Education: The Great Black- White Divide Essay

Education: The Great Black- White Divide Essay

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In 1954, Brown v. Board of Education, decided by the U.S. Supreme Court, signaled an opportunity for African-American students to reach new heights through an educational system that was equitable, fair, and provided the same opportunities at educational attainment as whites. However, more than 60 years later there is irrefutable evidence of educational disparities on the basis of race. Improved data on academic achievement has provided unprecedented insight on the strengths and weaknesses of America’s broken educational system. The most striking chord within these findings is the degree to which African-American students- most notably males- lag behind their white counterparts; this statistically significant disparity in academic performance is referred to as “the achievement gap.” The achievement gap shows up in grades, standardized test scores, and dropout rates. By almost every measure of academic performance and achievement, black males are the wrong side of the staggering divide. African-American men also fare badly when compared to African-American women who grow up in similar family and cultural circumstances and attend the same schools. Black men are three times more likely than black women to be suspended; their high-school graduation rate is 9% lower; and they are only half as likely to get a college degree. But how can such a miscarriage of educational inequity occur in a nation that prides itself on “leaving no child behind?” What are the root causes of this disparity? More importantly what can educators, specifically teachers of mathematics, do to remedy the issue? This paper will focus albeit briefly on answering the aforementioned questions.
The Great Black- White “Divide”
In regards to education the nation’s atte...

... middle of paper ... in a war zone.
Children from urban neighborhoods live in continual violence, they suffer from all of the symptoms found in war veterans. Unfortunately for these students, the trauma is continuous, every day the violence is repeatedly happening outside of their homes. Harvard researchers has classified this lethal combination of environmental and social stressors as “Hood” disease (Root). The moniker “Hood” disease speaks volumes of the inherent beliefs people have about children from the “hood” about black children. There is the belief that black boys are trapped within a “culture of poverty” which has in a sense legitimized lowered expectations, criminal behavior and immoral acts. The degree to which black men and boys are only glorified as athletes and entertainers or demonized as thugs and criminals leaves a mental imprint on the psyche of these men.

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