Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Want to improve student learning? Raise the minimum wage

An increase in the minimum wage was one of the key demands of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs & Freedom 
There's already an abundance of research showing the link between poverty and measurable student learning outcomes. One of the best ways to help students and improve learning outcomes would be to raise the minimum wage to one that's livable.

A new study coming out of the Leadership Conference Education Fund and Peter Edelman's Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality, makes the connection between the current struggle to increase the minimum wage to the historic movement for civil and human rights. A doubling of the current minimum wage would not only help lift millions of families out of poverty, it would also boost the entire economy while improving government balance sheets. According to the study:
...the choice by policymakers to keep the minimum wage low has been an important factor contributing to the dramatic and troubling rise in income inequality since the 1970s. For all these reasons and more, the civil rights community has a crucial role to play in the coming months and years in the fight to raise the minimum wage.
If you want to make the case for a $15/hour minimum wage you won't find a better resource than the bibliography at the back of  Improving Wages, Improving Lives: Why raising the minimum wage 
is a civil and human rights issue.

At Monday night's meeting (Progress Illinois)
While we're on the topic of Civil Rights...U.S. Department of Education officials heard first-hand stories about the impact public school closings and consolidations are having in Chicago at a South Side community meeting held Monday night with parents, students and their supporters.

The U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights is currently looking into a complaint filed by education activists alleging "racially discriminatory" school actions and closings in Chicago. Organizers with the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization (KOCO) and the Coalition to Revitalize Dyett High School spearheaded the town hall meeting, held at First Unitarian Church of Chicago in Hyde Park. The discussion was designed to allow education department reps to hear directly from the people affected by the school actions cited in the complaint.

DEASY STAYS, FOR NOW -- I'm not sure what happened at last night's school board meeting in L.A. but what I'm hearing is not good. L.A. Times ed reporter Howard Blume tweets:

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