Should you be rewarded with a better education just because you were lucky enough to be born into the right family? Is being punished with a mediocre education for something you had no control over fair? Shouldn’t all Americans receive the same education from public schools? Most Americans would agree that all public schools should offer the same opportunities to all students no matter what neighborhood or race the students are. In many schools today a major problem is that the students are not the ones, failing, but actually the teachers failing the students. Even though the movie Lean on Me highlights the negatives in our school system, the lack of funding making teachers jobs harder, lack of motivation to teach challenging material, and the little interest by teachers to forge personal relationships with their students, the movie overall has a positive message that shows the result of teachers genuinely caring about their students futures.
Lean on Me is based on a true story about a struggling Eastside High School located in a lower income area of Paterson, New Jersey. After the students fail to meet the state required average on the basic skills test, the mayor of Paterson brings in a former teacher of Eastside to try to save the school from being taken over by the state. When Mr. Clark, portrayed in the movie by Morgan Freeman, arrives he can tell there is no law and order in this school, and the students are actually the ones in charge. On his first day, he rounds up all the drug dealers and trouble makers and expels them all from school, in hopes of creating a safer place to learn for the rest of the students. When asked why, he did this he replied “They say one bad apple spoils a bunch. Well...
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...ing unequal funding, unmotivated students and teachers, and the absence of teacher student relationships. In a neighborhood where drugs are king and gangs control the streets, it takes something as small as one man caring about the student’s futures to make a difference. The movie gives a positive view of why lower income neighborhoods deserve the same chance at an education as their higher income counterparts. The only way to fix this problem is to fund every public school according to its expenses. Even though Mr. Clark did raise the test scores and bring a positive influence to the students his solutions were far from making Eastside High School equal to the others. The movie has a positive message that no matter where the school is located students can be successful if teachers care about the students and if the students receive the necessary tools to succeed.
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