The DeHavilland Blog

Friday, May 12, 2006

The changing face of education

A very important article in the Washington Post on Wednesday – apparently, “Of US Children Under 5, Nearly Half Are Minorities.” To put that into perspective, the country is currently 2/3 Caucasian – and, as Jeffrey Passel of the Pew Hispanic Center states in the article, “As the children age, they are the ones who in 20 years will be having children.”

That throws two tremendous challenges into the face of public education – challenges that will manifest on an epic scale.

First, we have a poor track record of educating African-American and Hispanic children. They consistently trail whites and Asians on
NAEP tests, and they also have much higher dropout rates than other populations. If we don’t learn to reach these audiences much more effectively, our problems will only accelerate and intensify.

Next, this brings up real issues of school funding. As Andrew Rotherham
has noted, as the population ages, they will feel less inclined to outlay more and more money for public education. As the article states, some older people will be even less inclined to lend their support if the school population looks less and less like them.

Solutions? Anyone?

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