If the education crisis is all about poverty, what about Maine? Maine is a poor state — especially for blacks — yet graduation rates are high, writes Michael Holzman on Dropout Nation. Some 84 percent of black males in Maine complete high school compared to 89 percent of white males. Nationwide, 49 percent of black males and 73 percent of white males earn a diploma. That means those low-income blacks in Maine are outperforming the national average for whites by a healthy margin.
Of course, there aren’t many blacks in Maine. They’re not concentrated in inferior schools, writes Holzman.
They attend the same schools as their white peers, have the same teachers, and must meet the same expectations. They are not herded into “drop-out factories” and expected to fail.
I’d guess ghetto culture hasn’t taken root in Maine. We drove up there in late September to meet our future son-in-law’s family, who live way up north in potato-and-moose country. The week after we were there, his grandmother shot a moose. There was talk of serving it at the rehearsal dinner, but it was an old, tough moose which apparently requires injecting pig lard and cooking for several days to be edible. So maybe not.