Tuesday, February 12, 2008

New study: Poverty matters more in U.S. schools

We have all heard it before – the education offered in U.S. schools trails much of the developed world. In science, American 15-year olds ranked 17th out of the 30 industrialized nations that participated in the 2006 Program for International Student Assesment (PISA). American students did even worse in math, ranking 23rd.

That’s bad news, but for poor students in the U.S., the news gets even worse. In America, student socioeconomic background is considerably more closely related to student math and science performance than in other PISA countries. While affluent students in the U.S. are globally competitive, poor students in the U.S. do far, far worse than their peers in high-performing nations like Finland and Canada.

Ross Wiener of the Education Trust says the exam’s results are not surprising. “We give students less of everything that makes a difference in school.” Wiener argues that the PISA study “demonstrates that we’re simply not doing as well as we can for these students.”

Every student should have an equal opportunity in having a distinguished education. This relates to the class reading by Bourdieu where he speaks upon the stratification in terms of status and money. We can simply make a change in the structure of our financial allocations to schools, instead of just complaining about how low our PISA scores are. This way we will see a more productive outcome among all the students in America, not just the privileged. Making an effort to make education an equal opportunity for all students should not just be a concern for few but rather an obligation.

-GROUP 4, ED175

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good post, Group 4. I think you highlight an important deficit in American education. If the merit system works as advertised, the playing field should be level. This doesn't seem to be the case. We know from a variety of research that kids enter school with different levels of readiness, largely along socioeconomic lines, but also race to some extent. You suggest that we can "simply make a change in the structure of our financial allocations to schools," yet that has proved not to be the case. What would you do to change the allocation? And, how would you deal with those who argue that funding poorer schools at a higher level than schools in rich neighborhoods is unequal as well?

-Erik, ED 261