Having Hope In Our Foundational School System

2250 words - 9 pages

Having Hope in Our Foundational School System

Public schools have been the democratic foundation and centerpiece for the educational school system in the United States of America since the end of the American Civil War. The public school system was created with the purpose to be government funded and free for the public. As George Lakeoff once wrote “Democracy’s sacred mission is to protect and empower everyone equally by the provision of public resources, what we call the public (Lakeoff 2-4).” Unfortunately, some individuals have mistaken flaws in a small portion of poor public schools for absolute failure and demand their closure ...view middle of the document...

Milwaukee is not only the largest schools district in Wisconsin, but it is also the poorest; thus, it should not be surprising for the public to see low test scores, especially when budget cuts increased the most in poorer districts. The author also claims that “That decades of studies have affirmed that the single most important factor affecting educational achievements are inequalities of wealth and poverty.(Lafer 36-38)” As a matter of fact, across the country six poor schools districts in Pennsylvania are suing their state in order to reform funding. In Shenandoah, Pennsylvania budget cuts were so extreme that “one district has one school counselor, one guidance counselor, one art teacher and one gym teacher for more than 1,000 students. It no longer has a librarian. Funding for buses was cut in 2011, and students who live in the borough of Shenandoah have to be driven to school or walk, some over a mile (Moskowitz 2-4).”

Regardless of the usual struggles that poor schools districts have, there are alternatives to fixing these problems than just handing it over to business. Numerous public schools have succeed in the United States and privatizing a failing school does not guarantee higher scores, despite common belief. Studies have actually been completed in response to the sudden growth of charter schools and “multiple studies have compared their performance with that of traditional public schools. Their conclusion: There is no discernible difference. One recent meta-analysis reviewed the results of 83 studies conducted over 12 years, concluding that “on the whole, charters perform similarly to traditional public schools” (Miron 2012, 228–230).”

The pie chart above shows the results and to the surprise of most, not only are the general chunk of charter schools indistinguishable from public schools, but a larger percentage of public schools were also discovered to be superior to charter schools. These results deny the correlation between making a school private and generating an increase in academics.

Another problem with privatizing schools is that it will only further the gap between the social classes. Unknown too many Americans, charter schools have historical roots to “white resistance to school desegregation after Brown v. Board of Education (1954).The desired outcome was few or, better yet, no black students in white schools. In Prince Edward County, segregationist whites sought to outwit integration by directing taxpayer funds to segregated private schools (Bonostia 15-19).” The historic motive for segregation became very desirable, so much that people were known to navigate for loops in the laws to achieve what they needed. I gathered data and created the graph below to show historic data of black student being secluded from publicly funded white schools.

Attorney David Mays, who was an advisor to Virginia politicians in the 1950’s once said “Negroes could be let in [to white...

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