Thompson: The Equality Trust
The Spirit Level provides more social science documenting the obvious. Just as out-of-school effects trump schools’ and teachers’ contributions to learning, equality and inequality trumps economic wealth in creating a livable society. Americans living in more equal states live around 4 years longer than those living in more unequal states.
Which raises the "thought experiement" of how much could all of the school reforms of our era increase student performance if implemented flawlessly versus how much learning would increase for the upcoming generation if we simply reduced the teenage birth rate.
Since reformers correctly characterize education as a civil rights issue, the international data on social mobility is crucial.
Since the Center for Education Policy is undoubtedly correct that ESEA rauthorization should be linked to health care reform, we must remember the link between equality and health.
Since an American child is killed every three hours with a gun, creating an environment where it is much more difficult to create safe learning cultures in urban schools, shouldn't we ask why gun-toting Canadians do not share our propensity for violence?
And since the United States is already paying a heavy price for its incarceration rate (made worse by the data-driven War on Drugs) the following suggests we should reconsider our priorities.
And since the Chicago School Consortium has shown that trusting relationships are essential for school improvement, we should incorporate the following into our discussion of community schools.