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A Timeless Post from Two Weeks Ago: Sad But True Facts About Inequality

June 22, 2016

I’m on a vacation where the internet is unpredictable, and so am drawing on articles I read recently that could have been written months or years ago. This one by Emma Brown, from the June 7 Washington Post, offers 5 “eye-opening facts” drawn from a recent report on the state of public schools in our country…. and here they are, with my observations in italics:

1. In the 2013-2014 school year, 6.5 million children were chronically absent from school, missing 15 or more days of school. Woody Allen said 80% of success is showing up… and when there are 82,000+ homeless in NYC just showing up is a challenge. 

2. 850,000 high school students didn’t have access to a school counselor. And most of them come from families with no understanding about how to apply for college or a job… but counseling doesn’t matter…. because

3. 1.6 million students went to a school that employed a sworn law-enforcement officer, but no counselor. Kids don’t need a counselor if there’s a good guy with a gun. 

4. Nearly 800,000 students were enrolled in schools where more than 20 percent of teachers hadn’t met state licensure requirements. Certification and licensure are needless regulations. Why should a math teacher know anything about math? 

5. Racial disparities in suspensions reach all the way down into preschool: Black children represent 19 percent of all preschoolers, and 47 percent of all those who were suspended. It’s never too early to teach children zero tolerance… unless you want to do it in a fully funded preschool program in which case it’s way too expensive

And the sixth eye opening fact: school is organized today the same way it was 100 years ago.

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