A few weeks ago, Andre Perry, an alum of Allegheny College and an expert in the educational field, came back to visit campus. Due to my conflicting schedule, I was unfortunately unable to listen to him speak but heard many praises of his lectures.
Luckily, I was able to read a few chapters of his book The Garden Path: the Miseducation of a City. In one of the chapters, Dr. Perry visits Joseph Rainey High School in New Orleans. During his visit, he attends a class and meets a young girl named Jarnee. He introduces himself to the class as "Dr. Andre Perry," and the students begin to laugh uncontrollably. Jarnee is the first to enlighten him with her comment, "You ain't no doctor!" After this comment, Dr. Perry explains the higher levels of education.
Jarnee's statement really stuck with me. She was in high school yet had no concept of a higher level of education nor what she could achieve. Blame could be laid on a number of involved parties: the parents (for not giving their daughter information about higher levels of education), the school (for a lack of encouragement), and her teachers (for not recognizing her potential). However, I believe that the true blame comes down to a societal problem.
Regarding answers to solving this societal problem? I got nothing.