Echoes of Pat Moynihan



By 11/09/2010

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In today’s New York Times piece about the alarming achievement gap between black and white males, we hear this from Harvard scholar Ron Ferguson:

“There’s accumulating evidence that there are racial differences in what kids experience before the first day of kindergarten,” said Ronald Ferguson, director of the Achievement Gap Initiative at Harvard. “They have to do with a lot of sociological and historical forces. In order to address those, we have to be able to have conversations that people are unwilling to have.”

Those include “conversations about early childhood parenting practices,” Dr. Ferguson said. “The activities that parents conduct with their 2-, 3- and 4-year-olds. How much we talk to them, the ways we talk to them, the ways we enforce discipline, the ways we encourage them to think and develop a sense of autonomy.”

In other words, culture matters. Sound familiar?

-Mike Petrilli




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