K-12 curriculum backed up by the Every Student Succeeds Act and No Child Left Behind Act offers free education for American children. However, the educational system provides unequal access to education based on the socioeconomic status of children. The discrimination practiced in the curriculum contributes to a higher number of school drop-outs, especially amongst black children. Racial and socioeconomic discrimination in the school system also contributes to a generally reduced quality of education in the nation. An educational policy that seeks to uproot discrimination in the K-12 system is a suitable solution for the problem. Therefore, I argue that a No Discrimination Policy should be developed and implemented to confront discrimination that devalues the K-12 education system.
The No Discrimination Policy will be designed to address the current discrimination in the school system. It will focus on issues including financial malpractice, unequal school environments, and existing socioeconomic performance gaps. To rectify the problems, the policy will encourage equality and transparency in financial distribution and spending, equal treatment of children in school, and equal opportunities to perform better. Implementation of such resolutions will not only end discrimination in the curriculum but also improve the declining quality of education in the U.S.
Rationed Opportunities and Negative Stereotypes Barriers
The K-12 education system accommodates inequality in school environments, especially for black students. According to Weir, black children lag in terms of academic achievement compared to their white peers. Many factors contribute to the gap in achievement including treatment of students in school and rationed opportunities (Weir). Teachers are reported to give high credibility and expectations to white students than blacks. In class, teachers predict that black students are likely to poorly perform even before they are tested. Consequently, even when black students have the required test scores, only a few are recommended for gifted programs.
Compared to the white students, a lesser number of black students are suggested and accepted in the gifted education settings. The disparities in the recommendation are based on lowered teachers’ expectations for the black children. Indeed, the few black student who joins the gifted programs is recommended by black teachers. The racially discriminating teachers also predict a lower number of black peers are likely to complete high school (Weir). The school teachers also discriminate against students when giving assignment feedback. A teacher is more likely to offer critical feedback to white students’ work as opposed to that of blacks.
School teachers also do not know how to balance their reactions to avoid bias. A teacher avoiding being biased will likely offer less constructive feedback to avoid hurting the student. Such feedbacks lack the critical response to align the students with course and teachers’ expectations (Weir). Therefore, teachers must find a balance between being respectful and assertive for a positive environment. The K-12system also has a discipline divide based on student misbehaviors. Black students are highly punished and expelled compared to their white peers.
Misappropriation of Funds
The K-12 system allows racial segregation of schools which supports biased allocation of school finances. White schools often located in the most productive areas of the country receive higher funding than the black schools mostly located in the least productive regions. According to Meatto, school districts purely serving students of color received $23 billion less than their white counterparts in 2016. Segregation of schools is another debate that highly contributed to the mistreatment of black students in white schools and vice versa. Students in racially segregated schools also miss the real-world exposure of dealing with diverse cultures. Lack of such exposure affects student social performance by missing out on essential skills.
Improper allocation of funds leads to a shortage of school staff and reduced circulation of curriculum information. Teachers in the least financially allocated areas turnover their jobs for greener pastures to highly fund-allocated schools. In the least paying public schools, some teachers either leave the school or leave the profession for another hence contributing to a shortage of staff (“Public School Expenditures”). The racially segregated schools, therefore, try to allocate more funds in the salaries while leaving inadequate school informational resources. The schools experience limited access to information resources which later affect the performance of students.
A limited number of school staff means inadequate access to education resources and knowledge. A school with fewer teachers will register poor grades because the students barely receive customized attention from teachers (“Public School Expenditures”). Such factors limit the students from competing with fully financed schools in the same nation. The unbalanced school performance extends to the career world where students from wealthier schools and backgrounds are offered better working chances than those from poorly performing schools (Anyon 86). Limited school information also means limited exposure to the necessary knowledge for students. Such resource gaps may seem small but their magnitudes are felt later in the students’ lives.
Disparities in Social Determinants of Education
Social determinants of education including food, economic, health, social, and physical environments dictate the well-being of students. Study shows that students with higher educational levels also enjoy adequate social determinants (Anyon 70). With the current discrimination in the school system, black students barely attain higher education. Students from low socioeconomic backgrounds are denied opportunities to grow in terms of education. Schools reward children’s misbehaviors based on their socioeconomic status. Thus, those from rich backgrounds are treated with care and respect that those from poor communities.
Black students from poor backgrounds are highly suspended or expelled. The K-12 system helps to form a smooth path for the students from school to prison. A high percentage of school drop-outs is contributed by expelling of black students based on poor behavior rewarding system (Anyon 74). The school drop-outs get involved in law-breaking acts that led them to prison. The misbehavior rewarding system denies such students the chance to complete education and become better people in life.
The No Discrimination Policy will end educational disparities by creating a balance for equal provision of educational services for all students. To implement the proposal, changes including limiting the access to formulate education policies, application of teaching partner programs, and integration of schools are to be adopted. The local or state government is empowered by devolution and the Tenth Amendment to set educational policies (Meatto). The local leaders instead of setting students benefiting policies set those that benefit their self-interests. The new policy suggests giving the mandate back to the federal government who will be responsible for creating education policies. The federal government will limit the misappropriation of school funds and other resources for a balanced experience.
The other change will be to provide teachers with behavioral consultation partners to coach them on how to deal with children’s behaviors. The coaches will help the teachers to learn better ways to interact with students thus reducing misjudgment and negative stereotypes (Weir). The teachers will also be in a position to offer equal chances for all students. Integration of school means to support mixed-race schools and increase the level of black teachers. The outcome of this policy will see to equal access to education irrespective of students’ race or socioeconomic background (García and Elaine). The current education system punishes law violators through fines and loss of jobs, which is not an effective form of sanction. Tougher punishment including loss of working license and life imprisonment should be implemented to the policy violators especially in the case of misappropriation of funds.
The No discrimination Policy is necessary to prevent the K-12 system from becoming irrelevant and the loss of the nation’s future. The K-12 system students are expected to be future leaders living and sharing better life. Achievement of such dreams will never be possible in the current state of policies that seek to satisfy individual interests. Education disparities limit students the chance of building careers and consequently living low life standards (García and Elaine). The No Discrimination Policy will offer a future generation equal access to education thus making them competitive to meet the global demands. The policy needs specific change because of the seriousness of the issue at hand. Stricter measures will not only indicate the need for change but also ensure changes are implemented. Barring the state government from making education policies will result in an improved system that allows equal access to school resources and equality maintenance.
Implementing such radical changes will not be free from obstacles but overcoming them is important. Some of the most likely obstacles include insufficient funds, opposition, poor communication, legislative resistance, resistance, and general public unrest (García and Elaine). Implementing such a policy with many changes will require millions of money which may not be readily available from the government. The state government might also oppose the move to reassign education policy-making mandates to the federal government (García and Elaine). Poor communication systems may be experienced especially between the federal and local government due to opposing aspects hence transition may not be easy and fast. The legislative body may find some policy measures very tough to be implemented hence may resist passing the motion. Finally, the general public will have mixed reactions to the various changes and may cause commotions before accepting.
The regulatory proposal, No Discrimination Policy is expected to make a change to the K-12 system. The policy will eliminate education disparities registered in various states in the country. It will help teachers to learn better methods of behavioral judgment amongst students thus giving them chances to excel in school. With equal treatment of students by teachers, all gifted children will be in a position to join respective programs thus reducing the performance gap. Furthermore, with appropriate allocation of educational funds, there will be adequate information resources and teachers for the effective running of schools. The absence of racial discrimination based on socioeconomic background will create a healthy environment for students and future generations to have a better life. However, the change system must be strong enough to overcome the expected obstacles or the policy implementation will be impossible. The policy will transform the K-12 system to guarantee high-quality education for both primary and secondary levels.
Anyon, Jean. “Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum of Work.” Journal of Education, vol. 162, no.1, 1980, pp. 67-92. Web.
García, Emma, and Elaine Weiss. “Education Inequalities at the School Starting Gate: Gaps, Trends, and Strategies to Address Them.” Economic Policy Institute, 2017, Web.
Meatto, Keith. “Still Separate, Still Unequal: Teaching About School Segregation and Educational Inequality” New York Times, 2020, Web.
“Public School Expenditures.” National Center for Education Statistics, 2021, Web.
Weir, Kirsten. “Inequality at School.” American Psychological Association, 2016, Web.