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Winter 2016 Vol. 15 No. 1
Evidence is important. Even the most skeptical rely on tested and re-tested scientific certainty every day. And good sociologists hold scientific evidence suspect even as we use the best we have to make the decisions we must.
A new study shows that rising income inequality in the U.S. has led affluent parents to increase spending on their children, widening the gap in child investment along class lines. The results suggest that income inequality erodes the equality of opportunity by increasing gaps between children from a young age.
To slow the spread of the coronavirus, schools across the United States are expecting students to continue learning at home. That means attending real-time class meetings, completing worksheets and online modules, and even taking exams online. Unfortunately, some schools are also holding students accountable for at-home learning, basing grades, course placements, and college eligibility on work completed at home. That accountability, I will argue, has the potential to exacerbate longstanding inequalities in school.
An official in Cairo, Illinois dispatched a message to his counterparts in Washington, DC. He warned, the “country below is in the hands of a howling mob.” Locals not yet touched by the disease went into lockdown. In the absence of permanent public health officials or institutions, coalitions of citizens and elected officials living in uninfected areas took up arms to impose “shotgun” quarantines to fend off outsiders.