Education Essay, Research Paper
School the great Equalizer
In his essay, I should have never quit school , D. DeMott rejects the myth that all social
classes receive the same education. He supports his essay by denying that the stating line is the
same for all students in the American educational system. DeMott begins his essay by giving us
an example of the mythological belief that school is a fair institution where everyone begins at the
same starting line. Next, DeMott gives general ideas about the American publics denials, and the
educational system, provides for students. To support these denials DeMott gives us some
assumptions of the general public s beliefs on education.
The first assumption is about intelligence, an individual is college material, intellectual
because he/she was born smart and it s up them to take advantage of it, and that teachers see this
genetic trait. According to your intellectual level the school system will see this and place you in
the proper educational training which best sues you.
The next assumption is that your community motivates lower class students to attend
institutions of higher education by providing them with financial assistance. The difference of the
social economic level of the community abilities to provide for the student differs in how much the
town can invest in your education. The inequality differs in the sense that wealthy communities
see as smartness as a gift. Your occupation is determined by you level of intelligence. Poor people
don t share these ideas. The rich believe that if they tax themselves heavily, they will produce
better quality of students, they call this fairness.
DeMott then analyzes American education by its beginnings and how this question of
education being equal came to be. The belief that immigrants saw that in order to be Americans
you needed an education, therefore there are many different ways different people from different
backgrounds apply the education system, and that one system is better than the other. The
education systems are divided, and approach different views between the rich and the poor.
Autonomy was the question and education give autonomy to individuals.
To gain an autonomy that was best suited for the new immigrants two developments were
to be discussed. The rich cowed the schools and therefore were biased. The other was that
schools were un-coerced by societies powerful and was fair.
To support the first development; education was not design to be equal for all but it
supported its purpose, high school educational success was due to social nurturing, people who
could afford to stay out of the manual labor market, could get a better education.
Although education was provided there wasn t any change in privilege.
The second development is supported, by the triumph of social science. In order to have
the triumph of social science; social conflict was extricated from school. These led to the
foundation, which claims education advancement to be the cause of justice. Supported by mass
intelligence tests during, World War I. The use of this new approach was used to revolutionize
and find fairness.
DeMott, then discredits these developments and abandons these myths. With researches
done over the last recent years. The Coleman report for example, showed that class status
determines a student s achievement from start to finish, American education doesn t complete its
mission as an equalizer.
Even when schools begin to do their job they didn t allow lower class students to achieve
their highest intellectual ability. Well off students with weak academic records was still far off
more likely to attend college than poor students with strong academic grades.
The idea that only for minorities school was seen as an alien culture. This approach of
fairness had an education problem. Public education institutions are largely attended by children of
higher social classes, therefore under privilege students tend not to take advantage of an education
because they seem not to understand the greatness of an education.
DeMott then gives examples of how teachers tend to prefer rich students to poor or
The mythology of school and life being fair concerning education is clearly stated by
DeMott as unrealistic. We all begin the race towards an education some are motivated towards
achieving an education while others are not. Wealthy people have the clear advantage over
disadvantage people, and minorities.