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View Diary: On inequality and education (57 comments)

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  •  This is in part what drives the Secular HomeSchool (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cassiodorus, NoMoreLies

    Movement.

    You don't have to be rich to give your child a quality education if you are diligent and committed. But if you want your child to go to a good school, are you are not rich, you had better be connected or win a lottery.

    But that begs the question: What about all the other children forced to stay in a *Not Good School?

    There is a cruelty to all of this too.

    We as nation put a lot of value into that college diploma. We tell children, that if you grow up and get one of those diplomas that you will not be poor, that your job prospects will be good. We hold it out in front of them like a juicy carrot dangling from a stick.

    But then every year it seems we raise the cost of tuition. We put it further and further out of their reach, even if they show talent and skill--without money, those other qualities may not be enough.

    And we make it so that their entire college "career" cannot occur unless they execute their childhood primary educational career without a mistake, otherwise they are ineligible for even the consideration of assistance to look for grants or less damaging loans.

    It's en evil system as it stands right now.

    Even making middle class families take out a second mortgage on a home is evil. College shouldn't cost *THAT much.

    And why force academics on so many people who are unsuited for it? Why not push more, better and affordable trade schools?

    Because as it stands now, we have been dumbing down the academic aspect of higher education, just so colleges could make more money by sucking in more students and therefore their loans.

    What makes that better than what the 4-Profit schools are doing?

    •  I agree with a number of the points you make. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cassiodorus

      College is far too expensive, and we are pushing many kids who are not really interested in academics into college. We need more high quality trade schools and apprenticeship programs.

      However, I disagree with some of your statements. For example:

      But if you want your child to go to a good school, are you are not rich, you had better be connected or win a lottery.
      I can't speak for the rest of the country, but NJ has many very good public schools in middle-class districts. And the students from these schools are well prepared for college.

      College financial aid is often misunderstood. We often assume that state schools are cheaper than private ones, but this is not always the case. If you child is a good student (not necessarily a perfect one), many excellent private colleges offer need-based financial aid to middle (and even upper-middle) class students. The amount of loans that a student will be asked to take out varies greatly from college to college. I am looking for the link, but there is a list of 20 excellent private colleges where students will graduate will graduate with less that $20K in loans. My kids will/did all graduate with far less than $20K in loans. Some of the top schools even offer no-loan packages. It pays to do your homework.

      •  Well Oklahoma is not New Jersey (0+ / 0-)

        so I will say, that I am happy for you, but I cannot make decisions for my children and their future, based on your good fortune in another state.

        •  You can say that again! (0+ / 0-)

          In fact, I'll do it for you. Oklahoma is not New Jersey. Never was, never will be, and never imagined to be. NJ is one of the most beautiful and abundant states in the nation, great education and health care, and also, they pay for it.

          New Jersey residents pay the highest annual tax bill of any state - a median $6,579 per year, according to the Tax Foundation, which calculated the tally using data the U.S. Census Bureau released on Tuesday.

          Connecticut comes in second place ($4,738), followed by New Hampshire ($4,636) and New York ($3,755).

          Of course, the reason for high taxes vary. You don't want to feel too bad for New Hampshire, for example. They don't pay income or sales tax.

          "It comes down to two things," said Gerald Prante, senior economist with the Tax Foundation. "The demands for services placed on governments and the reliance on property taxes as opposed to other sources of revenue."

          Some local governments simply offer more services to taxpayers, spending more on schools, for exampe. Citizens demand services and must pay for them.


          I jump in to promote the notion of migration. It's amazing how beautiful and different each of the 50 states are - terrain, weather, culture, education, health, food, livelihoods, lifestyles....even life spans. The "better" a place is the more people live there and the more resources they generate and the better their lives.

          I never though of equality as an American trait, or virtue so much as a measure of birth right which is immediately limited by every possible post partum dimension we can conjure up. We are diversity squared, IMO. There's no real world equality between OK or NJ - just look at the weather! Hopefully we're all in a place we want to be though, warts and all.

          Eliminate the Bush tax cuts Eliminate Afghan and Iraq wars Do these things first before considering any cuts

          by kck on Sat Jul 07, 2012 at 12:45:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I would also add: You said: (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NoMoreLies

        "It pays to do your homework."

        Most of the time it does. But your statement goes directly back to this:

        And we make it so that their entire college "career" cannot occur unless they execute their childhood primary educational career without a mistake, otherwise they are ineligible for even the consideration of assistance to look for grants or less damaging loans.

        Impoverished children live in situations that often gift them with extra duties in the household that can directly detract from their ability to perform in school.

        Poor parents work longer hours, and until very recently, poor parents had NO recourse for healthcare in many cases. And if the child lives in an area that is prone to violence and crime or lives in an abusive home, then the child might be too busy surviving to give a damn about homework.

        Don't get me wrong, I love academics. But survival trumps paper, exhaustion trumps paper, every time.

        And this is the 600 lb gorilla in the room that no one likes to speak of. Until all adults who work have affordable healthcare, affordable housing and a living wage, these problems will continue to dog the performance of impoverished school students regardless of the quality of parent they have.

        Time Poverty
        Money Poverty
        Living in a Superfund Site
        and a Center of Crime
        Food Deserts/hunger
        Benign Parental Neglect -which goes back to time poverty--meaning it's not done on purpose, but simply a product of having to work more to make less.

        Have direct and negative effect on everyone, but most especially on children in school.

        It pays to do your homework alright. It also pays to have parents who can and will and have the skill to help a child.

        It also pays to have teachers that aren't burned out dealing with the squalor that occurs in some school districts.

        It pays to have politicians who give a damn about poor people as well, who have the vision and the charisma to get funding for programs that mitigate some of these issues that affect academic performance.

        Is this what happens when you get caught being poor?

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