Poor Education is a Social Issue
Poor education is feasibly at the top of many great American social issues. Because I believe it is the main root that leads the American citizens astray from the path of achieving the American Dream I am addressing it in this paper. James Adams said “the American Dream is the social order in which both, man and woman, are able to attain the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of their fortuitous circumstances of birth or position.” (The American Dream, 1931) Every individual in society should have the privilege of equal rights and opportunities, meaning that an individual from a lower class should have access to the same resources as someone from a higher class. In today’s society, social class still indicates one’s ability to receive better or worse educational opportunities. The poor education for the underprivileged in America is truly a significant problem that needs to be dealt with in a pragmatic and effective way.
The result of poor education origins from other social issues, such as: racism, economy, drug use, teen pregnancy that has trickled down affecting schools and students. They are all linked together and influence the children’s growth and learning. Minority students often reside in more poverty and low-achieving schools, while white students more often will attend higher caliber schools with high-quality teachers, newer facilities, more funding for sports. Schools with a high minority student body are often known to have “less experienced and less qualified teachers, high levels of teacher turnover, less successful peer groups and inadequate facilities and learning materials.” (The Structure of Schooling, Arum et. Al, 2014) – “These schools also tend to have less challenging curricula and fewer offerings of Advanced Placement courses.”
Racism is a major problem in America’s society, and the effects of society’s point of view of race have on schools and students have been long standing. On May 17, 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court declared that segregated schools were unconstitutional, however per the New York Times on May 17, 2016, African Americans still do not have the same access to the same education as whites do. African Americans continue live in areas where they attend high-poverty, low-achieving schools, while white students are more likely to attend high-achieving, more affluent schools. “Schools with high proportions of minority enrollment are often characterized by less experienced and less qualified teachers, high levels of teacher turnover, less successful peer groups and inadequate facilities and learning materials.” (The Structure of Schooling, Arum et. Al, 2014) The more prominent the racial minority population is, the more they are considered to be a low-income school and do not have funds to compete with richer suburban environments. When the economy is down, the impact is greater for low-income areas. Schools go into a budget crisis and no longer have the funds for certain programs, or non-academic related subjects, which are considered a luxury and are cut out of the budget. That prevents students from an opportunity to learn something new or find a passion. Drugs, alcohol, and sexual activity start to draw the children’s attention.
Drugs and alcohol are prevailing in the education system and have obvious effects in their learning ability and grades. It prevents the development of their brain by killing brain cells, resulting in short term memory loss, illogical thinking, lower grades, high absences, and possibly, dropping out. Teen pregnancy percentages are certainly higher in low-income schools. Children are not taught about sex education, therefore, do not know or do not think safe sex is important. Not only do the statistics of teenage pregnancies go up but the chances of spreading STDs go up as well. Another significant result of having a child as a teenager is dropping out of school completely.
The lack of proper education does not just affect individuals but our community as well. It leaves the youth uneducated and is the root cause that leads to poverty, crime, drug use, and sexual risks (disease and pregnancy – wise). Without education, children from low-income areas will never be able rise above and afford to move away from that area. In a way, they are trapped in that neighborhood. With nowhere to go, no means to get by and very little education, these children turn to acts of crime and live day to day. These criminal acts may be gang related or simply trying to survive, regardless of intentions, they lead to prison and perchance death. Drugs, alcohol, and sexual activity are dominant influences in these environments. People turn to those substances to escape the reality of life and their current situation, while simultaneously setting a poor example for children. They are taught that any problem they face, substance abuse will make it go away. In these neighborhoods, STD awareness and teen pregnancies are high due to absence of sex education. Diseases are easily spread on the bases of false information about what is safe and what is not safe sex, unwanted pregnancies is the alternative outcome. These effects from poor education don’t only affect children individually but society as a whole. Those children continue to mature into adulthood without an education and erroneous knowledge; they are following in their parents and other influencer’s footsteps, henceforth, demonstrating the same negative example on the next generation of kids. It’s a cycle. It’s impossible to improve the community when a high rate of the population is uneducated, incarcerated, illiterate or ill ridden.
As a local citizen, my approach to remedying education as a colossal societal issue would be rally the underpaid teachers and neglected students from the low-income schools and start to protest at city hall and demand change. First, I would start off with a blog and attempt to reach out to the teachers and students and point out the flaws and domino effect of their underprivileged schools. Through the blog posts, I aim to gain their attention and excite them to help participate in making a change. Since I am an architect student, I have access to laser cutters and could easily help make posters with the scraps from studio. The demands of change would be how schools are funded. Rather than funding the schools through the county taxes, it should be through the state taxes, therefore, making all schools receive equal funds and all students would have a level playing field. These funds would be put to new technology so that classrooms would have projectors, computer labs would be updated, smart boards, and other new tech. They would go towards transportation by chartering more buses so kids have a way of getting to school on time and safely. Schools would offer better quality and nutritional foods and serve breakfast, no one can learn on an empty stomach. The funds would also buy new updated equipment for academics, sports and other extracurricular activities non-academic related. Finally, these funds would also go towards paying teachers a respectable salary for their contributions to society.
These children are the future and society shouldn’t think of giving school funding a bigger budget as unnecessary, but as an investment of a better tomorrow. Education is everything
Arum,Richard. “The Structure of Schooling.” Co-authors: Irenee R. Beattie and Karly Ford, Page 184. SAGE Publishing. 2014
The Civil Rights Project, Greg Orfield https://www.civilrightsproject.ucla.edu/
Adams, James. “The American Dream”. 1931
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Poor Education is a Social Issue. (2019, Jun 08). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/poor-education-is-a-social-issue/
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