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Getting an Education and Really Getting an Education

Persistence's picture

I went to my Praxis placement on Wednesday and learned quite a lot about identity and access. I visited an independent middle school and adult education center in North Philadelphia. The school believes that education can break the cycle of poverty. This can be accomplished through the maximization of one's academic, physical, social and spiritual potential in the classroom. I agree with the school's motto and its emphasis on how important education is when it comes to financial success. Education is more or less a bridge to success, but access to this bridge comes with a cost.

Everything in this particular school receives support through corporate and foundation funding/ giving as well as through the Educational Improvement Tax Credit and through Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit. These cooperation and foundations recognize that strong academic programs are critical to the success of this school. Strong curriculums are also important to prepare students for acceptance into high schools that best match their potentials. Because of these funding, the school is able to offer mandatory enrichment activities, one-on-one tutoring, and community service projects that foster personal and intellectual development.

The school also recently hired an art teacher, a music teacher, and a physical education instructor were haired part time to enhance the student’s educational experience. Most schools in Philadelphia do not offer these extra resources for students due to financial issues, so access to better educational experience is very limited across Philadelphia.

Breaking poverty requires large investments when it comes to getting quality education, so not every institution can offer students different opportunities like the school I visited. From my experience so far in this school, the students, however, do not recognize how “lucky” they are to attend such a school. They identify as disadvantaged students and are oblivious to the fact that they can change their economic status through education. These students come from poor backgrounds and think that they too will live the life their parents lived. This lack of understanding breaks their bridge to education despite how they sit in class every day getting a so called “education.”