Rough draft – Push for higher education

We have an education problem in the States.

There’s already a strong push for college at high schools in communities that are financially better off. This is because college is expensive, and they know that in order to convince someone to spend $50,000 dollars a semester, that someone needs to be able to spend that much money and be able to take out that type of loan, and they need to be 100% sold and invested in the idea.  The reason there’s a push for college is because it’s too expensive. In other countries, like Austria for example, the majority of their student population continues on to higher levels of education without as much of a push for it. The reason for the easy flow is due to how public of an education it is, with tuition that’s affordable to nearly every student, even for their most prestigious schools [check this].


Think in terms of big picture: edu as social mobility.

Education in the United States doesn’t paint a land of equal opportunity. Although all communities have free lower division public schools, there isn’t the most unified education standards state by state, and even more importantly, is the alarmingly way that the quality of education deviates from community to community. This gives these students no other option but to use college as a way to level the playing field and use education for social mobility. But higher level education should be made more affordable, allowing students of different socio-economic standings to continue with education and break the cycle. This would also take a lot of pressure off of the push for higher education. But in a lot of ways, the availability of higher education isn’t the true root of the problem. The problem lies in the unequal quality of lower education, which should itself strive to be breaking the socio-economic cycles of poorer neighborhoods and provide their students with opportunities to grow. This will help society as well, as younger generations are better educated, the community will grow and develop with the people in it, improving the socio-economic standing of the community as a whole.


Class discussion – synthesize post

High schools are a solution to the desire to better the country each time a new generation leaves the gates of the establishment. They’re meant to provide a universal standard of education, allowing everyone in the country an equal chance at success, and giving everyone the same chances to become fully educated. Unfortunately, there are a few holes in this solution. Minors are only required to go to school, legal adults can’t be forced to continue their education, even though many choose to at least finish high school (ie, it people can choose to not be “educated” at least by government standards). But the larger flaw in the system, not considering it’s bias’s or secret agenda, is the blatant way that it doesn’t provide an equal education for everyone or provides them with the same (or even similar) opportunities. The quality of education vastly differs, and this isn’t the slightly different policies from state to state, but the large differences from neighborhood to neighborhood. Poorer communities receive a lower quality of education than richer ones. This doesn’t level the playing field, but instead further perpetuates the socio-economic status of ones family, and suffocates any chance of any community becoming an up-and-coming neighborhood.


My high school wasn’t in the richest community, but it was in the same district as some very wealthy schools, and had a nice handful of upper middle class families. And somewhere around 97% (Need too look it up again, but it was in the 90’s) of graduated students from my high school went on to college. And it’s interesting to hear how goal driven my peers are, as they aren’t going to vocational schools, yet they know exactly what they want to do, and want to be studying that now. Is that not what vocational school is? The option is out there, it’s just not as well advertized. Probably because it doesn’t cost as much.

So keeping in mind that an overwhelming amount of people from my school went on to higher education, many of them four-year schools, one has to ask why. The socio-economic status of the community is probably the largest determining factor. We received a very good education because our community could pay for many art and AP classes, and attracted better teachers. Many of the parents put a lot of pressure on their children to overachieve like they did, creating a school environment where A and B students were so common anything less was looked down upon. And the parents could pay for college, making the community a perfect hunting ground for students. The advertising push for college exists because they need money, not because they want to educate the next generation and better humanity; they’ll be dead by then.


What do you want to do?


What education teaches us


Who does school serve?

Public or private, mass education is a funny thing. For the majority of human history, there hasn’t been any form I education, except for learned habits from groups and older members who did what they did because it worked and lead to their survival. And this hasn’t gone away, as we still learn our language, and many habits from our parents and those around us as we grow up. But as civilization began to grow, so did accumulated knowledge and education, though it wasn’t for the masses, it was for the best of us. The richest. The religious. As we grew even more, societies became industrialized, and with industrialization and mass production, came the streamlined process of mass education. Many people, myself included when this question was first asked, explained mass education as benefiting democracy. I was willing to argue that many first world nations provided mass education as a natural right. That the government serves the people and that it would benefit from a well informed, educate voter. And although education is a something every human should have access to and be able to do, forming a well rounded population and a more educated and informed electorate may not be the true motive and benefit. Our electorate is exceedingly uniformed, and the nation didn’t start with mass education, the founding fathers actually believing it wasn’t for everyone and designed the government in a way that supports an uneducated population. That’s the reason we’re a republic, and not a democracy. To find the reason we have mass education, it’s necessary to realize when it started. After that, the link between industrialization and mass education isn’t a far jump. In some sense not only do they operate in the same way, but as _____ pointed out, the purpose of mass education is to serve the industry, and benefitted corporations.


Some very left groups have even gone as far as to say that America has become a plutocracy or an oligarchy (a small group of the wealthy control the country, which now works for the corporations). I hesitate to join in with this train of thought because it can lead down a dangerous road, and very well could be an over exaggeration. But probably the surest tell, if this is happening, would be the schools serving the industry instead of the people. Just like the schools North Korea serve the government.


The majority of the children street laborers in Guatemala don’t go to school, and because of this, many don’t even have an elementary school diploma. Instead, they work on the streets, and anthropologist Thomas Offit found and explained in his book Conquistadors de la Calle, they find the skills they learn on the street pay of much more then wheat they were leaning in school. They instead learn how to work with others, make a sale, make connections to get “real” jobs. They learn first hand about supply and demand, how business is about location, and where the target crowd for what they’re selling is. In school, they’d learn how to behave, raise their hand, and be treated like children. But in the streets, they’re treated more like adults. If you treat people maturely and with respect, let them make their own decisions, then they’ll generally act maturely and reply respectfully. If you let them take up responsibility and make decisions, then they’ll and act like adults.


What Should I be Learning

The purpose of lower education is self discovery (who you are socially) and a basic level of knowledge that allows an individual to function in our society. The purpose of providing a general education in lower education schools (elementary through highschool) is to allow the individual to function in society. Many European countries recognize that this is necessary for society to exist, though doesn’t allow a society to function very well. Many of them will provide easy ways for their citizens to go into higher education so that they can understand society, and allow their country to function. Which is the purpose of general education in higher education: to introduce individuals to new perspectives, ways of thinking, and to grasp an deeper understanding of society. The issue in the US, is that education varies by the neighborhood, as though it’s not important. When education isn’t equal, people become divided into classes, and opportunities are limited. This is what Horace Mann was referencing when he said “according to the European theory, men are divided into classes, —some to toil and earn, others to seize and enjoy.” But is a college general education what makes this difference? It depends on what school you go in the US, and what you make of it. The way I see higher education, it’s divided into college and university, though people generally don’t make the distinction because they’re both in the same location. In Europe, they’re more distinguishable from each other, college being more general education, and university being major specific as well as including graduate school.


I have a friend who is in cinema at Ithaca college (should be university), where she had a camera in her hand in the first week and is working on classes for her major. It’s a private school, so she doesn’t have to do much in terms of general education.

I’m not going to point it out to her because things are always changing, but the best people in the industry aren’t actually cinema or film majors. This is because it’s a bridge between art and business, giving well rounded individuals the upper hand because they then develop the skill to make a film, and they then have none film knowledge to apply to film and enrich their art. But at the same time, she will have more practice and time to develop a style, and will have technical and probably theological advantages that people who don’t work in it as long. Perhaps that’s the difference of the art and practicality sides. The difference behind theory, technical knowledge and understanding, and feeling and art.