It is generally accepted that good education is a way to success and prosperity. Still, present-day education system of the United States is characterized by social disparities in opportunities that students of different schools receive. The major cause of these disparities is unequal funding of educational institutions, which leads to further discrepancies in educational opportunities and achievements. It is closely connected with the status of the school. For example, rural and suburban schools usually have less funding and are associated with lower expectations (Ballantine & Hammack, 2016). Thus, what are the discrepancies between schools of different levels and what can be done to reduce the existing gap?
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Differences between Schools
In the video, two high school students share impressions about their schools and introduce some peculiarities of these educational institutions. It is evident that the schools from Baltimore and Virginia presented in the video educate students of different social and economic backgrounds (Hsarhan1, 2009). The following differences that lead to general disadvantages in the education system can be traced based on the students’ experiences.
- First of all, schools provide a different range of subjects. While the poorer school is mainly focused on basic subjects, the better funded one offers its students a wider alternatives of disciplines that can be useful for further choice of career. Students who study diverse academic disciplines not limited to biology, algebra, and arts, are more likely to be successful in life because they have basic knowledge about the society they live in, their country and its systems, and other important information that is determining factor in choosing a university or college. Thus, this difference creates another discrepancy of different academic knowledge that students receive.
- Secondly, the students discuss the equipment that the schools have. The gap is even more evident here because some schools have facilities for sports, arts, and research, while in the others teachers have to buy even the simple supplies such as paper or pens to conduct classes. These discrepancies are likely to result in different academic achievements, which are also related to career choices and success in life.
- One more difference that is both economic and social is the way students get to school. Thus, some students have problems with parking near school because all of them come by cars. At the same time, other students have to travel by some busses and pay for them to get to school. Evidently, such a discrepancy adds to a gap between schools.
Suggestions to Bridge Education Gap
Bringing the existing gap is one of the primary concerns of governors and educators. It is evident that the schools themselves are not able to take any efficient actions. Moreover, due to the country size and the number of discrepancies, there is no unique remedy for all schools. Still, one of the suggestions that can be applied to rural schools is the attraction of funding outside the budget. For example, local businesses can be involved to provide certain financial aid to the poorest schools. Still, more global steps are possible on the national level through budget redistribution.
On the whole, the problem of educational gap is both social and economic. Thus, economic disparities in funding of educational institutions lead to greater social discrepancies among their graduates. Consequently, there is a need for interventions able to bridge this gap both on local and national levels.
Ballantine, J., & Hammack, F. M. (2016). The sociology of education: A systematic analysis (7th ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.
Hsarhan1. (2009). A tale of two schools [Video file]. Web.