School Reform in America
Statistics has it that about thirty seven millions people in the United States live below the poverty line. Others struggle each and every month so as to get basic necessities. Poverty is an issue which has inflicted huge costs on most Americans. Poverty, if not tackled, will limit accomplishments that can be achieved through school reform efforts. This applies especially to those associated with No Child Left Behind law.
The government should place a lot of emphasis on creating policies which reduce poverty levels; a reduction in family as well as youth poverty in cities where inner city schools are located. Pedro Noguera has also included his perspective into the issues that face our nation’s urban public schools today. He agrees to the idea that most poor communities look at the school as the safest place for their children. This is what accelerates the problem. It makes it hard for getting incentives for the schools to change. He also views that private schools are not accessible to students from poor backgrounds, this because they are expensive and leaving the system is not possible.
So therefore, when parents keep on enrolling their children in the district schools which keep on failing, nothing is going to change for a long time (Noguera, 2003, 89-90). Noguera calls for public agencies to join in the efforts to upgrade the social as well as civic capacity of low-income communities. Children who are raised in households that are poor lose a lot of potential both in school and in life. They are also faced with poor health, in addition to unsafe neighborhoods. The situation even gets worse when the United States is compared to other nations that are already developed; poverty in the US is far widely spread.
This has to be reversed. Everyone needs to be given an equal opportunity to succeed. All American children should live in conditions that allow them to grab every opportunity possible for their success in life. They should get quality education, get well-paying jobs and live in good neighborhoods. If the youth as well as family poverty can be reduced in any way, there is a guarantee that there will be good grades and better performance academically from children faced with this menace.
This is because the children living in poverty are faced with medical problems which are severe. In the end, their school achievements as well as chances of making in life become dim. It will be good if Americans realized that our neighborhoods are usually isolated by the social class, this leads to segregation by ethnicity an race. Several things can be done, for example, improving the standards of the curricula, upgrading the teacher quality as well as improving the classrooms and the school environment. Payne has also tried to explore why failure is persistent in today’s urban schools.
He has argued that Americans have failed to account for the reasons for the social infrastructure being weak in addition to the dysfunctional environments that urban schools are found (Payne, 2008). Of course there have been a number of reforms that have been applied; however, it is evident that several educational reforms have not worked to improve schools in inner cities in the United States. This failure in inner-city schools should be directed to economical, cultural and political factors. All these must then be changed for any meaningful improvement in the implementations of the projects.It is important to note that, those families or individuals with low income really need a college or university degree for them to have a chance of being employed decently. However, despite this fact, only about seven percent of the youth get a bachelors degree before reaching the age of twenty six.
This means that the urban districts have failed their students (Noguera, 2003). This is in relation to the important needs of these low income youth students. The reason that the previous school reforms have not been working may be because they are impoverished. They may be impoverished because of the American belief that the school is the only solution to most if not all of our problems. According to Richard Rothstein, most of the policy makers have concluded that the failure of the already existing policies may be as a result of school policies that have been wrongly designed; the curricula may have been designed in a worse way, those in leadership may not be focused, the climate in the school may not be disciplined or the classroom may be too large. Americans should keep in mind that the issue of social class in the American stratified society is an influence on learning in most of the schools (Rothstein, 2004, 9-10).
Rothstein also has noted that over a long time, the student achievement gap being associated with the social as well as economic disadvantage has been known to educators, sociologists as well as economists. However, what these reformists have forgotten to put in mind is that raising the achievement of children engulfed in poverty will require the amelioration of, not only the economic, but also the social conditions of their livelihood, it is not jjust about a school reform (Rothstein, 2004, 11). Rothstein in company of others have provided the framework for issues dealing with reforms in the education sector. Statistics from various researches have shown that students from poor backgrounds do not perform well internationally while their counterparts from middle classes and wealthy schools do very well. There are several questions that Americans can ask themselves when they realize that poor students perform poorly in international competitions: why should policy makers focus a lot in trying to deal with the inside of the school that perform poorly while the causes may be outside the school compound? Should the resources as well as attention that are now being channeled towards the failed policies be redistributed to the families and communities that are being served by the schools that perform poorly? If Americans answer these questions properly, then, the problem of solving academic performance that is low will be on track; that is if the problem is poverty.
There is a high level of inter-correlation between ethnicity, poverty, and achievement in school in the United States.According to Rank, he suggests that Americans should cease from thinking that the poor are of different tribe since they are poor for structural reasons. He goes on to insist that the issue of poverty has, more often than not, forced people to make deciding choices among necessities. He has recognized that, what causes poverty lie in the workings of the free market capitalism idea found in the United States (Rank, 2004). In conclusion, all schooling children should be given an opportunity to get education early enough as well as child care assistance that would go a long way to support families with low income. All the states should improve on the quality of education in addition to make it accessible to all children.
Parents with low income can be employed so that they can give their children the best in life. Those youths who are disadvantaged should be encouraged t attend school and get the best educational assistance. Grants can be extended to communities which are disadvantaged. Moreover, programs, including service and training, can be initiated for the youths with low income so that they can avert poverty in future. Child poverty as well as extreme ends of poverty will significantly fall if there are reforms in the education sector.
It is also important to note that poverty is an issue which restricts the poor children from exploiting their genetic talent as well as potential.