Education and Empowerment

The myth of “education and empowerment” has affected public schools tremendously in a sense that everyone is being divided, mostly by class, which lowers the confidence of our students today. Yes, there are teachers who cater to students, stay after class, and provide them with one on one tutoring and even take time from their lunch to offer extra assistance in any subject. However, there are other public schools in which teachers do not take the initiative to listen and understand when their student says “I don’t get it”.
No one ever takes the responsibility as to why students are failing; they only take credit for those who are succeeding, bringing in positive results, and on a path of attaining a promising future. Jean Anyon, John Taylor Gatto, and Michael Moore have all questioned the system of public education in there articles. As a result, American public schools are hurting their students’ chances of being competitive in a global economy because they are not aiming high enough, stripping students of “responsibility and independence” (pg 158), and cutting off important resources.
Jean Anyon discussed the evaluation of five elementary schools and how their social class differed and affected their students. “Several weeks later, after a test, a group of her children ’still didn’t get it,’ and she made no attempts to explain the concept of dividing things into groups or to give them manipulables for their own investigation. Rather, she went over the steps with them again and told them that they ’needed more practice”’ (pg 177). Besides learning how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide, math gives students the ability to rethink a situation, and look for other options.

If teachers in these working-class schools are not taking the time to break down a simple division problem and give alternatives, how will their students be challenged or even advance to another grade level? Competition in this economy is widely based on how much money you have, what school you’re enrolled in, and who you know. If the majority of the students in this class were failing tests in an elite school, action would have been taken as soon as the teacher sensed a problem. The amount of money people pay to have their child enrolled in one of the best schools, better mean that their child is getting all the keenness from their teachers.
This is why students struggle in this economy, because they are all categorized. So what if one student’s parents are making more than the other, because he/she can afford that school and the other cant. This should give American public schools an even better motivation to “leave no child behind”. “School has done a pretty good job of turning children into addicts, but has done a spectacular job of turning our children into children. Again, this is no accident. Theorists from Plato to Rousseau to our own Dr.
Inglis knew that if children could be cloistered with other children, stripped of responsibility and independence, encouraged to develop only the trivializing emotions of greed, envy, jealousy, and fear, they would grow older but never truly grow up” (pg 158). If you are not teaching students to make good decisions or be responsible, they may never be able to do things without depending on their peers or family members. As if America wasn’t lazy already, Gatto talks about the easy ways out people have been taking advantage of, rather than working at it; such as getting divorces.
Schools have not stressed the fact that working hard at something brings results. It’s life. You can’t just become something great without having to put effort and time, you have to set goals and aim high, break down your options, and take them, don’t let anyone do it for you. What happens when a large group of schools are opened without a principal? Michael Moore stated that “163 New York city schools opened the 2000- 2001 school year without a principal” (pg 140). The time it takes for students to step foot in class is the time it’s going to take for the school to fall apart.
Schools will not have established systems or discipline without one. Who will teachers turn to, when something just isn’t right? Principals are the foundation of a school. Whether they are simply counseling a troubled student or revising a lesson plan with a teacher, they act as a resource. They are there to show support for the students and build relationships as they see them progress throughout the years. Acting as another resource for schools are public libraries and school libraries. Students are being deprived from the limited resources they can look to, to continue their education and obtain new informational skills.
Kids who come from a lower class cannot always manage to afford books, or even one of the greatest inventions, a computer, hence, to cut off such a necessity would be like cutting off their education for the most part. Instead of everyone working with the students, everyone is simply working for themselves. People ask who is the blame for our failing students of today but do not realize, or better yet, take the responsibility and action to make a change in their schools. Children complain that boredom s the only thing they think of when they come to class, however teachers are not challenging or giving students the amount of responsibility they need. To succeed in this global economy you have to be independent and dominant so that you’re not categorized below your own standards. It is said that the majority of the students whose families have money, do better, education wise, because they can afford more prestigious schools; but if teachers and students were more motivated, committed, and communicated, they too can achieve positive results and set themselves up for competition in this global economy.
Without a doubt will students be able to go against other students from different countries who have been cramming every book into their brains as young children because they were told that the key to survive as a professional was knowledge, responsibility, independence, and discipline. However, the system that is being used in American public schools today continues to lower the only self esteem students have left today.

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