The death and life of the great American school system

The death and life of the great American school system

Even though the structure of the American education has been going through reforms since the 1950s, it is not yet effective in meeting the needs of all children. Ravitch argues that these policies and reforms have contributed towards the creation of divisions that have resulted in the widening of the gap between the affluent and the poor in the society (176). This discussion explores the state of the education system in the United States. According to Hayes and Ravitch, the education reforms that have been implemented over the years have failed to produce results and have led to the widening of the gap between the affluent and the underprivileged members of the society. Therefore, they should be discarded and new strategies adopted to transform not only the education system, but the society as a whole.

Hayes argues that as a result of the failed education reforms, the society is controlled by a small group of people. These are the elites, who continuously try to achieve more wealth, success and class. Hayes describes the elite as a group of “small, powerful and connected” people with “three main sources of power: money, platform and networks” (32). Therefore, the elites are very powerful and influential. Hayes argues that in order to bridge the inequality gap, education alone is not enough. Instead other measures such as tax reforms should be adopted. According to Hayes, “meritocracy will create a social hierarchy that continues to grow upwards and enable a combination of insecurity and egomania” which will “establish a bottomless pit of desires in which people yearn for more wealth, status, power and everything that rivals good addiction” (32). In a meritocratic society, the successful elites will not be satisfied with their current achievements. Instead, they will develop greed for more and more. Therefore, the elites will continue amassing more wealth and gaining more power without any concern for the poor.


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