Race and Racism in the Chicano a Community Research Paper

Pages: 4 (1249 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 5  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Race

Race and Racism in the Chicana/O Community

Two major challenges that exist regarding Chicana/o education that is connected largely to race are the high dropout rates for students of this ethnic heritage and the racial segregation that pervades schools that the majority of such students attend (Yosso, 2). For example, as Yosso explains, for every 100 Chicana/o elementary school students, 44 of them graduate from high school; 56 students of the initial 100 drop out (3). Of the 44 that graduate from high school, 26 enroll in college, but only seven graduate with a bachelor's degree, only two will continue on to graduate school and less than one will hold a doctoral degree (Yosso, 3). Yosso points out that Chicana/o students consistently underperform Caucasian students, yet also illuminates that this is no doubt connected to the fact that "Chicana/o students usually attend over-crowded, run-down, and racially segregated schools. Too often, these schools provide low per-pupil expenditures, few well-trained teachers, and limited access to a quality, college-bound curriculum" (Yosso, 4).Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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TOPIC: Research Paper on Race and Racism in the Chicano a Community Assignment

As Yosso explains, often these schools lack basic resources and supplies. All these factors can contribute enormously to a higher drop-out rate because the experience of education for these students isn't about the journey or exploration of learning, presenting students with surmountable challenges, or demonstrating the value of teamwork, instead, school is like any other institution, perhaps resembling most of all, a prison sentence to a lot of these kids. Whereas children from other backgrounds receive the benefit of nurturing and being able to blossom to the full extent of their abilities in other classrooms, Chicana/o students merely have to get through the day. Furthermore, that lack of diversity can only contribute to the high dropout rate, as students don't get the benefit of being around motivated students from other backgrounds. As Yosso summarizes, "High schools tend to reflect the patterns of structural inequality evidenced at the primary levels of the pipeline. In urban, suburban and rural communities across the United States, Chicana/o students attend racially segregated, overcrowded high schools in dilapidated buildings with an insufficient number of functioning bathrooms" (57). This racial segregation is compounded by the fact that lots of textbooks used in these classes neglect to mention the contributions made by Hispanics and Latinos have made throughout history, adding to the development of the country.

2.

Arizona's HB 2281 is a bigoted political move made to resemble education reform. "HB 2281 prohibits schools from offering courses at any grade level that advocate ethnic solidarity, promote overthrow of the U.S. government, or cater to specific ethnic groups -- regulations which will dismantle the state's popular Mexican-American studies programs" (Calfeti). Apparently the legislation was passed as a result of the efforts of Tom Horne, the superintendent of Public Instruction, who always disliked the district's Chicano studies program. Key arguments the film presented were that those opposed to the Mexican-American ethnic studies programs thought that the programs supported anti-Americanism and "racial solidarity." Essentially, those against the program thought that educating these kids about the history of their ethnic heritage would encourage them to be isolated and alienated from American culture at large. Those who supported the program said it promoted self-esteem and a higher graduation rate for Chicana/o students.

The debate over this issue truly showcases how racism was still very much alive today in Arizona, and how Caucasian lawmakers were more than happy to deny these young people knowledge that was their birthright to know and be educated about. These aberrations of decency are reflected in the Chicana/o struggle of the late 1960s, when parents asked, "Why is there a 40% to 50% chance that my child will not graduate from high school? Why is there a chance my child will be among the… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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