The New York Times published a very insightful opp-ed about education issues in America. As I read it I couldn’t help but think to myself that this is the type of education centered concern I wish Betsy Devos would spend her time discussing, and working with the Department of education to come up with solutions to address. But, her agenda demonstrates that this is EXACTLY what she is in the process of expanding upon.
The very idea of school choice sounds awesome; except when you realize those in the greatest need of these “choices” to which they do not actually have access. The very idea of school choice is unfortunately overwhelmingly beneficial to those who already tend to pay for expensive private schooling options. And does little or nothing for rural or inner city America where our education challenges are the greatest.
The single biggest factor in social and financial mobility is education, and the second is access to resources. Those of us privileged to be white middle class and above – we often think that we have earned our place in society, earned our jobs, earned what we have. All the while never thinking about the very barriers we bypass just because we are fortunate enough peaceful lives. The very clothing we are given, the fact that we have 3 meals a day, that our parents have the time to tend to our needs. These basic social structures that those with lower incomes, skin darker shades, or from less desirable parts of town often struggle to provide for their families – and often through no fault of their own.
The saddest thing is this very process is the self delusional of many of our country men. They take offense at being told they have privilege – they feel that this diminishes them. Which is odd, because at the same time they are usually proud of who and what they are – which itself is a direct expression of privilege because they don’t understand why others have ‘special treatment’.
The American Dream – may theoretically be available to all, but in this race just isn’t as easy to get over the finish line when you have a much further road with more obstacles to overcome.