Education Social Inequality Essay

I taught AP English at a public school for eight years, and it was an entirely different world than the mainstream English classes I teach now in the same district.Similar to Goldstein, bloggers and parents who criticize the nature of private schooling often argue that it takes the best students away from the public-school system, at the expense of overall achievement at the latter.

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The merit of this extra learning is undeniable, but many students are barred from it because they lack the money or didn’t get the support they needed to get ahead.

More than 1 million students took a course for college credit in the 2010-11 school year, and about half of them paid for their own tuition, fees, and books.

But within the nearby public school where I teach, the gulf between the honor students and the rest of the school population is almost too vast to measure: The seniors taking AP English, for example, reported an average SAT score of 1890, while those in the mainstream English classes reported a mean score of 1590.

I wrote an essay back in March explaining that I opted to send my daughter to a small private school on the grounds that attending it reflected a “buy-in” rather than an obligation. Department of Education declares, “equity in education is vital because equality of opportunity is a core American value” and integral to the country’s economic strength.

After lunch, a few of those students drive to their class at a local junior college, for which they’ll earn high-school and higher-education credits simultaneously.

Some of these high-achievers might return home in the evening only to take another college course—this one a paid-online class—that their parents believe will help them .Meanwhile, back at the school, the struggling kids are staring at computer screens, taking a remedial class.Maybe some of them lack Internet at home and can’t watch the video lesson their math teacher posted for homework.Just look at SAT scores, which are one of the only measurements available for comparing public- and private-school students.In the middle-class California town where I live, the main private school (which charges about ,700 annually for tuition) and public school have almost identical average SAT scores: 18 (out of 2400), respectively.Studies show that the individuals who participate in dual enrollment are more likely to both graduate from high school and earn a college degree.I know a student who took afternoon classes at the local community college last semester and ended up attending classes at his public high school for only 15 or so hours a week.As a parent and high-school teacher, and a veteran coach of several sports at public schools, I am sometimes perplexed by the value in personal opportunities that are afforded more easily to some students than others.Is it better for my community if I remove my daughter from the private school and instead encourage her to take honors classes at the public school?Over the weekend, an advanced student might meet with her SAT tutor, while her not-so-fortunate classmate could be washing dishes at the local restaurant.Although these students might share a campus and a mascot, they form a distinct population within the public school, as is common throughout the country.


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