Rough Draft: Argument Essay Rhetorical Analysis/Evaluation

752 words - 4 pages

John Marsh, Ph.D., shares his epiphany, that his sharing the popular belief that higher education was the answer to bringing about economic equality and curing poverty, was in fact wrong; in this short selection, “Why Education Is Not an Economic Panacea”, taken from his book, “Class Dismissed: Why We Cannot Teach or Learn Our Way Out of Inequality”. Marsh had felt that gaining a higher education himself worked to bring him to a level of economic equality, so, it should work the same way for everyone else. His change of heart comes after perhaps stepping down from the pedestal that many, with lots of letters after their name, sit on, or are put upon by others, and witnessing first-hand the dismal rates of graduation of students in the single course he teaches for The Odyssey Program. Serving as good Public Relations for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the program’s purpose was two-fold; it was to provide, at no cost, college level course(s) for low-income adults and look good for the University. In this excerpt, Marsh’s narrow vision seems to have opened up somewhat, however, it does not demonstrate that his visual field widened enough to see that there is much, much more than simply economics or education that is at play in determining where people end up in the spectrum of being considered successful in the United States. (Marsh 914)
Marsh seems to have been lost on his ideological pedestal, not paying head to the readily available and somewhat common knowledge of graduation rates for college attendees, in general, across the United States. “And to the untrained eye, the class and the first graduation ceremony seemed like a success.” (914) When looked at compared to Illinois’ college certificate seeking students’ graduation rate statistics, from 2005, based solely on whether their attendance was as a full-time or part-time student; the graduation rate of Marsh's humanities class through The Odyssey Program, was a success! The graduation rate, given the data Marsh shared, was 41-44% of his humanities students, indicating they were successful. Especially when compared to Illinois’ graduation rates for full-time students to attain a one-year certificate was only 14.6% in one year, and 22.4% in two years. Even less...

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