Sudden Shift

From Sixth Tome:

The decision to physically segregate the school in Suzhou, Jiangsu province, follows parents’ complaints of their children having to share precious educational resources with the new arrivals from lower-class households.

From the New York Post:

A well-meaning plan to equalize access to good schools has sparked an ugly racial debate that pits white, affluent parents against poor blacks and Latinos.

My thought:

Parents are mostly the same across cultures.  Chinese.  American.  (Or Kenyan for that matter).

They want what is best for their children.  Duh.  It’s biology.

Parents correlate “good school” with “schools that have academically stronger students.”  This drives reputation.  Which in turns attracts more high performing students.

Parents don’t necessarily identify “good school” with “excellent teaching.”  That’s because they don’t actually glimpse the classroom very often.

Many upper middle class parents in Suzhou and New York City move to expensive apartments so that their local school will mostly be compromised of families like theirs.  And therefore: “good.”

They are unhappy if things change suddenly, and poorer students arrive quickly and in large numbers. They will resist.

That is what is happening in each of the 2 articles.

In Suzhou, the solution is literally 2 different school buildings.

In New York City, that approach would be “politically incorrect” and less accepted.

Mind you, often the USA has the reality of 2 different schools in one building; “tracking” means that one group of students (typically wealthier) takes honors courses, while another group takes easier courses.  My high school in Pennsylvania, back in 1987, was like that.  There was a division obvious to all students, but it was invisible to visitors: we were physically in one building.

So will happen in New York City, if the school demographics change suddenly and sharply?  My guess is that parents will probably either transfer their children to private schools, or move to New York City suburbs, where they will again be close to what they perceive as “good schools.”






2 thoughts on “Sudden Shift

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