A Rise in Wealth for the Wealthy; Declines for the Lower 93% An Uneven Recovery, 2009-2011 By Richard Fry and Paul Taylor During the first two years of the nation’s economic recovery, the mean net worth of households in the upper 7% of the wealth distribution rose by an estimated 28%, while the mean net worth of households in the lower 93% dropped by 4%, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of newly released Census Bureau data. From 2009 to 2011, the mean wealth of the 8 million households in the more affluent group rose to an estimated $3,173,895 from an estimated $2,476,244, while the mean wealth of the 111 million households in the less affluent group fell to an estimated $133,817 from an estimated $139,896. These wide variances were driven by the fact that the stock and bond market rallied during the 2009 to 2011 period while the housing market remained flat. Because of these differences, wealth inequality increased during the first two years of the recovery. About the Report The terms “wealth” and “net worth” are used interchangeably.
THE GREAT DIVIDE - Opinionator The French economist Thomas Piketty swept across the United States last week with a dire warning: Income inequality isn’t going to go away, and it probably will get worse. Only policies that directly address the problem — in particular, progressive taxation — can help us change course. At a panel discussion in Washington of Piketty’s new blockbuster, “Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” the American economist Robert Solow, who served on President Kennedy’s Council of Economic Advisers, took the long view as he formulated his response to the idea of trying to democratize ownership of capital in our country. “Good luck with that,” he said. Most people, asked whether parental involvement benefits children academically, would say, “of course it does.” Over the past few years, we conducted an extensive study of whether the depth of parental engagement in children’s academic lives improved their test scores and grades. Javier Jaén When the G.I. Something else began to happen around 1980.
Class-Based vs. Race-Based Admissions But a crucial premise of the class-over-race argument is wrong. It is not possible to maintain the same level of racial diversity in higher education while applying a race-blind admissions policy. Class-based admissions generally reduce the number of black and Hispanic students. To maintain or build the levels of racial diversity on selective campuses, it is necessary to maintain race-conscious admissions. While there are higher shares of blacks and Hispanics among low-income Americans, their smaller shares of the whole population mean that whites make up by far the largest portion of low-income families. Class-based policies can maintain the share of blacks and Hispanics at selective colleges and universities only if admissions policies also give an advantage to blacks and Hispanics that is not race-blind. Maintaining race-conscious admissions contributes significantly to campus diversity, while serving racial and social justice.
The most important problem facing American children today What is the most important problem facing American children today? According to the Academic Pediatric Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics, it is the effects of poverty on the health and well being of young people. But, they concede, there is no sustained focus on childhood poverty, or a unified pediatric voice speaking on the problem, or a comprehensive approach to solving it. To try to remedy that, the American Pediatric Association Task Force on Childhood Poverty is beginning a long-term effort to address the problem by looking for solutions that will be effective, sustained and “protected from retrenchment,” according to this brief about the work of the panel. Children in America are the poorest members of society. The role of poverty on student achievement has been one of the flashpoints between supporters and critics of modern school reform. Here’s some of the brief about the task force: The task force will focus on four strategic priorities:
wealth gap and Congress Notes on the wealth gap and Congressional wealth. Edward_ Winkleman blog had this graph. It's a representation of the financial wealth distribution of the US as percentage of Congress (House and Senate): Clearly, these representatives/leaders do not look like the 99% of Americans! Winkleman points out that In 2008, the minimum net worth of House Members was just over 1 billion. At the end of his post, Winkleman raises the question (and I think legitimately so) of why we think these representatives/leaders, given their wealth bracket, should care about the "99%" since voting to raise taxes on the wealthiest likely means a vote to raise taxes on themselves...
Reforming the Teacher Profession: From Consequences to Collaboration | NewAmerica.net Much of the discussion around the President’s 2014 education budget has centered on proposed initiatives for universal pre-K and a $1 billion Race to the Top competition for college affordability and completion. Compared to these bold new proposals, K-12 education seems to have drawn the short straw. The U.S. Department of Education could see some new or expanded programming for K-12 – additional money for the Promise Neighborhoods program, a new competitive grant competition for high school redesign, and an expanded School Turnaround Grants program – but nothing like what it has outlined for very young and adult learners. The lack of banner initiatives for K-12 belies the attention that the Department has paid to the issue of teacher professionalism and evaluation over the past year. We would be remiss not to mention that issues of teacher evaluation and accountability have stirred a lot of public attention this year.
Economic Diversity Among the Top 25 Ranked Schools | Rankings | Top National Universities Economic diversity has received growing attention in higher education, particularly at elite schools that haven't traditionally enrolled large numbers of low-income students or students from low-income families. This table shows the percentage of undergraduates receiving federal Pell Grants for low-income students. The proportion of students on Pell Grants, which are most often given to undergrads with family incomes under $20,000, isn't a perfect measure of an institution's efforts to achieve economic diversity: A college might enroll a large number of students just above the Pell cutoff, for instance, and percentages at public universities may reflect the wide variation from state to state in the number of qualified low-income students. Still, many experts say that Pell figures are the best available gauge of how many low-income undergrads there are on a given campus.
Could You Survive on Fast-Food Wages? Try Our Calculator Chief among the demands made by the hundreds of fast-food workers who walked out of their jobs this week: A raise to a "livable" wage of $15 an hour. Currently, the median hourly wage for the cooks, cashiers, and crew who deliver your value meals is $8.94, according to a new report from the National Employment Law Project. That's hardly enough to get by in most cities. And while $15 might sound like a big jump, it's still not enough to meet living wage standards in many areas. How would you and your family fare on a typical fast-food paycheck? In order to make $___ a year, the typical fast-food worker has to work __ hours a week. A household like yours in ___, ___ needs to earn $__ annually to make a secure yet modest living. The average fast-food employee works less than 25 hours a week. In __ hours, McDonald's serves __ customers and makes $__. Sources: The National Employment Law Project, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and Economic Policy Institute's Family Budget Calculator.
US income inequality at record high 10 September 2013Last updated at 15:06 ET One street in St Louis, Missouri, has been known to residents as the "dividing line" The income gap between the richest 1% of Americans and the other 99% widened to a record margin in 2012, according to an analysis of tax filings. The top 1% of US earners collected 19.3% of household income, breaking a record previously set in 1927. Income inequality in the US has been growing for almost three decades. Overall, the pre-tax incomes of the top 1% of households rose 19.6% compared to a 1% increase for the rest of Americans. And the top 10% of richest households represented just under half of all income in the year, according to the analysis. Emmanuel Saez at the University of California, Berkeley, one of the economists who analysed the tax data, said the rise may have been in part because of sales of stock to avoid higher capital gains taxes in January. "Therefore, it seems unlikely that US income concentration will fall much in the coming years."
An Ocean of Unknowns Click here to view PDF What is the best way to use data to measure teacher impact on student learning? States and school districts are attempting to navigate these uncharted waters. As of 2012, 20 states and DC require evidence of student learning to play a role in evaluating teacher performance. As a result, better information on student learning is in high demand, and no grade level is immune. Historically, most states have required standardized testing only in grades three through eight. Determining growth measures for these grades is among the most complex pieces of teacher evaluation reform. This paper provides a snapshot of how student achievement data are being used in teacher evaluation systems today and illuminates the issues causing states and school districts the most struggles. Sources: New America Foundation; National Council on Teacher Quality; Education Week; U.S. The first approach, student learning objectives (SLOs), centers on a teacher's students. Risks with SLOs:
Better Colleges Failing to Lure Talented Poor The pattern contributes to widening economic inequality and low levels of mobility in this country, economists say, because college graduates earn so much more on average than nongraduates do. Low-income students who excel in high school often do not graduate from the less selective colleges they attend. Only 34 percent of high-achieving high school seniors in the bottom fourth of income distribution attended any one of the country’s 238 most selective colleges, according to the analysis, conducted by Caroline M. The findings underscore that elite public and private colleges, despite a stated desire to recruit an economically diverse group of students, have largely failed to do so . Many top low-income students instead attend community colleges or four-year institutions closer to their homes, the study found. Whatever the reasons, the choice frequently has major consequences. These students, Ms. “If there are changes to how we define diversity,” said Greg W. Ms.
Income Mobility: How Does Baltimore Measure Up? We like to think of the United States as an equal-opportunity kind of country, where people who work hard get rewarded, and where it’s possible for anyone to end up better off than their parents were. But, according data from a new study, it turns out that geography has a huge impact on the odds that children born to poor families will rise into the middle class, or whether kids born into wealthy families will stay that way. According to the study by a team of top academic economists, income mobility varies widely across the country. In general, the southeast is one the least upwardly-mobile region in the nation. Unfortunately, this is one case in which Baltimore is more of a southern city than a northern one.
Freebies for the Rich Max Russell had always been a conscientious student, but when his father died during his junior year of high school, he had to take on a 25-hour-per-week job to help his family pay the bills. The gig inevitably ate into the time he spent on homework, and Russell’s G.P.A. plummeted from 3.5 to 2.5, which complicated his ability to get the aid he needed to attend a four-year college. So he ended up at Ivy Tech Community College in Indianapolis. Last year, after finally qualifying for student loans and cobbling together some grant money, he transferred to Purdue University, one of the state’s top public schools. At Purdue, Russell reconnected with Christopher Bosma, a friend from high school. Photo Over the years, many state-university systems — and even states themselves — have shifted more of their financial aid away from students who need it toward those whose résumés merit it. Schools don’t seem to mind.
Promoting Data in the Classroom Click here to view PDF This report explores the use of student achievement data to improve classroom instruction. The paper, Promoting Data in the Classroom: Innovative State Models and Missed Opportunities , highlights examples from two states, Oregon and Delaware, of federally funded, state-driven efforts to equip teachers with the tools they need to utilize student data. The No Child Left Behind Act launched a decade of development in state educational data systems, and since its passage, states and school districts have produced reams of student achievement data each year. This report from the New America Foundation offers federal policymakers a view into two states’ federally funded efforts to implement data systems that work for teachers. The report includes: The federal government requires the collection of significant amounts of student data, but fails to provide any coherent policy to provide those data to teachers or to encourage teachers to use the data in classrooms.