Struggle For Desegregation In American Schools
School desegregation efforts have not been entirely successful in Baltimore, Maryland and surrounding counties. In Baltimore and surrounding counties, there are major divides between the different economic classes when it comes to education. Wealthier, typically white, students occupy the vast majority of the better funded, more successful schools while lower income students are left behind in low funded, often underperforming schools. As Horace Mann once said, “Education then, beyond all other devices of human origin, is the great equalizer of the conditions of men, the balance-wheel of the social machinery.” How can the U.S. claim to be the “Land of Equal Opportunity” if its own students do not have an equal opportunity to succeed? Throughout multiple states in the U.S., there are high levels of segregated schools between minorities and majority populations. (Include numbers from Is School Segregation Good or Bad?” In the Brown V. Board decision of May 17, 1954, the Supreme Court ruled that school segregation violated the fourteenth amendment.
Within the last 10-20 years, there have been many movements/attempts to push for school desegregation by communities and the government. Most attempts are met with great opposition and put to a grinding halt. Until the great majority gets rid of their old ways of thinking, the U.S. will continue to face these problems. School segregation: The injustice we can’t afford to ignore, Baltimore County Public Schools: Segregation Issues. (Insert Quotes from the articles). Longview ISD, Texas. Faces the same problem of colored students attending majority non-white schools. Community is trying to make change. A federal judge has been the one to interfere in their effort to make change, dismissing a long-standing desegregation court order. The community fears they may lose all of their progress because of this. The minorities in the community miss out on the same educational opportunities that white residents receive there. The schools that minorities attend are under-funded and under-performing. Similar to the minorities, the lower socio-economic groups are put into the same under-performing schools and are put into a position where they are underprepared to become a contributing member of society and rise from their poverty.
Public opinion is split between the two sides of the argument. There are individuals who still retain their old values and believe that school segregation is what is best for society. Then there are individuals who are affected by the segregation who have the right to the same educational opportunities as other, non-minority, wealthier, individuals. There is no evidence that both parties have different opinions on the issue, both typically agree that school segregation is an issue that the government should address and have similar views on how it should be done. (Insert quote from: How far apart are Democrats and Republicans on school reform?) “In 1989, President Ronald Reagan proposed $115 million for the magnet-school-assistance program—and $4.6 billion for the Title I “compensatory education” program, which offers extra money to schools with a high concentration of poor children. In other words, the federal government was willing to spend 40 times as much on alleviating the effects of poverty and school segregation than on preventing segregation in the first place.” (Atlantic Article) Judicial is the prominent party in school desegregation as they ruled it unconstitutional. A taskforce that investigates school populations. If there are high levels of segregation, investigate how it became that way, and integrate both populations into the different schools. If one school is lacking in certain departments, create plans to equalize the schools (not by degrading one, but uplifting both to the same level/standard)
The taskforce mentioned above could be the key to a complete overhaul of the educational system. With proper government funding, all schools could slowly become higher-performing, centers for academic success. Communities are already rising up against the issue. Simply protest and cause such a civil disturbance that the government cannot ignore the issue anymore. School segregation is just one of the many issues that the U.S. has continued to just push to the side, it is time they finally took action.