• Jonathan Osler

Racial Wealth Gap and Educational Attainment

This week's snapshot comes from the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Senate.

In The Classroom

Questions and content to explore with students could include:

  • Describe the pattern of growth for White/Black families from less-than-HS through post-grad in mathematical terms. What is the total growth? Percent growth?

  • What is the total/relative difference between White/Black family wealth as educational attainment grows?

  • This graph includes data of median family wealth. What does 'median' refer to in this context? Why use the median and not another process for calculating averages?

  • How does the content of this graph justify the title that the researchers arrived at?

  • What are the reasons why these gaps exist? In other words, why do people of different races with the same level of educational attainment have such different wealth?

Extension opportunities

  • Compare this chart to one 10 or 20 years earlier. How do current gaps compare to historic gaps?

  • Deeper dive -- what happens when this data is parsed along gender lines in terms of wealth?

  • Explore income, not just wealth, based on educational attainment.

How Would You Use This News?

How would you use this graph in your classroom? What math content could it help students explore? Share your ideas in the comments.