• Gaps between rich and poor can’t be explained only by deficits in language in low-income families or the low-expectations of teachers in low-income schools. Wealthy families will never simply stand still while other people’s children catch up to theirs.

    “What’s going on? Well, it’s all about glass floors and glass ceilings. Rich kids who can go work for the family business — and, in Canada at least, 70 percent of the sons of the top 1 percent do just that — or inherit the family estate don’t need a high school diploma to get ahead. It’s an extreme example of what economists call “opportunity hoarding.” That includes everything from legacy college admissions to unpaid internships that let affluent parents rig the game a little more in their children’s favor.”

    tags: socialclass

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

  • “Imagine a system of college education supported by high and growing government spending on elite private universities that mainly educate children of the wealthy and upper-middle class, and low and declining government spending on public universities that educate large numbers of children from the working class and the poor.

    You can stop imagining. That’s the American system right now.

    Government subsidies to elite private universities take the form of tax deductions for people who make charitable contributions to them. In economic terms a tax deduction is the same as government spending. It has to be made up by other taxpayers.

    These tax subsidies are on the rise because in recent years a relatively few very rich people have had far more money than they can possibly spend or even give away to their children. So they’re donating it to causes they believe in, such as the elite private universities that educated them or that they want their children to attend”

    tags: socialclass

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

Gentle Readers,

If you’ve been at Education and Class for any time at all, you’ll know of my commitments to First Generation students, my growing interest in digital media for amplifying voices that would not otherwise be heard, and my particular interest in bringing these two areas together.

With my partners Class Action, I’m launching a project to take digital storytelling workshops to campuses across the country. Because it is so challenging to find funding through traditional foundations and grants for projects in which we *listen* to First Generation students before rushing in to try to fix what ails them, we are experimenting with Crowd Funding this project.

I’d be very very grateful if readers of this blog would join this project by being part of the network who will be publicizing the project launch and then updates along the way.   Our platform (and academic-only site) will provide you with some video-based training and ideas for spreading the word.  You’d post on your blogs, Facebook pages, emails to supporters of First Gen students, or other networks.

This would take less than an hour a week.  You’d be making it possible for First Gen students across the country to work together to craft elegant multi-media stories of their time in college, you’ll be learning something about fund-raising for projects that don’t interest more conventional funders, and you’ll be part of creating a digital portal for these stories so that we can all learn from the storytellers.

If you’d be willing to consider helping us to spread the word about this project as we approach launch (Planned for October  27),  and then during the four week campaign, you can  find much more information at the link below:

Champion Sign Up Page

Thank you so much!

Jane

Early in my work as a teacher educator, we were talking in class one day about reasons that parents may not be involved in ways that their children’s teachers expect.  Among other things we talked about were work schedules that can complicate the lives of parents — especially low-income parents who have little leverage for negotiating working conditions of hours.   A young man grew quite agitated and insisted that when he was a parent, he would put his children first and take time off of work to attend conferences and volunteer in his children’s classrooms.

A non-traditional aged woman in class who hadn’t said much to that point turned to him and said “I manage a McDonald’s.   And if you worked in my store and asked for time off like that, I’d fire you and hire someone who wouldn’t complicate my scheduling”.   She wasn’t explaining her personal values — that was clear.  She was explaining corporate policy.

There’s a taken-for-granted assumption in many schools now that parents are available to take direction from teachers about how they should spend evenings and weekends on homework or other school activities.  There’s another taken-for-granted assumption among many of my students that “parent involvement” means “parent volunteers”.  In their internships, it’s common for students to hear  teachers describe parents who don’t consistently sign reading logs, come in to volunteer, are hard to reach, or  who don’t regularly contact teachers with questions or gestures of supports as “uninvolved” or “not conveying their support of education”.

When such things come up in class, I ask them what they actually know about these parents’ lives, and we often find that we know what the parents don’t do, but little about their actual day-to-day lives.

And we then talk about data like this  and like this on the limited control that growing numbers of lower-income workers have over their hours or schedules as employers change shifts with little notice, require night work,  or refuse to move workers from part to full-time work so that parents are piecing together several jobs to make ends meet.  That conversation with the McDonald’s manager in class that day was over twenty years ago.  Working conditions have only deteriorated since then.

Where I teach, most of the students work, so many have personal experiences with the instability of part-time work.

Yet the rhetoric in schools about “parent involvement” as classroom volunteering, and the moralistic judgment of parents who don’t comply with teachers’ expectations about their roles in supervising homework (in spite of little evidence that most homework is valuable) continues.

So we keep teaching, and we keep sharing the growing data that many parents simply aren’t positioned to do the things that schools expect of them because of the demands of their employers.

Update: A more extensive scholarly look at work, schedules, and inequality is the Russell Sage Foundation’s Unequal Time

Control over one’s time is a critical resource for managing that unpredictability, keeping a job, and raising a family. But the ability to control one’s time, much like one’s income, is determined to a significant degree by both gender and class. In

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

Screenshot 10:3:14, 5:46 AM-2

A new report on financial aid  by the New America Foundation,  Education Trust, and Young Invincibles (and commissioned by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) calls for  “bold” federal action to ensure that college is affordable for all families.

Now, instead:

[O]ur aid system places a disproportionately large burden on families at the bottom of the income scale. Families in the lowest income quintile are asked to come up with an amount equal to 80 percent of their annual income to pay the net price (i.e., price after all grant and scholarship aid) for one year of education at a public, four-year college or university … . That’s more than five times the percentage of income high-wealth families are asked to contribute for higher education — hardly, an equitable share of the cost burden.10 The result? Rather than operating as engines of opportunity and social mobility, all too often higher education is calcifying existing inequities, shifting back toward the extreme stratification that mainly serves the elite. (emphasis added)

I understand that all of this is a complicated outcome of steeply declining state spending in a time in which many argue for a smaller federal role in education.

But I object to framing the most basic steps to make access to college equitable as “bold”.

It’s the morally right thing to do.

  • Is it possible to become highly educated for leadership and citizenship without regular interaction with people from diverse economic backgrounds?

    tags: socialclass

  • “Wealthier parents have been stepping up education spending so aggressively that they’re widening the nation’s wealth gap. When the Great Recession struck in late 2007 and squeezed most family budgets, the top 10 percent of earners ― with incomes averaging $253,146 ― went in a different direction: They doubled down on their kids’ futures.

    Their average education spending per child jumped 35 percent to $5,210 a year during the recession compared with the two preceding years ― and they sustained that faster pace through the recovery. For the remaining 90 percent of households, such spending averaged around a flat $1,000, according to research by Emory University sociologist Sabino Kornrich.

    “People at the top just have so much income now that they’re easily able to spend more on their kids,” Kornrich said.”

    tags: socialclass

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

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