Definition Argument-AmongOthers13

Students all over the world are struggling to learn and grow due to the alarming deficit of student success in schools. The impact of the property tax unequal funding of schools is causing an achievement gap. An achievement gap refers to a persistent difference in academic performance or reaching educational goals between different groups of students (in this case, poor and rich). This achievement gap is influencing a decrease in student success all over the world, and even leads to difficulties obtaining a career in the future.

A journal from Stanford Cepa titled “The widening academic achievement gap between the rich and the poor: New evidence and possible explanations”, written by Sean F. Reardon, states that “The achievement gap between children from high- and low-income families is roughly 30 to 40 percent larger among children born in 2001 than among those born twenty-five years earlier.” This means that the achievement gap is growing each and every day, simply because nobody has made any action on the issue. The journal also states that the achievement gap based off of high-income and low-income students today is nearly twice the size of the black-white achievement gap. This is astonishing news, for about fifty years ago, the black-white achievement gap was two times larger than the high-income and low-income students gap. The tables have turned in a dangerous, menacing way. Why has this happened? There are many possible explanations as to why such a detrimental gap has been formed. “The gap appears to have grown at least partly because of an increase in the association between family income and children’s academic achievement for families above the median income level: a given difference in family incomes now corresponds to a 30 to 60 percent larger difference in achievement than it did for children born in the 1970s.” Nowadays, money and where we live determine everything for our futures, even our education. Also, the gap could be so large because of parental investments in cognitive development, as said by the journal. The gap size has nothing to do with the student’s parents and their education, but more so, how much money their parents have. This is a sickening phase of education that children are struggling to grow through.

When students are not taught at high levels of quality, they have no other choice but to be given a difficult time when testing. An article from Brookings titled “Income and Education as Predictors of Children’s School Readiness”, written by Julia B. Isaacs and Katherine A. Magnuson, claims that children from low-income families “perform less well on standardized tests compared with more advantaged youth and are less likely to graduate high school and complete college.” Children that are struggling through this grow up to be financially unstable because they can not land a decent paying job, for employers often look at school records to track success.  The article states that “Children born into families at the bottom fifth of the income distribution are twice as likely as middle-class children to remain in that bottom bracket as adults.” Even if these children are capable of so much more, their education is holding them back from achieving tremendous things. The visible problem here is that education is now doing the opposite for students as what it is supposed to do- which is to ensure success while obtaining knowledge and everyday skills from attending school.

This lack of efficient schooling often leads children down troubled paths for the rest of their lives. An article from ChildFund International titled “Poverty and Education”states that “Poverty and education are inextricably linked, because people living in poverty may stop going to school so they can work, which leaves them without literacy and numeracy skills they need to further their careers.”  Without these skills necessary to work, children notice from a young age that school is just a waste of time. Students dropout of school because if they are not gaining anything from attending, they could be searching for jobs to start making money to support themselves. Students need to be properly educated, but that can only happen if their schools are properly, equally funded. Poverty does not wait for anyone to “catch up”. In other words, poverty is occuring in various places all around the world, and it will not wait for families to overcome it, even if their education, and then their success for the rest of their lives, is in jeopardy. The very least we should be able to offer these children and these families is a place where they can go to get a high-quality education. Property taxes, however, are restricting them from obtaining that well-deserved education.

An article from LSU Online titled “How Does Poverty Affect Education?” states that low-income areas interferes with a child’s physical readiness, cognitive readiness, and social-emotional readiness. When a student is raised in a low-income neighborhood, odds are, their parents are struggling to provide for them. No matter how hard they work, they do not have surplus money to buy extra amounts of food, clothing, or body care products. They may even be struggling to pay the gas and water bill. If a student’s parents are constantly working, the student probably eats fast, greasy, fattening meals for dinner. This, in turn, leads to poor health, which makes their bodies prone to illnesses that are left untreated, causing more school absences. When students live in these areas, violence and crime rates are extremely high, causing children to stay indoors in fear of getting put into risky situations at parks or playgrounds. Because of this lack of exercise, students gain even more weight, becoming more unhealthy every day. So, it is vital that a student’s school provides time at recess to play or provides extra-curricular activities like sports after school. However, in low-income areas, the schools do not have enough money for after school activities. But, the high-income neighborhoods have sports teams, clubs, dance teams, choir, and much more than the low-income schools because they have more money coming into their schools. These low-income students also may face situations at home that could interfere with how they think about life. If they watch their loved one being abused, is struggling due to stress, do not have enough money, and often do not sleep well at night, they are going to remember that feeling for a long time. When they go to school, they will still have those memories and feelings in the back of their minds. The school atmosphere does not make them forget because it is not at a high level of education. The school does not have enough tools, papers, technology, or exercises to keep the children’s minds off of what could be happening at home. Due to the lack of focus, the students also perform poorly in school. They will isolate themselves from teachers and other students and will be hesitant to make relationships. On top of this, if students are not being taught an adequate amount of vocabulary per day, or if their mind is somewhere else, their cognitive development decreases. The article states, “Many students who cannot understand the words in their texts will resist reading altogether. In addition, students will refuse to participate in discussions they do not understand simply because they do not want to ask for clarification.” Children now think that because they do not understand, that they are simply unintelligent. They are afraid to look silly in front of other classmates, so they do not ask for any further explanations about lessons, which leads to poor results when testing does come. Lower-income schools has many more effects than just learning, it affects the community, the household, the children, the students, the families, and the well being of others.These ideas listed above are directly related to the achievement gap and the reasons why it has grown so vast over the last couple of decades. The achievement gap has been the ultimate division between success and failure for children all around the world.

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