Thomas Jefferson’s Proposal
Thomas Jefferson’s main concern was political hierarchy. His proposal was to offer free education to nonslave citizens to “rake out” the children best suited for political leadership. Due to the lack of support behind Jefferson’s proposal in regards to “fairness of selection”, a split in agreement ensued. Contrary to Jefferson, Horace Mann believed schools should provide equal education and political beliefs for all students. In doing so, social disagreements amongst students of varying socioeconomic status would be nonexistent (Spring 2018, p. 12). Mann hoped education would resolve the balance gap in socioeconomic classes. Equal education and opportunity for achieving “the American Dream” has remained the main goal of public schooling.
Three Main Educational Models
The “Common-School Model” provides that all students receive common and equal education in order to ensure the same starting point in the career race. The fallacy that lied in this model was the “before school” circumstances for these children within diverse income families. The New York Workingman’s Party argued that this model within itself was not the solution (Spring 2018, p. 72). This was due to the different experiences upon arriving home from school. Rich children could go home to endless resources, where on the opposite hand, poor children would often go home to zero resources and parents with low-ceiling education. Differences in family backgrounds continue to be the downfall of this model. The “Sorting Machine Model” aims to eliminate what the Common School Model failed to do, and that is making the difference in socioeconomic status a non-factor. In this model, students are sorted into groups with peers who demonstrate similar capacities. The sorting is done by tests, teachers, and counselors alike. With this model, educators believed no outside influence could affect a student’s opportunity for success. The last model, “High-Stakes Testing Model”, presented students with tests on subjects they have learned, and not standardized tests. These tests determined whether students would move along successive grade levels. This would also carry on into “issuing diplomas, certificates for job skills, and licenses” (Spring 2018, p. 74). In the present day, public education systems use variations of these models in schools.
Labor Market Bias Issue
Although educational goals were created with the greater good in mind, factors like race, gender, and family income have always hindered the philosophies of equal opportunity education. Labor market bias is also a reality that plays part in equal opportunity, as companies look to maximize their profit in any way possible, starting with cheap labor (Spring 2018, p. 79). Educators are the base facilitators for educational goals; therefore, we need to hold ourselves accountable to provide the best possible opportunities and resources to our students.