Poverty and Sub-Standard Education in America Culture within a society Indicates a way of life including widespread values, beliefs, and behavior. These values dictate what is socially acceptable and exploit a preference In perspective that begins to formulate norms, an Informal method of guiding behavior. Social interaction within each culture is directly related to the norms established within that location. Individuals who do not partake in these social interactions are considered outcasts. This type of Judgment in behavior is responsible for nothing more than social discrimination.
Individuals feel pressured to stay connected, not wanting to be labeled and treated as an outcast. As behavior is altered by social pressure, it exemplifies how an individual’s life can be shaped by society. Understanding this link is the first step in realizing that personal problems are undoubtedly influenced by society. As an individualistic culture, most Americans feel that their personal problems are a result of personal choices. This allows society to blame the victim for their own circumstances without looking at external factors that cause the same issues for millions of other Americans.
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A social problem is a condition that undermines the well-being of some or all members of a society and is usually a matter of public controversy. While one group may feel disadvantaged by a social problem, there is often another group that is benefiting from the situation, creating resistance for change. While many social problems are related, sociologists also feel most can be solved. One of the most distinguished relationships currently exists between poverty and substandard education. Poverty In the USA Is one of the most widely known, yet underrated social problems currently plaguing the country.
The poverty line is a gross underestimation resembling standard parameters of income for the purpose of counting the poor, the issue concerns the fact that the standard has not changed for over 50 years. The current 2012 poverty line Is set at an annual Income of $22,350 for a family of four, and SSL 1,170 annually for a single person (U. S. Department of Health & Human Services). This is a stark comparison in reference to recent cost of living requirements for a single person in the Hudson Valley, NY, given by Professor Gilmore as $1891 monthly, or $22692 annually which Is far more reasonable.
Each day In this great country, millions of Americans struggle to pay for food and housing. Perhaps the most alarming statistics consider the working poor, families with two working parents that still cannot make it month to month. American middle class families have been falling into the ranks of the working poor at record rates due to high levels of unemployment, growing Inflation, and recent crises wealth the Flanagan and housing Industries. The contending world economy affects millions of American workers by forcing them to compete with laborers on the other side of the globe working for a fraction of the cost.
As the largest American companies continue to outsource for record profits, the future of American generations Is severely at risk. “Since 2001, over 42,000 U. S. Factories have closed down for good and one out of every six Americans is currently enrolled in at 1 OFF least one anta-poverty program run Day ten Ethereal government” ( I en Economic Collapse). Our economy has also lost 10% of middle class Jobs since 2000, directly contributing to thinning the middle class (The Economic Collapse).
As Jobs have been recently increasing, they are mostly low-wage service Jobs within the restaurant and detail industries without health benefits, retirement opportunities, or paid sick leave. “Since 2001, the U. S. Has lost 50,000 good paying manufacturing Jobs each month, most of which within blue collar sectors” (The Economic Collapse). With the recent epidemic of low-wage Jobs, many Americans are combating the economic situation by returning to school to increase education and compete for higher paying Jobs.
However, higher education is an investment, costing both time and money in a situation where Americans are enduring longer work weeks for less pay than ever before. Currently, the educational system is not economically, nor institutionally prepared to handle the masses of underprivileged Americans and is in desperate need of a complete overhaul. Substandard educational institutions are spread across the country like a bad rash and are tied directly into public policy. One of the biggest problems concerns the primary source of funding for school systems through property taxes, a policy practically reinforcing social gentrification.
As the burden to fund schools lands on homeowners, school systems in highly concentrated cities with low income renters suffer, as is the case across the country. While 75% of the nation’s schools report needing repair, renovation, or modernization Just to reach good condition; most of these school are in cities where 70% of students live below the poverty line (Disorienting. Org). U. S. Rankings on international PISA tests, which are standardized test comparing students all over the world in math, reading and science, have drawn recent controversy as U. S. Dents were 14th in reading, 21st in science, and 25th in math, in 2009 (Strauss, 2012). However, recent research shows that U. S. Students in schools with less than 10% of students in poverty score first in the world in reading, achieving Geiger standards than Finland and Singapore, where all schools have less than 10% of students living in poverty(Strauss, 2012). There has been extensive research explaining numerous ways in which impoverished children start kindergarten unprepared, lacking pre-school education, health care and most importantly, social support.
According too recent Capitol Hill briefing on the impact of poverty on education, “income is a much stronger predictor of social achievement than it has ever been, a sign that the entire education system is in crisis. ” As proposed reformations suggest implementing test-based accountability and prevarication of schools, there is great resistance from the teachers’ unions. However, similar problems exist within the higher education system as well, with for-profit schools contributing to much of the recent controversy.
As State Universities have become increasingly expensive and community colleges are overcrowded, many students turn to for profit schools. From 1998-2008, for-profit school enrollment increased over 225%, compared to 25% for public/private universities (Harkin). However, there have been several implications against for-profit colleges pertaining to the exploitation of their own students. For-profit colleges typically charge six times the price of similar courses at a Community College and twice the price of universities.
The Department of Justice recently filed a multimillion collar lawsuit gallant ten education Management corporation, ten second largest for-profit college company for charging state and federal financial aid program $1 1 billion it was not eligible for (Lenin, 2011). Education Management is owned by Goldman Shahs, enrolling 150,000 students in over 100 schools (Lenin, 2011). This has been the rule rather than the exception referring for-profit schools under investigation for accusations of high pressure sales techniques and inflated claimed about career placement, outright lying to lure prospective students.
Another recent example includes targeting veterans for the tuition assistance money provided in the 6. 1. Bill, including Kaplan, where almost 70% of students drop out before graduating (Haltering, 2012). Research shows that in many cases, 90% of revenue from for-profit schools comes from the federal government (Harkin). Many of the recruiters in for- profit schools are paid on commission, persuading students to maximize their tuned loans, even when unnecessary, contributing to the growing student debt problem. Further research reveals that one in four students who attend a for-profit school defaults on his/her loan within three years.
The for-profit sector enrolls 10% of American higher education students, however accounts for almost 50% of loan defaults (Harkin), resulting in an incredibly inefficient waste of billions in federal aid that can easily be used more appropriately. I believe Bob Chase, from the National Education Association said it best, “educating children is very different from producing a profit”. One of the least talked about issues concerning higher education is related to the resources and technology comparison between community colleges and universities.
It is no secret that community colleges are forced to educate students with limited funds while large universities invest incredible amounts of money to hire top faculty and maintain state of the art educational and recreational facilities. Large universities also have the ability to bring specialized programs available to a large number of students. Currently, my girlfriend is enrolled at Orange Community College in Newbury and is attempting to get into the dental program. However, there are only 20 seats available in the dental program because of limited funding.
Since she lives in Putnam County and there is no community college there, there are only four seats available to out of county applicants for the program. If she does not get in, she has to wait another year to apply. How is a community supposed to flourish if the college only offers 20 students a year the ability to become a professional? The fact that there are no schools within 50 miles that offer the same program leaves limited options for other opportunities, making this example a reflect indication of the constant link between poverty and education.
Another personal issue relevant suggests providing a better understanding of how college works to reduce debt by limiting excess classes taken by students without contributing to their major. There is little effort made by high schools and colleges to explain the impact and importance of specific degrees in different Jobs. Another often misconception includes the concept of “schools” within schools, relating to the fact that students usually have to apply to get into a program after they are already accepted into the school, a requirement not usually explained extensively enough to incoming freshmen.