HBO's Class Divide is a documentary that profiles the neighborhood of West Chelsea, New York, and in particular focuses on the housing projects that sit across the street from Avenues: The World School, a private school with an entrance fee of $50,000 per year.
The 50 Most Segregating School Borders In America [NPR.org] “The grass is greener ... if you're a student in Detroit, looking across your school district's boundary with the neighboring Grosse Pointe public schools. Nearly half of Detroit's students live in poverty; that means a family of four lives on roughly $24,000 a year — or less. In Grosse Pointe, a narrow stretch of real estate nestled between Detroit and Lake St. Clair, just 7 percent of students live at or below the poverty line. To recap, that's 49 percent vs. 7 percent. Neighbors. Which is why a new report from the nonprofit EdBuild [Fault Lines] [.pdf] ranks the Detroit-Grosse Pointe boundary as "the most segregating school district border in the country."”
In 2007, the Pinellas County, Florida School Board abandoned integration, joining hundreds of US school districts in former Confederacy states that have resegregated since 2000. The Board justified the vote with bold promises: Schools in poor, black neighborhoods would get more money, more staff, more resources -- none of which happened. This past August, the Tampa Bay Times published an exposé, revealing how district leaders turned five once-average schools into Failure Factories. [more inside]
Rewrite the rules to benefit everyone, not just the wealthy - "If there's one thing Joseph Stiglitz wants to say about inequality, it's that it has been a choice, not an unexpected, unfortunate economic outcome. That's unnerving, but it also means that citizens and politicians have the opportunity to fix the problem before it gets worse." (via) [more inside]
Joe Stiglitz on Inequality, Wealth, and Growth: Why Capitalism is Failing (video; if you don't have 30m, skip to 20m for discussion of political inequality, wealth, credit and monetary policy) - "If the very rich can use their position to get higher returns, more investment information, more extraction of rents, and if the very rich have equal or higher savings rates, then wealth will become more concentrated... economic inequality inevitably gets translated into political inequality, and political inequality gets translated into more economic inequality. The basic and really important idea here is that markets don't exist in a vacuum, that market economies operate according to certain rules, certain regulations that specify how they work. And those effect the efficiency of those markets, but they also effect how the fruits of the benefits of those markets are distributed and the result of that is there are large numbers of aspects of our basic economic framework that in recent years have worked to increase the inequality of wealth and income in our society... leading to a society which can be better described, increasingly, as an inherited plutocracy." [more inside]
The Economic Consequences of Mr. Bush. "The next president will have to deal with yet another crippling legacy of George W. Bush: the economy. A Nobel laureate, Joseph E. Stiglitz, sees a generation-long struggle to recoup." [Via Firedoglake.]
Cal Professor John Ogbu thinks he knows why rich black kids are failing in school. Nobody wants to hear it.
Gifted Students Despite her boarding-school education and a personal tutor, Maude Bunn's SAT scores weren't high enough for a typical student to earn admission to Duke University. But Ms. Bunn had something else going for her -- coffeemakers. Her Bunn forebears built a fortune on them and, with Duke hoping to woo her wealthy parents as donors, she was admitted. Afterward, her parents promptly became co-chairmen of a Duke fund-raising effort aimed at other Duke parents. "My child was given a gift, she got in, and now I'm giving back," says Maude's mother, Cissy Bunn, who declines to say how much the family has contributed to the university.