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adequacy vs equality

adequacy vs equality - Jamie Cohen Adequacy/Equality...

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Jamie Cohen Adequacy/Equality Assignment Equality of Opportunity Due: December 5 th , 2008 Revision There are distinct inequalities throughout the American population. These inequalities affect the quality of education that children receive. In general, children from poor communities attend worse schools, and are less likely to graduate high school or attend college. In order to evaluate and to ensure that that the policy on education is fair and effective, the goal of education can be looked at in two ways—to reach a certain threshold or that everyone should be equal. In “Equality, Adequacy, and Education for Citizenship,” Debra Satz argues for an adequacy standard over an equality standard regarding education. In this paper, I will first present two different arguments of an equality-based-standard—horizontal equity and vertical equity. Then I will defend Satz in arguing why adequacy should be the standards for educational policies in America. In horizontal equity, all children are entitled to the same amount of resources from the government. Believers in this form of equity believe that in order to truly provide equal opportunity to children of all social backgrounds and financial positions, the government should give as many resources to one school district as another. However, Satz argues three objections against horizontal equity. Firstly, because this type of standard for education does not specify a threshold of funding, the result would be a possible downsize in most school districts in order to maintain equality, meaning that the government would have to lessen the quality on some schools so that they would be equal to the lower-tier schools. Therefore, many students would receive a worse education in order to be equal to other schools. The second objection is that equal financial inputs may not necessarily yield equal
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resources. Horizontal equality ignores the fact that students from different communities have different needs. Satz states, “poor students in particular carry a higher load.”
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