(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)
Back in 1997, Professor Lawrence Stedman wrote:
Twelfth-grade black students are performing at the level of middle school white students. These students are about to graduate, yet they lag four or more years behind in every area including math, science, writing, history, and geography. Latino seniors do somewhat better than 8th-grade white students in math and writing but, in other areas, are also four years behind white 12th graders…. Schools and society remains divided into two different worlds, one black, one white, separate and unequal.
Thirteen years later, sadly not much has changed with the national numbers, but some states have proven that far-reaching policy changes can reduce achievement gaps.
Lindsey Burke and I sing a new duet celebrating Florida’s reduction of the racial achievement gap in a new Heritage brief. Let’s just say the evidence from Florida is fairly compelling:
From the brief:
If trends since 1998 were to hold nationally, it would be about 33 years before we could expect Hispanics to close the gap with their white peers. In Florida, however, black students could catch up in half that time, and Hispanics could exceed the national average for white students as early as 2011.
This is just the sort of progress that the “Broader-Bolder” crowd would like us to believe is not possible without a vast expansion of the welfare state.
OOOOOOOOPS! Do you think we’re stupid Hans? It is accountability with teeth, real transparency and expanded parental choice that is making this happen. Cue the slo-mo fall scene-and please try not to make too big of a mess on the sidewalk.