Educational Inequality: A Social Problem in the U.S.
Educational Inequality: A Social Problem In the U.S.
The goal of education is to make sure that every student has a chance to excel, both in school and in life. Increasingly, children's success in school determines their success as adults, determining whether and where they go to college, what professions that they enter, and how much they are paid. Why is that getting a good education is dependent upon a person’s socioeconomic status? Education is a right in the U.S, but it seems to be accessible for the privilege. Why do we have inequality in education? Let’s look at different ...view middle of the document...
The wage gap between those with business, law, medical or other postgraduate degrees has widened a lot more than the gap between college and high-school graduates. Even excluding capital gains, tax-return data crunched by Emmanuel Saez of the University of California at Berkeley show that the top 1% in the U.S. got 16% of all income in 2004, compared with 9% in 1984”(Income, 2006).
Review of Literature:
“Education Secretary Margaret Spellings points out two basic factors of inequality in Education, in an article in “The Institute for Emerging Issues”, October 2006. 1. Access and Affordability. Spellings points out that the cost of higher education has outpaced inflation, putting a college degree out of reach for many families. The lost potential is not only felt by individuals, but also by the state and country. She wisely identifies this issue because there is little else that matters more than education in determining our future. Spellings however, doesn't mention the primary reason behind the skyrocketing cost of higher education, which is the
continual decline in public funding from governments. Recent trends indicate that states have made a conscious decision to shift the financial burden of higher education towards the campuses, and away from the government. Universities are left to cover the loss revenue from government from other sources. Some is made up with fundraising, but the rest must be made up with tuition increases. Policymakers can address the affordability issue in two ways. They can help keep tuition low by providing more public funds for higher education, and they can help keep tuition low for those in need with more need-based financial aid. The latter would be better because, for any given amount of funding, it would lift more people up the economic ladder. Targeted financial aid will also directly help with the growing disparity among the population by helping people achieve a college degree when they would not be able to do so otherwise. 2. Accountability. Spellings' plan however includes questionable ideas on improving accountability with simple measures. Now being an economist, I support accountability more than most. But, also because I am an economist, I understand people respond to incentives in complex ways and being accountable to simple measures often leads to unintended consequences that do more harm than good. Access, affordability and accountability in higher education deserve attention from policymakers”(Institute). “According to the Structural-Functionalism view, the educational institution serves important tasks for society such as: Instruction, Socialization, Sorting Individuals into Various Statuses, and the provision of Custodial Care. Many social problems such as unemployment and poverty are linked to failure of educational institutions to perform their basic functions. Structural-Functionalism looks at the reciprocal influences of education and other social institutions including the family. •...