A federal report released by 27 education experts, civil rights leaders, and economists addresses the persistent inequality in America’s education system.
The report addresses longstanding inequities in education; including the availability of good teachers, school funding, and gaps in standardized testing results along racial and socioeconomic lines.
Authored by the Equity and Excellence Commission, the report calls America’s education inequities a “dire” situation.
“Our education system, legally desegregated more than a half century ago, is ever more segregated by wealth and income, and often again by race. Ten million students in America’s poorest communities … are having their lives unjustly and irredeemably blighted by a system that consigns them to the lowest-performing teachers, the most run-down facilities, and academic expectations and opportunities considerably lower than what we expect of other students,” the authors write. “These vestiges of segregation, discrimination and inequality are unfinished business for our nation.”
The report recommends that all students have equal access to quality teachers, school finance reform, and an expansion of early childhood education.
The next steps are unclear. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan stressed that this commission is independent from official department business. “This is not an easy labor of love,” he said. “We asked them … to tell us the truth.”
Hanushek said he hopes that the commission will remain a part of Department discussions on equity. A representative for the commission said it is looking to raise money to support its future. Already, it has received help from private foundations including the Broad, Ford, Gates, Hewlett and Kellogg groups.
Thoughts on the findings and recommendations of this report?
What do you think needs to be done to salvage our nation’s broken education system?
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