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Eli Hager has been a Teach for America teacher in Mississippi. In our national conversation about race and other forms of inequality, presidential candidates and the media have fostered a consensus that the civil rights movement is finished. The February groundbreaking for the National Museum of African American History and Culture, for example, celebrated the “ history ” of racial injustice. Republican candidate Mitt Romney noted that month that we shouldn’t be “ concerned ” about economic injustice — by now, he averred, that problem has been solved.
It is a well-known fact that children from affluent families tend to do better in school. Yet the income divide has received far less attention from policy makers and government officials than gaps in student accomplishment by race. Now, in analyses of long-term data published in recent months, researchers are finding that while the achievement gap between white and black students has narrowed significantly over the past few decades, the gap between rich and poor students has grown substantially during the same period.
The litany of bad news about the status of black men in higher education is by now familiar. They make up barely 4 percent of all undergraduate students, the same proportion as in 1976. They come into college less prepared than their peers for the rigors of college-level academic work. Their completion rates are the lowest of all major racial and ethnic groups in the U.S. Shaun R.
By Dan Berrett St. Petersburg Beach, Fla. Good teaching and exposure to students from diverse backgrounds are some of the strongest predictors of whether freshmen return for a second year of college and improve their critical-thinking skills, say two prominent researchers. Patrick T. Terenzini, a professor of higher education at Pennsylvania State University, and Ernest T.