Friday, December 29, 2006

Taking control of your education, Hispanic edition 

A new book by Herman Badillo is discussed on the Taste page of the WSJ today.
Although his book covers many topics--including immigration--its most important audience is the parents of Hispanic kids, 50% of whom don't graduate from high school. His advice: Don't leave education up to the schools, which pursue such failed policies as 'social promotion' (said to create self-esteem despite failing grades) or 'tracking' with other minority children into deceptively named 'academic courses,' while kids marked for success study a more rigorous curriculum. Get involved and demand that your children be prepared to participate fully in the American dream, through college and beyond.
Imagine that. Hard work, education and achievement, the book's promotional page says, are the traditional values that solve the problems of poor Hispanics, just as they have every other immigrant group that has risen to success. Do you call it the acquisition of "cultural capital" or do you call it selling out?