The Empowering and Oppression of Free Public Education in America

In America, we have free public education and for those who want to further their education there, are financial support programs to help them through the process. For people who live in oppressed communities, free education provides a lot of entry-level job opportunities; this helps empower them. Those who decide to go to college have more opportunities finding jobs that pay higher wages. However, when they get to college, some have to take out student loans and are stuck in debt keeping them oppressed some see it as a good thing because it provides more opportunities, whereas others see it as a bad thing because it keeps some people oppressed I agree with both statements I can see how both are true considering I know a few individuals who became successful without furthering their education.

Some people don’t realize how important education is primarily kids in grade school because they think school is a waste of time and they can be successful with limited resources.

The primary education that the students are provided with in grade school helps them to make it through the world which requires them mastery of basic skills. But these necessary skills are not enough. We can not get through with minimal education, such as math and reading. There’s a perfect example in the Kindred novel written by Octavia E. Butler, “He moved uncomfortably. ‘Readings too much trouble Mr. Jennings said I was too stupid to learn anyway’ ….. ‘No,’ A small hesitant no. ‘But I read as good as Daddy does already.

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Why should I have to do more than that?” In this quote, Rufus is complaining about having to read because he can read as well as his father can, who is still successful despite not having a proper educational background. In my opinion, parents can influence their kids to not go to college, and in most cases keeps them oppressed.

From my experience, neither of my parents went to college to further their education but yet they’re both successfulr Since my brother was furthering his education, he felt he was already more successful than our parents. Therefore, he thinks he can be successful with minimal knowledge, so he doesn’t take it as seriously. This mindset might backfire resulting in keeping him oppressed rather than empowering him. Having a good educational foundation provides a great advantage to becoming successful. High School diploma can get an individual a decent job where you can receive a promotion. I’ve seen this happen first hand while working in the food industry. In franchise companies such as Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), a lot of people such as myself started working behind the counter and drive-thru after a few months I got bumped up to being a supervisor then as a manager. Having a minimal education can empower you to be successful in franchise companies Another example would be my boss at KFC; he started off with being behind the counter, becoming a cook, a supervisor, Area Consultant (AC) then the big boss at the KFC company.

This is a prime example of how a good educational foundation can help people become successful. There was a quote used in the article called social reproduction in theoretical perspective by Jay Macleod that illustrates what I am trying to say correctly: Children of upper-class origin, according to Bourdieu, inherit substantially different culture capital than do working-class children. By embodying class interests and ideologies, schools reward the culture capital of the dominant classes and systematically devalue that of the lower classes. Upper-class students, by virtue of a certain linguistic and cultural competence acquired through family upbringing, are provided with the means of appropriation for success in school. Children who read books, visit museums, attend concerts and go to the theater and cinema (or simply grow up in families where these practices are prevalent) acquire a familiarity with the dominant culture that the education system implant requires of its students for academic attainment.

My interpretation of this statement is children of upper-class have a lot of privileges, such as parental support whether it’s financially, mentally or emotionally. Whereas, lower-class children have to be more independent and more responsible for their own academics, I personally grew up in a more financially stable family who are considered Middle Class. I grew up visiting museums and my mother taking my brother and I to the library every friday after school. My parents have always been there for me, and they’ve always pushed me and taught me that school should be my number one priority. They want me to be successful in life and have a steady income, so I won’t have to struggle and worry about having financial hardships. The other thing that I got from the quote was that being financially stable offers an individual a lot of privileges, such as having a good education and opening doors to more opportunities. However, someone is going to have a hard time becoming financially stable if they don’t have a good educational background.

Therefore, 1 see that education can get you far in life and is empowering Given the pros and cons of how education affects people it can be both, oppressive or empowering. However, education can empower or oppress an individual in certain situations. This reminds me of the previous reading in the novel Punished by Victor M. Rios, “Although I grew up in most of the neighborhoods where I conducted this study, the reality was that at the time of the study I was a graduate student with many privileges that many of these young people m did not have I was an ‘outsider’ as much as an ‘insider. In the Rios book, he mentions his views on privileged students. Compared to the children in my country I was seen as privileged, but compared to the kids in America I was unprivileged, School empowered me and made me appreciate education even more and gave me privileges such as reading and writing which are vital skills if I want to be successful. I identify with this quote a lot, and it made me reflect how different my experience education would have been if 1 was in Iraq.

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The Empowering and Oppression of Free Public Education in America. (2023, Mar 19). Retrieved from

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