Our education system has plummeted in the last decade, and no one seems to agree as to why. Is it because our teachers are not educationally prepared enough? Or is it that our students simply do not care and have no desire for knowledge? In my opinion it is neither of these. What it comes down to (as most things in America) is money.
This diagram shows that in the last 11 years, the poverty rate has almost quadrupled. What this means is that more students and families have less income. This translates to the schools because they have more students in each class, with teachers who are paid les money due to financial constraints. This is the rooting cause of poor education in our country because students do not have the attention, or advantages of learning as do wealthy income homes. This is because a family of poverty may have not the necessities and tools to help read to their child at home and get them tutors if they are struggling. This is setting their child up for failure because when they go to school, they are not proficient in reading or math etc, and with the class sizes being larger, they do not get the attention and knowledge they deserve. The idea of “reduced lunching” is a newer concept that was not around when I was in school. This idea is that families with lower income can have their child pay less than average for a school lunch. This is one of the few positives that have come into play in our educational system, as before this was implemented poorer students simply would not eat lunch some days due to financial hardships. This is and was unacceptable as every child deserves a lunch, and the brain and body need food in order to function properly and to learn efficiently.
George Mason Professor Paul Gorski summarized it perfectly in my opinion as to why families living in poverty, have children who struggle in our educational system. “Poor students are assigned disproportionately to the most inadequately funded schools with the largest class sizes and lowest paid teachers. They are more likely than their wealthier peers to be bullied and to attend school in poorly maintained buildings. They are denied access to the sorts of school resources and opportunities other children take for granted, such as dedicated school nurses, well-stocked school libraries, and engaging pedagogies. In fact, by these and almost every other possible measure, students from poor families, the ones most desperate to find truth in the “great equalizer” promise, appear to pay a great price for their poverty, even at school (Paul C. Gorski)”.
This is a fantastic summarization because it exemplifies how coming from a family of poverty or even on the federal borderline of poverty can effect your child’s education. I believe that the root of our failed education system is that we as a country do not tend to the needs of our students living in poverty, resulting in an educational fall off. Children are our future, and if we keep treating our students who cannot afford proper living essentials like savages, then we have a very dull and daunting future ahead of us.
Strauss, V. (n.d.). Retrieved March 20, 2015, from http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/10/17/public-educations-biggest-problem-keeps-getting-worse/
Gorski, P. (n.d.). Reaching and teaching students in poverty: Strategies for erasing the opportunity gap.