It has always been said that a college education and hard work were the key to financial and social success. There has been a grave national concern regarding the drop in SAT scores of American students. Many believe that Asians are moving ahead of us in education-they are producing more engineers, more doctors and more scientists. Thus it seems a matter of time before they will surpass us in economic growth too. Level of education is in fact considered to be the precursor of economic growth. It is the magical potion which removes inequalities in society. It gives hope to people. But is education really helpful in removing inequalities? A person’s economic success depends on the class he is born in or the level of education he has achieved? Is Barrack Obama the rule or the exception? Why has the educational system failed to remove class differences in educational attainment? These are some of the questions that I try to answer in this term paper. Statement of Problem “The reasons for the failure of education system to remove class differences in educational attainment.” Literature Review Emile Durkheim argues that education teaches person skills which are critical for him to survive in an industrial society. (Heald 173) These skills are not only the transmission of society’s norms and values but also specific skills which are necessary for future occupation of the individual. Thus according to Durkheim education equips a person with general values which make him homogenous to the rest of the society and also provides him with specific skills which provide the necessary diversity for social cooperation. (Heald 174).This is the general functional perspective on education i.e. education provides the child with norms and values of society and the skills required for the job market. Other functionalists such as Talcott Parsons and Kingsley Davis further refine this argument. Both of them say that education system works on the meritocracy principle (Heald 176) .Schools provide equality of opportunity to all and rewards the high achievers with economic benefits in the job market. The liberals have largely borrowed their view point from the functionalists. They believe that Education fosters personal development, self fulfillment and improves the child’s physical and mental health. (Darryl Gless 57) Education provides equality of opportunity and removes the class bias in the economic system. Liberals say that educational attainment raises income and the bargaining power of the working class. Most of the reforms in the educational system carried out in our nation have been based on these views. Most politicians have believed that the answer to all our national problems come down to a single word: education. As a result various special programs on education were part of President Johnson’s war on poverty. (Darryl Gless 68)However the war on poverty has ended - and it is increasingly clear that poverty seems to have won. Either education has failed to lift the masses out of poverty or the reforms have failed in their reach and approach. If what the functionalists and liberal claim is true- if education is the elixir which can pull a person out of poverty; the natural question which comes to mind is why the lower classes haven’t taken more to education? Why educational attainment does rises from the bottom to the top of the class system. (Darryl Gless 87)The SAT Program information statistics show
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Professor Name 8th December 2012 Failure of Education system to remove class differences in Educational Attainment Introduction “Education was the gateway to opportunity for me. It was the gateway for Michelle. And now more than ever it is the gateway to middle class life.” –President Barrack Obama…
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