logo
Legimus intellegam ea est, tamquam appellantur nec ei. Dicant perfecto deserunt quo id, ea etiam impetus pri. Mel ne vidit laboramus definiebas, quo esse aeterno
Connor Schlegel – edu|FOCUS
no-animation
8
archive,author,author-connor-schlegel,author-8,edgt-core-1.1.1,kolumn-ver-1.3.1,,edgtf-smooth-page-transitions,ajax,edgtf-theme-skin-dark,edgtf-blog-installed,edgtf-header-standard,edgtf-fixed-on-scroll,edgtf-default-mobile-header,edgtf-sticky-up-mobile-header,edgtf-animate-drop-down,edgtf-search-covers-header,edgtf-side-menu-slide-from-right,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-5.2,vc_responsive

Author: Connor Schlegel

Money and Education

The Equality Gap: What can be done?

As a college student who goes to school in Chester, PA (Widener University), I have seen poverty and the effects it has on people. Poverty consumes lives in every way imaginable, from living situation to clothing and even diet. As a result of living in an area stricken by poverty for over a year I began to wonder, why. Why this area, similar to countless other areas in this country are subject to endless poverty and crime. Now, that is a can of worms I discovered I was not willing to explore after brief investigation. However, this brief research sparked my fascination with how a society functions when it is stricken with poverty. More specifically the effects poverty has on the education received by those born into it, the kids. Poverty is known to influence a child’s readiness for school; school readiness reflects a child’s ability to succeed both academically and socially in a school environment requires physical well-being and appropriate motor development, emotional health and a positive approach to new experiences, age-appropriate social knowledge and competence, age-appropriate language skills, and age-appropriate general knowledge and cognitive skills. (Kagan). If a child does not gain these skills prior to starting grade school, they have already fallen behind from the start. That’s what poverty does to children, they start out school behind and struggle to ever catch up. Some children living in poverty are lucky enough to live within a school district with good funding, organization and well payed teachers, these students at least get a greater chance to succeed within the school through special programs designed to help that student along. What about a poor child that goes to a school district that is struggling with funding and under pays its teachers? The sad truth is, in these type of school districts (i.e. Chester High School) there is a much larger amount of children living under the poverty line. This large amount of poor children is not met with extra services like a school district (Strath Haven, well funded in wealthier area than Chester) would provide. The difference between the Strath Haven School District and the Chester School District is a perfect example of the equality gap that exists in America, and is seemingly more severe here in PA than anywhere else in the country. How can one school that is within 10 miles of another school have such a difference in dropout rate and the amount of students that go onto College? Fixing the equality gap is not simple, but there are people trying to find answers to this problem. Some focus on funding formulas that more adequately provide in areas where the tax base is depressed. Others focus on creating voucher systems that enable children to sent to wealthier school districts so they have access. A few even suggesting that wealthier areas pick up a larger portion of the costs of education enabling more state and federal funds to go to lower tax-base areas. But in all of these cases, ensuring a quality education should...

Why does class size matter?

I grew up in a school district with a class size ranging from about 15-20 kids, grades K through 12. Naturally, the classes grew a little bit as I got to high school due to gym classes being larger and just more students moving into my area as the years went on. As I moved on to college, my class sizes stayed the same for the first 2 years at 15-20, and this past year I noticed a change. My classes within my major (Communications at Widener University), began to shrink to about 10-15 students per class and I noticed one side effect of a small class. Soon enough, there was a greater overall closeness with my peers and teachers. It gave us a feel that we were in it together and we all genuinely wanted each other to do well.

Money and Education

The wrath of poverty on education

As a college student who goes to school in Chester, PA (Widener University), I have seen poverty and the effects it has on people. Poverty consumes lives in every way imaginable, from living situation to clothing and even diet. As a result of living in an area stricken by poverty for over a year I began to wonder, why? Why this area, similar to countless other areas in this country subject to endless poverty and crime? Now, that is a can of worms I discovered I was not willing to explore after brief investigation. However, this brief research sparked my fascination with how a society functions when it is stricken with poverty. More specifically the effects poverty has on the education of those born into it, the kids....

Standardized Testing: A harsh reality

Standardized testing has been an ongoing topic of discussion for many years, and it has become a topic surrounded by controversy. Those in favor of standardized testing say it is a fair way to measure student achievement, holding teachers and schools accountable to taxpayers. Opponents claim standardized tests promote a narrow curriculum that some would say, “teaches to the test”. I have no data to support my findings, all I have is my experience with one particular standardized test. Let me take you back to 2011, my junior year at Garden Spot High School. This is the last year students have to take Pennsylvania’s standardized test (PSSA), which tests reading, math, writing and science. I viewed these couple days delegated to testing as a break, a time to sit next to friends I didn’t have any classes with. I also looked forward to the muffins and Sunny D that was given out for free before the tests, my mind was focused on everything but the test. Why would I care about a test that has no effect on my report card? I would just fill my little dots without even reading the questions sometimes. I looked forward to finishing so I could draw sketches on my notepad. I recall a lot of pressure being put on us to perform well, which never made sense to me. I knew we were not held accountable as individuals for our test scores, why were should I care? Looking back I realize it was the administration just needing us to do well to keep the state off of their back, also a time for the school district to flex their muscles and prove to the others that they were superior. There was no room for the individual learning experience, either learn the stuff of get lost, students were not important. Students were prepared for the test with material specific to the PSSA, “teaching to the test”. This would not be a problem, if the material was not so specialized and tailored for the PSSA. The test put pressure on the school districts to make sure their students are prepared for certain questions pertaining to the PSSA which put the individual child’s learning needs on the back burner. Standardized tests promote black and white in a world of gray that we call education. As an advocate for innovative learning with The Franklin Foundation, standardized testing is a figurehead for the problem with education. Teaching the master plan to all students just so the district can be deemed successful, all while overlooking the individual needs of a student. If you don’t learn in a manner that the PSSA is designed for (like myself), you’re going to get left behind. Evaluation is very useful tool within a class curriculum for a student. However high-stakes testing in which schools and teachers are labeled as failures is destroying our education system. Schools and teachers are so terrified of being marked as inadequate that they forget their real purpose, to help nurture and...

Follow us on Instagram