HOT BLAST: Rich kids and Anniston's schools
Apr 29, 2013 | 6890 views |  0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Anniston High School.
Anniston High School.
As the Anniston City Council and the city's Board of Education debate ways to reorganize the public school system, consider this opening paragraph from an opinion piece in this weekend's New York Times:

"Here’s a fact that may not surprise you: the children of the rich perform better in school, on average, than children from middle-class or poor families. Students growing up in richer families have better grades and higher standardized test scores, on average, than poorer students; they also have higher rates of participation in extracurricular activities and school leadership positions, higher graduation rates and higher rates of college enrollment and completion."

The piece, "No Rich Child Left Behind," made a compelling case for class and socioeconomic reasons for academic differences in America's public schools. In other words, minority children aren't inherently at risk for poor school performances, the author said; it's that rich kids, regardless of race, do better because of the opportunities and options they have that other kids don't possess.

It's an interesting thought, and one that makes sense, of course. It's not necessarily new scholarship to make that point. But for Anniston, where black students and lower-income students make up most of the public schools' student population, it's a point worth remembering. Reorganization of the system may only do so much to help academic performances; it's the improvement of people's lives -- jobs, income -- that may have the most long-term effect for the schools and the city.

-- Phillip Tutor

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