By Wei Yang
I finally start my blog 3 connecting to my blog 1 as I promised, but I have a lot of thoughts that I just can not put them all out into a tidy and neat blog.
We keep on saying that education is the only way for people who come from a low social class to get equal opportunity to fight for what they want, to live a life that the so called rich people can live. So we hope an educational system that is efficient, respects diversity, assists economic growth, provides accountability to citizens, and gives parents reasonable control over the values their children learn (Godwin & Kemerer, 2002). But the truth is with the huge gap between the rich and poor getting bigger and bigger, only a small number of people get benefits from education or only the people who can afford to go to good schools benefit from education.
With the education fee increasing tremendously year by year, there are more and more families which can not support their children continue their studies or can not afford to receive a sufficient and qualified education. So the children from working-class families have to stay in the schools which are affordable no matter what the education quality is. Meanwhile, the children from rich families have more opportunities to receive higher and better education, they have more chances to choose the majors that will bring a huge commercial value in the future. Because usually, their parents are more informed than those who come from poor families. And the schools which are located in the more developed cities are with a better environment, better infrastructure, better teachers and better pedagogy. Of course, such schools are more expensive than the ones in less developed places. So the parents will send their children to such schools instead of choosing the schools which reside in their community. These parents are fully aware that when their children study in these schools, what they received is not only better education but also the additional values they get.
First of all, the children can receive education in a more cozy environment which is beneficial for the students. Second, the teachers in these schools are usually more knowledgeable and qualified, because these schools can pay teachers well so that they have a higher requirement for recruiting. Third, the information that the schools can offer are more advanced and thorough contrasted with the schools in a less developed area, which are crucial for the students. Fourth, the classmates are different. Usually, the children of these schools are coming from families which are above middle-class social status. The network that children construct will be different and these children’s parents usually received a good education, too. Moreover, the children will achieve a positive spillover from their classmates compared to those who come from a school with students all coming from working-class families. The positive influence the students get from their classmates will, in turn, improve their learning. All these leads to the rich get richer and more educated while the poor get poorer and inadequately educated.
So how can we change the situation? How can we make good and qualified education available for everyone? Please feel free to share your ideas with me.
Godwin, R.K. & Kemerer, F. R. (2002) School choice tradeoffs: liberty, equity, and diversity.
Austin: University of Texas Press.