What is "political," exactly? It is NOT true that African-American parents don't care about their children's education. So the "political" problem must be that politicians do not validate that desire? Am I missing something?
The Political Foundations of the Black–White Education Achievement Gap
Michael Hartney & Patrick Flavin
American Politics Research, forthcoming
Abstract: More than 50 years after Brown v. Board, African American students continue to trail their White peers on a variety of important educational indicators. In this article, we investigate the political foundations of the racial “achievement gap” in American education. Using variation in high school graduation rates across the states, we first assess whether state policymakers are attentive to the educational needs of struggling African American students. We find evidence that state policymaking attention to teacher quality — an issue education research shows is essential to improving schooling outcomes for racial minority students — is highly responsive to low graduation rates among White students, but bears no relationship to low graduation rates among African American students. We then probe a possible mechanism behind this unequal responsiveness by examining the factors that motivate White public opinion about education reform and find racial influences there as well. Taken together, we uncover evidence that the persisting achievement gap between White and African American students has distinctively political foundations.
Nod to Kevin Lewis.