Welcome to Rye Country Day's Economic Blog. Here you will find perspectives by students taking Economics at Rye Country Day School. It is meant to be a forum where students can openly express their ideas and take positions on relevant economic issues. I urge everyone to participate in presenting their own ideas in an open manner so that we can all learn from each other. Regardless of whether you are currently taking Economics, everyone is invited and encouraged to comment on articles and get involved. Feel free to e-mail me, Alex Osborne at alexander_osborne@rcds.rye.ny.us , with comments or suggestions.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Featured Entry - Fairness of School Systems

We read an article in ID from the New York Times called “Shadow Lines That Still Divide”. The article was from May 2005, but tied into our ID discussions about American values. The article discusses class divisions in the US and whether or not the distinctions between classes have become more defined or less clear. One important issue brought up was that of public education—a topic we discussed in Economics. The success of a person’s education is largely linked to class, according to the article. This is most likely because in America, school systems are mostly funded by local taxes, making the schools in more well-off areas wealthier. Wealthier children who attend public school are more likely to get a good education (not to mention those who attend private school).
In American recently, merit has seemed to replace the system of inherited privilege. There are more self-made billionaires then there use to be and fewer and fewer of the wealthiest people in the country are wealthy because of family money. Still, the problem becomes that the people who most often earn their success had opportunities and were raised by parents who had money and provided their children with a good education. Even though they earn their success, merit is still seen as partially class-based.

-Whitney Kamin


Christian said...

Yea this is a very difficult which I know many argue about. It seems that if someone pays more to live in a certain neighborhood with a certain quality of schools then their neighborhood should have better schools. On the other hand, since it is public school, one might also argue they are all supposed to be equal. I personally believe that all kinds of socio-economic problems would improve if all public schools were given th same funds and therefore equal. People argue that kids who go to poor schools and do poorly are simply stupid or incapable. I think given the right opportunites and had they been bread in the same enviroment as lets say Rye Country Day,you would be surprised to see how many of those students are actually quite gifted. Now we get to the next point, which is what would happen if public schools were all equal. The result, as Mrs. Rees noted in class, was that property value for houses would plummet downward since that is usually a driving force behind the price of a home. By equalizing public schools you clear up many pre-existent socio-economic problems and create a new one. Do we side with our morals or the economy? Is their a clear cut answer?

NancyRees said...

It might be interesting to think about what would happen if properties taxes in all communities were no longer tied to school systems. If you removed that basis of comparison, what might be the reasons for property values in a community being high or low? Would something else take the place of school systems to add or subtract value to real estate?

Anonymous said...

I agree with Whitney in that success and merit are primarily class based. Most students in America become successful because the school system they attend happens to cater to higher income families. This is a problem and should be resolved. American education should be equally funded. Many people argue that if all American school systems were equal property values would plummet, that is not entirely true. If school's were taken out of the equation, than other things would inflate property prices, such as location ect.
-Matt P

Will Hilbert said...

Yes there are many "self made billionaires" but the majority of sucessful business men or women came from a good education. The richer the town, the more funded the school system is which means better teachers. Also the area and parents are another huge obstacle kids whose parents do not care about education have to deal with. If a kids parent works at an auto shop or runs a small store, what is the want of that child to become a lawyer. Many kids want to become just like their parents. So if a child is raised in a poor neighborhood and their parents are not encouraging, then chances are that child will not give a large emphasis on school and recieving a good education. Then also teachers are very important. If teachers are not encouraging and do not give rewards when a student does well, then what is the point of trying? Figures in a childs life influence them greatly. Altough there are a good amount of kids who grew up in poor neighborhoods who are very driven to make their life better, which takes a great deal of character.