Unequal Education in America: Urban vs Suburban Education

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Unequal Education in America: Urban vs Suburban Education The gap between the nation’s best and worst public schools continues to grow. Our country is based on freedom and equality for all, yet in practice and in the spectrum of education this is rarely the case. We do not even have to step further than our own city and its public school system, which many media outlets have labeled “dysfunctional” and “in shambles.” At the same time, Montgomery County, located just northwest of the District in suburban Maryland, stands as one of the top school systems in the country. Within each of these systems, there are schools that excel and there are schools that consistently measure below average. Money alone can not erase this gap. While increased spending may help, the real problem is often rooted in the complex issues of social, cultural, and economic differences. When combined with factors involving the school itself and the institution that supports it, we arrive at what has been widely known as the divide between the suburban and urban schools. Can anything actually be done to reverse this apparent trend of inequality or are the outside factors too powerful to change? The issue of equality in education is not a new problem. In 1787, our federal government required all territories petitioning for statehood to provide free education for all citizens. As part of this requirement, every state constitution included, “an education clause, which typically called for a “thorough and efficient” or “uniform” system of public schools” (School Funding 6). Despite this requirement, a “uniform” system of schools has yet to be achieved in this country for a variety of reasons, many of which I will discuss later on. During the early part of th... ... middle of paper ... ...omic background when judging students. Money will not solve or make this problem go away, no matter how many social workers are hired. Schools will succeed despite their financial circumstances if they have the basic components of motivated students, parent support, caring teachings, and strong central leadership. While this is the typical model of a suburban school system, Wilson High School proves that it can work anywhere. When ones thinks of urban public schools, overcrowded classes, underpaid teachers, and a lack of resources often come to mind. The fact is these problems can happen anywhere. While the environment at Kennedy could never be compared to the worst DC high school, the assumptions made against these schools are the same. By erasing these notions and confronting the problems one by one, we will be one step closer to reaching equal education for all.

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