The Public School System in America and Class Inequality

Some people are often treated differently from others, and such discrepancies emerge from the school system. About 9 million students in the UC face academic inequalities due to coming from social minority families (Camera). Society seems to be more concerned with homework and grades rather than noticing the discrimination produced by public schools across the nation (Jean). Although children from wealthy homes can still have educational difficulties, they are more able to approach the outside tuition and parental assistance both emotionally and intellectually. The public school system (PSS) in America perpetuates class inequality.

First, the PSS in the US promotes social discrimination through the property tax funding procedure. School district budgets are closely connected to property taxes, which leads to educational facilities in wealthier communities obtaining a larger part of local subsidization (Camera). As a result, affluent districts receive more benefits, such as involved PTAs that raise considerable money to obtain better supplies for schools (Camera). In contrast, educational institutions in poor areas encounter issues of economic distress alongside high crime rates (Camera). Households with a higher socioeconomic status (SES) can make sure their children receive a good education, but families with lower SES frequently cannot provide the same level of education for their children. Consequently, students from less wealthy homes have inferior academic performance than those from more affluent ones.

Notably, as the PSS prioritizes children from wealthier households, the system contributes to social inequalities among adults. Camera suggests that schools with better funding are also those that have more white students, whereas poorer educational facilities have a greater number of black and Latino pupils. A child’s access to good schooling significantly depends on their skin color and zip code (Camera). Accordingly, students in African-American and Latino neighborhoods are less prepared for a successful future because schools in such districts cannot put enough effort into properly teaching the students (Camera). Teachers in underfunded learning establishments are typically overworked, underpaid, and cannot address the needs of each pupil. Moreover, parents in lower-income families are likely to be busy working and unable to help their children with homework. The discrepancies in the quality of education derive from one SES but also facilitate unequal relations in society because students from under-subsidized schools are often not prepared to overcome the challenges of adult life.

Second, the PPS maintains class imbalances by not providing pupils from less affluent families with the soft skills needed to succeed in respected roles in the public. Jean proposes that schools employ distinct curricular, pedagogical, and learner evaluation techniques depending on the occupation of students’ parents. For instance, children in working-class schools with the majority of fathers having unskilled or semiskilled jobs are not taught how to make decisions or think critically (Jean). On the other hand, students from educational establishments where a parent population is predominantly professional with upper-income levels are encouraged to be creative, examine ideas, and use appropriate learning materials (Jean). Consequently, such discrepancies in educational approaches emphasize different cognitive and behavioral dexterities, which influence future relationships with capital, authority, and work (Jean). For example, children from the working class appear to be instructed in obedience and docility to remain in the same SES (Jean). However, students from wealthier households seem to be trained for managerial positions through the promotion of initiative and personal assertiveness (Jean). Accordingly, the PSS facilitates academic and emotional dissimilarities that enable some pupils’ capabilities while hindering others’ potencies.

Finally, the PSS reinforces inequalities by insulating societal classes in schools and giving little room for social mobility. For instance, the experiences shared by Vance indicate that children from lower-income families cannot make connections that would help them reach a higher SES. Civic associations are linked to better economic performance, but students who come from poor neighborhoods rarely have the opportunity to build sufficient relations (Reeves 30). For example, school career service offices in affluent neighborhoods arrange job interviews for their pupils, while parents from rich families teach their children how to behave in front of potential employers (Vance 4). In contrast, those from poorer districts typically lack social support and, despite being polite, are knowledgeable in how to impress people (Vance 3). Individuals learn how to act in various situations by interacting with others, and if a person is mostly surrounded by one group, it may be difficult to adopt the norms of another community (Vance 10). Networks present substantial economic value by providing people with access to valuable information, but the PSS prohibits people from different social classes from communicating with each other.

To summarize, the public school system in the US perpetuates imbalances in public by giving students from wealthy areas opportunities to succeed while diminishing the chances of less affluent pupils. Property tax funding facilitates the educational process in rich neighborhoods by giving schools the means to academically and emotionally develop children. Students under-subsidized are surrounded by underpaid and overworked teachers who cannot pay enough attention to each child, which leads to low performance. Consequently, pupils from dissimilar SES are likely to have trouble finding common interests to enable socialization due to discrepancies in values taught at school. As a result, children from poor districts do not learn the skills necessary to succeed at college and work and often remain in lower socioeconomic class as adults.

Works Cited

Anyon, Jean. “Anyon: Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum of Work.” Udel.Edu, Web.

Camera, Lauren. “Segregation Reinforced by School Districts.” US News, Web.

Reeves, Richard. “Friendship is the Invisible Thread Running Through Society.” New Statesman, 2004, pp. 29-32.

Vance, J. D. “Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis.” Journal of Research in Rural Education (Online), 2017, pp. 1-10.

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