that end up deferred.
Lost in translation
unable to grow.
For the land of opportunity
is actually a mirage to many.
Trapped in an education system
that denies them plenty.
Lozetta Hayden 2015
Unfortunately vast inequalities plague children at birth. In The Land of the Free and Home of the Brave, many are imprisoned by their zipcode. These five numbers can determine what school you attend, type of housing you live in, area crime rate, and access to resources. Though all are important, the school a child attends has the greatest impact on future opportunities. In Savage Inequalities, author Jonathan Kozol, shined a spot light on the grave disparities between schools across the United States. He vividly described schools that were dilapidated, short on resources and staffed by inexperienced teachers. In stark contrast, other schools he visited were well maintained, offered a variety of courses (including college level), had an abundance of resources and were staff by highly qualified teachers. Of course the latter students were better prepared to be career and college ready. Yet many expect the under-served to be able to overcome these obstacles and "pull themselves up by their boot straps" and compete equally.
The economic ladder of opportunity can differ greatly. Some have evenly spaced rungs, aren't very long and are sturdy. Yet others must use the ladders that have an abundance of missing rungs, are extremely long and quite unstable.The more disparity, the greater the achievement gap widens. Unless something is done, this will reach a crisis point because so many will be unable to compete in the global and high skilled market that exist today. NPR did a great story entitled, "Is America Still the Land of Opportunity?". The consensus of the panel is "YES" but with the caveat that we must change our current approach to education. This wasn't the first group to draw this conclusion and unfortunately for our children it won't be the last.
While adults quarrel over implementing changes, students are denied their slice of the pie. Justifiably this builds resentment and undesirable repercussions. How can they be expected to dream with so many obstacles preventing their growth? When will we as citizens demand more of our nation? Unless we alter our current approach to education, there will come a time when majority of our nation doesn't believe in "The Dream" anymore.
"Optimism is the fuel that powers DREAMS over large mountains and through deep valleys."