American Schools: Should Be More Equitable For Students Of Lower Classes And Minority Races

1738 words - 7 pages

   American schools are in crises. There are a variety of problems that exist in American schools right now, which associate with economic and social classes, race and ethnicity, and gender issues. Although the gender differences in classrooms do have some affects on the quality of American education, they are not the main reasons why American schools are in danger. The most serious problems in American educational system are the barriers that students from both lower classes and minority races are facing. In K-12 schools, standardized testing seems to be the one issue that creates problems. In terms of enrolling into college, the financing is the most common reason that blocks lower classes and minority race students from colleges. In both K-12 and postsecondary schools, lack of mentoring and helpful faculty members has negative influences on students in terms of both academic achievements and social skills. Therefore, decreasing standardized testing, changing college financing, and increasing mentoring would be the three solutions, which seem the most practical and reasonable in terms of solving those problems.
   Standardized testing is thought to be a method of encouraging students from K-12 grades to perform well in the academic environment. However, it does not do what it is meant to do. In Peter Sacks’s article, “Do No Harm: Stopping the Damage to American Schools,” Sacks points out the fact that standardized testing actually discourages students’ intent of studying, especially to the students who attend schools in poor school districts (44-47). Lower classes and minority races as African Americans and Asian Americans are mainly in those poor school districts. Due to the low family income and tax rate, poor school districts are even deeper in poverty. The limiting budget blocks these schools from updated techniques and also sufficient numbers of well - trained teachers. Under these disadvantageous conditions, students in the poorer school districts are most likely failing in standardized tests because of the lack of preparation. As Sacks mentions in his article, the punishments that standardized testing brings to the schools have added more pressures on the teachers (44). Because of the pressure on the teachers, they would focus more on teaching students how to take the tests rather than what they are supposed to teach in terms of academic achievements (Sacks 44). Standardized testing seems to turn these schools into the ones only for testing. Another issue with standardized testing is that it does not fit every race of students equally well. In Michele Phillips’s article, “Standardized Tests Aren’t Like T-Shirts: One Size Doesn’t Fit All,” Phillips claims that standardized tests are unfair to the students who don’t have English as their primary language. Moreover, standardized tests seem biased because they’re under the standard of the norms of White middle-class America (Phillips). Due to these linguistic and cultural differences,...

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