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Education Inequality in America: a Barrier to Progress and Equality

About this sample

About this sample

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Words: 1606 |

Pages: 4|

9 min read

Published: Aug 4, 2023

Words: 1606|Pages: 4|9 min read

Published: Aug 4, 2023

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Impact of Education Inequality on the Minorities
  3. Attempts to Solve Education Inequality
  4. Overcoming the Issue of Education Inequality
  5. Conclusion
  6. Works Cited

Introduction

Since the beginning of time, education has been the foundation of human development, not only as human beings but as a society too. Education has always been the key to a blooming society: from experiments to discoveries, hypotheses to theories, and imagination to reality. Education is not knowing how to read and write; it is being able to study different subjects and having the ability to make connections between the gained knowledge and the world; to think. When children are born, they start to experience the basics of education. Not only when the parents try to teach them words, but when they are taught how to behave in front of others and how to treat others. Because parents are the ones that educate their children about ethics and morals, it is said that education begins at home. For children to receive the right education, the parents should know what their children’s interests are, and this is where it can get tricky. Some parents might know the interests of their children but do not have the resources to provide that for them. Not everyone has the same opportunity for high-level education, and even though the reasons may vary, ethnicity and socioeconomic factors are among the main causes of education inequality.

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Impact of Education Inequality on the Minorities

Education inequality is still present today, specifically in minority groups. Minorities are being deprived of having a great education. This society is stealing them the opportunity to grow and acquire the knowledge needed to succeed in life. Some people might argue that everybody has access to public education nowadays and that should be enough for a person to progress on their own. However, after researching this topic, it is more than wise to infer that when it comes to minorities, the education system seems to have failed as an effective equalizing factor. In the article “Where Have all the Strong Poets Gone”, people get clarification on current policies that were not giving equal opportunity to students. It was made clear that white students had the opportunity to learn things that will lead them to become future bosses in this country while African American and Latinos were sitting in a classroom waiting and being taught by inexperienced professors that won’t have the ability to impart the knowledge students need for secondary schooling (Jones). This proves that minorities are being stripped of the opportunity of having a good education and that society is essentially playing a part when it comes to not giving everybody the same opportunity to grow and succeed in life.

For the lack of mandatory diversity in schools, it is hard for minorities to learn how to navigate the system that is used in modern-day because it is not designed to show the strength of variety that exists today, but it is rather centered in whiteness. If schools are not legally required to address their issues of race equality, this problem will continue to suppress minority groups. Early access to education is what helps a person determine if they want to acquire higher education or shift to the workforce market. Even though a great number of minority students have decided to enter the nation’s higher education system, white students are the ones being accepted to elite universities. African American and Hispanic students are usually concentrated in two- and four-year colleges that accept most of their applicants. In a report by Allie Bidwell, it is shown that 80 percent of new white enrollments have been at the top colleges of the country “while more than 70 percent of new African American and Hispanic enrollments have been at open-access colleges”. Even when they have the same level of preparation, and sometimes even the same grade point average, minorities are at a disadvantage and are not treated equally; white students are presented with more opportunities to receive their bachelor’s degree at better-funded colleges. The fact that qualified minorities are not administered with the necessary pathways to fully fulfill their potential is what illustrates the disproportional tracks of the higher education system.

Attempts to Solve Education Inequality

Many Americans believed in an educational referral was the solution to give the minorities the opportunity to develop their potential and a chance to be part of gifted programs where they will be able to achieve big things in life. However, it was proven that the referral was not effective and that inequality was present. Inequality is about not giving the same opportunities to everyone and having some type of favoritism with others. This situation creates a scenario where people’s rights can be violated and not managed fairly, and that is why action should be taken in order to change the system in which this society has been living for a long time. In the article of Joni M. Lakin, “Universal Screening and the Representation of Historically Underrepresented Minority Students in Gifted Education”, a research made by Card and Giuliano showed that the old teacher referral system was ineffective to address African American, Hispanic, low socioeconomic status, and English learner students in order for them to be part of gifted and talented programs, which leads to underrepresentation of minorities in this type of programs. In the research, the authors revealed that “28% of gifted students in third grade were African American or Hispanic, although these students made up 60% of the district population” (Lakin). This demonstrates that referral decisions can be biased by the teachers and they might overlook some students that do not fit the archetypes of giftedness. This investigation was helpful to discover that universal screening is a better way to give students the opportunity of being identified and what are the best services that could be provided to them based on their instructional needs. The importance of using screening instead of referral is that it promotes diversity and fair representation in programs designed for talented students.

Overcoming the Issue of Education Inequality

Even though it would be impossible to eradicate an issue, that has been present in society for a long time, in a short period of time, it is never late to develop solutions. For example, in the case of Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1, the supreme court addressed racial inequality in education and gave the equity necessary to provide students of color access to meaningful learning opportunities. This case helps to prove the significance of race and how a simple opportunity can change the life of minority groups completely.

On the other hand, there are some that believe that social inequalities are not an issue that affects society anymore and that all students were given the same resources. They would argue that more public schools have been created so that every person has access to education, more programs to help achieve higher education, and even more funds available. Many Americans believe that education is equal to all kinds already, and therefore they think that any new policies developed to create education equality are unnecessary and too liberal. But the truth is that society is trying to hide the inconsistency in the educational system and how inequality has prevailed after all these years. In 2008, the case Sheff v. O’Neil was settled after a 1996 hearing, however, the people were not pleased with the results that the case brought. The students argued that they were not receiving the same resources as white students. The resources spent by the state were lower in areas where there was a predominance of black/Latino population, compared to those in areas mainly inhabited by white people. After the agreement expired in 2015, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) was ready to return to the negotiation table and draft “a balanced and innovate long-term agreement that further prioritizes integration and reaches 59 percent of schoolchildren who remain in racially isolated schools”. This evidence helps to illustrate that school segregation is still alive and present in today’s nation. The legacy of racism and racial inequality has been taking advantage of minorities by underestimating their needs and interests, while the white people advance their social, political, and economic situation over them. This is what absolves the responsibility of white people for creating and maintaining a society designed to repress the rights of different groups in order to improve the quality of life of a few others.

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Conclusion

More funding is needed to help Latinos and African-Americans afford college. States should follow California’s lead on how public schools are funded. California is using the Local Control Funding Formula to estimate the amount of funding that each region needs, but they also provide additional funding to areas where there are more low-income families and English language learners. Rethinking school funding is necessary in order to help minority communities. Even though Latinos and African Americans earning degrees have increased they earn degrees at a lower rate and accumulate more debts. Latinos and African-Americans people are the ones coming into the united states to achieve their dreams and therefore, they look for a way to become professionals in a country where they could grow mentally and wealthy wise. However, it is expensive to earn a degree. “The pathway to college is not the same for every student”, Latinos and African-Americans students often face many financial obstacles but they still decide to obtain a degree and that is how they get in financial obligation.           

Works Cited

  1. Jones, D. (2019). Where Have All the Strong Poets Gone. Education in America: A Black and White Story, 21-35.
  2. Lakin, J. M. (2018). Universal Screening and the Representation of Historically Underrepresented Minority Students in Gifted Education. Journal for the Education of the Gifted, 41(3), 211-235.
  3. Sheff v. O'Neil, 743 A.2d 873 (Conn. 1999).
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Cite this Essay

Education Inequality in America: A Barrier to Progress and Equality. (2023, August 04). GradesFixer. Retrieved February 21, 2024, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/education-inequality-in-america-a-barrier-to-progress-and-equality/
“Education Inequality in America: A Barrier to Progress and Equality.” GradesFixer, 04 Aug. 2023, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/education-inequality-in-america-a-barrier-to-progress-and-equality/
Education Inequality in America: A Barrier to Progress and Equality. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/education-inequality-in-america-a-barrier-to-progress-and-equality/> [Accessed 21 Feb. 2024].
Education Inequality in America: A Barrier to Progress and Equality [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2023 Aug 04 [cited 2024 Feb 21]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/education-inequality-in-america-a-barrier-to-progress-and-equality/
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