The twelfth chapter of the book focuses on education with the title what is being educated and who decides. The student does not get time to evaluate the education system and how it affects their learning and the kind of educated person they will become upon graduation. Several authors in this chapter have focused on the issue, but Jonathan Kozol and Dian Ravitch decided to delve into a similar topic on the racial discrimination in the 1990s in the American education system. In their text, the white student went to private chartered schools while the blacks and Hispanics went to public schools where services were inadequate. The same groups were expected to compete equally though on different grounds and facilitation. Ravitch provides strong argument by giving statistics on the topic to prove her point of view. All races have the potential to be productive in academics if provided with a suitable environment.
Racial discrimination was more apparent in the cities than in the countryside of America. Kozol suggests that those people living away from the cites did not experience the direct impact of the unfair treatment of scholars and deteriorated public schools. These people believe that the racial segregation issues were just a national matter, but in actual sense, it affected people of color and Hispanics and other minority communities. The problem has lasted for many decades and schools that promoted racial segregation has now offered services to all races. Some of these institutions have been forced to provide services to all races by law. Between 2002 and 2003 more than 86% of public school enrollment was represented by black and Hispanic students. The white students were less than 10% in these institutions. Ravitch talks about the test scores, on one hand, the white students and the other of both black and Hispanic students. She suggests that the scores reveal that the public schools do not offer quality education and the groups should be liberated from the system. She proposed that to improve their performance the Hispanics and black students needed to be enrolled in private chartered schools and other religious institution that offer quality education. She states that from the statistics black students in 2009 federal performed better than the white students did in 1990. This is an indication that if students are offered equal opportunity, they can exploit their full potential. As much Kozol presents the same idea using statistics, he does not sound authoritative as he uses isolated cases as his sample size to conclude the issue. For instance, he presents the of John F. Kennedy high school enrollment. He stated that more than 90% of the students in this public school were blacks and Hispanics. He uses the statistic to present his conclusion which could be said inadequate to conclude the whole case affecting America population. Ravitch provides national figures as shown above to make her conclusions which are more effective in this context.
Civil activist like Martin Luther junior is public figures standing for the war against segregation in America. In New York, the white neighborhood had schools named after Martin Luther Junior as a sign of hope for ending racial discrimination in the schools. The school was located in the upper-middle class community of white population, increase the enrollment of white students in public schools. The same strategy was meant to unite all races through the education system and end segregation at all levels of the American society. Similarly in the neighborhood with Hispanic and black majority South Bronx a school was named after Paul Robeson, as a sign of progress against racial segregation in public schools. According to Ravitch, Martin lather junior and other reformers were against the privatization of any institutions to ensure the government and other stakeholders invest for equal access. This strategy was meant to provide all races with same opportunities to study and compete in any school without inequalities in the services being offered. From the records, the white students continued to show better scores on their academic performance while other races dwindled and hence the to make education equally accessible to students of all races. Better school performance means promising future careers and higher chances of securing a job with a nice income. No wonder most of the black and Hispanic neigh hoods were characterized by high levels of illiteracy and unemployment. This status led to increased crime and due to the high rate of poverty experienced by these races. However, with efforts to end this problem students from minority communities have shown progress from the 1990s towards the 2000s. For instance, in 1990 the number of black fourth-grade black students that scored below basic was 83%, but in 2011 that number dropped to 34%. Among the Hispanic students within the same period, the score has improved from 67% to 28%, indicating progress with diminished racial segregation.
The policymakers have made slow but tremendous progress is eradicating the racial suggestion concern. The policy makers aimed at removing the achievement gap that kept other races performing behind the white students. However, it has been a challenge since as seen student internationally from advantaged families perform better in their test score than those from the least advantaged. This situation could be used to explain why schools from poor neighborhoods show poor grades among its students as compared to their in affluent areas. Ravitch stated that in 2001the policymakers believed by combining test based transparency and accountability would compel instructors to help students improve their performance in academic activities. The government required the teacher to produce a student with excellent performance and teacher, in turn, push the students to work harder in their studies to meet the expected results. President George Bush also promoted this idea as he opposed the soft bigotry of low scores. The same message has been echoed in Kozols text where he states that the schools attended by black and Hispanic students should be well funded by government and other stakeholders to be able to compete with white students. This move is realistic since the idea of equality was not a status that could be achieved anytime soon.
In conclusion, both Kozol and Ravitch identified the worsening racial segregation in America that has crippled the education system. All races have the potential to be productive in academics if provided with a suitable environment. This is the reason policymakers were given the responsibility of ensuring that the racial segregation issues were dealt with to promote harmony in the education system. The white students went to private chattered schools while the minority groups such as the black and Hispanics went to public school. Activist such Luther junior fought for this problem to end, and before his death, he had made steps that have improved the elimination of the achievement gap. All races have proven that the right environment and support is all they need to be better in their academic performance.
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