In moving beyond No Child Left Behind in ways that are humane, effective, and efficient, we must implement education policies that challenge economic inequality rather than increasing it, which will require an about-face for most politicians on both sides of the aisle of the corporate jet. One thing that schools can do in this regard is to take seriously the research by James Coleman, which has been ignored or misused since it was published in 1966, just one year after Congressional approval of the first ESEA in 1965.
Coleman’s findings are here summarized by Coleman scholar, Gerald Grant (2009):"Simply put, Coleman found that the achievement of both poor and rich children was depressed by attending a school where most children came from low-income families. More important to the goal of achieving equal educational opportunity, he found that the achievement of poor children was raised by attending a predominantly middle-class school, while the achievement of affluent children in the school was not harmed. This was true even if per-pupil expenditures were the same at both schools. No research over the past forty years has overturned Coleman’s finding . . . (p. 159)."
Coleman also found that the longer that poor black children were stuck in low SES schools, the lower their achievement moved in comparison to middle class children.
Read it at Common DreamsOn US Education: It’s the Socioeconomic Segregation, Stupid
by Jim Horn
(h/t Rohan Grey via Twitter)
Education is arguably the single most significant economic factor, in that it is the sine qua non of survival and progress, fundamentally influencing everything else. As such it is foundational.