I grew up in East Orange in the 1940s and 50s. I attended EO public schools. I graduated EO high school in 1961. At the time EOHS was nearly 50% black. We all got the same education, for the most part we all got along.
Today East Orange is 97% minority, mostly black. EO has a median income of $45,000 with 19% in poverty, about the same as the state of Mississippi. East Orange spends nearly the same per student as much higher performing schools and has a teacher/student ratio of 15:1
East Orange is failing it’s students. From the data, students are not prepared for higher education and even worse are not prepared for even low skill jobs based on math and reading proficiency scores. These students are far behind the starting line before the race begins.
Is it the school administration, the teachers, poverty, family life or the lack of it, lack of motivation? I don’t know. But I’m pretty sure in this city and many others like it, we don’t solve our many social and economic problems unless we solve this one.
What possible good are free college, baby bonds, tax credits, higher minimum wage and such if there is no foundation to get anywhere.