The Segregation of America's School System

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America’s school system and student population remains segregated, by race and class. The inequalities that exist in schools today result from more than just poorly managed schools; they reflect the racial and socioeconomic inequities of society as a whole. Most of the problems of schools boil down to either racism in and outside the school or financial disparity between wealthy and poor school districts. Because schools receive funding through local property taxes, low-income communities start at an economic disadvantage. Less funding means fewer resources, lower quality instruction and curricula, and little to no community involvement. Even when low-income schools manage to find adequate funding, the money doesn’t solve all the school’s problems. Most important, money cannot influence student, parent, teacher, and administrator perceptions of class and race. Nor can money improve test scores and make education relevant and practical in the lives of minority students. School funding is systemically unequal, partially because the majority of school funding comes from the school district’s local property taxes, positioning the poorest communities at the bottom rung of the education playing field. A student’s socioeconomic status often defines her success in a classroom for a number of reasons. Students who live below the poverty line have less motivation to succeed, and their parents are less inclined to participate in their child’s education, often because the parents cannot provide support for their children. Although it’s logical that school districts from poorer communities cannot collect as much funding as the richer communities, persons stuck in these low-income communities often pay higher taxes, and still their school dis... ... middle of paper ... part of a program to help improve 5% of the nation’s lowest performing schools. This grant represents the attempt to reform and create opportunity for disadvantaged students. However, Roosevelt’s grant guarantees nothing except additional federal funding and more pressure to improve its test scores. I believe that Roosevelt will have problems improving their test scores without first creating incentives for its students to graduate and attempt to attend college. Fixing problematic schools like Roosevelt requires more than multi-million dollar grants. The government will require Roosevelt to improve standardized test scores and to keep students from dropping out. The school’s curriculum will necessarily focus around standardized test scores, rather than helping students become proficient in the skills that will improve their chances in college and the workforce.

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