Mike Rose and Richard Rodriguez Expose the Essay

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Mike Rose and Richard Rodriguez expose the weaknesses in the American educational system. In "I Just Wanna Be Average," Rose talks about his experience being accidentally placed into the vocational tract at school, when he was actually an advanced student. When he is eventually shifted to the college prep level, Rose notes that he lost all motivation to learn and it was a struggle to find inspiration in education. In "The Achievement of Desire," Richard Rodriguez describes how his education made him to feel superior to his working-class parents. Education changed him and made him smarter, but it did not necessarily make him a better person. Therefore, both Rose and Rodriguez explore different problems associated with being a working-class student. Being from a working-class background affects how other people view the student, and affects how the student views himself or herself.

In "I Just Wanna Be Average," Mike Rose describes his childhood in Catholic school.
Because he was placed in the vocational tract, and because his parents did not challenge that decision, he lost all motivation to learn. "Students will float to the mark you set," Rose states (2). This means that when teachers expect very little of their students, as they do in the vocational tract, the students will achieve very little. When teachers have higher expectations of their students, their students will live up to their fullest potentials. Students need to develop internal motivation to study, and not be judged based on their test scores.

Richard Rodriguez has a different experience in Catholic school from Rose, as he was motivated to achieve good grades, but also finds problems in the education system. For Rodriguez, the problem is that education taught him to feel superior to his loving parents. "He enters the house and hears his parents talking in ways his teachers discourage,"….....

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