Falling Through the Cracks “Education”
One of the greatest challenges in America today is providing quality education for all children. Knowledge should be presented in a reasonable, appropriate manner as a tool to be used by students to build their futures. The acceptance and utilization of this tool is the responsibility of the student; however, the presentation of this body of knowledge too often reflects differences in economic areas of the country.
The lack of adequate funding in lower income areas of the country is often reflected in the quality of teachers available in the area, in the courses offered in these schools, and in the lab and computer equipment and facilities available to these students. One factor that affects the level of education is the quality of teachers in the school systems. The responsibility a teacher carries is great and often under-appreciated. Highly educated teachers with a passion for teaching will pass that desire to learn to their students. These teachers are the backbone of education and produce students well prepared for life.
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Typically, teachers from lower income areas are faced with more challenges than those from areas that are more affluent. Challenges often come from a general lack of preparedness from their personal educational experience. While there are certainly some highly skilled teachers in some schools in lower income areas, many times the general quality of education found in these areas is substandard. A majority of the poorly trained teachers grow up in educational systems with lower teaching standards and they pass the same quality of knowledge that was instilled in them into the students they are teaching.
These teachers with substandard educations have a major impact on the students they teach. Many of these teachers lack the ability or the desire to adapt teaching styles to fit the student who may be struggling in certain areas. Another result of the lack of funding is recognized in areas of extreme poverty where often the courses offered in each grade remain at minimum levels. In these poorer neighborhoods, public school students are typically not provided the same quality education provided to their peers in a public school in a wealthier district.
While schools in wealthier areas of the country are not guaranteed to produce more educated students, the opportunities are generally greater because of access to advanced courses. A by-product of lower income school districts is the lack of available funding for laboratory equipment and computer facilities. These tools are essential components of a complete education. Elaborate classrooms with state-of-the-art equipment offer the student every advantage for a quality education and a promising future. More lab experience and computer skills lead to more job offers and higher salaries.
Today’s job market requires a working knowledge of computer programs and a familiarity with technology. A sound education is an open door to many opportunities and is meant to be preparation for adulthood. A quality education will allow students to seek better jobs with higher salaries and will allow these students to achieve their full potential. Students from typically lower income level schools often find themselves at a disadvantage in college and must spend extra time in lower level courses just to obtain the basic skills and understanding to build their careers.
Where less is expected, it will definitely be achieved. Many people share responsibility for the quality of education students receive today; however, the primary obligation falls on the government to provide an opportunity for a quality education to every student regardless of race, sex, religion or financial circumstances. The challenge of providing adequate funding for every school requires extra federal and state funding in each district. Education should never be the item reduced in the governments’ budgets.