The Quality of Education in America

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The quality of education in America is a subject that is steadily gaining notice by citizens across the country. Making sure that young children have equal opportunities to achieve in the academic world is extremely important if we desire to sculpt a successful and lucrative nation. In her essay entitled “Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum of Work”, author Jean Anyon ethnographically studies a handful of American schools and argues that there are vast class-oriented differences between these vessels of academia across the United States. The most prevalent differences however are not so much in resources and financial situations of the individual school systems, but rather the teaching methods and philosophies utilized. Anyon builds on her thesis by splitting public schools into five separate social class designations and explains the most prevalent coinciding philosophies that teachers incorporate in each of these categories. “Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum of Work” is an absolutely mind opening literary work relevant to current society in America. Jean Anyon proves to stimulate her reader’s thoughts on the impact the modern educational system has on socio-economic class differences in the country.

The first category of school that Anyon covers in her essay is the “Working Class School”. In this section, the author explains that most the students attending have parents employed in blue collar positions such as factory assembly line workers, boilermakers, and auto-mechanics. In the essay, the most prevalent teaching philosophy for this social category of school is stated as such: “In the two working class schools, work is following the steps of a procedure. The procedure is usually mechanical, involving rote b...

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... the wealthier a child’s family is the better school they will attend. This essay does an excellent job of describing the myth of equal opportunity in America. It is obvious from this literary selection that those who are born into wealthier families are set up for success as soon as they begin kindergarten while other children from less fortunate families are simply thrown into working class blue collar positions with little chance for progression to a higher socio-economic class. Education is one of the most important elements within our modern American society. As long as we have this broad spectrum of teaching philosophies and methods, there will always be children with advantages over others. If these differences are evened out, I believe that a reestablishment of a large American middle class is possible, creating a more lucrative and successful nation.

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