Friday, January 18, 2013

New Hope for School Integration

From All Walks of Life: New Hope for School Integration is a powerful article on school integration and diversity by Richard Kahlenberg. If you are interested in Inclusion, then I think you'll find this enlightening.

Here are a few highlights:
  • Racial integration is a very important aim, but if one's goal is boosting academic achievement what really matters is economic integration.
  • Finland - often held out as an education success story - had the lowest degree of socioeconomic segregation of 57 countries participating in PISA.
  • The only educational intervention known to have a greater return on investment than socioeconomic integration is very high-quality early childhood education.
  • The KIPP model, which relies heavily on self-selection and attrition, reinforces the idea that the peer environment may matter a great deal.
  • Many families now believe - as do virtually all leading colleges and universities - racial, ethnic, and income diversity enriches the classroom.
  • In high poverty- schools, a child is surrounded by classmates who are more likely to act out, more likely to move during the school year, and less likely to have large vocabularies.
  • The major problem with American schools is not teachers or their unions, but poverty and economic segregation.

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