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Equality of Opportunity

There is little to argue against wanting to provide a quality education for all. It is not so easy, however, to even the playing field in this country. Our nation has been struggling with issues and initiating programs to solve this problem for most of its history. Current expressions used when discussing this topic include:

• The Achievement Gap
• White Privilege
• Asian Advantage
• Social and Cultural Capital

Explain the meaning of each of these expressions as it relates to education.

Can schools provide equality of opportunity? Or does equality of opportunity depend on economic circumstances outside the powers of the school?

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Equality of opportunity largely depends on the socioeconomic status (SES) of the area in which the school resides. I actually recently helped another student discuss how public school districts in Virginia are financed. The amount of funding the state got from the federal government and from taxes depended upon the SES of the area in which the district was located. The districts that had higher SES receive less funding than districts with lower SES. It is an attempt to even the playing field. However, the districts in the higher SES areas still had better test scores and more educational resources. I believe this is partly due to the culture of poverty. The students in the lower SES areas usually had parents who grew up in that area. These people know that there are resources out there but either do not know how to acquire them or believe in the self-fulfilling prophecy that they cannot achieve better.

To go over the topics you wanted discussed...

I like how the Education Week website defines the achievement gap... "The "achievement gap" in education refers to the disparity in academic performance between groups of students." This means that students are looked at in groups based upon SES, gender, race, disabilities, and language primarily spoken. These groups of students are ...

Solution Summary

An overview on how various factors such as white privilege and asian advantage affect equality of opportunity for students.

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