Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

  • I’m not convinced that wealthier parents raise more moral, compassionate, thoughtful, creative, or healthy children than lower-income parents. I do believe that wealthier parents are much more savvy about avoiding scrutiny of their lives.

    Children raised by privileged parents to be morally grounded and compassionate do not make comments like those made on this article in Slate.

    “Worst of all, according to her, was that the Slate headline emphasized the “P word” – “poverty.” “When you put a photograph of a young girl doing something and then say the reason is poverty, viewers separate themselves,” Ms. Kenneally said. She added that the word “poverty” introduces a moralizing element. “The whole purpose of the project is to find a new way to talk about these social issues,” she explained. Without context, Ms. Kenneally said, viewers were cut off from the culture and circumstances that define her subjects’ lives.”

    tags: socialclass

  • I’m about to start Piketty’s somewhat daunting book, so love this Cliff Notes version.

    tags: socialclass

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

There’s a growing literature on how intensely middle class parents invest in their children’s success, from Annette Lareau’s now classic study  showing the “concerted cultivation” parenting of extensive  involvement in extra curricular activities, driving, advising, and being audience for children’s many performances; to extensive involvement in children’s daily challenges; to ongoing advice  and engagement in students’ college success and then negotiating connections for first jobs.

I mention this research when I’m talking with faculty and staff who so often lament that First Generation college students “won’t ask for help”.  We talk about how students who may have had to be incredibly independent and self-motivated and resourceful to get themselves to college may believe that they now have to prove that they can do it on their own, or may be doubting that they deserve help, or may simply not know that help is available.  Or they may balk at the term “help” that can imply  that they are in trouble.

I talk about this literature in middle class child-rearing to remind colleagues that most college kids whose parents have college degrees have had hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of hours of hidden “help” before they ever set foot in a college classroom.  In their terrific book Paying for the Party: How College Maintains Inequality,  Elizabeth Armstrong and Linda Hamilton write of one such student who was admitted to a competitive professional graduate program:

Here Taylor’s parents coaching, inside information, and efforts to keep her on track academically paid off.  These benefits however were invisible to those evaluating her, as they were instantiated in her record.  Taylor … simply looked more intelligent, accomplished, and suited for the professional than most applicants.  (p. 200).

So when I read the headline about this new study about the success of  “intensive” college counseling for low-income students, I thought at first that we might be talking about similar levels of support to those now taken for granted by the children of college graduates.

But no. The low-income students in this study –who attend high schools with exceptionally high student-to-counselor ratios — were able to access one hour of counselor time every two weeks.

But this one hour mattered in where students wound up going to college.

When we talk about ways to support First Generation students in going to and succeeding in college, I want to also talk out loud about the genuinely intensive “help” that their middle-class peers have had.  I want to talk out loud about how this help is made invisible.

And I want to talk very specifically about explaining to First Generation students that in going to office hours, lobbying the financial aid staff for information, connecting with the campus counselors, or staying on the radar of academic advisors, they are still accessing a fraction of the “help” that others take for granted.

And that it will matter.

And that in doing so, they’ll continue their trajectory of getting themselves where they want to go, step-by-step,  chipping away at the odds stacked against them from the start.


Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

  • “You feel controlled by the world when you’re poor,” she said. “That was simply no longer the case.”

    Professor Costello and Professor Akee don’t entirely agree. They think cold hard cash made the real difference. For one thing, Professor Akee says, outcomes started improving as soon as the supplements began, before many of the communitywide services went into effect.

    If that’s the primary takeaway, then we have some thinking to do. Some people feel that “if you’re poor, it’s because you deserve it,” Professor Costello said. “If you’re sick, it’s because you deserve it,” she said.

    But if giving poor families with children a little extra cash not only helps them, but also saves society money in the long run, then, says Professor Costello, withholding the help is something other than rational.”

    tags: socialclass

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

  • Regardless of their education, they are not finding work.

    “”We risk really having this lost generation of workers,” Jacobs says. “And what that means in terms of the economy’s ability to innovate and compete, when you’ve kind of wasted the talents of some substantial portion of a generation, is really, it’s alarming.””

    tags: socialclass

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.


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