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Daniel Q. Gonzalez English 1102 Mrs.

Keaton 04/09/2013 Exploratory Essay In class we have been reading articles that focus on education like describing the exact purpose of school, explaining success in school, and exploring identities of students in school. These articles have helped me develop some of my own inquiry questions for a project that I will do later on in class. In Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum of Work, No Child Left Behind, and In the Basement of the Ivory Tower, teachers are always judging students in school because maybe the students do not try hard enough or are lazy but teachers do not know what goes on outside of the classroom. Teachers do not see what affects the students or what keeps them from wanting to learn or study. All students and schools are not equal because of diverse experiences. Unequal preparation may cause stereotypes, which can affect learning. In the reading Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum of Work, Jean Anyon has explored different school environments, with students of a different social economic status. Anyon writes about four different classes in her paper: the Working Class, Middle Class, Affluent Profession School and the Executive Elite School. These classes were mostly based on social and financial status. Her main argument is that students in wealthy communities get a better education through different teaching methods than those who are located in poor areas. Schools concentrate their teaching style depending on students capabilities. Anyon claims that students from Affluent Profession Schools and Executive Elite Schools are better prepared because of their social status. According to Anyon each class is taught based on the school

systems perception about student ability. She argues how money plays a big role for the available resources and how each social class is taught. This makes me question, why dont teachers/school systems educate everyone the same way? Why do students not have the chance to choose what pathways they want to be educated in for their future? And why do teachers or school systems create a path, not students? For example, in the working class, students do not have much of a decision-making role or are not allowed to make choices. She also states that teachers never explain why some of the work is assigned and how it relates to other assignments. Work is often evaluated not according to whether it is right or wrong but according to whether the children followed the right steps (Anyon 2009). Teachers in the Working Class schools are more concerned about students getting the work done and obeying rules, while in the Executive Elite School, students work on their analytical and reasoning skills. Schoolwork helps one to achieve, to excel, to prepare for life (Anyon 2009). Anyon does a great job at arguing and explaining that opportunities do change depending on what social class you are in. In Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum of Work, Anyon argues how students are being left behind based on their social class. While Kassner argues in No Child Left Behind, (NCLB) that students are being left behind due to the lack of funding that schools are receiving. Kassner states, too many of the neediest children are being left behind (No Child Left Behind Act 2001). For this reason, President Bush put the No Child Left Behind Act into action. Bush wanted to make sure that all children, no matter what social class they belong to or where they are from, do not get cheated on getting the best education possible. Kassners article has caused both negative and positive reactions. This act has made it difficult for schools to get more funding from the government. If schools do not reach certain standardized testing scores, funding will not be given to that school. If schools do not have the funding to get better resources to

improve education that students are given, then how does the government expect them to succeed in standardized testing? Through Kassners research, one can infer that students with money and higher influence get the best education while American families with low income are not gaining the best possible education. An anonymous source stated in the source that, the No Child Left Behind Act is rather leaving children behind than improving children in their test scores and class work (No Child Left Behind Act 2001). After I read In the Basement of the Ivory Tower, I had a couple of questions that came to mind. Should older people be allowed to come back to school for adult education? Before colleges allow admission should they take a test to see how qualified they are to see if they will have a hard time? For instance Mrs. L, who did not know how to do research through computer databases nor type a research paper, should she had been tested to see if she qualified to attend college? Professor X believes that not everyone can be successful in college and that some are not ready for high school much less prepared for college. He states, I am the man who has to lower the hammer. When professor X first met Mrs. L he already knew that she would fail the assignment and probably not be so successful in the class. If professors can tell whether a student is going to have trouble or fail the course why set the student up for failure and waste their time and the schools? Professor X was upset that he gave Mrs. L a failing grade. She did everything that society tells one to do, go back to college and get a better education. She wanted to be rewarded, not slapped down and have her self-esteem lowered. She was a good student. Mrs. L came to class and did everything she was asked to do, she didnt skip or slack off she just was not qualified for college. X explains what if instead he gave her a C- instead of the F, but this would not be fair to the class who wrote a good paper. And if he were to do it, this would stand against his standards and of the schools. He believes that Adult Education is just a profit center

for colleges. He compares it to a factory; it is like a second shift of learning. America believes that everyone should go back to school. Some companies will even pay tuition costs for their employees. Government is also all for it, financial aid is provided to the ones that truly need it. Nobody speaks against education because who would dare to oppose the idea of stopping someone from going to school. The writers of these articles investigate and try to understand what is affecting some of these students from wanting to be successful in school and why they are not putting forth any effort. In Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum of Work, Anyon investigates how schools teach depending on the social class that students are trapped in. In the article, In the Basement of the Ivory Tower, Professor X understands that Mrs. L is old which makes her out of date on most of todays technology. Kassner argues in No Child Left Behind, that some schools are not receiving enough funding due to low standardized test scores. These articles show how students and schools are not all equal. Each school system prepares students differently and students are not always prepared how they should be. Not being equally prepared can affect learning and cause stereotypes.

Works Cited Anyon, J. (1980). Social class and the hidden curriculum of work. Journal of Education, 162(1), 1-11. Feb. 2013. "No Child Left Behind Act 2001." N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2013. Professor, X. In the Basement of the Ivory Tower: Confessions of an Accidental Academic. New York: Viking, 2011. Print.