Three demographic signposts that I wouldn’t want a hectic schedule to keep me from slapping on the blog. As luck would have it, they all come from the same news outlet.
A new book, “The Global Pigeon,” by Colin Jerolmack, an assistant professor of sociology at New York University who spent three years hanging out with pigeon fliers, makes the point that pigeon breeding brought Italian-Americans and other ethnic whites “into contact with people of a different ethnic and age cohort with whom they were not voluntarily associating before.”
“African-Americans in Bed-Stuy who mostly hang out with other African-Americans, because they keep pigeons wind up being friends with these 85-year-old white guys they would not usually associate with,” Dr. Jerolmack said in an interview.
» NY Times: Centers See New Faces Seeking Test Prep
It’s no surprise to the average New York parent that so-called cram schools, once the cultural domain of Chinese-, Korean- and Russian-American students, have gained traction with non-Asian parents hoping to grab slots in competitive gifted programs and coveted middle and high schools by improving their children’s test scores.
But whereas five years ago owners of cram schools were surprised to encounter non-Asian students in their waiting rooms, now they are muscling one another for their business, handing out book bags with the names of their schools scrawled across the front, attending summer camp fairs in synagogues and school cafeterias, hiring receptionists who speak English, and aggressively pitting themselves against the Japanese cram school behemoth, Kumon, which dominates the local market.
Some are even changing their names. Horizon, a well-reputed cram school in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, known among Chinese-American families for funneling students into Stuyvesant High School and NEST+m, was recently rechristened Gifted Kids New York City. “It’s a little more appealing to Caucasian parents,” said the owner, Andrew Chan, who tells prospective parents from Park Slope and Williamsburg, Brooklyn, that he is offering “Chinese rigor” with Western-style teaching methods.
All across Mexico’s ruddy central plains, most of the people who could go north already have. In a region long regarded as a bellwether of illegal immigration — where the flow of migrants has often seemed never-ending — the streets are wind-whipped and silent. Homes await returning families, while dozens of schools have closed because of a lack of students. Here in El Cargadero, a once-thriving farm community of 3,000, only a few hundred people remain, at most.
“It’s not like it used to be,” said Fermin Saldivar Ureño, 45, an avocado farmer whose 13 brothers and sisters are all in California. “I have three kids, my parents had 14. There just aren’t as many people to go.”