Friday, December 2, 2016

How Rich Parents Can Exacerbate School Inequality

Title: How Rich Parents Can Exacerbate School Inequality

Source: McKenna, Laura (2016). How Rich Parents Can Exacerbate School Inequality. The Atlantic. 


Key points:  The author points out that wealthier areas can widen the gap between school funding  in low and high areas.  Some public schools raise so much many from the parent contributions and auctions of high priced items, that they get labeled as "public privates".  One example from Chicago area schools is that high income neighborhood raised $400k in one night, while a lower income neighborhood raised $8k for the entire year through bake sales. I think the author makes a good point about not asking parents to contribute to their schools, but to think outside of their 5 mile radius to other schools that might need a little help as well. 

Intended audience: Parents (wealthy parents).

Relevance: Our lower income schools definitely don't have the resources our schools in wealthier neighborhoods do.  I definitely wouldn't ask wealthy parents to stop contributing to their child's school or nor would I ask them contribute to other schools.  It would be a nice gesture if they decided to help additional schools, but definitely shouldn't be an expectation.  It's a difficult problem to deal with and their are multiple views on how to help lower income schools.  Hopefully one of them will work sometime. 

1 comment:

  1. This article discusses the fact that schools in wealthy areas get more money that those in poor regions, and this tends to “Exacerbate School Inequality.” Of course school funding is not equal, nor should it be. I say school funding should be fair, not equal. Now, as to whether wealthy neighborhoods getting more money than less affluent ones is fair, I agree it is not. But, when this additional money comes from private individuals who want their own children to benefit, I ask is it fair to force these people to disperse their money to less advantaged schools? No, it is not. People in a free society have the choice to donate their money to whatever they want. If we were not free to do this, our society would become socialistic and our education system would be worse off. I think it is not wise to focus on any particular school by their funding relative to any other school, but by their performance relative to standards. Instead of being jealous of another school’s wealth, focus on your own school’s health and how you can contribute to it. This concept of comparing what you have to what others have in practice often creates learned helplessness and victim mentality.