In a country that seems to be the ideal place for people from all around the world, where diversity is praised why is there still segregation in schools and people being ridiculed for not sticking to the “status quo” that everyone should be outgoing. The two articles read in class were “Still Separate, Still Unequal: America’s Educational Apartheid” by Jonathan Kozol and “Shyness: Evolutionary Tactic?” by Susan Cain both effectively stress that diversity is a necessity in the world we live in today whether it be between schools from different neighborhoods or people with different personalities. The article written by Jonathan Kozol focuses mostly on how a child’s education can vary due to their financial status. In “Shyness: Evolutionary Tactic?” Susan Cain shows that shy or introverted people should not be taken for granted because they play an important role in society.
A child’s education should be something that has a lot of value because they are the future, but when that child comes from a poverty stricken neighborhood the value of the education should not deplete drastically. In his article Kozol provides statistics that show the education of a third grader from a poorer community will receive an education worth at least ten thousand dollars less than a third grader who attends a school in an upper class community. This wide gap in the cost of education will have a negative impact on a child’s self- confidence when it comes to higher education because they will not feel as educated as the other person if they are competing with that person for a spot at a certain school. If there was more diversity in schools all children will have equal education and they would not have to feel self- conscience when they are surrounded by people their age coming from rich neighborhoods.
The value of education is not the only thing being questioned but also the incentive of the teachers. Money is a main factor in a person’s life, when a teacher is being paid almost thirty thousand dollars more than a teacher from the city; they have more reasons to teach students to the best of their abilities. Jonathan Kozol uses a quote said by Marina Warner to further support his points concerning the value of education, “there are expansive children and there are cheap children just as there are expensive women and cheap women,” this statement is a sad fact that is true and very prevalent in our society. The government will put more funding into schools that are in the upper-class neighborhoods because there is a chance that their child goes to that school, but there could be a school falling apart in a bad neighborhood and they will ignore it. Diversity is needed in these schools mostly for the benefit of the child, they are used to the same environment and people that have the same background as them; but when these children grow up they have a greater chance of being closed-minded individuals because they will be put into different environment and placed with people that they already have preconceived notions about. In this world now close- minded people will only hinder any growth that will occur any time in the future and set the effort of some people who worked hard for some of the privileges given to us in reverse.
The schools that the children attend are being segregated by race in which one ethnicity outnumbers the other ethnicities. These schools lack diversity which can be further shown when visiting a school in Kansas City, Missouri Kozol said,”… as I went from class to class, I did not encounter any children who were white or Asian- or Hispanic… I was later provided with precise demographics for the school I learned that 99.6 percent of the students were African American…” this school claimed to be diverse but all of the other ethnicities could be counted on one hand. This is an example of an inner city school where minorities are the majority over Caucasians; the same could be said for a suburban neighborhood but instead the minorities would be the few. The world thrives on the sharing of ideas, customs, and values; two people from different races meeting each other for the first time will have more things to share than two people coming from the same background. Diversity will benefit the children in the future, they will not believe common misconceptions of different nationalities and will be able to work with people who are different than them because they were already exposed to that in school.
Parents are not the only ones who realize the differences in education but also the students are taking notice as well. When a class of eight- year- olds wrote,” Dear Mr. Kozol we do not have the things you have…” this statement is the one that is constantly on my mind. A child still in elementary school notices these differences without fully knowing the madness behind it. As that child gets older they begin to think that there is no point in getting an education when the school they are attending only provides them with enough knowledge to pass test. They also don’t feel the need to go further in life when they have no support from their schools and teachers. These students tend to drop out and settle instead of trying to climb up the “ladder” and get a top, well paying job. The youth falls into the traps set up by society, they make young people of color think that they limited in choices for future careers which practically sets them up for failure. Diversity will allow our future to notice that they can be more than a statistic and have a greater impact on society by thinking out of the box and going after jobs that wouldn’t normally be given to people of a different race.
The color of a person’s skin places them in a category but another thing that can make a person stand out in a crowd is their personality. Everyone on the planet is different at face value but when a person thinks about it people are very outgoing and “happy go lucky” or very shy and keeps to themselves, of course there are people who go in between. In the beginning one would assume that Susan Cain’s article was asking the question, should shyness be treated as a disease. When you read further you will realize that she is stating all the positive things shy people contribute to society.
Shy people have a certain advantage that outgoing people don’t really have and can get them into a sticky situation. In the article when the scientist performed the sitter and rover fish experiment the objective was to see which fish would try to get the food as a result end up being captured. The article states, “the ‘rover’ fish couldn’t help but investigate—and were immediately caught. But the ‘sitter’ fish stayed back making it impossible for Professor Wilson to capture them.” This exemplifies that shy people, or in this case the “sitter” fish, are more observant and has a greater chance of survival because they are less impulsive than the outgoing people or “rover” fish. Also this experiment shows that without the diversity the fish would eventually die out because the sitter fish were very cautious and could die from starvation or the rover fish would be to careless and all of them would get captured. A group with diverse personalities will have a person who is the leader and impulsive but also someone who thinks and plans logically by taking everything into consideration before acting. Shy people will not only think of the consequences but also how it will affect a person and if it will help them or cause them pain before making a decision. These two groups need each other to survive because they both contribute to their society in positive ways.
Some of the people who had the biggest impacts on the world were shy. The article states,”… shy and introverted people have been part of our species for a very long time, often in leadership positions.” It goes on by simply naming a few such as Moses, Charles Darwin, Marcel Proust, Albert Einstein, Larry Page, and J.K. Rowling. All of these people have contributed to society and made change so the world could be better. The people that think shyness is a disease have yet to realize that without the different personalities everyone would be the same and the world would lack a lot of creativity. Some of the greatest inventions were made by people who kept to themselves and worked alone.
These two articles bring an important topic to light that most people will ignore because it might not help them in any way or agree but feel as if they are not being heard when they express their opinion. Regardless, diversity in which people share their cultures, customs, and values is something that needs to happen in order for the world to realize that everything is not as black and white as they think. Strangers meeting for the first time can have so much more in common than two people coming from the same background or have the same personality. Everyone needs to realize that diversity will benefit the children of the future, if they were already exposed to someone different they will know how to work with them as they get older. The world needs to move onto bigger and better things and only diversity will make that happen and until it does history will be at a standstill.