Equality of Opportunity in Education: A New System Proposed
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The key point is to direct reform efforts at the primary and secondary levels of education, which is where many of the students for whom affirmative action is no help fallout of the system. In a democratic society, and one the values equality and fairness, every student should be given an equal opportunity to finish her education and recognize her full potential. What it means for that student to have "equal opportunity" or to "recognize her full potential" are going to be key questions in the discussion to follow. In the next sections, I am going to explore a number of ethical theories and theories of justice. Each pertains in some way to equality of opportunity and the development of a more equal system of education. As Stephen Petersen said, "How we feel about 'real world' issues (redistribution of wealth, abortion, etc.) will be informed in a big way by more difficult philosophical questions." This idea of difficult philosophical questions informing real world issues applies to education just as it applies to ethical issues like redistribution of wealth, abortion, or the death penalty. Each of the ethical and moral theories below has basic principles that can be distilled and used in conjunction with one another to support or critique real world situations, such as educational systems. I will then use these basic principles in a discussion of three hypothetical systems of education, exploring their benefits and drawbacks. After the discussion I will propose my own system of education, correcting the errors of the other education systems while retaining the parts that are useful or beneficial.