What are the crisis and contradictions of the American Dream?. In the first article Unequal Opportunity: Race and Education, the author explains how students are segregated in the U.S educational system. At the beginning of the article Darling-Hammond talks about the educatioanl gap between white and minority students.In the middle of the article Darling-Hammond futher explains how minority students are at a disadvantage because of the schools unfair system .Darling-Hammong concludes that well education resources make the difference.In the second article,Pathways to Economic Mobility, Stuart M. Butker, Willian W. Beach, and Paul L. Winfree explain how social capital influences the outcome of a child’s success. In the beginning of the article Butler, Beach and Winfree explain that family is the most important social capital and it greatly affects the outcomes of a child success.At the middle of the article Buttler, Beach, and Winfree talk about the effects of social institutions and communities influences in a child.At the end of the article Butler, Beach, and Winfree conclude that family influences is very important but as the child grows the acquired social capital by the community are more important for the child’s succes. A deeper understanding of the American Dram consist of understanding the crisis and contradictions that affects many people.
First, one of the contradictions of the American Dream is the achievement gap between white and minority students. The United States has one of the mos unfair educational systems that creates an achievement gap between white and minority students.According to Darling-Hammond “Students routinely receive dramatically different learning opportunities based on their social status”(1).In order to understand this contradiction we have to realize that the educational system is very different in certain areas, the mos affected areas are urban zones.Urban areas normally have schools that are attend by minorities and receive less funding. A low funded school means less skilled teachears and lower quality curriculum.
Next, one of the crisis of the American Dream is the family. Family influences greatly affects the childs success in the future.According to Butler, Beach, and Winfree “Children who grow up with two married parents fare, on average significantly better than does that grow with a single parent”(2). Everyone can be affected by this crisis but tends to be higher in minorities.Children that only have one parent tend to live in poverty compare to a child living with married parents.A child raised by married parents tend to be more succesful in the future. Children with married parents tend to have more social capital witch means that they have more opportunities to be succesful. We have to realize that children of single parents have less opportunities that we take for granted.
In addition, another contradiction is the color line. The color line is the segregation of students in the American educational system.Darling-Hammond states that some people believe that low leves of achievement on the part of minority students must be a function of genes, cultures, or a lack effort(1).Accordind to somo people low levels of achievement are due their laziness. The reality is that is not laziness but an unqueal educational system.The educational system can be cruel for minority students some and very generous for upper class students. The educational system favors upper class suburban schools and puts at disadvantage low funded urban schools that typically attend by a high percentage of minority students.
Moreover, other crisis of the American Dream is unequal accessibility to a higher education. When students dont have the same accessibility of a higher education thier achievement gap is lower. Darlong-Hammond states that “studies of underprepared teacher consistently find that they are less efecto with students”(5). In order to properly understand this we need to indentify this causes. One cause is that unskilled teachers typically offer a lower curriculum. The low skilled teacher is normally assigned to low income schools that have a large perceyof minority students. So in order to get a higher education we need to have a better qualify teacher that offers a demanding curriculum which in return will cause the students to do better in school.
Finally, another crisis of the American Dream is social capital that includes school and the community. School and community relations can meke the difference in a childs success.
Butler, Beach, and Winfree states that school based relationships with peers can be both positive and negative(10). In order to grasp this crisis we have to understand the importance of school-based and community relationships. One example of a school-based relationship is when the parent involvement in school. Parent involvement in school can increase the childs achievement.Also the teachers quality has an effect in the childs success, because higher quality teachers tend to form better relations with the students. Finally the community around the student also have a great impact in the childs outcome, for example bad neighboors and peers that have a dismissive view oacademics can have negative effect in the students behaviors which will affect the childs future.
In conclusion, the American Dream is full of crisis and contradictions that can be overcome if the educational system is change.The American Dream main components are equal opportunity for everyone but it contradicts when it negates equal education for everyone. The American Dream is at the moment at a crisis, no matter how hard some people work they will not be able to achieve it and the only way to change this is by giving the same treatment for everyone.