America’s Growing Inequality in Education
According to a new report from the Council on Foreign Realtions, the educational gap between poor students and rich students is threatening the countries global competitiveness. Even though the U.S. per student spending is at the same level as other developed countries for grades K-12 and usually higher when it comes to higher education. The way the funding is distributed is unequal. While most develop countries fund public schools through enrollment, the U.S. funds it’s schools through property taxes from the local communities. You can clearly see where the problem lays.
“The challenge for the U.S. education system is to reverse the growing link between income and achievement and push more low-income and disadvantaged minority students through high school and on to postsecondary education – all while keeping already high education costs and postsecondary tuition under control,” writes report author Rebecca Strauss.
The article states that “The United States is the only developed country in which the generation entering today’s labor market is less educated than the one leaving it. Among those ages 25 to 34, the country ranks 10th for high school graduates and 13th for college graduates – but for those ages 55 to 64, the country ranks first for high school grads and third for college graduates, according to the report.”
Low income students have greater disadvantages compared to more priviledge students. Many things factor into this including that most don’t have the same opportunities. Community colleges serve a higher porportion of low income students. Kevin Wlener, director of the National Education Center at the University of Colorado Bouldre agrees with the report stating that the U.S. should invest more in community colleges as well as early childhood programs.
The report also finds that education policy changes already enacted by the Obama administration have done little to help the neediest students. “New debt forgiveness and tax breaks have tilted a game field that was already in favor of wealthier students even more so, all at a cost to taxpayers,” writes Strauss.
Until the policy changes, the income gaps between those with and without college dregress will continue to grow. Students will learn if given the opportunity. If we continue to ignore the neediest, nothing will change. More educational programs should be available to the less priviledged. All students should have the same opportunities when it comes to education, regardess of their income. If they dont have the same opportunities it is clear they wont succeed at the same levels.