In Matt Lauer's interview with President Barack Obama on Monday morning, viewers were greeted with some startling statistics: 1/3 of all high school students fail to graduate, a second 1/3 are not ready for college when they do graduate high school and only 35% of those seniors are as Lauer put it, "proficient in reading."
Perhaps these statistics don't mean anything to you because you go to New Trier, where something like 98% of you guys will be graduating next year. Well, you could choose to look at it that way, or you could try to understand why New Trier doesn't fall under those statistics. I understand that you all are studying slavery and race in America currently, so why not try to find a connection here?
Brown Vs. Board of Education of Topeka was settled in favor of integrating schools back in 1954. This was a flash point for the American Civil Rights Movement. But still today, blacks are scoring lower on standardized tests than whites are. How could this be if schools are no longer allowed to segregate? A study done by the National Bureau of Economic Research finds that:
"In statistical models that include both school and neighborhood segregation, the effects of relative exposure of black and Hispanic students to their white schoolmates are uniformly small and statistically insignificant… the neighborhood composition matters more than school composition."So, if this is the case, why? Why does community composition matter more than school composition? What are the possible connections you can make between these statistics and the communities we live in? And other communities as well? These are all questions you should be asking yourself when presented with such information.
Below is Obama's interview and his insight into the education crisis in America: