DMI Blog

Maureen Lane

A Generation’s Span

In today's New York Times piece, "How One Suburb's Black Students Gain" by Michael Winerip, Dr. Richard Ferguson from Harvard Graduate School of Education, speaks of the various factors that negatively impact equality of education and he "estimates half the gap is economic." That means kids from higher income families have real advantages. The advantage of parents with higher education, for example.

Dr. Ferguson sites Justice O'Connor's words in 2003 Grutter v. Bollinger et al. decision from June 23, 2003, "As lower school education in minority communities improves, an increase in the number of such students may be anticipated. From today's vantage point, one may hope, but not firmly forecast, that over the next generation's span, progress toward nondiscrimination and genuinely equal opportunity will make it safe to sunset affirmative action." Ferguson thinks it will be longer then a generation for lower schools to improve.

On the first of December, Governor Bob Wise, President of Alliance for Excellent Education, wrote that 39% of NYC 8th graders are at risk of dropping out of high school based on low reading scores. A great number of these children are from minority communities. The enormous number of students at risk of dropping out of school can hold back a generation and we are not doing enough to prevent that.

New York can make access to quality education for all a reality starting with this generation. It would serve the whole state well to build the political will to expand access to education. My next blog will discuss some education policy strategies already in motion.

Maureen Lane: Author Bio | Other Posts
Posted at 11:16 AM, Dec 16, 2005 in Civil Rights | Education | Welfare
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