Giving Compass’ Take:
• Research from Echelon Insights and the Walton Family Foundation found that privileged millennial parents want to measure their children’s success based on how they compare to their classmates.
• The author suggests that this desire comes from a need to make their children stand out so they will have more opportunities later in life. What role does privilege play for these students?
• Read the research on the discrimination in gifted education programs in some schools.
Last week, the firm Echelon Insights and the Walton Family Foundation released a fascinating report on millennial parents’ preferences and priorities related to education.
In their national survey of 800 parents, the researchers found some sharp distinctions on the information that parents of differing education levels want from their children’s schools. Asked, “When it comes to standardized assessments that your child may take in school, which of the following do you think would be helpful to you as a parent?” nearly half of millennial parents with graduate degrees said they wanted to know “how my child stacks up to the average in his or her school.”
It’s striking: privileged, highly educated parents appear to be much more concerned with whether or not their children are keeping up with the Joneses.
As such, most privileged parents spend their lives seeking ways to convert their children’s unearned advantages into respectable, earned advantages. When it comes to education, this eventually boils down to finding her the most prestigious possible relative placement in terms of achievement and credentialing. That’s why credentialed parents are concerned to know how their children stack up against their peers.
Perhaps the extension of economic pressures up the American socioeconomic ladder opens up new political possibilities. Many white, highly educated parents are struggling to access traditional ways of translating their privileges into direct advantages for their children. These families are less likely to be able to purchase homes, let alone homes that grant them schools full of other children bearing the markers of privilege. Might they be newly willing coalition partners in efforts to detach school access from the ability to pay for housing nearby? Or might they welcome meaningful efforts to establish quality affordable and/or public housing in cities with dynamic labor markets?
Read the full article about millennial parents by Conor Williams at The 74
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