Inequalities are rooted in many areas of the U.S. education system, and the current system’s relationship with poverty has not improved, according to a Kansas State University researcher.
Kay Ann Taylor, associate professor of secondary education at K-State, has studied the historical and modern aspects of poverty, including its relationship with education. Her research, which is published in the winter 2009 Journal of Educational Controversy, shows that a more in-depth understanding of poverty is needed for social transformation.
“There is no simple answer to alleviate poverty, just as there is no simple answer for its embedded state in America,” Taylor said. “However, the common element shared by all is our humanness. People devastated by poverty are not deficient, less than or subhuman. They are not broken; however, the system in which they are embroiled very well may be.”
Taylor’s historical research shows that numerous factors led to poverty, including laws and acts, white and male privilege, scientific racism and social welfare. Her research about the current manifestations of poverty shows that much work needs to be done, because the situation has not improved. Taylor said a problem in U.S. public schools is that many reinforce a dominant cultural reproduction, which undermines independent thought.
“Education in the modern corporate-industrial society has emerged as central to state political and ideological management,” she said. “Political and ideological management involves ideation, which in this context means the imparting and reinforcement of ideas and values that support the current economic and social order.”
Known by some as the Pink Floyd theory of education in which every student is treated as another “brick in the wall”. Yes, there have been studies showing teachers as a group to be more culturally moderate then conservatives, but we live in a culture that defines any thinking or values that are not far Right of center as liberal. Liberalism as a political theory is a little more complicated then that. If students are, as is frequently claimed, indoctrinated with liberal political theory, one wonders where all the Glenn beck clones come from.
The No Child Left Behind Act also continues to be a problem, except for students who attend private schools, which are exempt from the act. Taylor said this increases the education system’s inequalities since typically children of the powerful, wealthy elite have the opportunity for a private education, as they have for generations. For example, the mandate of the act that allows military recruitment in low-achieving and typically low-income schools targets the poor and exempts the wealthy and elite, she said.
“The No Child Left Behind Act’s scripted curriculum, relentless testing and oppressive mandates create a robotic-like setting for mindless regurgitation of irrelevant and contextually void facts that challenge our most creative, dedicated and culturally responsive teachers and run the remainder out of teaching all together,” Taylor said.
The long-term effects of teasing or harassment by their peers on pre-adolescent children – specifically, depression and anxiety – are related, in part, to the level of victimization at the end of fourth grade, as well as to how much that harassment increased or decreased between fourth and sixth grade, according to a study published in the September/October issue of the journal Child Development.
[ ]…The researchers knew that children who are frequently teased or harassed by classmates often show signs of emotional distress, notably depression, anxiety, and loneliness. Moreover, some victimized children begin to act out and become aggressive toward peers.
There is something to be said for developing a thick skin or coping mechanisms, but those intra-personal coping skills might be a little too much to expect from a forth grader. That percentage of parents that are either ignoring their children’s harassing behavior or are in some way transferring that behavior to their kids, get off the hook in this report.
Considering all the claims about an “Obama spending spree” it is important to begin by looking at exactly how much money the government spent in FY09. It’s true that spending in 2009 was much higher than it was the previous fiscal year, by about $602 billion, excluding payments on the national debt (which actually declined in 2009 because of low interest rates). But it turns out that a huge chunk of that increase actually happened before President Obama took office. In fact, fully 41 percent, or $245 billion, came in the form of the Troubled Asset Relief Program and the rescues of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, actions taken in the fall of 2008 under President George W. Bush.
In other words, before President Obama had even taken office, federal spending was already up by about 9 percent over fiscal year 2008 levels.
American Progress has prepared several good reports on the state of the economy. They are reality based, thus will not be seen on Fox or the rest of the media for that matter.