Friday, May 17, 2013

What In the World? "Political Foundations"?


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.

3 comments:

Gerardo said...

You are missing the word "distinctively"

Anonymous said...

Stipulating of course that black parents care deeply about their children's education. They still have a what, 95%+ tendency to vote for one political party? If they aren't up for electoral grabs, so to speak, their elected officials have no reason to be sensitive to their desires. Two things are necessary to win the black vote, 1: be democrat, 2: if democrat, be black. Democrats do not need to compete for the black vote, hence they are less sensitive to black demands for school quality.

Ken said...

It is NOT true that African-American parents don't care about their children's education.

Are you sure this is the case? One of the top answers blacks give for "acting white" (a pejorative) is doing well in school.

While you may be right in an absolute sense, the better question is "to what extent do blacks care about their children's education?" And if you're going to compare the educational achievements of black children to white children, isn't another good question is "Do black parents care about their children's education as much as white parents?"

This post also reminded me of this one.