"Bear in mind that the wonderful things you learn in your schools are the work of many generations, produced by enthusiastic effort and infinite labor in every country of the world. All this is put into your hands as your inheritance in order that you may receive it, honor it, add to it, and one day faithfully hand it to your children. Thus do we mortals achieve immortality in the permanent things which we create in common." - Albert Einstein

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Wealthy Neighborhoods = Great Schools

As parents, we want the best for our children. Every parent simply wishes to give his or her child the best education possible. Schools require resources and wherever funds are scarce, the quality of education seems to suffer. Most developing countries unlike rich nations struggle in basic education because of poverty. However, we need not go outside a country to see that great schools are oftentimes in wealthy neighborhoods. A report from the nonprofit organization EdBuild in the United States shows that "income-based segregation between school districts is rising".

The report lists the fifty most segregating borders in the US. For example, number eight on the list are the school districts of Youngstown and Poland in the state of Ohio:

Above copied from EdBuild's Fault Lines
Another nonprofit organization GreatSchools provides parents tools to "compare schools based on test scores and other available data, including student academic growth and college readiness". Ratings are in fact available for school districts. The following are the results for the Youngstown and Poland school districts:

Above copied from GreatSchools
Above copied from GreatSchools
To get a feel for these ratings, one elementary school in Youngstown, Paul Bunn Elementary School, has only a third of its sixth grade students passing proficient in the state's math exam. In stark contrast, McKinley Elementary School in Poland has a passing proficient rate of 97%. Poland is less than ten miles from Youngstown:


The two districts are so close yet the differences in schools, in household income, and in house prices are simply staggering. There is so much talk about globalization but the truth is: We are becoming more segregated. We are segregating ourselves according to income and now we have schools to ensure that the boundaries between the haves and the have nots remain impenetrable. We are not really that serious with regard to "quality education for all".





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