In Public Schools

from the "outside" looking "in"

A Different Race to the Top

Posted by Admin On February - 7 - 2010

RACERace continues to play a significant role in American life, in particular in the public school system.  Why is that?  In fact, because nothing has been settled regarding how race influences day to day relationships. 

Underneath each American psychic, questions may not have been answered, the biggest of which is one’s comfort towards other races. So, why should there not be concerns as well in the public school system, which is one of the biggest systems in our society?

Brown versus Board of Education desegregated the American schools system, but did not touch American attitudes and behaviors.  President Eisenhower had to dispatch military power to implement the law.  Children and youth attempted to learn sitting side by side in an environment that was unprepared for not only differences in race but social class as well.  How would these students communicate with each other?  There was no outside community socialization underpinning what was happening.

Each group had their own ethnic and cultural differences.  A Black Baptist and white Baptist church spoke of the same God but worshipped him differently.  A black lived on one side of the town and whites the other.  As a result, both class and race represented logjams in twentieth century America.  White and black America sang from different song sheets.

For the past 50 years from the implementation of the law, the races and classes have moved, but not as far as should be to affect total quality education.  The statistics or measurements over the years show a gap in education between whites and blacks and between whites, blacks and hispanics.  Socialization between the races has increased through social networking, dance and song.  However, public school education continues to take the hits.  In effective teachers, curriculum, limited technology and personal values stand in the way.  In the case of the later, economics further infiltrate family values.  Two parents working, one-parent families; generations of welfare kick the public school system in the gut.

And, instead of working with parents, students, and teachers, simultaneously, the emphasis is being placed on the school system itself.  Emphasis on buildings, teachers, curriculums, forget if the parents and students are not on board, this may impact change.  This does not say that there are not parents and students that are involved, but notes that at the very least, many schools in poverty ridden areas do not have supports needed to make education a priority goal within the family structure.  And, remember these students are in the count and can skew accomplishments within the numbers game of accountability.

Dejavu to the passing of Brown versus Board of Education.  Without everyone being on the train when it leaves the station, limits progress. Even so, minorities may still be too far out of the equation because of economics and racial disparity.

There is an old saying that you do not know what you are missing if you never had it.  This is true for those who, have not.  Little is said to day about the “haves” and the “have-nots.”  These buzz words are gone out of today’s vocabulary, but the condition is still here.

Like the weather, everybody talks about inclusion but seemingly; it is difficult to change the status quo.   In the new initiative “race to the top,” how much consideration has been given to the old “race to the top” discussed above.

The material below will be helpful to continue to examine the vulnerabilities of those who don’t have.  Mr. Glavac covers the waterfront.

 

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