Social Class and the College Choice of High School Valedictorians

Social Class and the College Choice of High School Valedictorians

From the article:

Sociologist Alexandria Walton Radford was interested in the college choices of ambitious and high-performing high school students from different class backgrounds. Using a data set with about 900 high school valedictorians, she asked whether students applied to highly selective colleges, if they got in, and whether they matriculated.

She found a stark class difference on all these variables, especially between high socioeconomic status (SES) students and everyone else. Over three-quarters of high SES valedictorians (79%) applied to at least one highly selective college. In contrast, only 59% of middle SES and 50% of low SES valedictorians did the same. Admission and matriculation rates followed suit.


School Safety Requires More Than Punishment

School Safety Requires More Than Punishment

From the article:

Right now, about 1 in 5 children and adolescents ages 9 to 17 in the United States has a diagnosable mental-health disorder that impairs his or her life and, in any given year, 4 out of 5 young people with such disorders fail to receive the treatment they need.

For example, upon referral from the juvenile-justice system, Don was enrolled in multidimensional treatment foster care, or MTFC, which has been deemed a model program by the Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence (an organization affiliated with the Institute of Behavioral Science at the University of Colorado at Boulder).

MTFC is used as an alternative to putting youths in a group home or juvenile facility. It provides foster parents specially trained on how to positively guide children’s behavior, as well as ongoing supervision by a program case manager and frequent contact with teachers, work supervisors, and other adults in the child’s life. Originally developed by the Oregon Social Learning Center for young people in the juvenile-justice system, it has been shown to reduce arrestsRequires Adobe Acrobat Reader and it returns nearly $5 in benefitsRequires Adobe Acrobat Reader for every dollar spent on it.

Desegregation Orders

Desegregation Orders

From the article: 

Desegregation order: a federal court order that requires a school district to implement specific policies and practices in order to desegregate all schools within the district

Yes, we still have desegregation orders in Louisiana.  In fact, out of the state’s 69 local school districts, roughly 40 are still operating under desegregation court orders.  The majority of these orders have been in effect for over 40 years. 

New Orleans Schools Four Years After Katrina: A Lingering Federal Responsibility

New Orleans Schools Four Years After Katrina: A Lingering Federal Responsibility

Linked PDF is a report done by the Southern Education Foundation ( focused on findings about school systems in New Orleans in the years following Hurricane Katrina. It discusses the new structure of schools, student performance, and community involvement among other topics. 

SEF’s Vision. We seek a South and a nation with a skilled workforce that sustains an expanding economy, where civic life embodies diversity and democratic values and practice, and where an excellent education system provides all students with fair chances to develop their talents and contribute to the common good. We will be known for our commitment to combating poverty and inequality through education.

SEF’s Timeless Mission. SEF develops, promotes, and implements policies, practices, and creative solutions that ensure educational excellence, fairness, and high levels of achievement for all students. SEF began in 1867 as the Peabody Education Fund.

New Orleans: Been in the Storm Too Long

WATCH the video; link embedded at the bottom.

For the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Tavis Smiley Reports visited New Orleans, capturing the mood and spirit of the city’s courageous residents five years after the levees failed in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

Tavis reflects: “We see two sides of the city—the tourist areas that have been redeveloped with federal funds, and the devastated neighborhoods where everyday people have taken it upon themselves to get their homes rebuilt, their schools reopened, and their lives back.”

For the program, Tavis reunited with Academy Award-winning director Jonathan Demme, who spent five years chronicling the people of New Orleans as they struggled to recover and rebuild their city.

Watch New Orleans: Been in the Storm Too Long on PBS. See more from Tavis Smiley.