Gary Orfield, co-director of the Civil Rights Project/ProyectoDerechos Civiles at UCLA writes in an e-mail to HuffPost: “I thinkthat researchers know about the poor mobility and millions ofpeople are experiencing it — but it is little discussed in asociety in which both parties purport to represent the ‘middleclass’ and no one is talking about the locked-in poor or the riskof downward mobility in public life.”
As for the report’s conclusions about the value of social mixingin schools, Orfield, a long time foe of school segregation, notes:”There has been such a relentless conservative attack ondesegregation strategies, even those focusing on class,… that Ithink there has been very little discussion of peer group effects(except in college) for a long time. During that void, however, theresearch evidence has become much more powerful.
“People need to understand that schools are basically studentsand teachers interacting together and that if you have classmateswho know very little, you won’t learn from them, you may bedistracted by them. And teachers teaching entire classes andschools with students who are not ready to learn at their gradelevel and require all kinds of individual tutoring will often leaveas soon [as] they can so these schools get the least experiencedand qualified teachers, which perpetuates the inequality.”
Just last month, Orfield’s center issued a
All in all, the OECD report is an ugly reality check for acountry that has historically seen itself as uniquely rewarding oftalent; as a place free of the sorts of rigid social structuresthat led so many generations of immigrants to leave Old Europe.[bron: Huffington Post]