Major Issues in American Schooling
To be successful in any career or work field requires an education. Not many people would disagree on the fact that education is a key factor of being successful in the United States. Getting an education opens the door for more opportunities and possibilities in life. According to statistics college graduates earn more than twice as much as high school graduates. As the economy keeps changing, it is important to know the significance an education has in every child’s life to develop the knowledge and skills needed to acquire a job and live with economic mobility. However, many issues have arisen in American public schools, especially in low income areas that negatively affect students’ educational outcome. Most low income schools tend to be in diverse big cities with low school funding compared to suburban districts. Unfortunately, several low income public schools across the United States do not emphasize the importance of education. Low income public school students’ potential for success is hindered by socio-economic factors. Such factors force higher risks in dropout rates and more difficulties in becoming academically successful. There have been several solutions proposed for this issue, but ultimately very few solutions have shown any drastic positive results.
One current factor that is attacking the American education system now is the attrition of teachers. Many studies have shown that there is a higher attrition rate in urban area schools showing that teachers cannot stick to their profession of teaching after a certain amount of time. The study shows that “forty six percent of new teachers in this country eventually quit after five years or less, with that percentage growing to fifty percent in urban areas” (Boyer and Hamil). This shows that teachers choose to disregard the heavy responsibilities of teaching especially to the least advantaged children. More teachers tend to quit in low-income public schools where there is a higher need for them. Teachers are important components of students’ success and unfortunately the less fortunate children are usually left with the least qualified teachers. Recent studies have found, “the difference in teacher quality may represent the single most important resource differential between minority and white children and that it explains at least as much of the variance in student achievement as socioeconomic status”(Kahlenburg 131). For example, suburban schools have a higher pay for teachers which results in higher competitions for qualified teachers. These teachers are looking for schools that are stable and high paying. Low-income schools have a harder time finding teachers that could teach and help influence students’ success.
Teachers play an important role in a child’s academic success. If teachers play their role effectively, many students achievement rate would go up. Ronald Ferguson found, “every additional dollar spent on highly qualified teachers...