Social Issues Essay

669 words - 3 pages

Poverty, violence, crime and racism are major social problems. If we look at the definition of what a social problem is, according to James M. Henslin,"A social problem isan aspect of society that people are concerned about and would like changed. Social problems begin with an objective condition, some aspect of society that can be measured or experienced...The second key element of a social problem is subjective concern, the concern that a significant number of people (or a number of significant people) have about the condition"(Social Problems,2003,p.3). Steinberg believes that disengagement has what it takes to not only be a general social problem but says it is as major as the issues I stated in the beginning. Steinberg (1996) states,"Although it is less visible, less dramatic, and less commented upon than other social problems involving youth...student disengagement is more pervasive and in some ways potentially more harmful to the future well being of American society"(p.28).

Steinberg explains how this problem is not just concentrated in one place, his research shows that it goes across the board. It effects students of all grade levels and all social classes. Steinberg presents data from the NAEP tests that show underachievement is prevalent in every grade level. The data states,"At the elementary and middle school levels,American student achievement is as uniformly low and stagnant as it is at the high school level(p.34). The NAEP also presents the trend of "achievement scores broken down by type of community"(p.34) and from what Steinberg says, based on the data, there is no way we can fool ourselves into thinking that our "educational problems are limited to poor, minority youngsters attending inner-city schools" (p.35).

According to Steinberg, todays students don't know as much, and can't do as much as could their counterparts 25 years ago (p.183). This fact alone puts us in jeopardy, for as the success of America's economy will more and more come to depend upon highly skilled employees, our...

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