There are many barriers to overcome during the journey through education. These factors include family life, health, economic class, and more. But most importantly: culture. While one’s education has nothing to do with race- it has everything to do with culture. The first mistake that the youth in America has made is the action of living under the umbrella of victimology- and it is the very thing keeping them from their own scholarly success.
There is nothing that lights up the minorities of America more than culture, success, and pride. Never a doubt as we endlessly affirm that education is important and that our futures are bright. Surely with how much we have survived, we can overcome anything. Yet everyone has to agree that the numbers seem to deceive us when it comes down to the schooling of our youth. Even in a diversity positive learning environment such as Portland Public Schools, the student of color’s success rates have not been impressive. In the past year alone PPS Hispanic and Black students matched a dropout rate of 6.69% in comparison to White 2.61% and Asian 1.45%. So what’s stopping certain racial groups from succeeding in schools, who’s to blame? Government, administration, educators, curriculum, and racism are popular factors to jump to- but there is no doubt that the culture factor is often overlooked, especially in the rise of political correctness.
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For context, “culture” is typically defined as “the social behavior and norms found in human societies.” In 1871, this word was first properly used by British anthropologist Edward Burnett Tylor where he described anthropology as “the study of culture.” Incidentally, while the birth of this term occurred in the 1870s, so was the birth of the first American civil rights era: the Civil War Reconstruction period. The reconstruction period achieved many constitutional successes such as the creation of the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth amendments which banned slavery and ensured equality for all peoples of color, especially recently emancipated slaves. Flash forward to the American Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s where African-American students across the nation protested racial segregation in American schools. After a long battle fought, SCOTUS Brown v. Board of Education effectively ended all segregation in American Public Schools. This was a cornerstone of the civil rights movement in education, proving that “separate-but-equal” education was not, in fact, equal at all.
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