Occupy School Districts, Not Wall Street

They contribute just as much to inequality: Andrew Rotherham
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 17, 2011 1:26 PM CST
Occupy School Districts, Not Wall Street
"When it comes to giving Americans equal opportunity, our schools are demonstrably failing at their task," writes Andrew Rotherham.   (Shutterstock)

Wall Street is an easy target, but if protesters really want to improve social mobility in America, they should be occupying the school districts. “There is perhaps no better example of how the system is rigged against millions of Americans than the education our children receive,” writes Andrew Rotherham in Time. Public schools may not be to blame for our struggling economy, but “zip codes remain a better predictor of school quality and subsequent opportunities than smarts or hard work. When you think about it, that’s a lot more offensive to our values than a lightly regulated banking system.”

Consider the fact that while only 8% of low-income students earn a college degree by age 24, a full three-quarters of affluent students do. Why? That’s where things get difficult, because there are many reasons, and they differ across the country. What matters is that politicians are “too wrapped up in ideology to acknowledge that no single solution … will fix our education system,” so we end up fighting “phony wars about teacher pay or No Child Left Behind” rather than taking real steps toward more fair school funding. Click for the full column. (Read more Occupy Wall Street stories.)

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