Americans have historically shown a unique tolerance to accept high levels of inequality. This springs from an embedded national belief in mobility: a conviction that hard work and honest labor deserve just reward, and a confidence that our society is and should be constructed to provide equality of opportunity, not to guarantee equality of outcomes. But if the ladder of opportunity truly is — or is perceived to be — inaccessible to a great number of Americans, this value system is at risk of crumbling. A discussion that identifies and quantifies the drivers of and obstacles to economic mobility should be a top priority for those interested in preserving and protecting the spirit and reality of the American Dream.
Here are a set of new reports focused on the details of economic mobility. "Contrary to American beliefs about equality of opportunity, a child’s economic position is heavily influenced by that of his or her parents. Forty-two percent of children born to parents in the bottom fifth of the income distribution remain in the bottom, while 39% born to parents in the top fifth remain at the top,” Julia Issacs , a Brookings Institution fellow, writes in Pew’s latest analysis.more»
What would happen if we added being fluent in multiple languages to the national learning standards and accountability structures? Many recent immigrants to the U.S. would actually be advantaged -- and rightfully so. It sure would make sense given an increasingly interconnected world. more»
Keywords: language learning