How is the current American education system at odds with the myth, dis-empowering students rather than empowering them?

Purpose and Overview
The primary goal for the second out-of-class essay of the semester is to develop the skills of analyzing, synthesizing and incorporating sources into your essay. The focus will be on incorporating quotes, summaries and paraphrases into the body of your essay, correctly employing in-text citations, creating a solid work cited page, and developing your own conclusions in response to your sources.

Background Reading (in Rereading America)
Essays on “Learning Power: The Myth of Education and Empowerment” pp. 103 – 240

Writing Task

The intro to “Learning Power” claims that, “history complicates the myth of education as a source of personal empowerment. School can bind as effectively as it can liberate; it can enforce conformity and limit life chances as well as foster individual talent” (107).

In an essay of at least four (full) typed pages, choose an aspect of the American myth of education to use in response to the following question:

How is the current American education system at odds with the myth, disempowering students rather than empowering them?

In order to do well on this essay, you need to accomplish two things:
1) Clearly describe the myth of education.
2) Use specific examples to show how our existing educational system doesn’t fully live up to the myth of education.

The focus of your essay should be narrow enough for a short four-page essay. If the focus is too broad, the support will become superficial because the essay will not be able to develop its points in detail. Instead, pick a bite-sized topic and develop it fully.

You will need to use at least two sources on this assignment. Both sources need to be from the essays in Rereading America. You can use additional sources from inside or outside Rereading America too: books, credible websites, articles from journals, magazines, newspapers, etc. Feel free to use more than two sources; the above requirements are merely a minimum. Your sources should be used to help establish the American myth of education and how the current system doesn’t live up to the myth.

The in-class rough draft workshop is on Thursday, October 1. Bring one hard copy of your rough draft to class.

Final drafts are due Sunday, October 4 by 11:59pm.

Essay #2 Workshops will be held on Thursday, November 5 and Tuesday, November 10.
Essay #1: 35 Points Possible

Focus: Pass = 2 points & high pass = 4 points

Support: Pass = 5 points & high pass = 11 points

Organization: Pass = 2 points & high pass = 4 points

Style & Mechanics: Pass = 2 points & high pass = 4 points

MLA Documentation: Pass = 5 points & high pass = 10 points

Essay Format: Pass = 1 points & high pass = 2 points

Extra Credit Additional Source: Pass = 1 point; High Pass = 3 points
Extra Credit: You are only required to use two sources for this assignment. If you would like to use a third source, either from Rereading America or from another source, you can get up to three extra credit points. Points will not be awarded automatically for using a third source. Instead, the points will be based off how well the additional source is used to support your thesis. As one would expect, using a third source will probably lengthen the essay.
Late Paper Policy: If your essay is late, three points will be deducted from the score for every day that it is late. For example, this essay is due on the 4th; if a late paper is turned in three days later on the 7th, nine points will be deduced from the final score of the essay.

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