Commentonat least 3 Classmates’Posts (approximately  150 -300 words each)§

– comment must address the R2R prompt and your classmate’s response substantively; if you agree or disagree, provide reasoning and rational evidence from the readings to support your position

– build on the ideas of what your classmate has written and dig deeper into the ideas 

– support your views through research you have read or through your personal and/or professional experiences§demonstrate a logical progression of ideas 

– comments need to be thoughtful and substantive; not gratuitous comments like “this was a good post” or simply that “you agree”. Simply congratulating the writer on their astute insights is insufficient.

– cite the readings in your response by using proper APA Style format and conventions. 

classmate 1

This week for module 10, we examined how “separate but equal” policies have had a lasting effect on education in the United States. The “separate but equal” phrase refers to racial segregation and the notion that communities that are segregated should have equal opportunities regardless of race. Race and ethnicity have historically had a tremendous affect on the educational opportunities for students this country. Students of color have statistically gone to school in impoverished neighborhoods with some very challenging circumstances. These schools’ location is set in an urban area of the city, where the citizens are of low socioeconomic status, and the majority of students come from single parent households. On the other hand, students who are white have had an upper hand in the opportunities available to them educationally speaking. These schools’ are located in upscale suburbs, where students come from families that are middle to upper-middle class economic status. Most of these students have two parents in the home and the majority of the student bodies in these types of schools come from similar backgrounds. In my opinion, our reading for this week demonstrates this outlook. According to one of the articles we’ve read this week, the author mentions the following, “…as my racial group was being made confident, comfortable, and oblivious, other groups were likely being made unconfident, uncomfortable, and alienated. Whiteness protected me from many kinds of hostility, distress and violence, which I was being subtly trained to visit in turn upon people of color.” (Mcintosh, 1989, Pg. 2) It also mentions how, “a white skin in the United States opens many doors for whites whether or not we approve of the way dominance has been conferred on us.” (Mcintosh, 1989, Pg. 3)

            Color-blind is a term used to describe how our society should be. It is the idea that racial background should not limit a person’s opportunities and that the color of a person’s skin should never hinder their progress within a society. It is the belief that everyone in the community is treated fairly and equally (Ex: socially, educationally, legally etc.) According to one of the articles we’ve read this week, “education policymakers have supported a series of race-neutral or “colorblind” reforms in an effort to close achievement gaps clearly demarcated by race and ethnicity.” (Wells, 2014, Pg. 1) The color-blind ideology has a tremendous affect on the educational policies that exist in this country. According to our reading for this week, these types of policies “interact with a school system in which race is a central factor in deciding where students go to school, what resources and curricula they have access to, whether they are understood and appreciated by their teachers and classmates, and how they are categorized across academic programs. Such policies are also at odds with a multi-racial and ethnic society in which a growing number of parents and educators see the potential educational benefits of paying attention to diversity and difference as a pedagogical tool.” (Wells, 2014, Pg. 2)

            Some remedies to these policies occurred early on during the civil rights movement. “In the 1960s and early 1970s, Federal courts ordered race conscious remedies such as school desegregation and affirmative action to dismantle de jure segregation.” (Wells, 2014, Pg. 4) In addition to this, “…specific student assignment plans had created racially diverse schools as a remedy for prior discrimination… (Wells, 2014, Pg. 5)

            Brown v. Board of Education was a was a landmark 1954 Supreme Court case where it was ruled unanimously that racial segregation of children in public schools was unconstitutional. Our textbook mentions how it was concluded during this case that, “it is doubtful that any child may reasonably be expected to succeed in life if he is denied the opportunity of an education. Such an opportunity… is a right which must be made available to all on equal terms…Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.” (Mondale, Patton, 2001, Pg.138) As a result of this case, desegregation occurred in schools across the nation and students were provided with equal opportunities.

            Capitalism and competition have both had a significant influence on schooling. Living in a society that is driven by capitalism and competition, it has naturally become a part of our educational policies. Students with the highest grades and test school get into the most prestigious universities. As a result of this, they are provided with the most lucrative positions and the highest salaries. Students are set up to compete against one another. Capitalism is one of the driving forces behind so many citizens wanting to attend college and universities across the nation. They want to try to better their circumstances and this is how both capitalism/competition have influenced schooling. I personally feel that this is not the best approach however, I completely understand it. We live in a society and I feel like we should always be helpful to one another and that it is unfair that those at the top have it so easy while ours in this country struggle so much. The distribution of wealth is outrageous and I feel capitalism is to blame!

classmate 2

The United States of America has had the goal of serving as a safe haven for white people since its beginnings as a colony. Every facet of American society serves the white person and schooling is included. While it is difficult to pull out the parts of school that disadvantage people of color the most it is clear that school segregation that was prevalent until the 1970s and existed much later, was a method that held people of color from succeeding in American schools. Segregation cannot be just examined as a separation that happened but through the lenses of the legal doctrine “separate but equal” and how it kept opportunities from people of color. 

The NAACP worked extremely hard to have the Supreme court reveres its own separate but equal doctrine. The NAACP was ultimately successful in ending a lot of school segregation. AN unintended consequence was more unequal treatment at the hands of white educational and political leaders. The school served as a community resource for the African American community. The schools also employed many African Americans  and when schools integrated, it was the black children that had to move to white schools and black educators lost their jobs.  Now children of color are going to schools where they are the other instead of going into a place where they could be among those like them. 

What ending segregation in schools did was take steps toward all children receiving the same education. I did not say better because I am not sure that the way integration has been executed over the past 60 years  helps children of color in all the ways that it could when you take everything into account. 

Schools have tried to put together a color blind education and help all children but have fallen short.  Amy Wells  has an improvement plan which offers a few methods that schools and governments need to enact o be truly equal. The first thing if suggested today may e met with resistance from even the most well meaning activist. Making it so all income level and races can live together is a foreign concept in America. I am not even sure what that would look like but it would no undoubtedly make Americans coexist and not avoid parts of the population they would rather avoid. It would however end the practice of drawing school district borders that are advantageous to the white and more affluent. Wells goes deeper and has more amazing points that would destabilize that practices in communities and schools that systemically discriminate against minorities. 

McIntosh lays out for us what white privilege actually is so we can go about dismantling it. As educators are mostly white, there needs to be an examination of how students of color are at a disadvantage so the privilege can be removed and all students can be equal. McIntosh admits this will be difficult because ending racism is something that most people will agree to but they do not consider that it requires real change on their part. 

As teachers, we have to really understand what exactly causes our students to be at a disadvantage beyond just blaming their parents or work ethic. These reading do a good job of this, and the next steps are on teachers yes, but as well as educational and government leaders, and the American people. 

classmate 3 

Historically, race and ethnicity have both positively affected caucasian students’ ability to access more educational opportunities in the United States. Certain privileges are offered to white citizens that are unspoken and largely unacknowledged (McIntosh, p. 1). Race and ethnicity have played a major role in hindering the ability of minority students to access such privileges. Many minority students believed as recently as the 1950s, the American public schooling affected their chances to actively participate in American life and pursue the American dream (Mondale & Patton, p. 124).

The term color-blindness in educational reform is an approach to teaching all students justly, without recognition towards an individual’s race or ethnicity. In the last 30 years, policymakers have been in favor of race-neutral reforms in an effort to close achievement gaps (Wells, p.1). While educators who practice color-blindness in their classrooms have good intentions, they unknowingly minimize the personal experiences of their student’s. 

Justice Harlan argued during Plessy vs. Ferguson supreme court case that race conscious policies created inequalities for educational opportunities, thus “race conscious policies [are] needed to dismantle them.” (p. 4). Color-blind policies ignore that racial and cultural complexities of a student’s life and perpetuate inequalities. Schools can remedy ongoing social and racial inequalities and promote diverse, integrated communities (p. 7).  By considering a student’s diversity as an asset, teachers can help lessen achievement gaps by creating a supportive, tailored environment that promotes justice. Oppressive racial policies can also be remedied when “…less competitive school choice policies [can] create racially/ethnically and culturally diverse schools.” (p. 17). 

Brown vs Board of Education was a pivotal trial for the advancement of equality in classrooms. From the 1896 Plessy vs Ferguson court ruling, American public schools were allowed to be segregated as long as separate facilities were equal. In the 1930s, NAACP representatives collected data on conditions for segregated schools that proved segregated schools were never equal. Researchers found that while African American teachers had attained more professional educational degrees compared to white classroom teachers, resources were desperately underfunded at minority schools, which further promoted the division of achievement gaps (Mondale & Patton, p. 137). It was not until 1954, that the Supreme Court unanimously ruled “…separated educational facilities are inherently unequal” (p. 138).

Capitalism and competition continue to promote educational inequalities today. As Detroit holds steady through the massive shift from public to charter schooling models, there is little to no data supporting a push towards charter schools. Researchers highlight unchanged test scores since the 1970s, which supports the conclusion that  the charter model is ineffective, yet continues to be promoted (Bagakis, 2018). For-profit, wealthy corporations running charter schools have more resources for advertisement and utilize clever marketing tactics to persuade families to make the transition. 

Most large corporate franchise charter schools base financial needs and student knowledge on test scores while strongly pushing for daily assessment data driven lesson plans. In theory, lessons should become more tailored to individual needs of learners, but in the reality of charter schools,  students suffer burn out from excessive testing, and teachers spend more time grading than developing authentic learning opportunities. A strong emphasis on standardized testing negatively impacts the educational experiences of low-income and minority students (Wells, p. 13) . Furthermore, test scores can also be skewed to falsely advertise the achievement of a school, thus increasing enrollment and funding of charter schools. 

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