The Business of Education

In the past 2 years, the rise of federal student interest loans has gotten a fair amount of hype. However, the concepts of capitalism have seeped even further into the education of our nation’s children. The affluent have a much easier, if not better, education because of the privatization of education’s components.

Let’s take a step back from college, and into the world of high school. This can be an extremely competitive environment, as students give it their all to get accepted into the university of their dreams. A few of the commonly known aspects universities look for in applicants include high SAT scores, GPA’s, and involvement in extra curricular activities. It’s intriguing how     Money makes all of these much easier to attain.

SAT

The SAT itself is created by a private institution, the College Board, yet administered in public schools as any other standardized exam. It even employs everyday teachers to grade essays! Since the test is private, though, most public schools take close to no measures to directly prepare students. Thus, any student who wishes to perform well is left to either buy books and study alone, or take private classes, which can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $5,000 for visible improvement. Many of these tutors are renowned for their students earning top scores; their waiting lists can be as long as one year, and they charge thoroughly for their services.

In order to enhance in-school performance, a teacher’s in-class attention might not be enough, and it’s completely normal for students to seek help outside of school. Instead of the classic tutoring classes though, who could be better tutors… than the teachers themselves? Many teachers have realized how much they’re needed, and have stopped offering free afterschool help. Instead, they offer their own tutoring classes which familiarize students with the exact material they will be tested on, thus drastically improving their grades. They’re honestly buying their scores. For those who can afford the teachers, the only difference is the change of setting from a school to usually a library. Others who can’t afford the $1 a minute rate, which is quite unreasonable for the average parent, are left in the dust.

Rates are no different for extracurricular coaches either. Debate coaches, sport trainers, and even private music teachers usually charge at least a dollar on the minute. What do all of these prices translate to in terms of college acceptance? Take a look at Harvard’s students, of which 45.6% come from families with incomes of over $200,000 – or only 3.8% of American households! Nevertheless, students in universities of Harvard’s magnitude receive a superior education, one almost reserved for the rich.

It seems as if opportunities are all around us, yet just a few dollars away. There’s no doubt that America’s economic system of capitalism has an array of benefits, but when it reaches children and young adults, it creates the business of education.

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