equality of opportunity and educational outcomes n.
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Equality of Opportunity and Educational Outcomes
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  1. Equality of Opportunity and Educational Outcomes Chapter 8

  2. Horace Mann • “Education, then, beyond all other devices of human origin, is the great equalizer of the conditions of men—the balance wheel of the social machinery.”

  3. Emphasis of Educational Reform • Competition and Excellence throughout the 1980s and 90s • In an increasingly multicultural society, cooperation and equity play ever greater role

  4. Calculating educational and life Outcomes • Overwhelming number of individuals remain in the social class in which they are born… “ human differences do not cause social stratification; social stratification causes human differences.” • Differential access to whatever is of value in a society…material comfort, security, personal fulfillment and occupation

  5. Social Stratification • Caste stratification in agrarian societies by race or religion • Estate stratification in agrarian societies in terms of family worth • Class stratification in industrial societies in economic pursuits and differential achievement • U.S. has both caste and class stratification

  6. Class in the United States • 1 to 2 percent are upper class • 15 percent are upper middle class • 25 percent lower middle class • 40 percent working class • 20 percent under class

  7. Class in the United States • Upper class has most of its wealth from property, upper middle class is professional and managerial class, lower middle class are semi-professionals, working class are laborers, under class are marginally in the economy

  8. Class in the United States • In the last twenty years, the upper and upper middle classes have become increasingly wealthy while the other classes have experienced a decline in economic security and income. The U.S. is the most unequal industrial country in terms of distribution of income.

  9. Links to Income • The number of years of education an individual possesses is directly linked to occupation and income. • College degreed male, $49, 982 • College degreed female, $35,408 (1998) • Educational mobility like tournament selection, winners are allowed to proceed, winners must still continue to compete…tournament not played on a level playing field (Rosenbaum)

  10. Class • From a cultural point of view, schools represent the values of the middle and upper classes • In a school that enrolls many middle class children, more emphasis put on academic achievement than a school with few middle class children • Direct link between family income and performance on achievement tests, placement in ability groups and tracks in high schools

  11. Race and Gender • It is extremely difficult to separate race from class in the U.S. “Minorities do not receive the same educational opportunities as whites, and their rewards for educational attainment are significantly less.” • In the last twenty years, gender differences have been reduced, but still continue to exist

  12. Educational Achievement Among Minorities and Women • Gap has closed somewhat in last 20 years • Females outperform males in reading and writing at all grade levels, males outperform females in math and science • SAT tests designed to be meritocratic, has become a high stakes test favoring whites and those with affluence through private preparation services

  13. Students with Special Needs • Beginning in the 1960s, pressure brought on school systems to serve children with special needs • In 1975, congress passed the Education of All Handicapped Children Law, PL 94-142

  14. Public Law 94-142 • 1. Right of access to public education • 2. Individualization of services • 3. Least restrictive environment • 4. Broadened services and set procedures • 5. General guidelines for identification • 6. Primary state and local responsibilities

  15. School Differences and Educational Outcomes • In terms of life arithmetic, who you are is almost as significant as what you know • Coleman Study (1966)…organizational differences between schools not of great importance. Student-body composition mattered more. Peer group association of key importance • “…the road to equality of opportunity does not go through the schoolhouse door.” Poor students should go to school with middle class…thus busing for equal opportunity

  16. The Coleman Study (1982) • When comparing public school test performance with private schools, private schools did better in all categories • Difference is schools do make a difference, challenging the 1966 findings. Private schools more effective learning environments with more emphasis on academics and stricter discipline

  17. The Value of an Education • Three possible explanations: • 1. Education is simply a sorting device • 2. Educated people actually know something that is valuable to employers • 3. There is an interaction between years of schooling and aspirations. Motivated people stay in school and staying in school motivates people to achieve. • “Educational credentials have become the new property in America.”