Future Needs Change Current Issues and Trends in Education Historically education has changed over the years to meet the needs of children, and their ever changing mold. Society and governance has changed over history to save children from abuse, starvation, and provide educational opportunities but has not completely succeeded in these areas within minority classes. The educational gap between whites, blacks, and Hipics is astoundingly large. This gap extends to healthcare, gun violence, criminal activity, and poverty. Since 1979, gun violence has ended the lives of 110,645 children and teens in America” (“State of america’s,” 2011). Gun violence is not a new issue to the United States. It can be dated back to the first presidential assassinations and the “old west”. Gun violence has escalated into religious and political assassinations up to school massacres starting with the Columbine shootings. The United States’ is not successfully helping our youth with gun prevention. In 1994 the federal government passed The Youth Handgun Safety Act which prevents juveniles from possessing firearms or ammunition.
That same year they passed The Gun-Free Schools Act which prevents firearms on school campuses and requires LEA’s to a referral service of those students caught with a firearm (1996). Although the government has enacted these laws gun violence has escalated. According to The State of Americas Children “3,042 deaths of children and teens from gunfire in 2007 alone nearly equaled the total number of U. S. combat deaths in Iraq through July 2011 (3,480)” (“State of america’s,” 2011 ). Their data also shows that 11 children or teens die daily from gun related problems.
It also states that even though there are fewer black boys in America they are more likely to come into a fatal blow with a firearm. African American males are more likely to die from a gunshot blow than any natural cause of death (1996). The sad issue here is that most of these minorities are the product of poor communities. The need to feel important can be a huge determining factor for these young males, and their need to be accepted into a group. Intervention programs need to be more readily available for these poverty areas. Every 34 seconds a child is born into poverty” (“State of america’s,” 2011). America has made significant advancements in technology, civility, and postmodernism but is still stuck in a time warp from the ‘70s when it comes to poverty. Today’s youth still face the poverty epidemic they faced 40 years ago. The demographic of poverty has changed due to the changing face of America, but the epidemic remains the same. Poverty affects a child’s educational performance and opportunities as well. The schools funds are rooted in property taxes.
Most students of poverty live in areas with low property taxes and therefore school funding is low. Instead of the government making sufficient shifts in funding to give intervention opportunities and professional development, the time warp remains. Teachers come into education unaware of the issues poverty throws on its children. The government has “tried” to solve the educational poverty issue with No Child Left Behind. This act hides behind the blanket of all children are equal, but the truth is they are not.
If they were then all children would have the same opportunities. There would be programs in place for summer enrichment to help stop the loss of information they experience during the summer. Poverty also shows itself in the minority groups and their graduation success rate. In 2006–07, 7. 7 million students attended poverty schools 33 percent African American and 35 percent Latino (“Child poverty in,” 2006). Only half of the African American male population actually graduates high school. Poverty is the root that bears down to hold on to generation after generation.
If society does not change its ways of informing families and students then our society is going to keep falling behind. In order to make minority groups more successful in education, we are going to have to inform them on the statics of graduation, what is needed to graduate, be able to identify at-risk students, and show them the next step, college. If students have a vision of what is next, they can envision themselves on that path. My personal experiences help me and inhibit me in my understanding of the future of our youth. The fact that I grew up in poverty helps me see the need for intervention.
If I was not exposed to the interventions that my school had in place then I would not have had the visions for what I needed to be successful. The downfalls to the interventions were that they were only for those A students. I was exposed to the next step because I did well in school. My mother and father were not high school graduates but pushed and showed that education was important. Though I grew up in poverty, I lived in the suburbs. This inhibits me with gun violence to a certain sense. The only gun violence I was exposed to was the untimely death of a classmate because he was playing with a handgun.
I am not familiar with street gun violence, the need to be in a gang or the readily available hand guns. This kept me from seeing the issue of inequality until I reached the classroom as a teacher. I became a teacher in ’07 in an inner city school. My familiarity with growing up in poverty helped me connect with my all black classes. I knew when they first saw this “white lady” they would feel no connection but that quickly changed. They figured out that we had more in common than they thought. I used my experiences of the unknown to keep them from having the same unknowns.
I may have no idea of the fear they live in with constant gunfire in their streets at night, I do understand the long, dark path that they see in front of them with no light to guide them through the goals they have rooted in them. I try to provide a spark in the beginning that will eventually lead to an ever burning light that shows them there is no dark place, that success is theirs. They can do and be anything they strive to be. Diligence and will are the keys to success. As an educator I have to stay educated on the adverse society we live in and the proven strategies that will help me be successful to keep my students successful.
Our future needs a change in education, in poverty, and in thought. Technology is a beautiful tool, but our country has its hands in the wrong pocket. Taking from education is only hindering our future economic success by filling our prisons and emptying our school desks. Gun violence is being used by our youth as a tool for change but this change is a life altering change in the wrong the direction. Having politicians without educational background guiding our educational realm will continue to lead it into a hurricane of destruction.
References (2009). African americans and education. Retrieved from http://naacp. 3cdn. net/e5524b7d7cf40a3578_2rm6bn7vr. pdf Aldridge, J. , & Goldman, R. (2007). Current issues and trends in education. (2nd ed). Boston: Pearson Education. (2006). Child poverty in america. Retrieved from http://www. fightpoverty. mmbrico. com/facts/america. html (1996). Reducing Youth Gun Violence:, Retrieved from https://www. ncjrs. gov/pdffiles/redyouth. pdf (2011). State of america’s children. Retrieved from www. childrensdefense. org
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