Equality for all!

It is nationally known that the U.S. educational system isn’t perfect. It, at least, wasn’t what it used to be. A main flaw in the education system is separation through social classes. Are students of lessor fortune given less opportunity to achieve their goals in life? Chana Joffe-Walt wanted to test this question by introducing the privileged, more expensive side of education to a less-fortunate school in the Bronx.

The students right away noticed an outstanding difference. One of the students from the public school in the Bronx, Melanie, stated it was just like she imagined high school to be like when she was a child. However, their harsh reality isn’t this up-scale, private institution; it is a run down, small public high school in a ghetto part of the Bronx. Melanie was one of the only students that didn’t keep her emotions inside when seeing this school. She immediately started screaming and crying that this is unfair.

Melanie was a girl from the ghetto part of south Bronx. She grew up loving books and education. She had straight A’s in high school and the teachers loved her. Melanie was one of those individuals that people just knew, without a doubt in their mind, that she will make it big in life. One of the main things stopping her was the lack of opportunity she had growing up. She didn’t have the money to go to an elite institution and she felt that the high colleges wouldn’t even consider her because of the type of high school she went to.

However, she was given the opportunity to go to the university of her dreams with a full scholarship. It was a long, emotional process and she didn’t end up getting in. Melanie was so devastated; she completely backed out of her dream to go to college and disappeared. Jonathan was a similar case. He is a kid that grew up in a foster home through out high school and never saw college in his future. He was motived by his girlfriend and realized that he was very intelligent. Jonathan ended up going to the university he applied for but flunked out. He was afraid to speak up about the fact that he was unable to purchase the textbooks.

Raquel was in the same shoes as both Jonathan and Melanie. She didn’t have the money or opportunities just like they didn’t. However, she was able to over come everything through hard work and dedication. She didn’t give up and she wasn’t afraid to speak up about anything that wasn’t going right. Raquel made it through college successfully and is now a teacher.

Melanie was right when she said that the education system was unfair. She was right when she stated that kids of family with money have way more opportunities than kids of less fortune. She was right when she told her teacher Pablo to “be fucking realistic” about her going to Harvard because a public school like the one she went to didn’t teach them with such high prestige. However, if there was one thing I learned from this podcast, it is that no matter what circumstances you are forced into, there is always a way out. It may not be as easy as it is for others, but the main part is to just focus on what you do have rather than what you don’t have. Raquel was able to do that. She achieved her success by focusing on herself and not giving up.


Do you believe that under-privileged students can make it out of these tough situations through hard work and dedication?

What are ways to make sure every student gets the same opportunities for their future?

Works Cited

Glass, Ira. “Transcript.” Home. WBEZ, n.d. Web. 25 Sept. 2016.
Glass, Ira. “#550: Three Miles.” SoundCloud. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Sept. 2016.

6 thoughts on “Equality for all!”

  1. Hi Allen. l can’t agree more about your conclusion. She was right about everything but gave up other chances she could have. Although she was not able to go to colleges like Harvard since courses her high school do not include AP courses or even worse, she could go to some good colleges by struggling for herself, because she was so smart and enter the final stage of Posse scholarship,and she had more than one year to improve her study.

    To your first question, l believe under-privileged students can make it out of these tough situations through hard work and dedication. Raquel Hardy is just the example;she know what she wants, and keeps telling herself that she need to study and work hard to change her life. However,Jonathan Gonzalez just escape and lie to her. Although he is talented,he failed.

    It’s a long path to make every student equally educated in same environment. Maybe different schools can exchange their students every semester so they have change to be educated equally. But to poor schools, the government should improve them into some standard schools,which students can use some basic facilities at least.

  2. Hi Allen, I agree with your blog especially when you say that our Education isn’t perfect: but we have to make the best of it. We can’t just give up because we are not accepted into the college that we want. Melanie should have continued her goal instead of leaving school and feeling sorry for herself .Not everyone gets there first choice in college but you always try to have a back-up plan. I feel that if Melanie would have gone to her teachers and told them she didn’t get into Middlebury that they could have guided her to other colleges that would have been a good fit for her. She was just too headstrong and decided to do what she thought was right at that time. She has definitely regretted her choices. Now she has a job she hates.
    Raquel and Jonathon were also in the same situation that Melanie was in but the difference was that they motivated each other and they were accepted into good colleges but Raquel worked very hard in college and is now a teacher. Jonathon on the other hand said he couldn’t afford to buy books so he didn’t do homework and he didn’t go to class. That continued until they escorted him out of the school for failing. The key is talking to someone if you need help. Jonathon should have told his teachers that he couldn’t afford his books instead of skipping class: they probably would have told him what to do.

  3. Hi Allen, nice blog. To answer your first question, I think that under-privileged students can make it out of the tough situation they are put in if they happen to be given the right opportunities and have the drive. It is not easy to escape shackles that are placed on you since birth, you have to be really lucky and strong to push your way out. Some kids happen to have one good teacher in their poor neighborhood who inspires and looks after them, encouraging them to break free. Depending on what school they attend out of whatever schools are available for them they might be able to get a scholarship to get into a good high school and/or college. The, hopefully, they have the money and willpower to make it through college, and can then get a job after college, to finally move up out of poverty. Sadly, this is VERY uncommon, because the quality of education in poor neighborhoods is terrible, because of the lack of government funding for the neighborhood, because poor people live there. It is an endless circle. It is set up to keep the poor poor, and it works, many people born into poverty stay in poverty. It is sad. Melanie, Johnathan, and Raquel’s stories show just how difficult it truly is to make it out of poverty. Only Raquel did it, and she feels unworthy of her success everyday. I hope that one day we can break the cycle of oppression.

  4. Everything is relative. If you want two objects to have the same potential you have to redefine them so that they can, but in doing so you change the variables that separate both objects and make them unique. In this case, to give students the same opportunities we have to make an even more cookie-cutter society. I am reminded of a quote by Albert Einstein, “Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.” In other words, you cannot take two people with different strengths and expect them to make the same choices, given the same opportunities. Presenting everyone with the same opportunities could be as bad as Melanie’s experience; when she had the rug, her life, figuratively ripped from beneath her feet, leaving her lying on the floor, panicked, and wondering where her life would be now.

  5. I completely agree with your blog. I would love the idea of equal education for all; however, the reality is different. We live in a place in which quality has its own price and not everyone can afford it, in consequence students from a higher economic status get better education than students of low income. This is also true that many of those privileged students of high economic status often tend to take education from granted and don’t take the most advantage of the amazing opportunity they have. I think that what really matters is the student effort and push for success. It doesn’t matter the environment where you are educated, if the student has the persistence wonderful results will come out.

  6. Wow, great blog Allen. I really enjoyed the summary as I did not figure out how to listen to the podcast but felt as though I got most of the main points at the very least. I completely agree with your final thoughts on the topic. The fact is that we live in a society where not everyone starts on the same playing field. Our society is not completely fair. The very basis of the “American Dream” is that you have the ability to move and to change the way you live. That you have the ability to work and improve your station. Not everything can be fair if you want to improve your life. Fairness, does not work, look at communist societies, where there is no movement allowed and see how “fair” you think it is. The only thing we can control is how we handle what we are given and the challenges that are presented to us. For some it may be harder than for others, but that’s just the way it has to be.

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