Audience: Readers of the Washington Post
“This opinionated article discuses on the topic of racial disparities occurring in the education system and is to be published in The Washington Post. The Washington Post is a prestigious newspaper cite where they present articles of current issues that appeal to young adults, as well as mature adults, and the elderly, who are seeking facts related to modern-day controversies.
Students of Color Against the Education System
For quite a long time, the United States was idolized for its prosperity, for many people desired to one day live the American dream, however, look past the facade of flashing bright lights, and you’ll come to find that the United States owes much of its success to the back-breaking labor of slaves. The United States has an ugly past, and will forever be reminded of its history, and the impact slavery has had on shaping America. However, even though slaves were liberated and given their freedom decades ago, as well as being granted their citizenship and civil rights years later, they are still being treated unfairly in modern-day America. Unfortunately, racism still exists in the United States and there have been many incidents where African Americans are seen being discriminated against. Moreover, African Americans are stereotyped of being “vicious” or “uneducated,” which is no more than just hearsay, but is how the public is perceiving it. This kind of prejudice has spilled into the education system, which is imperative for guiding students on how to become the future leaders of tomorrow. Furthermore, racial disparities are existent in public schools for school districts are at fault, affecting the education of many minority students, mainly students who are African American.
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Author Moriah Balingit, writer for the Washington Post, discusses how African American students face greater disciplinary actions compared to white students. She begins the article by stating that the Civil Rights Data Collection have shown conclusions of such racial disparity occurring in public schools, and Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos, is considering if an investigation is needed for schools who have conducted unjust disciplinarily actions. This is due to the Civil Rights Data Collection receiving information pertaining to the school year of 2015-2016, where 96,000 public schools have offered evidence that minority students do indeed face stricter disciplinary consequences than their white peers. In addition, during that year, the author provides more intel for of the 2.7 million school suspensions issued, it was shockingly lower compared to the previous two years, however, the same couldn’t be said of the referrals given and arrests made on school grounds which increased to 5,000. Moreover, of that school year, fifteen percent of black students made up the enrollment but also thirty-one percent of the arrests made. However, information also presents that black students consisting of a disability were more prone to be confronted with suspension or be apprehended, and even though they made up merely twelve percent of the student body, they accounted for twenty-eight percent of arrests made or referrals issued.
The author then continues to state that civil rights groups are disappointed in the efforts made by the Education Department, for students aren’t being treated fairly in school. During Obama’s presidency, his administration sought out to control the number of issued suspensions and expulsions for they cautioned school districts that they could be disregarding student’s civil liberties, potentially exposing any racial disparities occurring in the educational facility.
As well as that, the Education and Justice departments effectively squeezed school districts to accept new arrangements that prompted less suspensions. The author then presents a statement made by Judith Browne Dianis, who is an executive director of a civil rights group called the Advancement Project, is claiming that “…Racism is alive and well in our American school system. This data clearly shows that black students are less safe, more restrained and pushed out of school more than other students. We need to see the Department of Education commit to the vigorous defense of students’ right to be free from discriminatory school discipline (Balingit, par.8).” As the author begins to conclude the article, she claims that DeVos is developing an investigation to further evaluate schools’ disciplinary actions for she believes that it doesn’t adequately represent the reason for the disparities. She has also begun listening sessions with civil rights activists and educators who have been attacked by their students as to further gain more insight of why such disparities exist in the first place, for one side feels strongly that teachers are at fault while others blame the institution itself.
Dr. Andre Perry, a writer for The Hechinger Report, and a well-known advocate of education reform, discusses in his article how racial disparities are the fault of white teachers. He begins the article by stating that black teachers are more successful at teaching black students in contrast to white teachers, for black teachers produce better academic and behavioral results when teaching black students. In addition, numerous reports are questioning the capability of white teachers being able to produce better outcomes and are now supporting more recruitment of black teachers. Even though the author does commend more recruitment of black teachers, he claims that it isn’t equivalent to requiring white educators to be less prejudice. Also, the author states that recruitment of black educators isn’t the answer to get rid of the bigotry students and instructors face regularly. Moreover, the author provides a statistic taken from the German Economic research group Institute of Labor Economics, which states that “Black primary-school students who are matched to a same-race teacher performed better on standardized tests and face more favorable teacher perceptions (Perry, par.4).”
This information correlates with a scientific study conducted by Johns Hopkins University revealing that “low-income black students who have at least one black teacher in elementary school are significantly more likely to graduate from high school and consider attending college (Perry, par.4).” The author further provides more evidence, from a conducted study taken by NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, which unveils that “students of color and white students viewed minority teachers more highly than white teachers (Perry, par.5).” Regardless of the evidence presented, white educators still make up eighty percent of teachers in the United States, simply because minority teachers are more likely to leave their position due to constantly fighting against racism in schools where the population is predominantly white and outweigh the minorities. However, the author asserts that all teachers should improve their teaching skills for a compelling instructor must be characterized as an educator who isn’t prejudice and sets requirements that challenges students in a positive manner, regardless of race. As the author concludes his article, he states that black students are in need of being treated fairly and being taught equally, for white educators should not have an excuse to not be successful in helping students achieve better results.
However, even though Dr. Andre Perry makes a reasonable defense blaming white teachers for causing such disparities among the classroom, I disagree, for no matter the teacher’s race, in today’s modern era, people have become more accepting of one another and are more likely to judge a person by their character rather than their skin color. Though, during the 1960s, racial segregation was common among public facilities and African Americans being discriminated against was regarded as an everyday thing. Nevertheless, many civil right movements peacefully protested in order to be given their civil liberties and struck a major victory with the Brown v. Board of Education case. This case consisted of Mr. Brown being denied by the Topeka school district on not allowing his daughter to enroll to the predominantly white school. After appealing the case to the supreme court, it was there, that the case became a milestone in history, for all supreme court justices unanimously declared that the case was unconstitutional, furthering igniting the flame for civil right movements.
Yet, even though this case was decades ago, in today’s age, institutional racism still lives on, for black students are still being oppressed but cases such as the United States v. City of Meridian have exposed corruption within the schools but more importantly, within Mississippi’s justice system. In the United States v. City of Meridian case, a total of seventy-seven black children were being punished harshly for minor crimes, and when arrested, were ignored of their civil rights and were taken immediately to juvenile detention centers with no hearing or due process. The minor crimes they were convicted of were merely no more than defiant acts, such as leaving the classroom without permission, arriving late to class, or being discourteous towards the instructor. In addition, these children were pressured into confessing crimes they didn’t commit before being given their Miranda Rights. Cases like these however, have not just happened in Mississippi but all over the United States, for racial disparities still lures on within schools but even more alarming, within our own justice system.
Overall, racial disparities are existent and continue to persist due to school districts keeping racism alive within the school education system. Because of the unjust discrimination allowed against minority students, it can take a toll on the student’s mental and emotional level, thus affecting their education. Even though teachers and students of the same ethnicity may be better suited for each other, I believe that racial disparities are caused by school districts unfair treatment to black students and so, does not depend on the race of teacher. Furthermore, even though African-Americans are perceived as “less innocent” and are statically more likely to be suspended or expelled from school compared to their white counterpart, they must disregard stereotypes and ignore the statistics because it doesn’t define them as a person, for discrimination can be seen as nothing more than words without meaning.
- Balingit, Moriah. “Racial Disparities in School Discipline Are Growing, Federal Data Show.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 24 Apr. 2018, www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/racial-disparities-in-school-discipline-are-growing-federal-data-shows/2018/04/24/67b5d2b8-47e4-11e8-827e-190efaf1f1ee_story.html?utm_term=.77b2cd019aa4.
- Moody, Myles. “From Under-Diagnoses to Over-Representation: Black Children, ADHD, and the School-To-Prison Pipeline.” Journal of African American Studies, vol. 20, no. 2, June 2016, pp. 152–163. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1007/s12111-016-9325-5.
- “Racial Prejudice in the American Education System: Effects of Racism on Black Students’ Lives and Academic Success.” – Open Americas, 28 Dec. 2017, openamericas.org/2017/12/27/racial-prejudice-in-the-american-education-system-effects-of-racism-on-black-students-lives-and-academic-success/.
- Skiba, Russell J., et al. Inequality in School Discipline: Research and Practice to Reduce Disparities. Palgrave Macmillan, 2016.
- “The Supreme Court . Expanding Civil Rights . Landmark Cases . Brown v. Board of Education (1954) | PBS.” THIRTEEN, www.thirteen.org/wnet/supremecourt/rights/landmark_brown.html.
- “What’s Wrong with White Teachers?” The Hechinger Report, 13 Apr. 2019, hechingerreport.org/whats-wrong-white-teachers/.”
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Audience: Readers of The Washington Post. (2021, Jul 01). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/audience-readers-of-the-washington-post/
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