Does Education Promote Social Mobility?
On September 19, The Brookings Institute released the latest Future of Children journal entitled “Opportunity in America.” This volume examined the relationship between education ad social mobility. The “American Dream” is that anyone can rise to the top social class if they educate themselves and work hard, but is this really true? According to this volume, education in America actually perpetuates existing inequalities rather than compensating for them.
Starting in pre-school, children in poverty and the middle income have limited access to effective education. In fact, by the time children reach kindergarten, only about 43 percent of children in households in the lowest 20 percent of family income are considered to be cognitively ready. Even past pre-school, however, inequalities still exist. Throughout elementary school and high school, children from wealthier families experience advantages, including better school quality and a significantly larger amount of money spent by their parents on their education outside of school. Additionally, low-income students find it more difficult to graduate from college, especially within four years.