Education is one of the most notable public issues in society that is seen as a social problem that is deeply tied to social class

Education is one of the most notable public issues in society that is seen as a social problem that is deeply tied to social class, gender and race in society. This is best seen through the inequality of educational achievement in various countries such as the United States and poorer countries such as India. In my social structures and social problem I will be investigating how education is heavily tied to social class, gender and race through using a news story that talks about education as a social problem which is related to social class, gender and race and by choosing a policy brief which explains what sociologists have studied about education and how education relates to social class, gender and race in the form of inequality between different racial and ethnic groups from various countries such as the United States.
The social problem that I am choosing to investigate in my social structures and social problems paper is how education is no longer a key success to gaining economic equality and how income inequality and educational inequality are growing in the United States. The news story depicts the social problem of income inequality and educational inequality growing in the United States specifically the achievement gap between rich and poor students as a statewide and nationwide crisis that is detrimental to the economy of the state of Massachusetts and the rest of the United States as a nation. A statement that supports this is “Some Massachusetts officials say that they fear a vicious cycle is taking hold, in which income inequality and educational inequality feed off each other. Democrats and Republicans agree that the increased disparity is a threat to economic mobility in the state” (Rohde, Cooke and Ojha, 2012). These statements support how income inequality and educational inequality are growing in the United States and how they are correlated to each other which affects the economy in the state of Massachusetts and the rest of the nation. From my reading of the news story I view the social problem of income inequality and economic equality growing in the United States as a structural problem that affects state of Massachusetts and the nation.
The news story presented the issue of income inequality and educational inequality as a structural problem that has affected the achievement gap between rich and poor students and the economy of the nation. This has resulted in states such as Massachusetts taking action to help close the achievement gap between rich and poor students. An example that supports this is “In the early 1990s, Massachusetts sharply increased state funding of local elementary and secondary schools and mandated comprehensive testing. The overhaul was designed to improve student performance and eradicate the achievement gap” (Rohde et al 2012). As a result, the nation has treated the problem of income inequality and educational inequality specifically the achievement gap between rich and poor students as a structural problem that needs to be fixed by changing the education system. This has caused controversy among the nation’s politicians over what is the best way to fix the education system and narrow the achievement gap between poor and rich students of different classes. An example that supports this is “Now, we’re in a situation where we need to educate everyone at the level of the elite in the past, said Paul Reville, Massachusetts secretary of education. We don’t have a system to do that” (Rohde et al 2012). This statement is stating from the secretary of education that the way how our education system is not working out well and how we need to change our education system and educate everyone at an equal level from all social classes. In all I would say that the news story presents the issue as a structural problem that needs to be addressed and fixed quickly to help keep the nation’s economy stable.
I would say that the news story Special Report: The Unequal State of America – Why education is no longer the “great equalizer” did use sociological imagination to understand the issue of income inequality and educational equality and how it affects the achievement gap of rich and poor students in the United States and economic stability of the Massachusetts and the nation. The news story clearly used the sociological imagination to understand the issue by stating that the issue of income inequality and educational inequality is a public issue that affects the nation and by giving historical context in the form of explaining the history of how education began and what it means for the United States. An example that supports this is “There is no way for someone who is poorly educated to be self-sufficient, he said. It’s in our national interest to do something that we should have done morally anyway.” (Rohde et al.2012). Reville the education secretary is saying in this quote that someone who is not educated well is no way suppose to be well developed and have all the resources they need to succeed to do well in life. Then he goes on to say that it is the nation’s responblitility and benefit to focus on reforming childhood education. This is clearly an example of the news story using sociological imagination to understand the issue of income inequality and educational inequality by clearly viewing it as a public issue that affects American society. Another example of the news story using sociological imagination to understand the issue of income inequality and educational inequality is by giving historical context in the form of informing us of the history of education. An example that supports this is “When Puritan settlers established America’s first public school here in 1635, they planted the seed of a national ideal: that education should serve as the country’s “great equalizer.” (Rohde et al.2012). This quote explains how when the Puritan’s first came to the United States in 1635 they established the idea of education which the United States stands for which is that education is an opportunity of equality regarding students of all social and economic statuses such as rich elite class, middle class and lower classes and how it is the nation’s interest and responsibility to provide a equal level of education to students of all backgrounds and economic statuses.
In all aspects I would say that the news story did use sociological imagination to understand the issue of income inequality and educational inequality in the United States and the state of Massachusetts.
We might understand the issues of income inequality and educational inequality from a sociological perspective by viewing them as public issues that affect society such as equality between people of different social classes and education such as the educational achievement gap in the United States.
The reading Is Equality Feasible by lane Kenworthy shows how we should understand the issues of income inequality from a sociological perspective by viewing it as a public issue that affects society. An example that supports this is “On the other hand we can argue that income inequality may be bad for growth. Since the wealthy tend to save more of their income, greater inequality may weaken consumer demand, which can be as debilitating for the economic as low investment. Those in the middle and lower classes may regard high inequality as excessively unfair, reducing employee motivation and workplace cooperation. High inequality may also reduce the share of the population that is able to invest in higher education. And the financial constraints and frustration created by high inequality may decrease trust, cooperation, civic engagement, and other growth-enhancing forms of social support” (Kenworthy). Lane Kenworthy is explaining in these statements that income inequality can be bad for economic growth in society which clearly shows that income inequality is a public issue that affects in ways such as education and employment in society. A sociologist would study the social problem of income equality and educational inequality by graphs and charts.
The policy brief addressed the issue of school closures and redistricting creating educational inequality as a dire issue that primarily affects low income communities and disadvantaged families of racial minorities.
I think the policy brief I used in my social structures and social problems paper used sociological imagination to understand the issue of school closures and redistricting creating educational inequality by viewing the issue of school closures and redistricting as public issues that affect low income communities, create educational inequality between students of different racial and ethnic backgrounds and affect disadvantaged families that are living in poverty. A couple of statements that supports this is “These closures disproportionately impact black and lower-income students, families and neighborhoods. Students from these schools are sent to schools either far way from home, less diverse or lower performing” (Penn 2012:2). These statements are explaining how school closures impact lower income racial minority students, families and neighborhoods negatively and that students from lower performing schools are sent to schools that are away from their neighborhoods which are racially segregated and perform lower academically.
The consequences of having a news media that report on social issues in the way I found were that they brought the issues of income inequality and educational inequality to the public’s attention and offered ways to solve the problem of income inequality and educational inequality.
A news media might incorporate sociological imagination into their reporting on social issues is by finding out whether the social issues they are researching are personal troubles or public issues.