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The Disparity Gap In Public Education

Christopher Clayton Tufts, Reporter

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The Disparity Gap In Public Education


Does The Level Of A Parents Education Affect Their Children’s Academic Performance?



By: Christopher Clayton Tufts


Public School is predicated upon the basis of equal opportunity, and thus it is the goal of public education to supersede the mitigating circumstances of a student’s upbringing. With that being said, has public education achieved this goal?

I did an anonymous survey of 15 random seniors at Monument Mountain Regional High School, and I asked each of the students to list the level of education that their parents received, as well as their current GPA and class level. Ten of the students had parents who attended higher education and five of the students had parents who did not attend college. The Ten students on average had a higher GPA than the five students, and were taking harder courses (AP and Honors).  In all, Students who come from families that have parents with degrees in higher education perform better academically than students with parents who did not attend college on average.

This result surprised me to say the least. I thought to myself, “why is it that these students with parents who did not attend college struggle to compete with students whose parents did attend college?” My survey was able to show me a disparity, but it wasn’t able to show me why, and this required me to revisit the “drawing board” per say. I decided to approach fellow students within my grade and engage in conversations regarding this very disparity that my survey had eluded me to.

What I discovered through these numerous conversations was that students’ whose parents did not attend college; do not receive nearly as much pressure to take Honors or AP courses. I also learned that on average students with parents who did not attend college live in environments that don’t put nearly as much pressure on attending higher levels of education. With this being said, there were still a few instances in which students that have parents who didn’t attend college, are under enormous pressure to perform well academically and attend college after high school.

What I realized after conducting this survey and speaking with numerous students was that yes, a disparity does exist, however there is still an opportunity for self-motivated students to pursue harder classes and receive more one-on-one attention, regardless of whether their parents attended college. The school that a student is attending can only do so much. If a student is told from a very young age that he or she doesn’t need to attend college, then how are school officials going to be able to convince the students to believe them over the words of their parents.

Monument Mountain Regional High School gives each student the same opportunity, and as the students grow and develop the school begins to focus more attention towards the students that are performing better academically and showing more initiative. We live in a culture that provides numerous opportunities to succeed and strive in life, but we overlook these opportunities and we don’t realize it until we’ve missed them.




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The Disparity Gap In Public Education