Paper 2

Submitted By LoveandHearts
Words: 1084
Pages: 5

English 101
5 June 2015
Education Inequality in the Southern U.S. As you’re walking down the street admiring intriguing art work, you turn the corner and see a woman with splatters of paint in various hues covering her face, arms, and clothing being forced into hand cuffs by a police officer. As you pass by you realize that the girl is being arrested for creating that beautiful art work you were just admiring. That art work is called graffiti. While in most places, graffiti is considered destructive, in others it is viewed as creative, beautiful, and even inspiring. Street Art is also another name for it; while some see it as just that, others see it to be damaging property. However, some pieces of street art such as Banksy's painting No Future are trying to communicate meaningful messages. This image, a combination of paint and stenciling, was created by Banksy to show that children in the southern U.S. that attend high-poverty and high-ethnic minority schools are at a severe disadvantage when it comes to getting a quality education. One way in which children in the southern United States are not properly receiving a quality education is their socioeconomic status. In the article "Poverty, Race, and the Contexts of Achievement: Examining Educational Experiences of Children in the U.S. South," Stella Fram, Julie Miller-Cribbs, and Van Horn state that although people have tried to remedy this inequality, "these gaps have proven quite robust" (Fram, Miller-Cribbs, & Horn 2). They propose that, rather than race being at the root of this school achievement gap, it is actually poverty: "In fact, the school achievement gap between poor and nonpoor children is troublingly high. Given the race-poverty overlap, it is not surprising that the poverty gap coexists with a race gap in student achievement" (3). This is shocking because education is traditionally looked at as an equalizer of resources, skills, and opportunities. These students socioeconomic status makes it difficult to get a quality education in high-ethnic minority and high-poverty schools. The high poverty rates at these schools means that they normally receive low quality teachers. The authors explain the major role teachers are supposed to play in their students learning: "Some teacher attributes appear particularly important to predicting academic outcomes, with more experienced teachers, teachers with stronger academic and cognitive stills, and teachers with subject specific preparation and expertise all associated with positive effects on student learning" (4). Without these traits, teachers put their students at a severe disadvantage from an educational standpoint. Building off of this, the authors talk about the connection of per student funding and teacher qualifications: "...inequities in per student funding are associated with sizable differences in academic outcomes, largely because of related differences in teacher qualifications" (5). From this, it is logical to assume that if per student funding in high-poverty and high-ethnic minority schools is raised, these schools would be able to hire higher quality teachers. Improving the education these students receive by hiring higher quality teachers would help many students in the United States south break free from the vicious circle of poverty. Differences in classroom peers also affect individual student learning perhaps just as much as low quality teachers. The authors talk about how the differences in classroom peers can affect how a teacher teaches their class: "...the educational approach differed depending on the percentage of students in a class who read below grade level" (5). This could negatively affect those student who are at or above grade level expectations by slowing down their education for students who are falling behind. Then the authors explain what kind of differences these students may encounter in their peers: "...classroom peers are important to individual student learning, as