This is a brief introduction to what might be a much longer post after I sit down and think about it in a little more detail. It might even be a series of posts that might just be the start of an eventual thesis style document. I have always been fascinated with education and disadvantage. After all, I am now working in the field where education and disadvantage are two of the most critical elements of what I deal with on a daily basis.
I was standing in the shower thinking about the similarities between the disadvantage that Australian indigenous students endure and the disadvantage that Native American students endure and thought that this is an area of research that I would like to explore some more. You can ask why, why would you be thinking such things whilst standing in the shower, but there is no guarantee of an answer.
It is also an issue that allows me to get up on my soap box and do a little preaching. Although, the reality is that too much soap box preaching might ruffle a few feathers and earn me a reprimand or more from an unhappy employer. Such is life as Uncle Ned is reported to have said.
A brief look shows that there are real similarities in areas such as income / poverty, literacy and numeracy, low birth weights, drug and alcohol (ab)use, and access to standard services. The idea that education is a gateway to greater opportunity assumes that there is a gateway that can be accessed and that the gateway, once opened, stays open in such a way that the most can be made of those opportunities.
Creating an opportunity is a whole lot more than some pencil pusher moving amounts between columns in a book and giving the money a name. Money is not opportunity. What is missing in most programs, no matter how noble, is compromise.
To Be Continued...