Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Important Role of Public Education

Public education plays one of the largest roles in positive development and in eliminating poverty. Education is a necessity because "to be illiterate and unschooled is to be excluded from the possibility of a better future". The 2002 median income for all U.S. was $25,309. For those who did not finish high school, the median income was $12,632; for a higher school graduate was $21,000, and for a bachelor's degree was $40,000. Not only does a proper education help individuals earn a higher income, but public education is a basic human right and need. Education creates equality within society and allows for holistic advancement. Education allows more access to better conditions for people and is the first step towards positive change. Education levels the playing field for people by allowing everyone to have an opportunity at bettering their lives and the whole community.

The environments in which children and their families live in play an important role in school performance. Improvement of the neighborhood is essential in improving the lives of children and their families. Better neighborhoods include networks, stability, norms, sanctions, and information. The location a family lives determines which school a child attends and how good that school is.

Poverty, Development and Schools in New Mexico

Today, development goals for society encompass a wide variety of issues including poverty, inadequate health-care, poor education, inequality, income and wealth, and ethnic and gender discrimination. The U.S. has the ability to address these issues and change, however many institutions must be changed, and the government must eliminate poverty. Education plays a key role in eliminating poverty and creating positive development. Education is a major opportunity for impoverished people to better their lives and society as a whole.

Inner-city public schools face many problems to due to poverty and low amounts of funding from the government. Stratification between school success and income is manifested in the public school system. Greater income yields a better school (according to income and neighborhoods) and more opportunities for success such as after school tutoring and mentors. Wealthier schools have higher expectations for their students in terms of professional careers, where as poor, inner-city schools focus on the very basics of education. Urban schools are failing students by not having sufficient classrooms, updated textbooks (if any), and limited instruction. Children are simply being pushed through minimal state requirements without ever actually being engaged. There is little focus on individual students because urban schools are so largely over-populated and are running on little funding.

New Mexico is a very poor state, with a low population that affects public schools. As of 2002, 54% of New Mexican students were eligible for free of reduced price meals. New Mexico has the highest proportion of people in poverty, with one in four below the threshold. The state's education level and criteria are far below the country's standard. One of the major problems that inner-city schools in New Mexico face is a lack of funding. Student's need many resources for their education, and so this website is for teachers to ask for classroom funding in terms of extra supplies, books, field trips, and other needs. Often times, children in inner-city public schools do not have adequate textbooks or goals, mentors, classroom aids, and materials.

Important Websites

Albuquerque Public Schools Official Website:
Here you will find a list of all APS schools, teachers, and contact information

The United States Census Bureau:
This website provides important information about the state of New Mexico and the population.

The State of New Mexico Official Website:
This website also provides important information for Albuquerque community members.

The State of New Mexico Public Education Department:
This informational website is organized by New Mexico's Secretary of Education.

Teach New Mexico:
This website is primarily for teachers and offers resources and information.