Central Theme: Poverty A central theme that is evident about urban education is poverty. In both The Wire and Hard Times at Douglass High, the students, community, and schools all suffer from abject poverty. In Hard Times, the schools are not only understaffed; but two thirds of the teachers are non-certified and the remaining teachers are underqualified to teach the subjects assigned to them. The school is run down and overpopulated with not enough resources in the classroom for students to use and they don’t have enough funding to fix the school or run after school programs. This leads to the student’s destruction.
This trust although is contradicted by the public system of education’s current shape. Much of the schools in the United States are either deteriorating, or failing all together. The drawbacks of public education create an unhealthy environment for student learning. Many people think public school can dip their hands into the public treasury for funding if they are ever in need of money; however many schools do not qualify to get these funds. “The disparate funding for public schools and between states and within metropolitan areas has turned some public schools into meccas for affluent students and others into decaying infrastructures with overcrowded classrooms and soaring drop-out rates” (PBS).
These are the questions that come to mind whenever one imagines that all high school students have low self-esteem. Many students in the United States have low self-esteem. Some students want to improve their low self-esteem, while most students cannot. Low self-esteem affects high school students extremely, especially during school hours. They affect everything and everyone around them.
These are the only two intelligences being tested out of seven by GPA’s and Standardized tests. The grading system for United States middle schools and high schools does not provide an accurate assessment of achievement and has been a deterrent. Teachers become a deterrent by grading students using bias judgments. Teachers must be held responsible to focus on equality of all students otherwise they risk corruption. Their judgments cause incorrect assessments of students.
The majority of public schools do not meet these standards. They often struggle with high dropout rates, low standardize test scores, low graduation rates, and disciplinary problems. These problems can truly hinder the future of these schools and the students attending them, so they are placed on the academically unacceptable list; low performing schools list. Although those problems standout they are forming from smaller problems within the schools. Many of the schools on the low performing list lack in the quality and quantity of teachers and books.
In order for students to reach their full potential America must change its ways regarding public education. America’s public schools, as a whole, America’s public schools are flawed due to many factors; three of the biggest contributing factors being their unreasonably low standards, a less than sufficient number of qualified teaching professionals, and the amount of emphasis placed on standardized tests combined with the lack of emphasis placed skills required to build strong character and responsibility in students. The first reason America’s public school system is flawed is because of the unreasonably low standards that the students are expected to meet. By only requiring their students to meet low standards; schools are setting students up for failure not only in school, but also in life as they grow older and join the work force. Katherine Baird explains “this occurs with America’s low educational standards: by setting the bar low, students both underperform and are misled about the skills and knowledge required for future success” (31, 32).
Previous Page There is a great divide between rich school districts and poor school districts in respect to students’ achievements. Many of the poor school districts’ student population consists of minorities, which adds to the stereotypes of minorities not being intelligent. “These students, for whom a strong education is especially essential, are being left behind - and being left behind in greater and greater numbers over the past decade” (“Equity” par 1). One way that this problem has occurred is that in many poor districts, many of the teachers are not certified in the area in which they teach. In fact, forty percent of the Math teachers teaching in poor districts and thirty-one percent of the English teachers teaching in poor districts do not the proper certification for the subject they are teaching.
Why are there few minority teachers in schools? Why are minority parents not involved in the education of their children? Clearly, there is no one easy answers to these questions, but some people argued that race and class differences are fundamentally caused by genetic dynamics and consequently in their essence are unchallengeable. Others reasoned for their scholastic malfunctions continue to be seen as partially environmental and social racism. Resource scarcity and lack of opportunity repeatedly are presented as the only conceivable explanations for poor performance in education.
Some people view America as a country with a weak educational system, Michael Moore is one of these people. In his article “Idiot Nation,” he believes American school systems are being run poorly causing our student’s intellect to be sluggish. Moore believes that this is being caused by political leaders and most people in society that “have decided it’s a bigger priority to build another bomber than to educate our children.” (Moore 131) These people would rather worry about situations with war than providing a decent education to the students. Because of these decisions, school systems don’t supply the most efficient education for students in our nation. This then leads to the students not learning all that they should in school.
Since the early 1980's, the issue of America's faltering public school system has become a serious concern. The crisis in K-12 education is one of the biggest challenges facing the nation. There is a great deal of evidence to show this problem. The pathetically low results of American students through international test scores is one obvious fault. Another is the failure of many students to demonstrate their knowledge of basic skills and literacy.