Changing Demographics Highlight the Need for Education Reform
posted by: Ruthie | July 18, 2013, 04:04 PM   

By 2050, white, non-Hispanics will be the minority in America. Currently, already half of babies born today are Hispanic, African American, Asian, or Native American. This major shift in demographics intensifies the important role of education reform in this country, especially in underserved communities with struggling schools.


According to the data, in 2010, 39.4% of black children, 34% of Hispanic children, and 38% of American Indian and Alaska Native children lived in poverty. In contrast, just 18% of white children lived in poverty. While these statistics don't come as surprise, the fast approaching demographic changes mean that these children will soon form the majority of the nation's school children and future workforce.

Experts assert that high-performing schools and giving students options will combat future problems among these students.

Gail Christopher of the America Healing project stated, "A lot of people think demographics alone will bring about change and it won't. If attitudes and behaviors don't change, demographics will just mean we'll have a majority population that is low-income, improperly educated, disproportionately incarcerated with greater health disparities." Clearly we need to bring about change to a system that isn't serving students even today.

"You are looking at the future workforce of the United States," said Leonard Greenhalgh, a professor of management at Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. "What we need to be competitive against rival economies such as India and China, and we are not educating the largest, fastest growing percentage of the U.S. workforce, so as a nation we lose competitive advantage."

In recognizing current and future realities, school choice and other commonsense reforms are all working to remedy this problem. It's critical that policy makers understand our changing nation to serve the needs of all students.

How is your job affected by changing demographics?

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