Essay 2: First Draft

In America we are privileged enough to have free education from kindergarten until twelfth grade. In many countries across the globe children and young adults are forced to work as laborers and some people never learn to read or write. Our fundamental access to education creates opportunity for successful futures. Personally I view education as an opportunity not an obligation. In general education can present a way for people from all different ethnicities, social standings, genders, and religious beliefs to possibly achieve an equal level knowledge.  In my own point of view education is the opportunity to create a successful life and a way to master and conquer your dreams, it is a tool to help construct the type of life one desires.

In the midst of economic and political issues I think the purpose of education is being guided away from its original intent. Education was originally meant to provide people with knowledge about their relationship with the world around them and within themselves. Recently the Depart of Education has been concerned mostly with funds and the circulation of money in school districts. The quality of education becomes lowered as budget cuts rids schools of helpful extracurricular activities. Teachers who are arguably one of the most influential people in a person’s life can get laid off. Inner city schools feel the effect off this the most since they already have meager funds they are more at a disadvantage for programs that won’t necessarily benefit them in the future and be used as tools for success. Jonathan Kozol mentioned in his piece “Still Separate, Still Unequal America’s Educational Aparatheid”  that less wealthy schools are being stuck with more restrictions for creative methods of teaching. Students are subjected to strict teaching regimes that lack the room for creativity. Classes that do not benefit students who have high objectives are forced upon them based on what society deems appropriate according to their social standing. For example in the Kozol piece he also mentions a young black girl he was conversing with said the “…requirement met by courses that were basically vocational and obviously keyed to low-paying level of employment.” (Kozol, 655)  In comparison wealthier communities require challenging and useful  classes that will help students in the future. Education has become a system keeping  low-income students  within their own social class by enforcing vocational classes and keeps wealthier students within their elite class. Instead of bridging the gap and having educational programs that offers every single person the same thing we have created programs that reduce equality.

The question thus becomes how do we mold education back into what it was originally meant to be. How does education stay a pathway of success for those pursuing a meaningful career? According to Paulo Freire in his piece “The Banking Concept of Education” education needs to shift away from the  concept that promotes  a transferring of a teachers knowledge into a student that requires no cognition. Problem-posing education “…breaks with the vertical pattern of characteristic of banking education can fulfill its function as the practice of freedom…”(Freire 7). There is a viable solution to help restore the quality of education and it will take the community and the government to refine  the way we present education.

Personally I have always valued education I think the intent in ensuring that every citizen has the chance to pursue goals and dreams no matter who they are is extraordinary. Education is especially important in our society in which knowledge is highly valued. Jean Anyon author of  “Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum of Work” describes how schools differ by the social status of the student. This puts lower-income students at a disadvantage at excelling into classes that wealthier students have already been accustomed to. I think the distribution of funds needs to be given out more equally among schools to ensure that all schools no matter the social status so that all student are being taught fairly. How can anyone be expected to pursue their dreams when what is supposed to be a directed pathway presents obstacles at every turn?

Education and the influence of teachers has helped me obtain admission to this University. I was pushed and fortunately had some very helpful counselors that encouraged me to apply to more prestigious colleges. Some people are not as lucky as I am simply due to which class and what financial standing they fall under. I think that education could use a reform because it is really important in highlighting a clear purpose for people. It helps strips our character and talents down so that we can much more easily find what we excel at and are meant to do. College education is also very important because it becomes the definitive measure that closes the gap between dream careers and reality. If many inner-city students do not get help to reach the level of their wealthier peers than the purpose of education education has failed.

College education is important for jobs but it is also a way in which our own social and moral beliefs are tried and tested and it molds us into adults. There is constant feedback between students, peers, and professors which stretches are small scope of reality and perception. Not only does education regard potential careers it also entails a wide variety of learning how to interact socially with large bodies of people. It is a preparation for creating and maintaining relationships with people and using those relationships to hep create a successful life.

While college education is extremely important it is also unattainable to many. College education is increasingly expensive and at most times low-income families cannot afford to pay for their progeny to attend school. There is financial aid that helps to put off the wave of debt for the immediate four years but then comes rushing back. Also college education is not readily available for undocumented people. Those who might have traveled to America in seek of a better opportunity receive no financial assistance but are typically in the lowest income bracket.

We are a nation founded on immigration. We affirm ourselves by promoting the idea that we are accepting to all races. We fought a whole civil war and had a civil rights movement to promote equality and yet we offer very minimal support for those who are coming to America in hopes of opportunity, equality, and success. I think that we are promoting disillusionment until we are proactive in firmly supporting undocumented students to pursue a higher education.

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