Somebody lied: Education alone can’t dismantle white supremacy

By: Andre Perry: hechingerreport.org

Americans like to think that if individuals are educated in great schools, they can pull themselves up by their proverbial bootstraps and bring their families with them. No matter if obstacles such as bad policing, weak labor markets and discriminatory housing policies litter our path. We believe that a good education can propel us past those barriers, and we can surpass our parents’ social standing….

Source: adnor-sevenoaks.org/

But new research out of the University of California, Berkeley, suggests that we’re overselling our belief in schools….  The study’s author, Jessie Rothstein, and his colleagues at Berkeley found that the quality of K-12 schooling has little bearing on individuals’ ability to earn more than their parents. The study found that family structure (spousal earnings), access to a college education and the ability to parlay that education into a bigger paycheck play much larger roles.

There are reasons that poor folk are stuck with hope instead of real opportunities: Middle-class families are hoarding them.

Every college place or internship that goes to one of our kids because of a legacy bias or personal connection is one less available to others,” writes Brookings Institution researcher Richard Reeves in a discussion of social mobility in his book Dream Hoarders.

The difference in social mobility among adults has less to do with skills gained in school and more to do with factors that influence labor markets, such as the protection that comes with belonging to a union, or differing access to good jobs, or access to exclusive internships that lead to prestigious careers and mentoring….

Source: educationimages.com

There’s another negative to inflating the impact of schools. If students don’t succeed, we fault them or heap blame on black parents for their under achieving kids. “It all starts at home,” we say, shaking our heads sadly, wagging our fingers at black America. This in the face of consistent evidence that shows African-Americans are most likely to value a postsecondary education for success, at 90 percent, followed by Asians and Latinos, with whites at 64 percent….

Then, after blaming low-income black folk, we middle-class Americans pat ourselves on the back to justify our seat at the table.

It’s time to discard the cliché about education that it is the next civil rights issue of our generation; the reality is that privileged Americans limit opportunities for everyone else, ensuring that the American dream remains merely a fantasy.

 

 

 

 

 

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