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Economic Segregation in Schools

May 28, 2010

The Christian Science Monitor notes how a recent government report shows that inequality is alive and well in our public schools. Turns out over the last eight years (that would be the tenure of the Texas Terrorist in case you weren’t sure), inequality has been climbing with now more than 18,000 schools struggling with poverty. You’re probably wondering what type of students are found in these poor schools and if you guessed, blacks and Hispanics, then you were correct (46% hispanic and 34% black)!

Interestingly, the article notes how efforts to change this trend, such as pumping money into “fixing” the teachers, haven’t been working as well. Odd, I guess “better” teachers alone won’t fix the struggling schools. Perhaps there’s an underlying issue here like, say, poverty itself? The first reaction to this trend towards inequality is to assume it’s a failure in the sense that something has occurred that the Bush White House did not intend. I think the better way to think about this is a success for Bush and for conservatives. The quicker public schools fail, the quicker the market to can move in to reap from profits from privatization. And with privatization comes the prospect of resegregation – that is the separation of the economically handicapped (read: minorities) from the white middle and upper classes. Whites to the charter schools (and throw in a few lottery spots from the lucky inner-city youths) and minorities to stay in the rotting public schools. This will also help effectively eliminate them from any competition for college spots and jobs down the line (the beauty of segregation and the class system). It’s time we stopped acting like this is some sort of accidental causality of a failing economy when it’s been a designated goal from the right for years. Killing public education and equality are goals of the right.

What will our public schools look like in terms of equality eight years from now? I’m not betting on Obama and Democrats to change this trend. And you probably shouldn’t either.

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