In Samuel Bowel’s and Herbert Gintis’ Education and Inequality, Bowels and Gintis investigate how education in the United States is unequal, especially to those indivduals who are financially unstable. In today’s extremely judgmental society, many are at a disadvantage based solely on their class, race, sex, etc. The quality of one’s education is compromised for a number of unfair reasons having to do with artificial inequalities.
Jonathan Kozol, in the chapter entitled “Other People’s Children, discusses and justifies the kinds of limitations placed on children who must attend poorly funded, educationally inferior school. Kozol argues that children in the inner-city schools are not fit to go to college and that they should be trained in schools for the jobs they will eventually hold, even though these jobs are less prestigious, lowest-level jobs in society. Kozol’s argument is based on the fact that students from the inner-city or rather from the societies that do not have enough job opportunities are not supposed to learn much because their society cannot accommodate most of the courses that are often found in the urban settings. For example, there is a point where Kozol cites one of the businessman’s statement which says, ‘It doesn’t make sense to offer something that most of these urban kids will never use.’ The businessman continues to argue, ‘no one expects these ghetto kids to go to college. Most of them are lucky if they are literate. If we can teach some useful skills, get them to stay in school and graduate, and maybe into jobs, we’re giving them the most that they can hope for’ (Kozol 376). This statement clearly indicate that the society should accept the inequalities and exercise the same inequalities even in education.
The educational system of the united states is not capitalizing on the full potential of its people. Jonathan Kozol in his article “Still Separate, Still Unequal: America’s Educational Apartheid”, discusses the drastic difference in the quality of education based on a family’s income. Kozol discusses how economic disparities usually coincide with race, but focuses on the economic gap of education. Malcolm Gladwell’s podcast “Carlos doesn’t remember”, gives a story and a personal touch, to the issues low income students face. Kozol writing and Gladwell’s podcast, both show that the quality of a child’s education is pure chance. A lottery of being born into a high or low income family dictates the outcome and capitalization of a child’s future.
In this paper, I will explore the aspects regarding racial inequality pertaining to education in the United States of America. It has come to my attention, based on my observations, that race is a definitive factor that plays a role in establishing socioeconomic status. In relation to socioeconomic status, variables correlating with race that I will be focusing on, is the educational and wealth aspects. An individual’s level of education is pivotal to establishing stable, consistent wealth and vice-versa; the access for quality education is inconsistent primarily among minority races/ethnicities. According to historical records ranging from the year 1980 to 2000, between Whites, Hispanics, African-Americans, and Native Americans, the educational attainment gap is widening (Kelly 2005). Education is seen to be a source of respect and key to gaining a higher income, which transfers over to greater wealth. Acknowledging the slow expansion of the educational attainment disparities, I argue that the society’s perceptions and actions addressing race perpetuates and produces social inequalities by limiting opportunities despite “equal” resources, privileges, and rights through social policies that have contributed towards the quality of America’s education system.
is through socioeconomic status. According to Sean Reardon, a main outcome of the widening income gap for families has been a widening gap in achievement among children, which he refers to as the income achievement gap (Reardon, 2011). Therefore, the children of the poor remain at an educational disadvantage when their parents’ income becomes as much of a predictor of their educational achievements, as their parents’ educational obtainment. To emphasize the results of the income achievement gap, Reardon states, “As the children of the rich do better in school, and those who do better in school are more likely to become rich, we risk producing an even more unequal and economically polarized society” (Reardon, 2011, p. 111). For example, as standardized testing shifted towards standardized achievement testing to determine a student’s academic achievement, parental investment in their children’s cognitive development began to increase. Educational disparities occur when affluent families can very easily afford tutoring outside of the classroom for their children to perform highly, while children being raised in impoverished homes are at a disadvantage, and at a lower chance of doing well on these exams. This becomes problematic when SAT reading, math, and writing scores increase with income as exemplified by the disproportionately small amount of minority students in higher education (Brand lecture,
The pressures of racism on today’s society are being perpetuated by socioeconomic shaming against less fortunate black schoolchildren to look to the future of becoming less successful than the more financially stable white schoolchild sitting in the next classroom. The most unfortunate part about the white-black achievement gap is that there is no easy solution to solving it. One large proponent of the achievement gap between all schoolchildren is the factor of wealth and affluence in their homes. The racial achievement gap compared to the wealth achievement gap is quite staggering. Diane Ravitch states that “in contrast to the racial achievement gap, which has narrowed, the income achievement gap is growing…[and is] nearly twice as large
Education should not be denied because of financial reasons. Children shouldn’t be denied an education because of their “wealth status”; they should be guaranteed an equal, fair education.
My own children are being raised by parents with both more money and more education. Yet I do not see my children as having significantly better opportunities than I had at their age” (9). Therefore, although unequal opportunity prevents low income segments of the population from having a fair chance at receiving merit based aid, the same argument, according to Mankiw, doesn’t apply to the one percent in relation to the middle class who all have fairly equal opportunity.
Bowles and Gintis argue that education is the reason that this does not happen, as it legitimising class inequality by producing ideologies that justify why this inequality is fair and inevitable. Bowles and Gintis describe education ‘as a giant myth-making machine’ like the myth of meritocracy, which means that it is untrue that everyone has an equal opportunity to achieve, that rewards are based on effort and so on. A reason for achieving high income is argued to be determined more from your family and class background rather than ability or educational achievement. This serves the higher classes as it makes it appear that they gained their roles in the workforce by an equal opportunity but in reality, that is not the case, they use this to trick working class pupils to accept inequality. This means that the education system exists not only to allocate and train young people for their future work roles but also to accept the roles they are given and for the bourgeoisie to keep their power.
Brittany LamberthProfessor Wells English 102June 15, 2018Paul Krugman, agrees that the country is becoming economically diverse bit by bit. The middle ground amongthe richest and poorest is vanishing, and inequality is`widespread. His essay, “Confronting inequality” revealsonly how inequalityaffects us, but, as McClelland opposes, how recurringinequality can be. He references a study performed by the National Center for Education informationfrom the 1988 to 2003, in which eighth grade students were arrangedboth by academic skilland the socioeconomic rankof their parents, and the college graduation percentage. If our educational system truly gave all students equivalentopportunities, then we would expect the graduation rates to depend onlyon
Often times we seek motivation from those that are more successful than us. We put them on a pedestal and aspire to one day be a role model for younger generations after us. What we fail to acknowledge however is the time and hard work they put in before us. We overlook their journey and therefore miss details that could play a major impact on our path to success. Details such as their upbringing, social class, and education are things we should take a closer peek at when comparing their lives to ours. In her book Unequal Childhoods: Class, Race, and Family Life, Annette Lareau follows Caucasian and African American subjects from poor, working, and middle class families to understand the influence of socioeconomic class and race on adolescents raised in various households. After studying her subjects over the course of several years in their homes, schools, and extracurricular activities, she comes to conclude the greater influence socioeconomic class has on the skills acquired by children during their childhood.
Diane Ravitch a research professor of education at New York University, spoke about an interesting truth, saying, “The achievement gaps are rooted in social, political, and economic structures. If we are unwilling to change the root cause, we are unlikely ever to close the gaps.” The success of our children’s education is mainly caused by economic, social and political statue. If one does not end the cycle the gap will most likely never close. This ties in with when Kozol cites Marina Warner, an essayist and novelist, saying, “There are expensive children and there are cheap children, just as there are expensive women and cheap women.”(354) There are some children that will be fortune enough to have a
She essentially claims that fifty years after the arduous success of the Civil Rights Movement, social class has widened the gap propelled by racial division that had slowly began to correct itself in the American society. Garland also presents statistical information generated by prominent universities throughout the United States, and reflects such data through the example of two socio-economically and racially different families and the extent to which their earnings can enlighten the path of their children, representing the low and high ends of the income spectrum. As one of her final points, she analyses possible solutions revolving around the process of closing the gap preventing low-income children from merging with high-income children and the opportunities that the latter are privileged with, mentioning the lack of political activism and social consciousness towards the magnitude of such conflict affecting both parents and children’s expectations of learning and
In Christopher Hayes article Twilight of the Elites the author puts into perspective the inequality low-income students face. The author argues that the test prep industry is a booming multi million-dollar business; the best way to predict a student’s score on standardized test is to look at the child’s parent income. The more money the parent’s have the more money they can contribute to tutoring and test prep materials. It’s quite unfortunate that children from low-income families are left out of the loop it is an unfair disadvantage. Children from low-income families have just as much capability to thrive however; the resources and tools needed for them are not there. The system is set up in away that the upper class will always make