Sentences to Ponder

1. Poor are still rare at elite colleges

“Separated from his family during Hurricane Katrina, which destroyed their home, he took refuge with cousins in an abandoned building. He was placed for a time in a school in Houston, where he said that at age 12, he finally began to learn to read, but after returning to New Orleans, he was arrested on suspicion of theft.”

2. What effective schools do 

“Arguably, the most important development in K–12 education over the past decade has been the emergence of a growing number of urban schools that have been convincingly shown to have dramatic positive effects on the achievement of disadvantaged students …. In other words, these schools have figured out ways to raise students’ academic achievement well above what is expected given the students’ baseline fluid cognitive skills … In fact, it may be accurate to say that schools like the most effective schools in our study may be the first to produce students for whom these two types of cognitive ability are consistently decoupled, providing an opportunity to study just which kinds of outcomes are enabled by gains in crystallized knowledge alone”

Note: this is a must read in terms of understanding what our best schools are accomplishing – and where they have still not moved the needle.

3. A prosperous class grows

“Many of them serve the rich, not as household help but as managers of wealth: accountants, bankers, investment advisers, lawyers, business managers and money managers.”  

Note: given that much of my previous salary was funded by the wealthy (foundations), I’ve often pondered the idea that my earnings have been based on my ability to serve (and hopefully influence) the desires of those with significant wealth. I think this is an under discussed issue with inequality – a capitalist society solves the problems of those who have money. If the “middle class” has less wealth, their problems will not be solved. 

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