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The growing class divide: Parents taking out loans for kindergarten and elementary school education

29 Mar

If one believes that all children, regardless of that child’s status have a right to a good basic education and that society must fund and implement policies, which support this principle. Then, one must discuss the issue of equity in education.  Plessy v. Ferguson established the principle of “separate but equal” in race issues. Brown v. Board of Education which overturned the principle of “separate but equal.” would not have been necessary, but for Plessy. See also, the history of Brown v. Board of Education Because of the segregation, which resulted after Plessy, most folks focus their analysis of Brown almost solely on race. The issue of equity was just as important. The equity issue was explained in terms of unequal resources and unequal access to education.

People tend to cluster in neighborhoods based upon class as much as race. Good teachers tend to gravitate toward neighborhoods where they are paid well and students come from families who mirror their personal backgrounds and values. Good teachers make a difference in a child’s life. One of the difficulties in busing to achieve equity in education is that neighborhoods tend to be segregated by class as well as race. People often make sacrifices to move into neighborhoods they perceive mirror their values. That is why there must be good schools in all segments of the city and there must be good schools in all parts of this state. A good education should not depend upon one’s class or status.

The crisis in college affordability is evident to students and families trying to figure out how they will be able to afford their preferred option. Loren Berlin has written the Huffington Post article, Student Loans For Kindergarten, High School On The Rise:

As if the student loan debt burden wasn’t troubling enough, some parents are saying, “Bring on the debt!”… even though their kids haven’t even learned to read.

That’s right: cash-strapped parents who want to send their young ones to private schools are taking out loans to pay for grade school, according to SmartMoney. And demand is growing.

Your Tuition Solution, one of the largest providers of loans for K-12 education, reported that the amount of money parents requested is up 10 percent from last year, and that the company is on track to finance $20 million in loans for the 2012-2013 school year, SmartMoney reports. Demand is increasing fast enough that First Marblehead, another pre-college lender, has returned to the market after exiting it in 2008, according to SmartMoney.

As more parents turn to loans to finance private education, school tuition is increasing, furthering the demand for the loans. Over the past 10 years, the median price of first grade at private schools has increased 35 percent nationally, as compared to a 24 percent price hike at Ivy League colleges, according to the New York Times.

Ten years ago, the median tuition for 12th grade at a private school was $14,583. Today, that number has skyrocketed to $24,240, according to the National Association of Independent Schools. Stunningly, in New York City, some of the city’s most elite private high schools are poised to break the $40,000 tuition line this year, surpassing Harvard’s $36,305 price tag, reports the New York Times.

The tuitions are “outrageous,” said Dana Haddad, a private admissions consultant, in an interview with the New York Times. “People don’t want to put a price tag on their children’s future, so they are willing to pay more than many of them can afford.”

It’s a dangerous gamble, as Americans are already struggling under mounting student loan debt. Last week, officials at the Consumer Financial Protection Agency announced that total student debt outstanding is now more than $1 trillion. Student debt is rising not only because of a commiserate increase in tuition, but also because in recent years more Americans have turned to college to flee the lousy labor market, reports the Wall Street Journal.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/29/student-loans-kindergarten-high-school_n_1387706.html?ref=email_share

Affluent parents recognize the importance of education.

So, who is taking out loans for a kindergartner’s private education. According to Jen Doll’s Atlantic Wire article, Kindergarten Loans Are a Sad Reality of Our Time:

Contrary to what you might think, much of the demand is actually coming from families who make more than $150,000 annually. Which means these parents, along with selecting well-above-the-average-means-level schools for their kids, could find themselves repaying loans for the foreseeable future, possibly along with college loans as well. Already, writes Andriotis, “about one in six parents of college graduates have loans, and they’re projected to owe nearly $34,000 on average this year.” More loans before the kids even reach PSAT-taking age means, simply, more and more debt, something it appears Americans are becoming ever more comfortable with—even as the rich complain about how poor they are. Loans are less taboo, and schools are more willing to present loan programs as “an affordability option,” which means these types of loans are likely just going to become more popular.

But that’s pretty scary, particularly when you consider that the costs of private schools and colleges keep going higher and higher. Per Andriotis: “The average cost of private school is nearly $22,000 a year, up 4% from a year ago and up 26% from 2006-07, according to the NAIS.” Though total private school enrollment is on the decline (perhaps because of the recession?), if loans are available to make up that difference, and if even wealthy people are requiring such loans, there’s hardly a bar to keep the costs from continuing to escalate. The people who benefit from this the most are not, necessarily, the kids, but the banks or schools getting as much as a 20 percent interest rate on a loan that might go as high as $40,000—something you might look at as preying on parents who think it’s their duty to send their child to a particular (and particularly pricey) school. Well, kids have always been expensive.

http://news.yahoo.com/kindergarten-loans-sad-reality-time-191851594.html;_ylc=X3oDMTNsMnRoZ3NpBF9TAzk3NDc2MTc1BGFjdANtYWlsX2NiBGN0A2EEaW50bAN1cwRsYW5nA2VuLVVTBHBrZwNhZGQzMzg2OS0xYTFiLTMwMDYtYjY0OS01ZGMyZDk3ZDI2ZTAEc2VjA21pdF9zaGFyZQRzbGsDbWFpbAR0ZXN0Aw–;_ylv=3

See, Student Loans on Rise — for Kindergarten http://www.smartmoney.com/borrow/student-loans/student-loans-on-rise–for-kindergarten-1332957614617/

Moi knows that the lawyers in Brown were told that lawsuits were futile and that the legislatures would address the issue of segregation eventually when the public was ready. Meanwhile, several generations of African Americans waited for people to come around and say the Constitution applied to us as well. Generations of African Americans suffered in inferior schools. This state cannot sacrifice the lives of children by not addressing the issue of equity in school funding in a timely manner.

The next huge case, like Brown, will be about equity in education funding. It may not come this year or the next year. It, like Brown, may come several years after a Plessy. It will come. Equity in education funding is the civil rights issue of this century

Related:

3rd world America: Money changes everything

https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/02/11/3rd-world-america-money-changes-everything/

School choice: Given a choice, parents vote with their feet

https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/12/15/school-choice-given-a-choice-parents-vote-with-their-feet/

The next great civil rights struggle: Disparity in education funding

https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/12/02/the-next-great-civil-rights-struggle-disparity-in-education-funding/

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Will ‘Common Core Standards’ increase education achievement?

19 Feb

There will continue to be battles between those who favor a more traditional education and those who are open to the latest education fad. These battles will be fought out in school board meetings, PTSAs, and the courts.

There is one way to, as Susan Powder says, “Stop the Insanity.” Genuine school choice allows parents or guardians to select the best educational setting for their child. 2012 Brown Center report from Brookings Insitution, How Well Are American Students Learning? raises questions about what effect, if any, the Common Core Standards will have on education achievement:

Discussion

What effect will the Common Core have on national achievement? The analysis presented here suggests very little impact. The quality of the Common Core standards is currently being hotly debated, but the quality of past curriculum standards has been unrelated to achievement. The rigor of performance standards—how high the bar is set for proficiency—has also been unrelated to achievement. Only a change in performance levels has been related to an increase in achievement, and that could just as easily be due to test score changes driving changes in policy, not the other way around.

The Common Core may reduce variation in achievement between states, but as a source of achievement disparities, that is not where the action is. Within-state variation is four to five times greater. The sources of variation in educational outcomes are not only of statistical importance but also bear on the question of how much state policy can be expected to change schools. Whatever reduction in variation between, say, Naperville and Chicago that can be ameliorated by common standards has already been accomplished by Illinois’s

state efforts. State standards have already had a crack at it. Other states provide even more deeply rooted historical examples.

California has had state curriculum frame-The Common Core may reduce variation in achievement between states, but as a source of achievement disparities, that is not where the action is.

http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/Files/rc/reports/2012/0216_brown_education_loveless/0216_brown_education_loveless.pdf

See, Common Core won’t likely boost student achievement, analysis says http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/common-core-wont-likely-boost-student-achievement-analysis-says/2012/02/16/gIQAOfZuJR_blog.html The Common Core State Standards Initiative has some excellent information about the standards.

In Frequently Asked Questions, which is a section much too long to excerpt on a blog, The Common Core Standards Initiative provides the following answers:

Frequently Asked Questions

What are educational standards?

Educational standards help teachers ensure their students have the skills and knowledge they need to be successful by providing clear goals for student learning.

Why do we need educational standards?

We need standards to ensure that all students, no matter where they live, are prepared for success in postsecondary education and the workforce. Common standards will help ensure that students are receiving a high quality education consistently, from school to school and state to state. Common standards will provide a greater opportunity to share experiences and best practices within and across states that will improve our ability to best serve the needs of students.

Standards do not tell teachers how to teach, but they do help teachers figure out the knowledge and skills their students should have so that teachers can build the best lessons and environments for their classrooms. Standards also help students and parents by setting clear and realistic goals for success. Standards are a first step – a key building block – in providing our young people with a high-quality education that will prepare them for success in college and work. Of course, standards are not the only thing that is needed for our children’s success, but they provide an accessible roadmap for our teachers, parents, and students.

How are educational standards determined now?

Each state has its own process for developing, adopting, and implementing standards. As a result, what students are expected to learn can vary widely from state to state.

Is having common standards the first step toward nationalizing education?

No. The Common Core State Standards are part of a state-led effort to give all students the skills and knowledge they need to succeed. The federal government was not involved in the development of the standards. Individual states choose whether or not to adopt these standards.

What is the Common Core State Standards Initiative?

The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a state-led effort to establish a shared set of clear educational standards for English language arts and mathematics that states can voluntarily adopt. The standards have been informed by the best available evidence and the highest state standards across the country and globe and designed by a diverse group of teachers, experts, parents, and school administrators, so they reflect both our aspirations for our children and the realities of the classroom. These standards are designed to ensure that students graduating from high school are prepared to go to college or enter the workforce and that parents, teachers, and students have a clear understanding of what is expected of them. The standards are benchmarked to international standards to guarantee that our students are competitive in the emerging global marketplace.

What will these common core state standards mean for students?

The standards will provide more clarity about and consistency in what is expected of student learning across the country. Until now, every state has had its own set of academic standards, meaning public education students at the same grade level in different states have been expected to achieve at different levels. This initiative will allow states to share information effectively and help provide all students with an equal opportunity for an education that will prepare them to go to college or enter the workforce, regardless of where they live. Common standards will not prevent different levels of achievement among students. Rather, they will ensure more consistent exposure to materials and learning experiences through curriculum, instruction, and teacher preparation among other supports for student learning. In a global economy, students must be prepared to compete with not only their American peers in the next state, but with students from around the world. These standards will help prepare students with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in college and careers.

Who will manage (or own) the Common Core State Standards Initiative in the future?

The Common Core State Standards Initiative was and will remain a state-led effort. In addition to supporting effective implementation of the Common Core, NGA and CCSSO are committed to developing a long-term governance structure with leadership from governors, chief state school officers, and other state policymakers.

http://www.corestandards.org/frequently-asked-questions

The standards battle is really the war between those who favor a traditional approach to education with control that is local and those who don’t.

Resources:

Parents’ Guide to Student Success

http://www.pta.org/4446.htm

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©