The main idea of public education is to provide all children, regardless of their race, income, or other factors with equal opportunities to study and develop their skills. In her article, Semuels underlines that schooling in America is the responsibility of the states, and the government has to investigate the current education system to give children a good education. Following the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDNR) that was developed in the middle of the 1900s, everyone deserves the right to primary free education to develop talents and understand the nature of human relationships and rights (What Is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights?). However, in modern society, the situation when a gifted student from a poor family does not have a chance to visit a top-ranked academic facility is common. In this paper, the disadvantages in education that are inherent to low-income communities will be investigated, focusing on unequal opportunities, racial biases, and income factors through the prism of the UDHR framework.
Despite the intention to create a democratic society with equal rights and freedoms, certain differences between families cannot be ignored. Poverty remains a crucial concern in many countries, and multiple policies aim at identifying the connection between social problems and student outcomes (Galindo et al. 156). The key disadvantages of education in low-income communities are poor funding and no dialogue between the global economy and educational experiences (St. John 1860). Another accompanying shortage is a high turnover rate among teachers who cannot continue working because of the lack of resources and governmental support (Semuels). At the same time, a domino effect is launched immediately. As soon as teachers promote the development of students, the latter, in their turn, do not find it necessary to strengthen their skills and knowledge. The number of students’ multifaceted needs continues to grow, provoking new challenges for families and the necessity to solve race- and income-related problems (Galindo et al. 141). Children from low-income communities are not able to have a good education, and the government, not only local teachers, should be interested in changes and improvements.
If people want to understand why unequal education in low-income communities is such a serious problem in American society, it is necessary to remember one of the fundamental laws and regulations. In 1948, the General Assembly of the United Nations signed the UDNR where 30 rights and freedoms were identified and equally distributed among people (What Is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights?). In addition to such general principles like all individuals are born free and have the right to live in freedom and safety, attention is paid to equal employment rights, access to food, clothing, and education. Although there is no clearly defined statement that education is free regardless of race or income, the UDHR’s 26 article admits that everyone has the right to an education that is free at the elementary stages (What Is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights?). Besides, education should promote understanding and friendship among racial groups. The second article of the UDHR states that freedoms are established without distinction of social origin, property, and status, which removes income-based inequalities in education.
Thinking about inequalities in education, citizens, the government, and the country, in general, should realize that the future of society depends on how well young people are educated. It is not enough to provide several groups of people with academic privileges and neglect the problem of unequal treatment based on race or income. Today’s population consists of millions of people with different cultural backgrounds, beliefs, and statuses. Some inequalities cannot be neglected because they enrich human life. Still, education is something that has to be equal and free because it is a chance to enlarge understanding, cooperation, and quality of living (Galindo et al. 141). A starting point is to hold equal standards for all classrooms. Then, the government must underline and support the role of teachers in the development of the education system (St. John 1846). When teachers are interested and properly funded, their activities focus on students and their skills but not on their inequalities and income levels.
Finally, monitoring and assessment of schools either in low-income communities or in wealthy districts must help to recognize the strengths and weaknesses of the system and its impact on students. There are many populations where race is not a problem or a reason for disputes anymore. People have to share their experiences and knowledge to remove their prejudices and focus on such serious challenges as poorly controlled climate changes, wars, and pollution, following the main UDHR principles.
In general, the representatives of privileged communities may not recognize race and income status as negative influences on education. Although people believe that the UDHR principles are remembered and followed, many families from racial minority groups do not have a high education history, as well as good employment opportunities. To reduce inequalities and underline the importance of education, many recommendations can be given. Still, some of them are unrealistic, and many of them are just naïve and poorly achievable. Therefore, to promote at least a minimal but effective change, equalities have to be promoted in classrooms and removed by teachers. As soon as teachers recognize their responsibilities and possibilities, they can help students and remove the disadvantages of education in low-income and racially biased communicates.
Galindo, Claudia, et al. “Transforming Educational Experiences in Low-Income Communities: A Qualitative Case Study of Social Capital in a Full-Service Community School.” American Educational Research Journal, vol. 54, no. 1, 2017, pp. 140-163.
St. John, Edward P. “Human Rights, Capital, or Capabilities? Narrowing Race and Income Gaps in Educational opportunity.” American Behavioral Scientist, vol. 61, no. 14, 2017, pp. 1845-1865.
Semuels, Alana. “Good School, Rich School; Bad School, Poor School.” The Atlantic, 2016.
“What Is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights?” Amnesty International UK, 2017.