A recent study indicates that low-income and minority students have gained little ground when it comes to having equal college opportunities. Even more disturbing is that if current conditions persist, the gap will continue to widen. A New York Times article titled, Higher Education Gap May Slow Economic Mobility, reports that Hispanic and black Americans are actually falling behind in earning college degrees. Researchers from the Brookings Institution in Washington found that while higher education helps propel low-income and minority students to success, a gap still exists when it comes to getting them to college in the first place. In fact, the chances of poor and middle class children moving beyond their parentsâ€™ economic status, has barely changed in 30 years.
With all the growth our country has seen over the last three decades, it is alarming that this disparity has not improved but expanded. Such findings only further support the need to focus, as parents and educators, on providing equal opportunities and college preparation to all students. By allowing this gap to further, we are not just depriving children of their futures, but also society of bright young minds that have the potential to change and shape our world for the better. My philosophy, which is upheld in the New York Times article, is that this process must start early. Right now, we can begin reducing this imbalance simply by going into our schools and providing our low-income and minority children with tools for success. This is something I consistently strive to do, through my work.
What opportunities can we provide minority and other at-risk populations as early as fifth grade to set the standard for school and life success?
What is the responsibility of the community leaders in supporting K-12 educational standards?
What is the responsibility of the higher education institutions to participate in early childhood and middle school educational standards?
What is the role of the school to provide outreach and perspective to parents who may have no or little frame of reference on lifelong success?