Do neighborhoods dictate what kind of public school our kids go to? Of course, students are zoned in order to avoid lengthy and costly bus trips as well as contributing to traffic snarls in large urban areas. Do poor urban areas signify poor public schools? As a rule, yes. Some cities have tried to forcibly mix economic and social levels to insure a fairer distribution of pupils, but these experiments have usually not worked well. As a result, some schools are all black or all white, or all Hispanic. Race has nothing to do with it as used to be the case 40 years ago. But the facilities sometimes reflect the abysmal level of income and culture of their families, and, even worse, show much lower academic results. The best teachers want to teach in affluent areas and affluent school districts want to hire the best. What’s left (of the teachers) take whatever positions are available.
High School X is consistently ahead of every other school in X District in just about every academic area; School Z, on the other hand, is consistently at the tail end in the same category. The difference? School X receives students from the wealthiest area of town, while School Z belongs to the poorest zone. So obviously more money in the family equates better education and values at home. The values include responsibility, hard work, and , perhaps, higher I.Q. Have I insulted many people so far, the ones who cry and decry poverty stereotypes? They state unequivocally that the poor are just as smart as the rest of the population. Just a second, ladies and gents! It is well-known that likes marry likes; very rarely does the poor girl (financially of course) link with the handsome rich guy for the simple reason that they do not haunt the same clubs, bars, or even schools. My maternal aunt, who was the beauty of the village and a very smart woman, married the ugliest and least intelligent man just to spite her parents. But she was just as poor and her kids, all three of them, turned out badly. OK, that doesn’t prove anything, I know; but I put it there as an example and my readers surely can do the same.
Let’s travel back to the initial thesis, that poor kids don’t have the best schools and/or teachers, while their rich peers (as a whole) enjoy better facilities, much better instructors, and more opportunities (scholarships, travel, visiting colleges, etc.). Maybe that is why Bill Gates and his wife decided to dedicate a good portion of their fortune to the creation of free private schools. I already mentioned that IDEA schools pick the cream of the crop but at least that cream should come from the poorest areas of the United States, right?
Recent research shows that IDEA charter school students are more “advantaged” than those entering local area schools. More specifically, low-income and special education are less likely to enter IDEA schools than students who were not low-income and not special education (Wikipedia)
Experts and government officials working in education claim that the famous gap between the whites and blacks, and whites and Hispanics, has narrowed considerably. Yet how can we make such statements when blighted urban areas suffer dismal educational facilities, when poor kids still risk life and limbs on their way to school only to face more threats from bullies and gang members. Meanwhile, rich (or affluent) Daddy’s lucky son and daughter ace their courses on the way to prestigious schools.
Aren’t all children entitled to the same opportunities to succeed in this magnificent republic?