static_abyss: (Timelord)
[personal profile] static_abyss
Today, in my sociology class--where I am part of the few minorities, and the only person who comes from, what is essentially the lower class--we were having a discussion about education. Because, I honestly hope no one thinks that education for kids pre-k through 12th grade is equal. Quite, the opposite actually and pardon the long post, but some people need to wake up.

I went to a middle school where we had math textbooks that were ridiculously out of date. The kids in our school had to watch out after school because there was always the danger that one of the kids from the high school next door would beat them up. Kids in my school didn't even think about high school when I was in fifth grade because they were too busy trying to get through the material needed to pass the standardized test we had to take from 4th to 8th. There was no money for my school, no way for the kids who went there to get the help they needed because that meant more books, more computers, more teachers. And the thing is, even if we had the money for more teachers, there was no room to put them because we shared the building with two other schools, because we couldn't afford it.

And the teachers tried to get the kids to keep going, to study and understand. And, I did. Some of the kids in my class did. But, the thing is, even when we all gave it 200%, we were significantly behind the other kids who went to the schools in the suburb. I mean, honestly, without the books or the materials what did anyone expect.

And, so I was remembering how bad off my school was (and it was probably one of the better ones in our community) and then this girl in class today says that if her parents pay higher taxes than my parents do, then I deserve my school. She said that everyone is better off the way they are, because if you gave every school the same resources then that would just create more competition for her and other kids who want to go to college. Then, someone else agreed with her and said that it's unfair to them because they want to go to school and if you help the kids from poorer schools, you're forcing them to go to college when they don't want to. Meaning that the kids from poorer schools don't even want to go to college so we should just let them keep their outdated textbooks, because, yeah, it's not like they want to go anywhere in life. This kid went on to say that it's okay to keep them uneducated because we need people for physical labor.

Now, I hope to God and things divine that the people I know don't think this way. Guys, that way of thinking is the fucking reason that we have so many kids dropping out and the reason that half the girls in my fucking middle school class got pregnant and dropped high school.

Let me explain.

Even if, god forbid, the upper, middle and lower class (because, surprise, the lower class pays their fucking taxes too) pooled their taxes and split them equally among the middle schools and high schools, sadly, very little would change. Sure, maybe education would be the same and the kids from poorer schools would be able to get into great colleges, but they still wouldn't be able to go even if they wanted to. I probably still would have had to say no to Northwestern and Cornell, because my parents wouldn't (and still can't) afford to send me there. So, everyone who thinks that giving poor schools better text books and giving those kids a decent level of education is going to ruin their chances, can relax. Because, guys, even then, the kids from poor families would be at a disadvantage. There would still be people who wouldn't go to college and end up working in blue collar jobs. And there would be girls getting pregnant, but, at least if all schools were giving all kids the same level of education, then it wouldn't be because these girls or guys were uneducated, but because they made bad life choices.

And that's okay. I accept that. Because people are still just people and they will always make mistakes. But, it would be because of that and not because they just don't know. Because they were never given the chance to be something else.

So, yeah I was pretty pissed when I heard what some people in class had to say. But, honestly, I'm more sorry for that girl and that guy in class who said those things, and I'm sorry that their parents forgot what it was like to come from a poor school and make something of your self. And lucky them that they don't have to go through the shit that other kids go through.

And there's more I could say, but honestly, I am way better off than most kids and we should be helping them not just talking about it.
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