The concept of racial segregation is relevant to the history of the United States, despite the fact that at the moment, society is actively fighting this phenomenon. One of the consequences of this was the introduction of separate education, which meant the existence of schools for representatives of different races. This gave rise to a biased attitude of teachers towards black, indigenous, and Latin citizens. This work aims to analyze in detail why segregation in education is still topical and prove that it has a detrimental effect on society.
Racial Segregation In Schools
It is important to note that despite all attempts to fight segregation, the problem remains relevant to this day. From the point of view of citizens who believe that vestiges of discrimination have disappeared, affirmative action gives an unfair advantage to minorities. From the perspective of others who face the consequences of ongoing discrimination daily, affirmative action is needed to protect opportunities that may disappear (Darling-Hammond, 1998). The interpretation of performance differences between white and non-white students is at the core of this debate as measured by standardized test scores (Darling-Hammond, 1998). The presumption is that there is now equal opportunity; consequently, the continued low levels of achievement among minority students must be the result of genes, culture, or lack of effort and will.
This point of view ignores that representatives of different races have inherently unequal opportunities in the context of access to educational resources. The US educational system is among the most unequal in the industrialized world (Darling-Hammond, 1998). Students regularly receive vastly different learning opportunities depending on their social status. The prevailing view is that differences in student achievement and failure are individuals’ fault, not the consequences of external forces and trends in society (Darling-Hammond, 1998). In order to eliminate such bias and indifference to the oppressed state of the races, it is necessary to deal with the source of the problems.
Segregation has deep roots, and examples can be found throughout history. In the 1960s, most African American, Hispanic, and Native American students were educated in segregated schools. These institutions were funded at rates lower than the average white schools and universities (Darling-Hammond, 1998). This is directly related to the level, and quality of educational services provided since highly qualified specialists and abundant scientific materials and sources were inaccessible to non-white people. By analyzing the assessment system and its results, there has been a positive trend in the knowledge scores of the black population since the 20th century (Owens, 2019). Specifically, overall academic performance has increased by more than 54 points, yet the gap between white and non-white students remains quite large (Darling-Hammond, 1998). The reason for this is the inequality of students in front of teachers and institutions, as well as the division of classes.
For the indicators to be the most objective, it is necessary to turn to statistics. Most African-Americans, Latinos, and indigenous people are currently forced to be educated in minority schools (Owens, 2019). The fact is that such organizations are still financed much more economically, which affects the low level of services provided (Owens, 2019). This is explained by the concentration of oppressed groups in ghettos, rural areas, and southern industrial states. All these places are characterized by economic instability, which leads to the lack of sufficient capital for non-white citizens to provide the same level of education as whites. Interestingly, inequality prevails among black citizens attending separate schools (Owens, 2019). Although such groups are characterized by financial poverty, some citizens can still be divided into more and less rich. This leads to the fact that even within such groups, some receive more resources while the rest use what has been left. These tendencies are cumulative, compounding, and creating an extremely low level of education and difficult conditions.
A separate criterion for education is the quality of the teacher and their interaction with children. Depending on the teacher’s qualifications and degree, about 40% of the success of the entire educational process (Legette et al., 2020). However, it is necessary to note the phenomenon of the difference in licenses and qualifications of teachers for representatives of different races (Drum, 2020). Added to this is the fact that minority students are the least likely to be assigned to more effective teachers, leading to poor performance on tests and exams. New teachers hired without certification standards are usually assigned to teach the most disadvantaged students in low-income and minority schools (Legette et al., 2020). At the same time, the most successful teachers are invited to rich schools.
Ineffective teachers find it difficult to implement a common language with teenagers and cannot properly manage classes and create curricula. At the same time, teachers begin to blame students for professional failures, further worsening the relationship between children and a specialist (Legette et al., 2020). Finally, this leads to an increase in bias on both sides; however, teachers are convinced of the lack of ambition and ability of non-white students, ignoring their own mistakes (Legette et al., 2020). Thus, stereotypes and inequalities appear, which affect both the learning outcomes and the racial situation in general.
In conclusion, it should be noted that racial segregation in schools is still a topical issue in the United States. Despite the fact that the causes of this phenomenon have changed, blacks, indigenous, and Latinos are still in an oppressed position. The situation is aggravated by the lack of sufficient funding for schools, the lives of non-white citizens in areas with low economic development, and the low qualifications of teachers. It is important to emphasize that all these elements are closely interconnected and together form the fact that the academic performance of the black population is lower than that of the white population.
Darling-Hammond, L. (1998). Unequal opportunity: Race and education. Brookings.
Drum, K. (2020). Fact of the day: The black-white education gap. Mother Jones.
Legette, K. B., Rogers, L. O., & Warren, C. A. (2022). Humanizing student–teacher relationships for black children: Implications for teachers’ social–emotional training. Urban Education, 57(2), 278-288. Web.
Owens, J. (2019). Teacher treatment of students factors into racial gap in school suspensions. Brown.