Race and Education

There needs to be a national conversation about education and race. Black poverty is still more common than white poverty, and black income is still far below white income. In these yet-to-be-United States, as James Baldwin calls it, a black household’s income is roughly 30 percent below the median while a white household’s income is just above median income. Black children are more than twice as likely and hispanic children are three times as likely to drop out of high school as their white peers. America will never be truly equal until something changes to make education accessible to everyone.

Education is a very reliable determination of wealth potential. The 2012 unemployment rate for people holding a bachelor’s degree was 4.5 percent, and 3.5 percent for master’s degree holders. Someone who holds a master’s degree earns, on average, double what someone with only a high school diploma earns.

Education pays in higher earnings and lower unemployment rates (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics)
Education pays in higher earnings and lower unemployment rates, when calculated for those 25 and older, working full-time or in salaried positions. (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics)

It has been clear for a long time education is becoming more necessary. An American with a master’s degree, per the 2012 census, earns more than double the $34,000 median income of a high school graduate. I don’t know what the solution is, but I know the education gap is an issue that affects all of us—particularly as we advance into a further technology-filled world.

What are your thoughts?


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