The other day my husband and I were talking about the many continuous cycles of life in the “˜hood. We both grew up there, so we’ve seen it occur firsthand. It doesn’t happen to everyone, but it happens to more than we’d like to say.
Usually, if you’re living somewhere in the “˜hood, you’re not too well off financially. Maybe there are exceptions to the rule, but I’ve yet to meet them.
Because you are possibly forced to live paycheck to paycheck and are barely making ends meet, you really don’t have the means to move out. So you’re stuck there until things get better ““ if they ever do.
Once you have kids, they eventually go to school and the crappy schools are typically located in the ghetto. You’d better not try to send your kids to a good public school that’s outside of your zone, lest you be thrown in jail (and thus being unable to be there for your children).
And because you’re in the “˜hood, the high price of private school is probably not much of an option”...so your kids are left to receive a sub-par education that barely prepares them college. If you’re truly lucky, you’ll be in an inner city school zone that has one of the few exemplary facilities ““ but those are few and far between. Your best hope is to win a charter school lottery and send your little one(s) to one of those. But many of them don’t have busing available”...so now you’ve got to figure out how to get them to school and not be late to work at the same time. Can’t afford to get fired. That’s a whole ‘nother issue.
So your kids grow up in a losing school system, while the toxic waste dumps that are usually located in the poorer neighborhoods are slowly making you and your family sicker and sicker over time. But you don’t even know it, because it’s a gradual death that occurs over decades of living near one of these hazards. Healthcare is crazy expensive, and you can’t afford to pay it out of pocket. Let’s pray you have a job that provides health benefits. If not, once you actually start to show signs of said (possibly terminal) illness, you’re likely to be stuck at the free clinic or some other sketchy neighborhood medical facility in order to hopefully get yourself healthy.
Education is the known key to success. Your kids were forced to receive a below average education that hasn’t prepared them for much, so while you’re slowly slipping away and receiving less than satisfactory medical care, your children are trying to figure out a way to make life better for the family. After all, family sticks together. They plan to go to college so they can graduate and get a good job. But again, the education system failed them and they aren’t prepared to compete for scholarships that would hopefully be the beginning of an end to this cycle. You can’t afford to send them to college; the medical bills are piling up. So they try their hand at a community college, hoping to end the cycle of life in the “˜hood and get the whole family out once and for all. All too often, these kids end up having to drop out for some reason or another.
They go back home, get a job that barely pays the bills but covers just enough. They eventually have kids. The education system is now failing your grandchildren…
Where does it end? Why is there such a clear discrepancy between the haves and the have-nots? It seems to be that if Waiting for Superman is any indication of where we’re going with education in this country for our children, many of us are doomed before we’re even born. What are your thoughts?