Why Education Groups Should Rally For The Minimum Wage Increase

The
last time Congress raised the mininum wage was a long time ago, and the
issue seems to be one of the first and most likely things for the new
education committees to do -- especially since several states and
cities have taken the lead in the intervening years and disproved the
notion that the sky will fall if you raise the minumum (Election could drive minimum-wage hike).

In
high-poverty areas especially, a minimum wage increase means that
parents have more time for their kids because they don't have to work
two jobs. In theory, they make it to more teacher conferences. They
help more with homework. They make sure the school is doing right by
their kids. They have time to improve their own education.

To be
sure, it's not a direct means to school improvement, and many reformers
will sit by, tapping their fingers, waiting for the more traditional
education issues to come to the top of the calendar. Call me Richard
Rothstein, I think it would be interesting and compelling if the
education groups (not just the labor-affiliated teachers unions) got
out of their foxholes and did something with broader, if more diffuse,
ramifications -- especially since they're likely to have to wait until
the minimum wage issue is decided anyway.

Cross-posted from This Week In Education

Filed under: Campaigns & Clout

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  • A report from the Consortium for Chicago School Reform published a report in Sept. that tends to confirm your point. They showed that some schools that consistently do not improve test scores are in neighborhoods with far less social capital and resources than other neighborhoods.

    They mentioned tutor/mentor programs as a way to connect youth in these neighborhoods with adults from beyond.

    This research will be discussed, along with strategies to increase and fund the availablity of non-school tutor/mentor programs, at a Tutor/Mentor conference being held on Nov. 30 at DePaul. Visit http://www.tutormentorconference.bigstep.com to learn about this.

    I'd like to see some bloggers participate and help share this information with others in the Chicago region who need to respond.

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