Kids, defined by income

first_imgThe chasm between the rich and poor has distressed world leaders as both a moral failure and a growing threat to global economic and political stability. In a bold statement last fall, Pope Francis sharply criticized what he saw as the excesses of capitalism, while President Obama called the historic level of wealth disparity and lack of economic mobility in the United States “the defining challenge of our time.”Just as income trend lines for affluent and poor Americans have dramatically diverged over the last 40 years, so too have the educational achievement rates of their children. Today, residential segregation by income means that public schools with high rates of low-income students face spiraling challenges to prepare children for a workforce that demands high-level skills.Research shows that while the correlation between parental education and child achievement has remained fairly stable since the 1960s, the relationship between parental income and child achievement has tightened, with income — rather than race — now a strong predictor of student success.In “Restoring Opportunity: The Crisis of Inequality and the Challenge for American Education” (Harvard Education Press), Richard J. Murnane, Thompson Professor of Education and Society at Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE), and Greg J. Duncan, distinguished professor at the University of California, Irvine’s School of Education, examine how income inequality affects students and schools.The book focuses on three innovative institutions that have taken steps to counteract the achievement burdens that wealth disparity places on schools and students: a pre-K school in Boston, a high school in Brooklyn, and a University of Chicago charter school. All have high academic standards, provide substantial and ongoing support for students and teachers, and maintain common-sense systems of accountability. While unusual, the authors say, the philosophies and practices at these schools could serve as models for change at other schools with similar populations.“It can be done. It is not impossible to educate even high concentrations of low-income children well,” Murnane said Thursday evening during an Askwith Forum in HGSE’s Longfellow Hall.Duncan and Murnane spoke about their work and offered some strategic interventions they called “sensible accountability” that schools can adopt. The talk also featured a panel discussion with Martha Minow, Ed.M. ’76, the Morgan and Helen Chu Dean and Professor at Harvard Law School; Clarence Page, a Pulitzer Prize-winning syndicated columnist for the Chicago Tribune; and Paul Reville, the Francis Keppel Professor of Practice of Educational Policy and Administration at HGSE and the former Massachusetts secretary of education.Given the increasingly complex skills that students must master to succeed in today’s workforce, Duncan and Murnane suggest, schools need to deliver better instruction and learning opportunities, and be rightfully held to higher achievement standards. But too often, teachers and school leaders are not getting the adequate training and support to make those goals a reality.“At the very time that we’re upping the ante on schools and what they have to do, we’re creating conditions in those schools that make them harder and harder to teach those skills,” Duncan said.Numerous past efforts to address the inadequacies of many public schools, such as more per-pupil spending or the creation of charter schools, have failed to consistently slow the trends of the last few decades.Just as average per-pupil spending in public schools continues to vary widely among communities and states, so does the amount spent on student enrichment outside of school. In 1972-1973, wealthy parents spent $2,857 more per child than low-income parents to supplement learning; in 2005-2006, wealthy parents spent $7,993 more per child, according to the book.While money and how it’s spent matter, Minow noted, that’s not enough. Research shows that rich and poor students spend equal time looking at computer screens, but their skills from that engagement are not equal, she said.“The difference is not time on screens, the difference is access to adults and coaches, and are you in a community with other people who help you as you navigate, whether it’s educational stuff or it’s games or whatever,” said Minow. “That’s the difference, and that’s reflected in those [parental] expenditures.”Minow and Page agreed that one major obstacle to implementing any new idea to improve education broadly is overcoming the public’s disappointment with past reform efforts that simply haven’t delivered on their promises.“I think the danger is there’s this constant effort in school reform to find the magic bullet, the one thing that’s going to fix things,” Minow said, praising Duncan and Murnane’s emphasis on “sustained intervention,” not a quick fix. “Nothing is sustained; there’s no long-term anything.”“The fact is that we’re talking about some deeply rooted problems,” Page said.“Everybody wants better schools. There’s a consensus nationally that we need to improve our schools, that we need to save education,” he said. “There is also a universal disdain for paying for improving schools. However, if we show that change is possible, that change can happen, and can work,” then he thinks we can find “consensus for change.”last_img read more

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When fintechs attack: One more thing for credit unions to worry about

first_imgGenerally speaking, fintechs are friends, not threats. Most fintechs just want to make people’s financial lives a little easier. Fortunately, they often hit the market with help from community financial institutions like credit unions.But sometimes fintechs aren’t so friendly. Sometimes they see an opportunity and they go for it. And there are two fintechs that are shoehorning themselves into the traditional banking space:Are you ready to see what happens when fintechs attack?Are Fintechs a Threat to Credit Unions?If you keep up with our blog, you’ve probably seen our Fintech Friday series. Each week, we highlight a new or established fintech. Sometimes we spotlight a technology company that supports credit unions and community banks. continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

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Tarfasha has Weld looking to Epsom

first_img Always held in high regard, the daughter of Teofilo was spotted cruising with a quarter of a mile to run after stablemate Tahaany and Dazzling had cut out the pace. The 9-4 chance swept past her rivals when asked by Smullen and looked better the further they went, as befits a filly related to top stayers such as Galileo Rock and Saddler’s Rock The Ger Lyons-trained 2-1 favourite had impressed at Dundalk last month and again travelled like a smart horse. Easing to the front over a furlong out he went nicely clear, but Aidan O’Brien’s debutant Dick Whittington cut back the deficit when getting a run. In the end Colin Keane’s mount was a head to the good in a race won by some smart performers in the past, including Dawn Approach two years ago. The six-furlong contest had lost a little of its lustre when O’Brien’s War Envoy was declared a non-runner earlier in the day. Lyons said: “We came here to be second, but Aidan had the courtesy to take out his horse! “These are funny little races, they went no gallop and we weren’t sure about the ground. “Colin said he just got away with the ground, it looked a bit dead on him. “We came here for a bit of work to see where we would be heading, the plan was Royal Ascot and we wanted to see if we’d go to the Marble Hill as well. “Everybody was knocking the form at Dundalk because he won so easily and he needed that today as it was like his first day. “We’ll look at the Marble Hill and I’d say he’d drop back a furlong for Royal Ascot (Norfolk Stakes). “I’d rather win at Royal Ascot than finish second or third, there’s no point running into those War Front horses in the Coventry.” American import Due Diligence justified his position at the head of the market in the Woodlands 100 Club Handicap. With Todd Pletcher in his juvenile season, the striking individual is now at Ballydoyle with O’Brien and was building on his maiden Irish effort which saw him finish third at Dundalk. Soon to the front under Joseph O’Brien, it looked like the pack could possibly swallow him up at one stage but he found plenty when given a couple of reminders to prevail by a cosy length and a half as the 6-4 favourite. O’Brien senior said: “We were worried about the ground and we were lucky to get away with it. “He wouldn’t have been liking it, but we felt he needed the run for experience before stepping up in grade. “I would say he’s a fast ground horse and he wants five or six furlongs, he got six well there but seven might be a bit too far. “He has the Greenlands and all those races, Darwin is also a possible for that. “We might try to keep G uerre to five furlongs and we’re thinking about six for Darwin as he is coming back from seven and a mile.” Icy Lady got off the mark at the third attempt when winning the Dragon Pulse European Breeders Fund Fillies Maiden. Third on both her previous starts, the daughter of New Approach (4-1) was always handy in the six-furlong event and asserted over a furlong and a half out. Odds-on favourite Timbuktu had every chance but weakened close home as newcomer She’s A Pistol took second, two and a half lengths behind the Kevin Manning-ridden winner. Trainer Jim Bolger said: “Hopefully she will come back here for a Listed race and she could go to Ascot. “We’re happy enough with her over six furlongs.” Tarfasha roared into the Investec Oaks picture when winning the Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Blue Wind Stakes at Naas with real authority for Dermot Weld and Pat Smullen. Eased close home, she had a ready three and a three-quarters of a length in hand over We’ll Go Walking. Weld said: “I thought she did it very nicely for a filly having her first run back. “It was a very true-run race, Pat said she gave a little blow half a furlong down, but she got a second wind and ran on nicely. “I’ll have a word with Sheikh Hamdan, it’s his decison but I’ll be encouraging him to have a crack at the Epsom Oaks. I appreciate he has the favourite for the race (Taghrooda, trained by John Gosden). “She handled that ground but will really love fast ground. “She is a good filly and there’s lots to look forward to, she stays well and will love to go a mile and a half.” RaceBets initially cut Tarfasha to 20-1 from 33s for Epsom but were soon forced to go 12-1 about the June 6 showpiece. Cappella Sansevero made it two from two with a narrow success in the Fishery Lane Race. Press Associationlast_img read more

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