Problem Solution Essay on Education

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Typically, the higher the level of education results in a higher amount of earnings, better health, and a longer life. Many people all over the world, across countries and within groups, face circumstances which they have little control but significantly impact their lives. These circumstances include location, gender, ethnicity, and wealth and are connected to many opportunities and resources related to education and life.

Education directly relates to social and economic factors that impact prosperity in life. Across the world education is identified as a positive tool that develops our skills and abilities, improves inequality, and decreases risk and vulnerability for all people. Education impacts employment opportunities, resources, and skills that people need to survive and prosper. Access to a public equitable education, one that is both inclusive and fair is globally-recognized as a factor of sustainability. Ensuring inclusive and quality education for all and promoting lifelong learning is one of the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the United Nations. Goal four describes quality education as a major factor in escaping poverty, reducing inequalities, reaching gender equality, and more peaceful societies. Additionally, this goal aims to get children in school and ensure they complete their education (“Goal 4 targets | UNDP”, n.d.).

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For many years, across the United States, stakeholders in education and civil rights have come together to address the social problem of equity in education. From these discussions, individual states recognized to achieve equity in education, policies and practices that support and meet the needs of all students were a necessity. To meet the needs of all students, social variables and determinants of all people must be considered. Social variables such as race, gender, ethnicity, language, disability, sexual orientation, family background, family income, and diverse personal experiences all can impact education (“States Leading for Equity:” 2018). In the state of Virginia, recent education initiatives identify education as being the most effective tool to reduce poverty, address racism, and sustain economic advancement for all people. This requires an approach focused on cultural competency and eliminating opportunity gaps for all people to maximize the potential of all students regardless of their race, economic status, or the languages they speak at home (“Navigating EdEquityVA-Virginia”, n.d.).

Globally, major progress has been made over the past decade to increase access to education and school enrollment rates, particularly for girls. In 2018, 258 million children and youth were not in school, majority of which are located in sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia. About one-third of countries in the developing regions have not achieved gender equality in primary education. In 2018 around 5.5 million more girls than boys were not in school. In 2019, the global primary school completion was approximately 85 per cent but had large disparities among groups (“Goal 4 targets | UNDP”, n.d.). In the United States, according to the latest data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the percentage of five year olds enrolled in prekindergarten, kindergarten, or first grade was approximately 90 percent with disparities between income level. In comparison, the lower income group had less enrollment in school and boys enrolled less than girls. Additionally there were 2.1 million dropouts which varied by race and ethnicity. Reflecting the dropout rate for those who were White was lower than all other racial and ethnic groups (“U.S. Indicators For The Sustainable Development Goals”, n.d.).

In other countries, additional barriers in education relates to a lack basic resources such as drinking water, electricity, computers and the internet. According to the latest available data, approximately 89 per cent have access to electricity, 85 per cent to basic drinking water, 74 per cent to computers, and 61 per cent to the Internet (“Goal 4 targets | UNDP”, n.d.). According to the NCES, 100 of all public schools have all the basic resources. When compared to other countries, the United states has a higher percentage of students with computer and internet access outside of school but overall has a lower level of computer literacy skills. Also, common barriers to these computer and internet access outside of school exist for low income and minority groups. These barriers include internet access being too expensive and access due to location. Additionally, Black and Hispanic students have lower rates of internet access outside of school than their peers (“U.S. Indicators For The Sustainable Development Goals”, n.d.).

Everyone should have the same opportunity to an education that provides them with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed, achieve their goals, and secure a healthy and stable life. Inequities in education have resulted in opportunity and achievement gaps in education created between groups in society. This consequently produces a wealth gap, which impacts the economy for everyone. In the United States, these persistent gaps across income levels and between white students and students of black and Hispanic heritage is occurring and tremendously affecting the economy. A recent study noted, on average a black or Hispanic student remains approximately two years behind the average white one. These inequities in public education over time has produced income inequality, especially in the United States. Over a lifetime, workers that have college degrees earn 84% more than those with only a high school education. The higher the level of education results in a higher amount of earnings, better health, and a longer life. The ongoing issue of these gaps has costs the United States hundreds of billions of dollars (Dorn, 2020).

Evaluating this social problem using the conflict theory suggests that because the public education is not an equal opportunity for all people, education impacts disparities and promotes social inequality. Across the world public education opportunities differ in quality learning environments that are not equally accessible for all people. Circumstances such as location, gender, ethnicity, and wealth add many additional barriers in life that continue to impact their access to education. Socioeconomic status impacts a person’s life. In particular, barriers of poverty, race, and ethnicity greatly impact the opportunities to prosper in both education and life. Globally the social issue is impacted more by poverty, while in the United States race and ethnicity are intertwined with poverty. The inequities of public education continue to reinforce inequalities in social classes.

Some solutions to this social problem in the United States have existed in the form of education reform efforts. For example in 2001, congress passed the “No Child Left Behind Act” which focused on ensuring every child is provided a good education, so no child is left behind. These efforts measure a good education in terms of standardized testing in math and reading as an indicator of success and a tool of keeping schools accountable and increased federal regulation of state schools (Nolen, 2008). The Educational Opportunity Project at Stanford University, which is a national database of academic performance, uses test scores measured against social variables such as socio-economic status, race and gender to provide a national perspective of educational opportunity. This recent data suggests test scores are not necessarily indicative of school effectiveness and highlights a strong correlation between family income and education (Boudreau, 2019).

A possible solution to education equity I would suggest is the development of a community tutoring program. Tutoring would serve as a tool to eliminate achievement gaps and advance cultural competencies. Tutoring helps to improve the performance of students and could serve as a method of improving issues related to racial and ethnic inequalities by the personal experiences shared during the tutoring process. Also, if funding allowed it would further contribute by providing a source of income to those who provided tutoring.

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Problem Solution Essay on Education. (2023, November 21). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 23, 2024, from
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