Essay: Educational Injustice in America Deep Internal Problems

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[. . .] “In the typically colossal high schools of the Bronx, for instance, more than 90 percent of students (in most cases, more than 95 percent) are black or Hispanic” (Kozol). As Kozol points out, sometimes these divisively segregated schools emerge in areas where the neighborhood is very integrated, something which indicates it would take a proactive and conscious effort on behalf of the school board and the parents at large to engage in segregation.  Segregation is divisiveness and it means that matters of education continue to separate and unequal. One of the reasons that the Supreme Court case Brown vs. The Board of Education ruled segregation to be unconstitutional was because it was determined that “black children gave them \"a feeling of inferiority as to their status in the community that may affect their hearts and minds in a way unlikely to ever be undone” (Nps.gov). While segregation might not be legal anymore, what we are witnessing with regional and social segregation is no doubt having a tremendously negative impact on children.

This negative influence is something that Kozol readily uncovered in his research. He interviews a solemn minority youth in an inner city neighborhood that asserts, “‘If people in New York woke up one day and learned that we were gone, that we had simply died or left for somewhere else, how would they feel?’ ‘How do you think they\'d feel?’ I asked. ‘I think they\'d be relieved,’ this very solemn girl replied” (Kozol, 2005). This statement is uncannily similar to the issues at the heart of Brown vs. Board. This youth is expressing one of the more poisonous elements that undermine the American educational system: informal segregation that makes students feel lesser: less cared about, less valued and less wanted by the society they inhabit.

Part of the issue is that equal funding is not provided for all schools. Schools with wealthier kids and parents are able to inspire and incite aggressive political action and lobbying needed to get the school the funding it demands. Schools in the inner city that are mostly full of minority students don’t receive the same benefits. As the director of   the nonprofit, Educational Priorities Panel in New York, explained, “ ‘When minority parents ask for something better for their kids, she says, ‘the assumption is that these are parents who can be discounted. These are kids who just don\'t count—children we don\'t value’” (Kozol). This is a clear example of racism pure and simple. Non-white children are getting the short end of the stick because city governments feel entitled to give them less and there is no one to check this injustice.

In conclusion, this paper has attempted to show that it doesn’t matter how much America spends on education: the two issues described in this paper attempt to highlight how education will continue to falter if they are not addressed. Culturally, education and teaching is not given the level of priority and the primacy that it deserves. We as a society need to raise the bar required to become a teacher, and reward teachers better. Furthermore, we need to make aggressive moves to unravel the social segregation that permeates public schools in every major city, so that integration is able to occur naturally, because funding for education is distributed equally.

Works Cited

Kozol, Jonathan. \"Still Separate, Still Unequal.\" Harper\'s Magazine, 1 Sept. 2005, gayleturner.net/kozol.html. Accessed 4 June 2018.

Nps.gov. \"Kenneth and Mamie Clark Doll - Brown V. Board of Education National Historic Site (U.S. National Park Service).\" NPS.gov Homepage (U.S. National Park Service), 10 Apr. 2015, www.nps.gov/brvb/learn/historyculture/clarkdoll.htm.

Ripley, Amanda. The Smartest Kids in the World: And How They Got That Way. Simon & Schuster Paperbacks, 2014. [END OF PREVIEW]

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