Fighting income inequality in schools – by bringing in more rich students

On Sunday, in his victory speech in Virginia after the election of Terry McAuliffe as governor, he played on a maxim that might be familiar to those who think about education – that a…

Fighting income inequality in schools – by bringing in more rich students

On Sunday, in his victory speech in Virginia after the election of Terry McAuliffe as governor, he played on a maxim that might be familiar to those who think about education – that a child is a child. “A child is a child, no matter where they come from,” McAuliffe said.

His reference, to a statistic that 4 out of 5 kids go to public schools, might not be familiar to some, however. This statistic is not spread far beyond the progressive community.

A couple of notes in the text of the speech:

“The truth is,” McAuliffe said, “no matter where a child comes from, all students, no matter their ZIP code, deserve a world-class education.”

A 2012 study by the American Enterprise Institute called it a “First-World Problem,” finding that 40% of US students who are truly affluent end up attending public schools while the rest go to private schools.

This item from the Washington Post about the problem (probably slightly different in specifics from the Associated Press item above) says more.

In addition to the financial strains, schools such as Pima Elementary in Flagstaff have made adjustments to enroll more wealthy students with good family ties. The principal here has urged parents to consider that a child is a child – and to explore why some appear to be succeeding as a greater number do not. High IQs, all things being equal, can pass through the homes of prominent parents at higher rates than those born to less affluent families. Students from schools with a slight majority of affluent parents – 84 percent of Palo Verde High School’s students are in poor neighborhoods – take on the quality of that faculty.

It would seem that sending children to school is a basic right, or at least we would hope it is. With the number of kids expected to be growing over the next 20 years, however, schools that enroll such a high number are going to need to adopt more ways to implement money-saving solutions.

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