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In Education We Trust: A Critique of an Ideology

             Crumbling schools, low test scores, underpaid teachers and high school drop-outs all seem to signify that the American public school system is failing its students, specifically those in poverty. Yet in order to earn a decent wage in today's economy, most students will need at least some post secondary education (U.S. Department of Labor). So with the wake of a schooling disaster near, the American public has blamed the overall rise in poverty on the failure of schools. It seems reasonable for society to hold such idea, that education is the cure-all for poverty. Especially with the political agenda of the Education Reform and the No Child Left Behind Act, attempting to eliminate economic inequality by pushing more poor people into universities and handing them degrees and projecting the flawed view that the U.S is an meritocracy. "However education is an insufficient anti poverty tool. poor people absolutely need more education and skill training, but they also need an economic context wherein they may benefit from the economic returns of their improved human capital" states Jared Bernstein in his critique Is Education the Cure for Poverty? Although education may marginally increase the productivity of workers in general, schooling alone will not solve poverty because it fail to lead to the creation of higher-end jobs nor does it address the economic problems of a non-livable wage. .
             "Education is a supply-side policy; it improves the quality of workers, not the quality or the quantity of jobs. A danger of over reliance on education in the poverty debate is that skilled workers end up all dressed up with nowhere nice to go" states Matt Brueing in his article Education Reform Will not Fix Poverty or Inequality. The ideology of success through school proceeds as follows; those who go to college make significantly more money hence if everyone went to college, everyone would make significantly more money.

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