Inequality in our Education System Essay
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Education is vital to all individuals. It is the foundation of one’s development in order to achieve personal distinction. In addition, it also equips people the capacity to properly interact with other people. Education serves as a weapon for survival. It empowers one’s capacity and provides an edge in any endeavor that one wishes to get involved in. For example, in securing a job, a decent and impressive educational attainment is one of the qualifications necessary in order to get hired.
Schools are designed to provide the adequate needs for attaining quality education. Schools should provide competent teachers, rigorous curriculum and modern facilities and equipments. But few Americans are aware of the massive disparity and inequality that are consuming the educational system. Although it is not proper and ideal, the social status of an individual greatly affects the quality of education that one receives (Darling- Hammond, 2008, p. 208).
Tracking, in the area of education, recognizes the gap between the low-income, minority students and their well-off peers. Ethnic and linguistic minority students coming from low-income background oftentimes only afford admission to general and vocational courses, thus decreasing their chance, if not totally depriving them from pursuing college education (Mehan and Hubbardm, 1999, n.p). Schools with high concentration of low-income and minority students receive fewer and poor quality learning resources than the other schools within the same district (Darling- Hammond, 2008, p. 208).
Along with medical assistance and social welfare, ideally the education sector should be alloted with a larger portion from the state budget and should be appropriately divided among all the schools. But ironically, educational fund in the United States has also been unequally distributed to all schools. 10% of the wealthiest school district in the most industrialized country spend 10 times more than the 10% least fortunate.
The number of poor and minority students are definitely higher in the least funded schools, mostly located at the central cities and rural areas, which is lowly funded than the schools in the suburban districts. Recent study shows that Alabama, New Jersey, New York, Louisiana, and Texas and schools with higher ratio of students of non-White American descent receive fewer resources than schools serving a greater number of White Americans (Darling- Hammond, 2008, p. 208).
To address the issue of racism within the educational system, the idea of hidden curriculum was coined. Hidden curriculum pertains to the messages passed on by the organization or pedadogical institution apart from their public statements.
The hidden curriculum is aimed to teach the students of school routines and to enable students in getting along in school and in the society in general. The messages in hidden curriculum may complement or contradict each other. In a way, it opens the minds of students to the possibility that some of the innate principles and natural laws enclosed within the democratic political system, may not at all times be practiced (Cornbleth. 2008, n.p).
Earlier studies proved that hidden curriculum conveyed in public and private schools were different. Public schools mainly focuses on academic classrooms with an emphasis on things like race, ethnicity, disability, and gender or sexual orientation as well as social class, politics, and culture (Cornbleth, 2008, n.p).
Over the years, we have overcome indecency caused by racism. As our culture succumbs to the tenets of globalization, people of different faces and races have been drawn closer towards each other. And this trend would ideally suggest equality among people born out of different ethnicities. The irregularities in our education systems rooted from unjust policies have caused inequality in our schools.
Tracking, has kept the students separated from others based on their skin color and income. Tracking is therefore a form of racism, wherein students coming from different race and low-income background can never avail of the same oppurtunities, benefits and treatment that other students get. School funding policies branch from tracking, where schools serving more students who they believe are from inferior color and race, receive lesser funds than other schools. And last, hidden curriculum disposes messages that rationalized disparity among students.
In any way, the school shall serve as an institution where values and culture formation is hastened. But if an important and delicate institution like schools inculcate disparity amongst the people, then students and the whole society will be deprived of the rights that everyone must equally enjoy.
Cornbleth, Catherine. (2008). Hidden Curriculum. Retrieved May 3 2008 from http://education.stateuniversity.com/pages/1899/Curriculum-School-HIDDEN-CURRICULUM.html
Darling-Hammond, Linda. (2001). Inequality in Teaching and Schooling: How Opportunity Is Rationed to Students of Color in America. In The Right Thing to Do, The Smart Thing to Do Enhancing Diversity in the Health Professions (pp. 208-233). National Academy.
Mehan, Hugh and Lea Hubbard. (July 1999). Tracking “Untracking”: Evaluating the Effectiveness of an Educational Innovation. Retrived May 3 2008 from http://crede.berkeley.edu/research/tier/rb3.shtml