hairylunch (hairylunch) wrote,

Crossing the lines

There's been plenty of studies that show mixed socioeconomic schools lead to better outcomes.

The Tale of Two Schools is an interesting piece in the New York Times Magazine that took a brief look at a program called Classroom Connections, which connected students from two schools that are six miles apart: University Heights (in one of the poorest congressional districts in the US) and Fieldston (private school with a tuition of $43k a year). It sounds like a rad program, getting these two extremes to see each others lives.

As a magazine piece, they went for big pictures and a few quotes from the students. It's hard to tell how much the students have internalized the lessons they're learning, and how much is just lip service from the individual quotations, but still an interesting read. One of the Fieldston students said:

I consider my family to be in the upper middle class. We are well off and can afford the luxury of vacations, a private education, an apartment in New York City. However, many of my friends are much wealthier than I am, and sometimes this makes me feel inadequate and somewhat ashamed. But I recognize the unbelievable privilege I have, too, and my financial situation only motivates me to use it wisely.

Just one more sign that the "middle-class" is such a vague term. This article from USNews talks about how "the current definition of middle class is so broad that it excludes only the top 1 or 2 percent and the bottom 10 or 20 percent." And of course, no one thinks they're rich - "In the latest Mendelsohn Affluent Barometer, most of the $250,000-plus earners say they’re only in the top 20 percent. In fact, as a group, they’re in the top 3 percent and higher."
Tags: class, education

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