Do Children Have an Equal Opportunity to Achieve in School?

In: Social Issues

Submitted By Norine19
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Do children have an equal opportunity to achieve in school? The answer is a simple no. “Poor children have substantially lower achievement test scores than nonpoor children as young as ages three or four, before they even start school. (Jacob & Ludwig, 2009, p.59)” A family’s income can have a huge impact on their children’s future.

Parents who make minimum wage generally do not have college education and in some cases do not have high school equivalency either. These families are not able to afford luxuries such as private schools, private tutors, or even extra-curricular activities such as sports or band. The parents may not be able to afford afterschool care or may have to work more than one job to provide essentials to the family so they might not have time to spend on homework, or parent/teacher meetings. This can mean less one on one contact from parents. Families with low incomes are also not able to help their children financially with college and many children grow up thinking that college is not something that is possible for them and so may not work as hard in class.

Parents that have high incomes usually have college education and are able to afford better afterschool care, more educational toys and games, as well as private tutors for their children if they seem to need the extra help. Parents with high incomes also usually live in nicer homes, neighborhoods, have access to better-funded schools, and are able to help financially with their child’s college dreams.

Jacob B. & Ludwig J, 2009, Improving educational outcomes for poor children, Focus Vol 26 No 2 Retrieved April 26, 2012 Retrieved from www.irp.wisc.edu/publications/focus/pdfs/foc262j.pdf

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