Education Inequality in America
Will Durant, a businessman and the founder of General Motors, once said, “Education is the transmission of civilization.” Unfortunately, education is still one of the most deliberated and controversial issues in the United States. Thus far, the privilege or right to receive education has not attained the level of equality throughout the nation; poor districts obtain less educational funding while rich districts obtain more, creating an immense gap between the quality of schools in poor and rich areas.
The government does not fully provide funding for each school district since public schools are funded through property taxes (“Public”, 1). Therefore, the amount of money for education received by each district varies from one another; there is a minor probability of two school districts getting the exact amount of money. It is reported that districts with high numbers of low-income students receive fewer government dollars per pupil than districts with fewer low-income students (Brennan, 1).
However, the government is attempting to improve and resolve this matter by creating new laws or regulations, such as the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act. This act was approved by Congress in 2001 and signed by President Bush in 2002 (Popham, 5).
The NCLB Act is now envisioned to be a solution to this ongoing argument; this act guarantees extra funding for schools in low-income areas and for all American children to receive equal education (“The No Child”, 1). As expected, the government anticipates positive results and feedbacks from all public schools in the nation, before actually giving those schools more money as a reward. In this case, the government expects every school in this country to regulate a new standardized test for students (Popham, 14). This new standardized test will be used by the government to rate schools, whether the school is ‘failing’ or not, based on their students’ performances on this test.
Despite the government’s noble intentions to reduce problems in the society by creating this act, more arguments arise among citizens on whether the NCLB Act will enrich or impair the equality of education in this nation.
An Argument for NCLB Act Subverts Education
Those who dissent the NCLB Act and believe that it will weaken education particularly base their argument on two main reasons- standardized tests and test scores are not the way to improve equality in education and also, NCLB concentrates more on giving the teachers education, not the students, on how to improve their students’ test scores.
First, the government believes that evaluating American children with the same test will reflect their abilities; therefore, these test results also indicate the school rating and whether the school itself is adequate for teaching purposes or not.
There are different factors which affect one’s test score. Someone may get nervous when taking a...