Oakland Unified history teacher Jennifer Brouhard asks 5th grader Sequori Cross about her perceptions of women at work in the Richmond shipyards during World War II.CREDIT: JOHN FENSTERWALD/EDSOURCE TODAY
Among the major divisions in the electorate last year (by gender, ethnicity and geography) was the gap between those who were college educated and those who were not. That was widely interpreted as an indicator of a broader socioeconomic split, as it surely was.
But given widespread acceptance by a large part of the electorate of Trumpian Newspeak, “alternative facts” and gargantuan falsehoods about urban crime, immigration, the economy, climate change, the Russian connection and a long list of other matters, both during the campaign and since, was it also a measure of educational failure, plain and simple, and particularly of education in history, government and economics?
Nate Silver in his widely respected FiveThirtyEight blog, among others, leaves no doubt that it was far more a measure of education than of income.
Hillary Clinton, he showed in a post-election analysis, did better in the nation’s 50 “most educated counties,” those with the highest percentage of college graduates, than Barack Obama had done in 2012, and worse in the 50 “least educated counties.” Conversely, Donald Trump “improved on (Mitt) Romney’s performance in 23 of 30 counties where median incomes are $70,000 or higher but less than 35 percent of the population have college degrees and the majority of the population is white.”