Educational Facilities are Linked with Classism
Education is key for social mobility, but the unequal spread of resources such as wealth, materials, and teachers is negatively impacting nearly all youth, which is especially critical now since the law requires children to attend school. As a student at a university I have realized K-12th grade is made to steer kids into college.
Just like how a hundred years ago vocational education was made to guide poor minorities into specialized occupations such as an agricultural laborer, factory worker, or industrial operator. Unfortunately, the students chosen for technical training were thought of as unintelligent people destined to work, while the white and wealthy kids were placed in academic universities to study.
So, the United States government spread the lower class by signing up poor and immigrant youth into vocational institutions, since they were thought of as fitting for the life occupations. Segregating poor and rich, and ‘non-white’ and white students into vocational schools and secondary schools also stigmatized technical training, due to the former’s low socioeconomic status.
It appears that the U.S. government has a main role in shaping society and its people, since it decides which students go into what schools which focus either on academics, vocations, or a disproportionate mix of the two. On that account the U.S. is essentially making social classes based on education, class, race, socioeconomic status, and a bunch of other determinants.
The government used to completely fund vocational education, but now the same Career and Technical Education (CTE) program faces deep cuts, which all began about twenty years ago. Specifically, in 1998, when the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act gave an extra five years of funding for vocational education programs.
The act stated, “The purpose of this act is to develop more fully the academic, vocational, and technical skills of secondary and postsecondary students who elect to enroll in vocation and technical education programs.” But, by the end of 2002 the Association for CTE said that friendly sources have evidence president Bush’s budget proposal wants to take away funds from the Perkins Act, in order to supply more money to the financially lacking Pell Grant program.
The unequal spread of resources is advancing school segregation, by further separating the huge lower class from the small middle class and powerful upper class. Families who earn low salaries suffer from their jobs, and from a lack of social services like health care, safe and affordable housing, as well as clean air, water, and facilities. The removal of vocational education funding, which is another option for success and social mobility, is keeping poor families at the bottom.
Unfortunately, low CTE enrollments are also another concern causing the decline of vocational education funding, since the facilities are labeled as supposed schools for minority or low income kids, which is an idea supported by academic school systems who hardly tell their students to attend vocational education schools and instead tell them to apply for college and university.
Sadly, in K-12th grade education the effect is getting worse, especially in densely populated areas like N.Y. or L.A., due to the unequal distribution of resources, which factors into students chances of obtaining their high school diploma. People who drop out of school face high possibilities of earning low income, higher unemployment rates, and increased poverty risks.
Poor, minorities make up most of the students who do not graduate, due to the insufficient resources they are given, the inadequate facilities they are placed in, and their typically low living and income whose limited funds prevent waste except on rent, bills, food, and essentials. According to Jonathan Kozol, “Public schools are more segregated than ever” and “as a society we are robbing successive generations of poor, minority children of their only lifeline out of poverty”. Which is why the education system in the U.S. needs a massive change.
City, state, and federal governments must help communities and school districts find better ways to equally distribute their state and local funds, as well as their their resources whether they be tests, technology, or teachers! It is for the sake of the Unites States since succeeding students will suffer if the whole system is not amended, which will result in further degradation of the country.