Now here is the sort of article that makes me sit up and pay attention; Southern Schools Mark Two Majorities, says the New York Times, “The South has become the first region in the country where more than half of public school students are poor and more than half are ethnic minorities, a report found.” That would be the south of the United States, incidentally.
I’ve been spending a lot of my thinking on the stark differences in education available to children based on their economic means – this article does a nice job laying out those implications. I’ve been thinking a lot about those differences, and how they run much deeper than all the highly apparent distinctions between Indian and American education. In the end, the get-a-job and support-your-family end, the effect of a child’s relatively privileged or relatively impoverished education is, relatively, the same.
From this article : “We have a history of providing the least educational resources to the students who need the most,” said Steve Suitts, the vice president of the Southern Education Foundation and the author of the study. “The people in the South have to be concerned about all children, not just their own grandchildren.”
From my observations in India over the past four months : see above.
I have chosen to focus on arts & cultural traditions as a substantial category of education that children tend to access if they’re lucky, like an award for their extra achievement of being born into the right family. Of course, there is a lot of research showing the cross-disciplinary benefits of arts-inclusive education, and there are many organizations working to make those benefits inclusive, too. Of course, there are lots and lots of other categories that similarly depend on privilege for access, also very worth focusing on. I’m interested to see which of the approaches I’m learning about this year travel back to the United States with me, and how they are transformed through work with a rapidly growing group of students who are just the same as my students here – in all but the specifics.