Essay on Social Problems: Unequal Education System

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Vanderbilt University
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Education is one of the critical pillars of society. A good education system enables students to achieve self-independence, turn their dreams into reality, improve the state of the community, and improves the economic growth of the nation. In united states. The education system had mostly been considered as a fair system because of service provision and opportunities accorded to students. However, the state of public education makes it the worst of systems because of racial and class discrepancies. Ideally, the white students from high-income people get a quality education compared to black students from low-income people. These have contributed to a wide range of educational inequalities experienced in public schools across the US (Guerrero and Anna).

To better illustrate the subject of inequality in the United States, we will compare the education system of Greenwich high school that is located in high-income town and Roosevelt middle school in West Palm Beach, Florida which is a high-poverty area. The two schools greatly vary according to color and have considerable differences regarding academic performances and equity.

Greenwich high school is one of the white-dominated institutions where wealthy parents take their students. According to the racial or ethnic composition, 70% of the students are whites, 18% are Hispanic, and 7% are Asian. The school is mainly white dominated because the majority of the poor blacks and Hispanics do not afford the schools high fees. Regarding income composition, 15% of the students are from low-income backgrounds while 85% are from high-income families. The school does best in science as is ranked among the best schools in sciences contests and the percentage rate of students passing exams is 87%. In equity overview, some disadvantaged students are performing well like other affluent students. Moreover, their education outcomes are excellent because of availability of adequate resources such as classrooms, laboratory facilities and enough teaching staff (Greatschools.Org).

Roosevelt middle school, on the other hand, is a public school dominated by students from low-income backgrounds. Concerning racial composition, 70% of the students are blacks, 20% are Hispanic, 5% are Asian, and 5% are whites. Ideally, the school is mainly for students from poor backgrounds who are unable to pay fees for highly regarded schools like Greenwich schools. 85% of the students are from low-income families compared to 13% of not low-income families. Regarding their academic performance, the test scores for math is 42%, English 43% and civics 56%. They perform averagely mainly because of lack of enough learning materials and resources. In equity overview, disadvantaged students are falling behind other students thus creating achievement gaps (Greatschools.Org).

These tremendous divergent academic outcomes occur mainly because of two things, poverty, and racial discrimination. Poverty is the primary cause of poor academic performance mostly among the blacks. Poverty affects physical readiness in that food is expensive thus the students will lack proper nutrition. Improper nutrition results to poor health thus causing colossal absenteeism and school dropout. Moreover, being hungry makes their concentration in class to fall significantly. Social and emotional readiness are other factors associated with poor students. They create stress which disconnects them with learning and ultimately impacting their studies. Cognitive preparation is also typical because it influences how students learn. Poverty leads to education inequalities because these problems are not experienced in high-income schools (Amerikaner and Ary).

Furthermore, the education inequality is caused by racial discrimination which is widespread in high-income schools dominated by white people. The blacks are mainly targeted and bullied by both the white students and teachers thus damaging his/her self-esteem. For instance, in the school, frequent harassment in classes affects the concentration, motivation, and learning of the black and Latino students. Besides, the students can also be racially abused by their white teachers thus causing lower grades and less academic motivation among the blacks. In the above Greenwich high school, the majority of students are whites and are dominant in many fields thus killing the morale of other minority students who end up dropping out of the classroom.

Consequences of Unequal Educational System

The unequal educational system in the US has led to diminishing educational expectations for black children. The black parents do not expect better academic performance from their children compared to white children thus causing less-positive attitudes towards the school. Additionally, the issue leads to less parent-child communication about the school and ultimately less out-of-school learning opportunities. Secondly, high school dropouts are prevalent in schools with the unequal education system. For instance, if the minority students are denied necessary education materials they become psychologically challenged thus ending up dropping out to avoid further mental stresses (Amerikaner and Ary).

Moreover, the problem leads to lack of participation among disadvantaged students in vital academic activities because of fear of being denied some opportunities. Unequal opportunity to learn makes students have hatred thus causing considerable disagreements in the school system (Amerikaner and Ary). Quality of education at Greenwich schools enables them to get many opportunities while poor quality of education at Roosevelt middle school leaves them with no opportunity. Lastly, the society at large will become polarized, and rivalry between the whites and blacks will be heightened. There is the need to encourage equal education system throughout the US to promote equity among all students.


Work Cited

"Greenwich High School - Greenwich, Connecticut - CT | Great schools." Greatschools.Org, 2017,

"Roosevelt Middle School - West Palm Beach, Florida - FL | Great schools." Greatschools.Org, 2017,

Leon-Guerrero, Anna. Social Problems. 5th ed., London, Sage Publications, 2015: 5-53.

Spatig-Amerikaner, Ary. "Unequal Education: Federal Loophole Enables Lower Spending on Students of Color." Center for American Progress (2012).


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