The commonalities and tensions between the black and Latino communities in the United States — and in particular, in the American south — have been a source of much discussion in the Trayvon Martin case. On yesterday's program, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Isabel Wilkerson mentioned some dramatic statistics on how blacks and Latinos in the American south perceive one another. Duke researchers found that an overwhelming majority of Latinos in Durham, North Carolina, 78 percent, felt they had the most in common with whites. What’s more, nearly 60 percent of Latinos surveyed reported they believed that few or almost no blacks were hard-working or could be trusted.
In California overcrowding and underfunding has made it impossible for many community college students to get into the packed courses they need for job training or transfers to a four-year college. But one community college has found an innovative way to solve their problems. In this conversation we listen to Pedro Noguera and Martin Goldstein debate the merits and pitfalls of this innovative approach.
Pedro Noguera resigned from the State University of New York Board of Trustees, citing concerns that the institution, which authorizes charter schools, was pursuing a political agenda to increase the number of charters, rather than a mission to develop experimental schools. In an open letter, he explains his decision to step down, writing, "Whether it was intended or not, in many cases charter schools are contributing to a more inequitable educational playing field."
GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich says we need a radical proposal to "change America's culture of poverty," and put children to work. He advocates allowing kids as young as nine to replace school janitors. Gingrich thinks this approach would not only teach good work ethic to children in poor communities, but also help them earn a wage for their families.
The latest Census data reports that nearly 46.2 million Americans, about 1 in 15, are living in poverty. According to a new Pew poll, the face of American poverty has shifted dramatically. For the first time in U.S. history, the percent of Hispanics living in poverty outpaces African Americans with 28.2 percent of Latinos under the poverty line compared to 25.4 percent of blacks. In fact, Latinos overall were hit the hardest by the Great Recession which technically ended in 2009.