The miseducation of the Negro: How minorities and those from poor socioeconomic status are constantly betrayed by the educational system

Go to school, learn and work your way out of the ghetto! Those are words of inspiration that poor children, white and black and all those in between, are encouraged by. If we can just get good grades and get a degree, then our lives will be better. The days of industrialization are far behind us, as massive operations have closed their doors or outsourced their services to countries that will underpay and overwork their employees which are not covered by labor laws. The mere fact that for profit educational institutions target the poor should be unconstitutional. Misguided men and women hope for a piece of the American dream through these for profit educational institutions. The grandiose dream is that education is a lifter out of poverty.

However, the sociological theory behind a caste system proclaims that the class you are born into is typically fixed and permanent and you will remain in that caste. The thing that once divided us in this land of opportunity now brings us together: the lack of access to an equal education. The poor remain at a disadvantage when it comes to educational opportunities. Outside of the community college system of learning, most economically disadvantaged individuals look for programs that offer a quick fix to the massive problem of education. They see 6- to 12- to 18-month, overpriced certificate programs as the answer. The idea that CNA and phlebotomy programs will be a gateway to six figure incomes is often the selling point for these programs that are marketed to individuals who want a better life. The result is often massive amounts of debt with no degree.

By no means do I diminish sound technical and training programs that provide immediate job placement. However the stance of this article is that many for-profit schools and programs target a class of individuals that remain miseducated. These individuals remain in poverty with astronomical amounts of debt and minimum wage jobs. The good life is never within grasp and frustration takes over and displacement begins. Community colleges are frowned upon, and the K-12 educational system has done a horrible job preparing students for higher ed. Most minority and poor white students are caught in the whirlwind of getting a degree. However, they are not prepared academically to succeed. They become frustrated and leave a program or school because they are not prepared. The No Child Left Behind Act has left the poor kids behind with debt and no degree. If there is anything that requires repealing, it is that aspect of the American educational system.

Food for thought. Keeping it real.

Kamara Taylor

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