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 Amanda, Anna, Joshua,
Mike, Choul, Colton, Tony,
   Melissa and Colter
Characteristics of Education in the
          United States

• Education in U.S. society is conservative
• Schools teach to preserve the culture, not
  to transform it
• Creativity and a questioning attitude are
  curtailed in school

• Children are taught to compete individually
  rather than work cooperatively for common
           Mass Education

• U.S. democratic society requires an
  educations citizenry
• School problems are related to the lack of
  student interest
    Local Control of Education
• The bulk of money and control for
  education comes from local communities.
• Whether the tax base is strong or weak
  has a pronounced effect on the quality of
• Alternate types of schooling.
•   Lack of common curriculum
      1. Wide variation is the preparation in
      2. Families move on the average of
    once every five years, large numbers of
    students find the requirements of their
    new schools different, sometimes very
• Families with school-age children decline
  from 45% of the U.S. population in 1950 to
  33% in 2000 which increases the ever-
  greater likely hood of the defeat of school
• Another problem of local control is the lack
  of curriculum standardization across the
  nations 15,367 school districts and 50
         Competitive Nature of
           U.S. Education

• Competition extends to all school activities
• Grading is comparison of individuals
• Teachers make up games to encourage
          Sifting and Sorting
          Function of School

• The lower the class, the shorter the ride.
    Preoccupation with Order and
• Activities begin and end on a timetable, not in
  accordance with the degree of interest shown or
  whether students have mastered the subject.
• The school authorities belief in order is one
  reason for this dedication to rules,
• Teachers are rated not on their ability to get
  pupils to learn but, rather on the degree to which
  their classrooms are quiet and orderly.
     Education and Inequality

• Children in poorest families
• Test scores relate to poverty
• Minorities
Median Annual Income For Full-time Workers by Educational Attainment for
People 25 Years Old and Over by Race and Hispanic Origin, 2000
Poverty and Achievement in Denver Schools
Fourth Graders at or above Grade Level in Reading and Math
    Financing Public Education
•  Private and public schools receive funds
   from three governmental sources.
1. 10% Federal Government
2. 40% State
3. 50% property taxes in districts with in the
• Unequal funding
  Family Economic Resources
• Poor families
SAT scores
Health benefits
Early development
School and Education
Higher Education and Stratification
• Cost of college
Low income students
“Rich get richer”
Most prestigious schools have the most
• Community college
• U.S. schools are more related to middle or
  upper class.
• English may be a second language for
  many Latino and Asian students
• Teaching methods
•    Schools are segregated by:
1.   Social class
2.   Race
3.   Neighborhoods
4.   And within school
       Tracking and Teachers’
• Tracking of students and their needs
• Lower tracks are discouraged in their
• Upper tracks develop feelings of
• Low-track are tracked to fail
• Low income families are placed in the
  lowest track
     Reforming the Financing of
• There must be a commitment to a free education for all
• Typically children must pay for their supplies textbooks,
  laboratory fees, locker rental, admission to plays, athletic
  events, insurance, transportation, meals, equipment for
  extracurricular activities
• These costs take a large portion of poor families budgets
  and increase pressure to withdrawal their children from
• If education was absolutely free to all children communities
  could reduce dropout rates among the poor
• Poor pay taxes to subsidize college students costs, yet their children
  are likely to find the costs of a higher education prohibitive
• College attendance by the children of the poor and even the not so
  poor are more and more unlikely because costs are so high
• An important way to produce equal opportunity is to provide a free
  college education to all who qualify - elimination of tuition, allowance
  for books, grants and loans for students who need to pay for living
• The federal government should engage in four programs to promote
  equal opportunity for the disadvantaged: (1) Provide national
  education standards, a national curriculum, and national tests. (2)
  Government spends federal monies unequally to equalize
  differences among the states. (3) Encourage states to distribute
  their funds to eliminate or minimize disparities between rich and
  poor districts. (4) Government must increase its funding for
  programs such as Headstart and must continue such compensatory
  programs through kindergarten and first grade
  Universal Preschool Programs
• The most important variable affecting school performance is not
  race but socioeconomic status
• Children from poorer families tend to do worse in school than
  children from wealthier families
• If children from lower class homes are to succeed in middle class
  schools they must have special help to equalize their chances
• California has initiated a program for all youngsters from
  kindergarten through the third grade which aims at having every
  youngster reading and writing computing and excited about school
  by the age of eight
• California’s results show children from schools in lower class areas
  are gaining faster than are those in other schools
• The program is expensive but the costs will be offset by great
  reductions in expenditures for remedial work older students
Reducing Class and School Size
•    Smaller class size
1.   Achieve higher grades
2.   Better high school graduation rates
3.   More likely to attend college
4.   Black-White academic narrowed 38 percent
•    Smaller School Size
1.   Less risky behavior
2.   Greater class intimacy improving performance
3.   Greater attendance and lower drop out rates
Attracting and Retaining Excellent Teachers

• Academic achievement is based on great
  – The single most important factor in raising academic
    performance in poor schools appears to be the presence of
    experienced, competent and caring teachers. Disadvantaged
    youths currently are taught be the least prepared and most
    transient in the system. Devising incentives for recruiting and
    maintaining highly qualified teachers and for retraining existing
    staff in high poverty schools should be the top priority of those
    serious about raising standards.(Orfield and Wald, 2000:40)
  Extending the School Day and Year

• More time spent in school
  – The U.S. devotes the shortest amount of time time to
    teaching its children of any advanced nation
  – The summer break is especially harmful to minority
    and poor kids. They enter the first grade half a year
    behind upper income children but fall 2.5 years
    behind by the end of the fifth grade. Almost all of this
    gap can be traced to summer vacations, when lower
    income kids were treading water and upper income
    kids were forging ahead.(Symonds,2001:76)
  Holding Educators Accountable
• The pressure of “No Child Left Behind”

• Encouraging drop-out

• Better Teachers for the poor and minority
  Reforming the Educational Philosophy of
• Schools mimic society
• Suppressing the natural curiosity of
• Meeting societies requirements
• Treating children like miniature adults
    Ten Point Education Agenda
         For Every Child
1. Operate from the premise that all
   children can learn and perform at high
2. Ensure that every child enters school
   ready to learn and to succeed
3. Set measurable and appropriate
   standards for success
4. Empower teachers and principals
5. Invest in quality teaching
            Ten Point con’t
6. Provide every child with facilities that
    support learning and state-of-the-art
7. Ensure adequate resources to make all
    of the above a reality
8. Involve the entire community
9. Engage the public in the school reform
10. Address every one of the above
       Restructuring Society
• Equality opportunity is truly the goal,
  education cannot be accomplish alone
                Key Terms
• Cultural deprivation- erroneous assumption
  that some groups are handicapped by a so-
  called inferior culture
• Tracking- ability grouping in schools
• Stigma- powerful negative social label that
  effects a person’s social identity and self-
• Student subculture- members of the
  disadvantage band together in a group with
  values and behaviors antagonistic toward school

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