This article, even though short, has really opened my eyes to a new way that could reform urban education. There are factors such as social, political, economical, and racial issues that surround the achievement gap present in many urban schools. This article touches on the suggestion that future teachers need to be taught and trained how to teach in real life situations such as urban environments. There needs to be a partnership between the univerisities and colleges that are training future teachers in which they prepare them to teach in real life education school systems and stop just training them with the traditional middle-class, everything is so lovely, public environment.

This made my mind turning as I have not really thought  about changing teacher-prep programs to help deal with urban education issues. Programs are now infusing more diversity issues as America is a big melting-pot of diverse students and learners. But, in a way I see how teacher prep-programs do cater towards training future teachers for the perfect job environment. I think that altering teacher prep-programs for the students who want to teach in an urban enivronment could be useful. However, I think since urban education is in such a bad state as it is in now that including more real-life situation aspects and teaching environments to a teacher pre-program would have positive results. I think that changing the teacher-prep programs seems to always face opposition. I can see how reforming the teacher prep programs to tailor towards urban, inner ciy and poor students, could change the course of these types of education systems. Urban schools need highly-qualified and compasionate teachers for the students to start triving in those environment. Read this website and see if anything sparks into your mind about changing teacher preperation programs to help urban schools.

http://www.ur.umich.edu/9899/Jan25_99/urban.htm

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This video is very moving to me as a person who cares about the education of urban students. The students of Baltimore, Maryland are protesting their under funded education system. Real students tell of the hardships they face in their school and education because of the lack of funding. What you may ask is the allocation of funding for public schools? Porperty taxes! This makes no sense what so ever. The children that live in poor communities with low property taxes have less funding. The children that live in wealthier communities have a way better quality of education as well as school. The way funding is allocated is very outdated- it is very hard to believe that this is still acceptable. The students in urban and inner city schools that already face numerous hardships and bad odds are only given worse odds due to their lack of funding in their education.

The inequalities that exist because of the way schools are funded is endless. School integration of whites and African Americans was thought to change the inequalitites that were once so noticable. Now, people tend to see but not really realize the effects that these inequalities are having in present day society. This is amazing to me as someone who believes that urban students should have the same education as students in suburbs.

Former President Bush put the No Child Left Behind Act into law. This creates a set standard for ALL STUDENTS in America’s public school system. The results of standardized tests allocate government funding to the schools and if the scores are bad no funding. WHAT?  How are we suppose to improve our nations must hardships schools in urban environments if we are going to punish them by taking away funding? Government funding needs to be put into the schools in need and not the schools that get the funding from higher property taxed areas.

 

This is a great interactive interview type speech by Thomas Sowell that address what has become of the public education system in America. This video is a must watch for any person involved in public education.

Sowell believes that funding, even though may play a part, is not the main factor for the inequalities that exist in our public school system. Standardized testing as well as other testing scores are based on performance. What is performance suppose to be compared to? Why is this the case all all children perform differently and not the same as another? Performance based assessment is ineqaulity when comparing schools from different socialeconomic status.

Grades, yup there important, but how does a teacher decide who gets the B, C +, or A-. Teachers hold so much power in our education system as they rate the performance on their students. The grading system differs from teacher to teacher as well as school to school. How is this grading system equal or legitamate?

Sowell discusses the “teacher shuffel” in America.  It is cheaper for schools to keep moving teachers to different schools than to down right fire them. These bad teachers goes down the list of schools and end up in urban and inner city schools. Why are we having bad teachers teach our students in America that need the most help in their quality of education??? There is no reason for bad teachers to stay in the public school system period.

Another point that Sowell talks about is our American Universities, which he calls ‘International Univeristies’. Our nation’s universities are so well known around the world that it attracts numerous foreign students. But, our universities, wanting to be equal, accept alot of international students which leaves less spots for American students to the point it is very hard to even get into them. We are not investing in post-secondary public education in a way that supports are nation’s future. Our public school system all in all needs a total restructuring that hopfully the Obama administration can make happen.

Jonathan Kozol is an author who writes about his personal experiences within the American Public  school system. His newest book “The Shame of the Nation: The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America” is a must read. This book brings to light the racial inequalities that still exist within our public school system.  He discusses how schools are still segregated by race as well as social class. The difference between the education that middle to upper class students receive in a suburban school and the education that inner-city and low social economic students recieve is huge. This book is based completely on his first hand experiences within over 60 schools in various states. Kozol provides a lot of comparisons between inner-city education and suburban education. He touches upon military recruitment in schools, No Child Left Behind, and racial integration. Inner-city and urban area teachers can relate to Kozol’s  “The Shame of the Nation: The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America”, since they see what he talks about in real life on a daily basis.

Here is the link for his book review from Education Review- a journal of book reviews:

http://edrev.asu.edu/reviews/rev470.htm