“• Although the national unemployment rate for whites is now 8 percent, for African-Americans it is 17 percent.

“• Although the underemployment rate (including those who have given up looking for work, and those who have taken part-time jobs because full-time work is unavailable) for whites is now 13 percent, for African-Americans it is 25 percent.

“• Although 8 percent of white children had an unemployed parent during an average month in 2010, 16 percent of African-American children had such a parent.

“• Because African-American children are more likely to be in single-parent homes than whites (67 percent vs. 24 percent), they are also more likely to have been in homes where no parent was working at some time during the past year.

“Parental unemployment has a demonstrable impact on student achievement. Even if the modest job creation policies now being advanced by President Obama were to be enacted, and unemployment were to fall somewhat, the accumulated effects of the economic crisis will permanently damage a generation of children. The first five are the most important years of a child’s development. When parents are in economic crisis during their children’s infancy and early childhood, the damage to children’s healthy maturation permanently diminishes their future prospects. Today’s disparate experience of unemployment by parental group will be reflected not only in their young children’s relative school readiness, but in an achievement gap of high schoolers a decade hence and then in disparate adult earnings throughout their working careers.”

Richard Rothstein, research associate at the Economic Policy Institute and former national education columnist for the New York Times (republished with permission from the author; for the full post, see http://www.epi.org/blog/dire-prediction-achievement-gap-grow/)

“2012 will be a tipping point for mobile learning, particularly with many districts allowing students to Bring Their Own Technology to school.”

Keith Krueger, CEO of the Consortium for School Networking

“I predict an increased use of electronic books in K-16; an increased use of iPads to replace laptop and desktop computers; and an increased use of game-based learning programs.”

Tracy Gray, managing director at the American Institutes for Research