Class Matters. Why Won’t We Admit It?
Whatever happened to the American Dream? What happened to building this country for the children? What happened to children being our future? Even though much progress has been made since the mid 1800’s, even the mid 1900’s, is it possible that our progress has been slowing down and coming to a halt? But have past legislation such as, the No Child Left Behind Act, really leveled the playing field for every child of different classes and ascriptive characteristics?
The documentary The One Percent, although possibly a bit one-sided, showed a neighborhood in Chicago where an entire educational structure system from K-12 was shut down and destroyed to build more buildings. Where do all the children go? To another school where classrooms are already overflowing with children that might be more that a single teacher to be able to handle? These disadvantaged students are having their opportunities stolen by the federal government making a “one size fits some” legislation. Higher requirements don’t simply create self-fulfilling prophecies; actual education with qualified teachers and classroom settings shaped for the students create progress. We can’t just throw a blanket at a child and say that he/she is being clothed.
So, what’s the solution? Ladd and Fiske brought up that a solution lay in programs that would give more educational and enrichment opportunities not just in academics but also culture. These programs would do much better with federal backing such as the mentioned Promise Neighborhoods. But the first step to improving the educational system is for the federal government to acknowledge that classes exist and there ARE children who are being left behind.