Socioeconomic Integration in Public Schools And Education System
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A Look Into The Socioeconomic Differences In our Public Schools The Department of Education inadequately divides its resources throughout all of its public schools. What is the cost of this? Our students can’t all excel at the same pace, in the same way. Public schools need to aim towards having socioeconomic diversity. We need schools in which there is a combination of students who come from different backgrounds and neighborhoods, kids who have different income levels, and different ethnicities. By having this diversity in public schools students can benefit and prosper beyond expectations. It’s easy to forget and ignore that even today, after Brown v. Board of education our public schools are still segregated.
Brown v. Board of education said that “separate is not equal” yet today racism and socioeconomic differentiations in public schools remain, even if swept under the rug its there. Today, most students that live in low-income households are much more likely to attend schools that fail to provide them with the recourses they need to succeed, while students of higher income levels are attending prestigious public schools. What is the main goal in education? We think it is to assure that every child is given the equal chance to excel. Not only in schools but also in their lives outside of the educational building. Whether or not a child is successful in primary and secondary school will determine how successful they are as adults. Especially in early childhood education, we like to think we are planting seeds that will one day sprout and grow.
Their early experience in education might just determine whether or not they go to college, what professions they may choose, and how much they will make in their prospective career. In the article “Socioeconomic diversity in schools” they claim: “Racial diversity is important in schools because it often encourages tolerance and respect for differences among peers. These traits are important for students as they develop into adults and enter the modern workforce, where they are likely to encounter coworkers and supervisors from a variety of ethnic, religious, and socioeconomic backgrounds.” This e is just another way in which we can shape our children, but the educational system is failing to fulfill this role for the improvement of our children. It is unfortunate that schools that are in corrupted low-income neighborhoods receive fewer resources than the schools in upstanding neighborhoods. Shouldn’t it be vice versa?
Many of our public schools are failing to meet the basic needs of our students and because of this they rank lower than the more fortunate students. In an aricle by Susan Dynarski “Why American Schools Are Even More Unequal Than We Thought” Dynarski states “Education is deeply unequal in the United States, with students in poor districts performing at levels several grades below those of children in richer areas.” There are some things as simple as new books, school supplies, and laptops that are not being offered in some public schools. Even lunch is better in higher socioeconomic school districts and in some of our low socioeconomic districts economically disabled students have to pay for lunch. More over to this, In “20 Facts About US Inequality” they state that in the US 21 percent of all children live in poverty.
That is a large amount of children, children who need that additional push in school because they are not getting it at home. They are the ones that should be getting much more resources and support in school. Instead we are at a loss, the educational system in the US has to be rebuilt. Another issue is that schools with lower income don’t attract qualified teachers. Students in these schools need teachers who will address their needs and support them. The reality should be that whether it is a public or private school, regardless of the child’s race, income, class, or achievements in the past the school should be increasing achievement for all students. Yet how can we expect this if our schools are struggling to find funds? In an article “Education and Socioeconomic status” they state “Children from low SES families enter high school with average literacy skills 5 years behind those of high income students”. Not only this, but according to a longitudinal study done by the US department of Education on Early Childhood Education, kindergarteners are beginning their first school years behind those of high socioeconomic statuses.
Their research indicates the “the average cognitive score of children in the highest SES group are 60% above the scores of the lowest SES group. Moreover, average math achievement is 21% lower for black than for whites, and 19% lower for Hispanics.” Unfortunately, underprivileged children are at a disadvantage, and they suffer much more than children above the poverty threshold with the same recourses. As we can see, socioeconomic status is strongly connected to cognitive abilities. Children who come from low socio economic backgrounds begin their early years of school in low quality schools. In the longitudinal study done by the DOE they report “school quality is defined-in terms of higher student achievement, more school resources, more qualified teachers, more positive attitudes from teachers, better neighborhood or school conditions, private vs. public schools-the least advantaged U.S. children begin their formal schooling in consistently lower-quality schools.
This reinforces the inequalities that develop even before children reach school age.” This is something we should aspire to do. When we lack an array of diverse students we are segregating our schools. There is Research that has also shown that socioeconomic diversity can improve student test scores among students of all backgrounds, not just low-income students. How can we improve Socioeconomic Diversity? Many states and school districts have taken steps to improve their socio economic diversity but it hasn’t proven to be enough. Some steps include enrollment policies that focus on socioeconomic diversity, using school assignment programs that are based on the family’s income, as well as working to redistribute low-income students when too many are concentrated in one school.
In “The Promblem We All Live With” they discoursed the method of school integration, but for Mah’Ria Pruitt-Martin and her mother Nedra Martin that planned failed them. After being accidentally integrated into a better school than what Mah’Ria had known her her life she was dumped back into the school in her neighborhood that had failed her countless time. It is believed that these techniques will eventually support in the prevention of any district becoming overwhelmed by low-income students. However, many programs have not been successful. There is also the issue of the exceedingly difficult dilemma on how to convince upper class parents to send their children to lower income public schools. The Podcast by This Amriccan life “The Problem We All With” shows just that. Parents from the school low-income students were being integraeted to were furious. They spoke about these transfer children as if they were criminals and they wanted them no where near their children.
So if we cant get economically advantage children into lower income public schools, how can we get the economically disadvantaged kids into the higher income public schools? Its nearly imporssible. Minority families find it exceptionally hard to find a place to live in upper class neighborhoods because of their race. According to “A Case For Reparations” black families’ whose income is higher than any ordinary white family are less likely to find a home in a safe, upscale neighborhood.
People don’t want to integrate neighborhoods, so how can we expect our schools to be integrated? Socioeconomic integration will go way beyond fixing the education system. While it is true that we must clearly deal with both racial and socioeconomic integration, I feel that socioeconomic diversity should be the priority for the near future. Without it generations will continue to fall behind. Once we work on the socioeconomic integration part it will be much easier to integrate everyone racially. Our children are the future and we must invest in them. There is a cycle in the educational system that has to be broken. It is not only the children who come from high socioeconomic status that get to become doctors and lawyers. We must look beyond that and include each and every one of our students.