Thoughts About Education

Poverty, Bilingualism, and Education

I will examine a couple of questions raised by the Chapters 4 and 5 in our textbook in an attempt to examine how educational policies and the students they effect interact with one another.

The first question that I will examine is the "culture of poverty" that is sometimes used as a way of justifying why those in lesser socioeconomic groups are not as academically successful as those in higher groups. First, I believe the topic is a very complex one that has many different issues that all interact with the other issues. To actually go into the root causes would to go into how humanity perceives the world and why they do it and how they do it. Either way, the idea that people from a certain group will not do as well because of what is statistically shown should not matter. Statistically can the odds be against a student doing well because of their background? Of course. Just as the statistics can be for a student well because of their background. But again, you should approach each and every student with the idea that they are full of endless possibilities because they are! I lack the appropriate knowledge for really examining poverty and how it relates to the school systems as I never really encountered very many kids that lived in poverty while I went to school. I will say that the school-to-prison pipeline is concerning, but I really see it more as an issue with the War on Drugs, which has absolutely devastated lower income communities, enriched the privileged few who stand to benefit from the policies derived from it and done virtually nothing to stem the tide of drugs into our country. Get rid of that and maybe we see less lower income students thrown out of school and into a life of crime. Not a solution, but a piece of one.

Another topic to touch on for me would be the importance of a bilingual education. I'm very much for it, and I think that the idea that we should try to ease non-native speakers into English is a much better idea than the rigid "learn American" types. The statistics also back up the idea that a class in which English and Spanish are both taught results in faster absorption by the non-native speaker.