Clara Nevins
May 14, 2017

Education and socioeconomic class

2 comments

I heard a fascinating story of the power of data the other day--my friend took a class at Stanford where the teacher was discussing his research on education and socioeconomic class. Apparently raw intelligence is best tested when a student is in 3rd grade. A group of students of all racial and socioeconomic backgrounds were given a standardized test (with no preparation) when they were in 3rd grade. Then they were tested again in 11th grade and students of high socioeconomic classes (also known as the ones who were able to afford tutoring) scored exponentially higher than the kids without tutoring despite the fact that many of them started out roughly at the same place when they were tested in third grade. I though this study was incredibly interesting and a case in point that our education system needs to change.

Rachna Shah
May 22, 2017

This is a really important point that you bring up! Many people view education as the key to societal mobility, but even education isn't something that presents the opportunity of equality even at the level of elementary school. Socioeconomic status does affect one's education and future employment prospects. To reduce the gap that is created later, we must start making changes earlier. How would you recommend reforming/modifying the current education system, in the US as well as in other countries?

Morgan Harron
Jul 13, 2017

I believe one of the most important aspects in reforming our current education system is more easily accessible pre-K programs. Learning at a younger age is proven to help narrow achievement gaps and promote literacy comprehension by the 3rd grade benchmark. There are so many studies about the benefits and I wish more states would implement the idea. Another important way to modify our current education system is to find ways to lessen the "digital divide", or in other words help provide access to the internet and technology to students who may not have it at home. Now that so many teachers use the internet to assign homework, imagine the disadvantage students with no internet now face if they aren't even confident they can access the work. Internet access would also allow students to take advantage of free resources like Khan Academy, or released practice tests that may better their chances in relation to standardized testing.

 

I think that also brings up an important point when it comes to the college admissions process. There is an interesting op-ed in the New York Times (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/10/opinion/how-i-learned-to-take-the-sat-like-a-rich-kid.html) that discusses how success in prepping for the SAT often comes down to one's socioeconomic status. I think it supports the idea that our education system is failing students even with certain supports in place like fee waivers. With standardized testing being such a vital part of a college application, I think it is frustrating to realize the advantage that certain students have due simply to their families income.

 

 

 

New Posts
  • Khushboo Shah
    Jul 21, 2018

    Greetings, fellow Ambassadors, As we know, the July 2018 topic for the Roundtable Discussion is Education Funding. I recently came across this extremely informative resource about education funding. The resource explores how funding has changed over time, and provides statistical data in understanding the changes made over the local, state, and federal level in the USA. Article: http://apps.urban.org/features/education-funding-trends/ As mentioned on their website, the data they they collected "measured the progressivity of school funding as the ratio of two weighted averages of each district’s per-student revenue: (1) weights are the number of poor students; and (2) weights are the number of nonpoor students. For example, an estimate of 1.1 would imply that, on average, poor students attend districts that receive 10 percent more in per-student funding than the districts nonpoor students attend. " (source: http://apps.urban.org/features/education-funding-trends/) What do you all feel about this article and the information put forward by them? Ambassadors belonging to other nationalities, how does education funding work in your country? Could you please share your insights, or any other resources or articles you find valuable? Thank you so much for all your inputs!
  • asaperstein1
    Sep 19, 2018

    I have been hearing a lot about how it may actually help the school system to get rid of honors and AP classes and but all students into one track. The idea is that the positive impact of the higher students on the lower outweights the negative impact of the lower students on those higher. What do you think? Do you think something like this is fair?
  • Yesenia Yareliz Rodriguez
    Nov 7, 2018

    At the moment, most schools in the U.S. are stressful, highly competetive, and do not have the resources and/or are not looking into the mental health of their students. I work at a local youth organization called Youth United for Change who want to change schools in the Philadelphia district, which consists of a large number of black and brown students facing socioeconmic opression and trauma in their homes and communities. What ideas do you guys have , or elements in your schools that help your mental health and alleviate stress? If you have no answer for that, how does your schoool affect your mental health (negatively and positivey)? Please be specific. I appreciate any answers and would be really helpful to our campaign. :)