|On Point: Indiana Rep. Gregory Porter|
|Written by PT Editors|
|Wednesday, 21 February 2007|
Indiana State Representative Gregory Porter on education, poverty and equality.
On the poverty/education link…
Poverty is on the rise in the United States—people are getting poorer. And if people are growing poorer, what does that mean for education? Education is supposed to be the way people lift themselves up out of poverty, but if people are going the other direction, that means we've got a problem. There is a definite disconnect.
On America's approach to education reform…
We have all of these different foundations and think tanks now attempting to deal with inequality and our failing schools, but they're like silos. Everyone is trying to put together this magnificent pie out of a dash of this and a dash of that. But none of them are talking to each other about the best way forward.
On vision and the task at hand…
It's a lack of overarching vision, and it's a big job. It's like turning around a big ship like the Midway. With the pressures of globalization and the achievement gap closing in on us, we've got to turn the Midway around. You just don't turn it on a dime, it's going to take some time.
On where public education began to slip…
I can't point to one thing that happened to start the slide. But when I graduated from college in 1978, I went to school in Europe for a semester. The foreign students looked at education as an opportunity; we looked at it as a privilege. They came seeking the American Dream, and we felt like we were entitled to it. It's a change in attitude.
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