Another factor that is affecting education in the United States is economic inequality. Economic inequality places low-income children out of success and the “American Dream”, where you can succeed and prosper no matter your original status or where you were born is starting to fade. Economic inequality makes us think whether or not all children still have a real opportunity to succeed.
Literacy is the most important skill for children to develop at a young age because it sets the base for them to gain knowledge and to express ideas. Kids who are not exposed early to reading are the ones that experience the most difficulty learning in the classroom. Often these students find themselves working with materials that are too difficult for them to read. Those who are exposed early to reading and read more are creating and retaining more knowledge. Great amounts of knowledge allow students to gain more faster and accelerate faster. Low-income communities have libraries but students are limited to a selection of materials and texts. Also, Middle and upper classes often engage more with their children and help them develop language, reasoning and negotiating skills. On the other hand, the working class and poor class have more hands-off experiences with their children. They also have less time with their and less education to teach and prepare their children for school.
Neuman Susan, author of The American Dream: Lipping Away? presents four solutions in her article. She notes that we need more programs like Title, which are programs that ensure educational resources in poor communities are equal to others. Creating a balance with resources and additional support for students will help them become more successful. Next, she wants to strengthen parent involvement with training programs. These programs will help them determine whether their children are making progress or not. She also wants to engage students’ minds and motivate them because people underestimate students that are from poor neighborhoods. Though, these students are eager to learn and develop expertise when they are given opportunities. Lastly, the author notes that we need to create a balanced school system with more highly trained teachers, more support, and a rigorous curriculum. Ending inequality in education will help create successful students ready to take on real-world problems in the future.
Source: Educational Leadership. May2013, Vol. 70 Issue 8, p18-22. 5p.