Social Class vs Education Success
Is the correlation between social class and educational success truly acknowledged in America? When Mantsios, in “Class in America,” asks, the question, “Which of these gifts might a high school graduate in your family receive, a corsage, a savings bond or a BMW” (304), he makes the point that definite socio-economic separations exist in our society. This separation has a direct effect on our educational success. He proves this by presenting myths and facts about the United States social classes. One study concludes that fewer than one in five people move out of their socio-economic status in which they are born (316). This is in direct relationship to the education they receive. There are exceptions to socioeconomic background determining a student’s educational success. For example, Mike Rose in “I Just Wanna Be Average” and Toni Bambara in “The Lesson” are successful authors who give us examples of going from rags to riches. Both authors benefited from a person who took a personal interest in them. Mike Rose, and at- risk student had a teacher who goes above and beyond and mentors him. Toni Bambara relays a story about a college educated woman living in the ghetto felt responsible for her neighbor’s children wanting them to learn the practical lessons that they would not have been exposed to otherwise. Contrary to popular belief, not everyone has the opportunity to receive an equal education. Children from affluent families are at a much higher advantage. According to Jean Anyon, (Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum of Work), “a child’s social class reflects the kind of schooling that he or she receives” (168). The type of education the poor and working class receive is not preparing them to achieve a higher form of learning. People do not choose to be poor or working class; instead they are limited by the opportunities allowed or denied them by a social and economic system. Social class...
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