I’m in Washington D.C. for Fordham’s Education for Upward Mobility conference, which will look at what schools can do to help children born into poverty move up in the world.
Mike Petrilli, the moderator, hopes to question the idea that college is the only path to the middle class.
What if by spending all of our efforts trying to boost the proportion of low-income students who are making it through college from 10 percent to, say, 20 percent, we’re ignoring the needs of the other 80 percent?
He hopes to “find a middle ground between the utopianism that characterizes so much of the reform movement (‘Let’s get every child college and career ready!’) and the defeatism that emanates from too many corners of the education system (‘There’s nothing we can do until we end poverty!’).”
I’m on the Multiple Pathways in High School panel, which will look at adding “high-quality career tech ed and youth apprenticeships to the “college prep for all” model.
In Hard Work, High Hopes, I look at district, charter and private high schools with lots of lower-income, Latino or black students and a college-prep mission.
“President Obama wants the U.S. to lead the world in college graduates, but college dreams
usually don’t come true for the children of poorly educated, low-income parents,” I write.
Half of people from high-income families earn a bachelor’s degree by age 25. Only 10 percent of those raised in low-income families complete a bachelor’s degree.