Poverty In Lean On Me

Good Essays
In the movies, Lean on Me and American Teacher, have a common theme of poverty throughout. This is a common issue in urban education.
In Lean on Me the school is known as the worst school in New Jersey. Drug dealers and gang members were running the school. The students weren’t able to pass the state’s basic assessment test. Many of the students were from a minority household and have behavioral issues. The school lacks a security system and is forced to work with out-of-date resources.
While in American Teacher focuses more on the poverty in the education system and how teachers have to deal with it. Teachers were forced to buy supplies out of their own pocket. Teachers were also expected to put in numerous hours to plan their lessons,
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The movie does focus on the students’ inability to past a basic skills assessment. If they do not past the test the state will take over the school. The other main focus, especially in a Hollywood portrayal, would have one hero that saves the school all by themselves. Joe Clark was that hero. He came in and turned the school opposite down. He kicked out all the drug dealers and gang members; he made it a point to keep the students of the school at all costs, and he did everything in his power to improve the students test scores.
While in American Teacher, showed that there is a teacher problem. Teachers complain about funding and how little they get paid. The schools that have bad test scores are caused by ineffective teachers. The documentary proves that teaching is not a promising career and college students should not pursue the teaching profession. The documentary just reinforces the old saying “those who can’t do, teach.”
Understanding poverty in urban education is extremely important. “Growing economic inequality contributes in a multitude of ways to a widening gulf between the educational outcomes of rich and poor children” (Duncan & Murnane, 2011). The students who attend the “poor schools” are left with outdated resources but are expected to know the same information as their “rich school”
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Some schools cannot afford to give each student a textbook or other materials that would foster their learning. If teachers have to pay for their own supplies, like said American Teacher, and some teachers put more into their classroom supplies or other teachers can’t afford the better quality materials than the ones who are hurt by this are the students.
Lastly, to understand poverty in the urban education system is to look at the teachers. According to American Teacher, the United States has an extremely high teacher turnover rate. This is caused by the hardships and stressors that come with being an educator such as the extremely long days and less than stable salary. This has also caused ineffective teachers to still be teaching and doing more harm than good because the “good” teachers are looking for either administration positions or different careers where they are able to support their family.
Further understanding the theme of poverty in urban education could lead to some changes. However, according to the 2014 census there were 46.7 million people in poverty. Different people have looked at the issue in different ways, but there is nothing being

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