Education inequality an injustice, major changes needed now
By Jackson Santy ’13
There are many things parents wish for their children: happiness, good health and friends, and of course, a quality education.
However, a quality education is something that is hard to come by these days.
Gross inequality of education is plaguing students nationwide.
Being able to attend a private Jesuit school like Brophy, I along with my other classmates have been taught to seek out injustices in the world.
I see an injustice when I pull up the latest statistic on dropout rates or failing test scores.
I see a young man or woman who is being denied the inherent right of an education so that they may perform to the best of their ability for themselves, their families and their country.
While most parents think their children are receiving a quality education, the majority of American students are falling behind their international counterparts.
With high dropout rates and low test scores, our education system is not only showing a bleak future for our nation’s youth, it is showing a bleak future for our economy and the pursuit of the American Dream.
Every year, 1.2 million students drop out of high school, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
Nearly 44 percent of these dropouts under age 24 are jobless, and the unemployment rate of high school dropouts older than 25 is more than three times that of college graduates.
These copious dropouts result in $300 billion in lost wages, lost taxes and lost productivity due to the dropouts from the class of 2007.
From kindergarten through college, schools are being forced to cut back numerous programs.
Every child deserves a public education that fosters critical and holistic thought, and provides the breadth and depth of learning necessary to become an active citizen and a constructive member of our society.
Presently, the U.S. public school system hinders this goal.
Jobs are leaving this country and U.S. employers say that students today lack the basic skills to do even the simplest jobs.
Education is an issue that affects our national strength and security.
If we do not create dramatically new opportunities to educate our youth, our standard of living will decline, our democracy will be at risk and we will continue to fall behind as other countries far surpass us.
Our government needs to cease in its disinvestment in education.
In order to work most efficiently, our schools require efficient resources. This means well paid, quality teachers.
Too many teachers are overworked and underpaid and they, along with their schools, lack sufficient teaching materials.
In order to make improvements to this flawed system, we must take steps towards massive reform.
One of the foremost steps should be eliminating the gross inequalities in school funding.
Federal policy on education should act predominantly for the provision of equal access to a quality education.
The next step should be repealing the No Child Left Behind Act that was established during the Bush administration.
NCLB suffocates excelling students in our schools and forces out nation’s students to be nothing but average.
Without dramatic changes, the U.S. economy will continue to suffer, crime will go up and our children won’t be able to find a job or afford a house.
Without a quality education, everything parents wish for their children all fades away.