Poverty in America: The Welfare Dilemma

By Ralph Segalman; Asoke Basu | Go to book overview

learners particularly, and with special facilities for teenage mothers and their babies.

Another innovation for public education involves the differential degree of difficulty in teaching in various schools and districts. In the urban schools where reading levels are lowest, schools, through subsidies, might have very small classes with higher paid master teachers. In other schools where proficiency levels are achieved according to standards, the size of classes might remain at the standard numbers of twenty-eight to thirty-five students. Thus, parents in urban settings would not be as strongly motivated as they are now to secure a suburban quality type of education for their children. Funds would be allocated to schools on the cumulative preparation levels of their children rather than on the school- district property tax base, or on only the number of children served. Such an arrangement might lessen parental interest in school desegregation and busing because parents are increasingly focusing on the quality of education as delivered.

All of the above efforts would require a societal mobilization and funding probably equal to that necessary for the early space program. It may even take as long as the Vietnam War did to turn education in a more effective direction. In any case, to seek to improve the ghetto schools without adequate prior preparation of the children they serve may well be an exercise in futility equal to the waste of the Vietnam War.

Because in our society all advancement begins in the schools ( Schrag), it is clear that the society can remain permeable, and thus stable, only if the schools are made equally effective. And schools cannot be made equally effective unless the parental preschool preparation for schooling is made equally effective, and that means going beyond the schools into the homes and families of the ghetto. To do less than that is to choose inequality in the guise of egalitarianism. From a legal-realist viewpoint, justice to all children may require special treatment for some parents.


REFERENCES

Allport Gordon W. Becoming. New York: Yale Press, 1955.

Avereh Harvey A., Stephen J. Carroll, Theodore S. Donaldson, Herbert J. Kiesling , and John Pincus. How Effective Is Schooling? A Critical Review and Synthesis of Research Findings. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Educational Technology Publications, 1974.

Barnes Peter. "Bringing Back the WPA: Fringe Benefits of a Depression," New Republic, 172( 11):19-21, 1975.

Barnow Burt, "Evaluating Project Head Start," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers, nos. 189-93. Madison: Institute for Research on Poverty of the University of Wisconsin, 1973.

-363-

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Poverty in America: The Welfare Dilemma
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Recent Titles in Contributions in Sociology Series Editor: Don Martindale ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Copyright Acknowledgements iv
  • Contents vii
  • Tables ix
  • Preface xi
  • PROGRAMS AND BILLS xv
  • 1 - The Parameters of Poverty 3
  • References 48
  • 2 - Poor Law and the Poor 57
  • References 88
  • 3 - Programs of Public Assistance and Social Insurance in America 91
  • References 129
  • 4 - Social Interventions Against Poverty 131
  • References 181
  • 5 - Income Maintenance Proposals and the Question of Poverty 188
  • References 227
  • 6 - Medical Services for the Poor 232
  • References 266
  • 7 - Housing Assistance 271
  • References 305
  • 8 - Work, Education, and Poverty in America 309
  • References 363
  • POSTSCRIPT 369
  • References 375
  • Bibliography 377
  • Index 399
  • Vita 419
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