids have long had unequal access to excellent schools. “What is different today from several decades ago,” write the education professor and the economist, “is the much greater lifelong cost to students of an inadequate education. Differences in educational quality are now much more likely than in the past to magnify the gap in life outcomes between children from high- and low-income families.
Their timing is auspicious, given that President Obama has recently initiated a national discussion about economic inequality. Those enmeshed in debates will benefit from this concise survey of where things stand, how we’ve gotten here, and what schools can help do about it.
Rick Hess, Education Week >>
Restoring Opportunities: The Crisis of Inequality and the Challenge for American Education ought to be required reading for the White House and leaders of the “My Brother’s Keepers” project.
Eric Cooper, Huffington Post >>
Askwith Forums, Income Inequality and American Schools
Other Voices in the Media
Want great pre-schools for all? Look to Boston. Seattle City Council is considering following the lead of Boston, Tulsa, San Francisco and President Obama’s Preschool for All proposal by making preschool available and affordable to all kids in the city.
Op-Ed, Seattle Times >>