• 81°

Letter to the Editor: Wrongs in public education

In 1943, African American residents in Reserve were denied when they asked the superintendent for a facility to use as a high school. They were told there were no buildings available.

Despite the rhetoric of American equality, the school experiences of African American and other “minority” students in the United States continue to be substantially separate and unequal.

Things we see and hear about today is nothing new. Data prepared for school finance cases in Alabama, New Jersey, New York, Louisiana and Texas found that on every tangible measure-from qualified teachers to curriculum offerings-schools serving greater numbers of students of color had significantly fewer resources than schools serving mostly white students.

Not only do funding systems allocate fewer systems and allocate fewer resources to poor urban districts than to their suburban neighbors, but studies consistently show that, within these districts, schools with high concentrations of low-income and “minority” students receive fewer instructional resources than others in the same districts.

Tracking systems do little to explain in the inequalities by segregating many low-income and minority students within schools (Kozel,1991:Taylor & Piche,1991). In combination, policies associated with school funding, resource allocations and tracking leave minority students with fewer and lower-equality books, curriculum materials (falling apart at the touch), laboratories (without qualified teachers to use them) and computers; significantly larger class sizes; less qualified and experienced teachers; and less access to high-quality curriculum across districts.

The end results of these educational inequalities are increasingly tragic. This information is production of a 20 year old study, with several writers and a well-known professor of education from Stanford University Linda Darling-Hammonds.

“I’m no longer accepting the things I cannot change…I’m changing the things I cannot accept.” Angela Davis

“Education can be encouraged from the top-down but can only be improved from the ground up.” Sir Ken Robinson

We are in a position where no one wants to be!

The major issue here is not the questionable decision-making; the question here is how so many of these questionable decisions were allowed to happen without being caught or questioned by those signing the checks.

 

Stay Safe St.John,

Citizen Jean Batiste

Carolyn Jean Batiste