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Are the 35 million Americans who fall below the poverty line there because they are lazy and have let all opportunities for social advancement pass them by Or is there currently a social structure that successfully reproduces classes and limits upward social mobility in America Certain institutions in American society including education work and occupational structure and the family help perpetuate social class stratification These institutions widen the gap between the rich and the poor by placing inherent restrictions on opportunities for those born into different classes Although the degree of effort put forth by each individual is critically important their relationship to the aforementioned institutions can severely limit upward social mobility The current educational system creates a unique contradiction While traditionally the best way to climb the ladders of society American schools are now reproducing social classes Those children born into poor families and neighborhoods usually begin their school career at a steep disadvantage Public schools that are run down and lack sufficient funding or other key resources like good teachers are endemic to these lower income areas The idea of class reproduction or the correspondence principle is obviously present in education As mentioned above differences between schools and school districts exist In his article on the inequalities of public education in New York Kozol describes an elementary school in North Bronx where 63 children share an average sized classroom The room has no windows for the building used to be a roller-skating rink Consisting of 90 black and Hispanics the student body of 1300 has only 26 computers Kozol 95 On the other hand educational standards in upper-middle class communities are far superior Here in Grand Blanc Michigan an average second grade class would have one teacher for under thirty students and more than one computer in the room When their parents can afford it the technology and quality of teaching is even superior for students enrolled at private schools Although bussing
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