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The Annual Conference of the National School Boards Association is a time where School Boards from across the country can meet and discuss public education. This would be an appropriate place for my article because the educators and people on the school boards are concerned about what is being taught at education systems. They like to think that schools teach progressive thinking as well as following federal mandates and promoting inclusion and tolerance. Educators would be especially disheartened to hear that their efforts are not achieving their goals and might be adding to racial discrimination.

The Unintended Lessons: Racism in Public Schools Schools are known to be education centers that foster learning and creative thinking. Although they have the responsibility to encourage students to use their moral compass with their inclusive ideas, throughout history, schools have been places that cultivate the prejudices of the country’s white majority. Not all students are aware of this racial discrimination that plagues schools.

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In the commentary article “My high school years of white privilege,” John McDermott gives a first hand perspective on his ignorance of the white privilege and racism that persisted in his school. He testifies that after a documentary was made of his school, the unforeseen bigotry was exposed. The documentary depicts a modern educational system with “enormous racial inequities and an administration largely uninterested in addressing them” (McDermott, par. 10).

McDermott voices that he “chose not to see” the racial discrimination at his school (McDermott, par. 21). He offers advice to remove the racial discrimination plaguing his alma mater by providing the idea that “refusing to acknowledge as much only hinders progress” (McDermott, par. 23). John McDermott’s anecdote is only one person who has experienced white privilege and racial discrimination out of the many schools in America where this racism exists. The plight of African Americans in the public education system has a long history.

The defendant, Linda Brown, an African American elementary schoolgirl who wanted to go to the elementary school near her home, was denied attendance due to her race (Brown vs. Board of Education 493). Brown was supported by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, or NAACP, in her trial by disputing that not allowing Linda to go to this school was unconstitutional (Brown vs Board of Education 448). This ruling was the first decision that segregation in education based on race was illegal.

However, desegregation of schools only legislates actions not attitudes. As a result of recent racial discrimination in schools, students are getting together to discuss how to change the racism that is happening in their education systems. In the article “High school students of color are protesting racism and inequality,” P.R. Lockhart writes on the subject of the students in Virginia and New York and their protests over the racial tendencies that exist in their schools. In Virginia, students “walked out of classes to protest racism, call for an end to white supremacy, and demand racial justice” (Lockhart, par. 6). These students express that “?it’s time for their schools [and others] to do the work to produce lasting and systemic change” to end racial discrimination in education (Lockhart, par. 5).

The students understand that if nothing is done to stop this reoccurring issue, the racial bias and discrimination in education will not be solved. Although many people are concerned about racial discrimination in schools, some believe that it has been blown out of proportion. For instance, Mitch Pearlstein in the Op-Ed titled “?Racism in Schools is Overstated,” claims that “racial bias is inflated and is not as embellished” as some imply (par. 2). To support his thinking against the amplitude of racism in education is that minorities test statistics are lower than that of white students.

This highlights that different ethnic backgrounds can affect academic abilities in separate manners. Pearlstein cites that “72 percent of white Minnesota eighth-graders are either “Proficient” or “Advanced” in math, while only 16 percent of black eighth-graders are” (Par. 24). The low test scores have not been a consequence of racial bias, in short, but different abilities. Pearlstein believes that racism in schools is “faulty on the facts or excessive in gravity,” or in short, he believes that racism is not as profound as people accredit it to be (Pearlstein. Par. 2).

Pearlstein concludes that racial bias is inflated and more overemphasized than people assume, but acknowledges racial bias does everywhere it has been said (par. 2). Mitch Pearlstein is correct in his argument by stating that racism can be exaggerated. To add more validity to his argument, Pearlstein adds that African Americans are in other situations that of white students with statistics on test scores.

He expects that racial bias in schools and the strategies that are being used to combat the racism inferes with students’ learning, which is the opposite of what is happening. The racial discrimination in education is such a grave subject, that even Mitch Pearlstein has to admit it is distinguishable. The low test scores and grades cause a division between divergent races in academic institutions. The racism in schools is not “embellished” because of the great split between whites and minorities and the differences that every race has (Pearlstein par. 2).

Pearlstein’s argument is disproven by the contrasting differentiation between races which causes racial intolerance in education to be more substantial. In his ending remark about confronting bigotry inferring with students’ ability to learn, he does not realize that racial bias hinders learning. To move past racism, changes need to be made on how contrasting races are treated in schools, both by educators and students.

Modern education has the social imperatives to remove racism and teach democratic values but instead academic centers are inadvertently fostering bigotry by using strategies that bring more bigotry. The educators are using old strategies that increase it. Schools in the past have been thought of as places which foster new ideas and ways of thinking to children, but with racism, people are still stuck in the past with strategies to get rid of racial intolerance in education.

In support of the argument that education systems are involuntary teaching bigotry, an article with direct evidence of the bigotry is utilized. In the article “Baltimore private schools must address culture of racism,” Julie D. Hackett analyzes “innocent” racial bias in Baltimore academic institutions. Each year, Baltimore private schoolers dress up in racially offensive Halloween costumes and parade around town. This highlights racial prejudices that have been passed down directly or indirectly in “homes, classrooms and polite social circles” (Hackett, par. 8)

.The costumes were said to be looked into further by the school district by in fact they were not (par. 1). The racism in Baltimore academia is unpunished and unaddressed which produces more racism in society. One of the main topics in this paper is that the strategies that education systems are using to combat racial discrimination in schools are outdated and do not work. In the peer reviewed journal titled “The new one-drop rule: challenging the persistence of white supremacy with in-service teachers,” Benjamin Blaisdell claims that the race of teachers has a direct relationship with racial equity in schools. The author argues that educational institutions should be aware and using the “one drop rule” which says that the “smallest presence of white discourse can be used to reaffirm white supremacy” (Blaisdell, par. 2). This rule was constructed to refer “to the process of being racialized Black when someone contains any amount of Black ancestry” (par. 1).

To prove his belief, Blaisdell undertakes a study on a white teacher at a predominately black school to show the underlying need for new strategies to remove racial bias in education. Blaisdell concludes that as a white teacher, Colleen, who had an “underlying sense of shame about being [white] perceived of as racist and reacted to that shame by engaging in white discourse” (Blaisdell, par. 334). The teachers’ underlying shame proves that the one drop rule can be used as another strategy in schools to eliminate racism as compared to ignoring differences between races.

Edmonds 6 Terry Husband, an author and professor of classes at Illinois State University pertaining to student diversity in K-12 settings, acknowledges and introduces strategies to eliminate bigotry in schools. In the book ?But I don’t see color: the perils, practices, and possibilities of antiracist education?, Husband explains an old method used to expel racism used by teachers while also introducing new methods. The commonly used method many educators utilize is the colorblind approach, which is to not recognize colors of people’s skin and treat all races and ethnicities the same (Husband 7).

He offers that instead of the colorblind approach, the five strategies to use in education are “teacher expectations, school disciplinary policies, pedagogical methods, assessment measures, and parental engagement” which can help to bring more anti-racist ideas to institutions (Husband 13). These strategies, as well as exposing the colorblind method for its inaccuracy, help to add to the argument that racial intolerance is inherently taught in education but with the correct strategies can be eliminated. In conclusion, schools are a microcosm of society.

The problems of society become the problems of academic institutions. If society is able to reform itself, then shouldn’t schools be able to also? Current educational practices ignore racism and pretend that it does not exist. However, a better solution to a problem that affects not only our education systems, but out nation, is to recognize the unique difference of individuals, races, and ethnic groups and to teach different strategies rather than ignoring those differences and indirectly promoting racism.

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Essay About Venue Description. (2021, Oct 15). Retrieved from