Choice in Education: A Difference Between the Rich and the Rest

July, 2017

Those who are fortunate enough to be in the top 1% have many choices available to them. Whereas, for the rest of us, choices become much more limited when one’s means are modest or scarce. Regarding educational and school choices for children, the elite and more affluent families can move to higher end neighborhoods to ensure their children are enrolled in better schools, while those with less, most often stay within their delegated school zones. In which, some of those schools are many times dilapidated and unsafe, in general, for children to attend.

A study conducted by the Journal of School Health (2009) showed that areas around urban public schools, where poorer families are likely to live, are around 17 years older than schools in the suburbs where more affluent families are likely to live. Aged buildings contribute to the lack of quality education for some, but the physical location of urban schools in lower socio-economics areas, that have higher crime rates and crime activity, effects all students in these areas. Because of the chronic crime, many urban schools must utilize security measures such as campus police and the use of metal detectors. However, these security measures may do little to stop the threat of crime and violence. An article published in the Journal of Adolescent Health (1995) found that over 700 public school students, one in four students were the victim of violence in or around school. Meanwhile, 14% were very worried about being attacked at school, 41% of the children reported being pushed/shoved/grabbed or slapped and 18% of students admitted to carrying a weapon to school. The ultimate result is that 20% of students in high crime areas were less eager to go to school, while 21% in low crime areas had the same sentiment.

It is no wonder that 25% of homeschoolers cited “environment of schools” as their number one reason for choosing home school (Heuer & Donovan, 2017). Home school is an ideal option for those who cannot afford expensive private schools or easily relocate to the suburbs. Though homeschool can be quite expensive, it doesn’t have to be. And one can learn even with the scarcest of resources.

-Adolfo

References

Averett, S.A., Price, J.H. (1995). Students’ perceptions of violence in the public schools: the MetLife survey. Journal of Adolescent Health.

Heuer, W., Donovan W., (2017). Homeschooling: The Ultimate School Choice. Pioneer Education. Retrieved from http://pioneerinstitute.org.

Shelton, A. J., Owens, E. W., & Song, H. (2009). An examination of public school safety measures across geographic settings. The Journal of School Health, 79(1), 24-29.