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This study also aims at showing the declining attributes of those faced with the unfortunate fate of receiving a poor education. By tracking individual's professional and academic experiences after high school, results should portray a dim picture for those individuals who lack the strong foundations of a good education. Previous research has already shown the negative affects a poor education has on individual's future academic endeavors, professional achievements, as well as general physical health. By compiling these results in direct comparison with individuals from a better private school setting, these facts can be directly highlighted and also shown to the world as avoidable rather than a continuous cycle which can never be effectively broken.
One of the most blatant differences between public and private schools and their resulting educations are national and state standardized tests scores. In general, students with a private school education score higher than students who have taken such tests within a public school setting, (Alt, Martha Naomi & Peter, Katharin, 2002). In comparison, private school children proved more efficient at test taking in science, mathematics, and reading. These tests are indicators that children from the fourth, eighth, and twelfth grades have discrepancies in their test taking skills and abilities when it comes to receiving a public or private education. These facts are due in part to the higher standards placed on students within a private atmosphere. In fact private schools in general force their students to adhere to higher graduation requirements in comparison to those public students of the same graduating age, (Alt, Martha Naomi & Peter, Katharin, 2002). Public schools asked their students to complete an average of 2.7 years of mathematics, while private schools had a longer requirement of 3.1 years. The enforcement of foreign language courses also proves private schools to have a higher requirement, of about 1.5 years, when compared to the low half a year which is standard in most public schools across the nation. Public school students are also less likely to take Advanced Placement courses, which serve as college credit and prepare them for higher academic standards, (Alt, Martha Naomi & Peter, Katharin, 2002). This lessons their chances of succeeding well in higher education, which as discussed later, is essential for securing a better paying job and achieving a better standard of health and living.
According to a study done by the U.S. Department of Education in 2002, public schools contained around 45,366,227 students taught by only just under two million teachers, (Alt, Martha Naomi & Peter, Katharin, 2002). This is heavily contrasted by the much more even ratios of students to teachers found in private schools, which were about 5 million students to 400,000 teachers. Research has also shown the importance of smaller class sizes in regards to better student achievement and advancement, (Lee & Smith, 1997). Smaller class sizes means more student teacher interaction, more effectively fostering the necessary components of an effective educational atmosphere. These closer relationships allow teachers to have individual interactions, better suiting lessons for the individualized learning styles of their students. These smaller classes also give teachers more incentive to work closely with their students and a much larger investment in their student's success, (Alt, Martha Naomi & Peter, Katharin, 2002). However, unlike smaller private schools, public schools tend to overcrowd classrooms with much higher student to teacher ratios. This then directly leads to many students being over generalized into a larger group, loosing that essential individual attention that each child needs with his or her teacher to foster a better overall education. What results is the utter failure of many students to care or even show up based on the fact that there is no real incentive to do so, as seen in some of the worst Westside schools in inner city Chicago, (Payne, 1984). This also provides an atmosphere where teachers cannot get in depth attention to children's parents, which would also help foster a better educational environment. With more students comes less time for individual parent meetings and discussions, leaving a huge gap between the family home and the classroom. Research has shown the greater the parental involvement with their child's education, the greater than education will develop within that child.
Public school teachers have also reported to be less likely than private school teachers in terms of their influence on school policies and curriculum, (Alt, Martha Naomi & Peter, Katharin, 2002). Most public schools must adhere to state standard guidelines, and therefore offer limited creativity in the form of teaching curriculum and practice. However, most private schools offer a greater hand in picking curriculum which therefore gets the teacher more into implementing their own version of standards. What this does is help foster a more creative environment, which proves more flexible to individual student needs. Yet, in public schools, most curriculums is standard despite the various learning methods of the students, creating a recipe for boredom, both from the students as well as the teachers involved. By allowing some private school teachers to expand on these standards rather than strictly adhere to them, many schools offer a better chance for students with alternative styles of learning. In many public schools, however, these same students are met with resistance for adaptation of the lessons, resulting in an unclear experience of classroom curriculum.
The result of these crucial differences between public and private institutions proves to be less academic and professional success on behalf of public school students. An average 52% percent of privately educated students have earned a Bachelor's Degree or higher by their mid-twenties, (Alt, Martha Naomi & Peter, Katharin, 2002). This is a stark contrast to the 26% of students who were educated through a strictly public institution. These students are also much less likely to enter into a graduate program to achieve a postsecondary degree. The research is clear; private schools better prepare their students for college. A college education can increase earnings and get each individual a better job resulting in a better quality of life.
Another alarming fact about the discrepancies between private and public institutions, the lack of large populations of minority students who achieve the stronger education offered b a private institutional setting. In the 1999-2000 school year, the U.S. Department of Education found that 17% of public school students were African-American, 15% were of Hispanic origin, and 63% were Caucasian, (Alt, Martha Naomi & Peter, Katharin, 2002). This means that public schools are generally the only route for education most inner city minorities have based on previous economic and class status which then limits exactly how much each individual can improve his or her life. Without receiving a proper education, they are placed into a vicious cycle, repeating their future generations to a fate of a poor education. This is countered with the lack of working class students in private schools outside of racial classifications, "Private schools are less likely than public schools to enroll in LEP students or students who are eligible for the National Lunch Program," (Alt, Martha Naomi & Peter, Katharin, 2002). Without the better educational advantages of a private institution, many of this nation's poor and underprivileged are bound to remain in that lower class state thanks to a poor education.
Those students who are stuck with the half-hazard education mass produced through most inner city public schools find themselves disadvantaged in several key facets which are necessary to establish oneself in a world outside of the classroom. One of the most fundamental and foundational teaching in school represents language skills and organization. Students with a poor education therefore lack in language skills, which can haunt them in both academic, real world, and professional settings. Many separate research studies have proven the importance of language within the modern world, (Payne, 1984, Seligman, Tucker, & Lambert, 1972). Most children within a positive a fruitful academic environment will gain the essential grammatical skills which will help allow for proper speech and language skills -- "essential for good jobs later in life. However, many children within poor educational environments will develop distorted language skills lacking of the basic foundations which their verbal communication should rest upon; in short "Language stigmatizes," (Payne, 1984:106). Students who fail to learn basic syntax and semantics adopt a slang version of English in place of true grammatical understandings of the English language. Seemingly insignificant improper language skills limit the future professional's breadth in job choices. Without the foundations of verbal and written communication, individuals are unable to efficiently express themselves and their ideas, leaving a distorted image of themselves in the eyes of the proper professional world.
Without a proper educational background, many adults find themselves lost in the work world. Very limited professions are open to those with a poor education. Those who do complete high school at a poor institution like an inner city public school are sometimes still left miles behind their private school counterparts, which also limit their ability to land a steady…[continue]
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