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Autor:  anton  30 September 2010
Tags:  Education
Words: 1875   |   Pages: 8
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“If the colored children are denied the experience in school of associating with white children, who represent ninety percent of our nation society in which these colored children must live, then the colored child’s curriculum is greatly being curtailed” (1).In the fifties and sixties the civil rights movement along with help of organization like the NAACP fought racial segregation, because blacks were not equal to their white brothers and sisters. African-Americans schools were usually undermined to white schools throughout America history. African-Americans were considered privileged if they received an education or could comprehend the reading and written language of society. Segregation of children in schools has a detrimental effect upon the colored child, who gains a sense of inferiority which later affects the colored child ability to sustain knowledge (2). In 1954, the United States Supreme Court in the Brown vs. the Board of Education ruled that racial segregation in public schools was unconstitutional which violated the fourteenth Amendment, which granted equal protection to all citizens regardless of race. This outcome had overturned the old standard which was set in 1896 in the Plessey vs. Ferguson, which said separate but equal facilities were constitutional. The new ruling made it possible for a little third-grader named Linda Brown could attend a predominately white elementary that was just a mile away from her house, instead of walking about six miles to the rundown black elementary school. In 1955 following the United States Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education, granted equal access and opportunity for education of minorities to be carried out ASAP. But it was not until the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that efforts final took effect to desegregate schools in the south. This act made it possible for black children in twenty-one other states could attend white public schools, if their school was not equal to there counterparts. In the years that followed the public school systems of many states where reluctantly to bus black students off to far distances, because they were trying to maintain racial proportion (O’Connor 374). The color-lines of America will never change according to W.E.D Dubois: we as Americans need not to forget our past, because we have now installed a new school plan, called choice schools throughout the country. This choice system may bring back the dreadful past of segregation that we resented as Americans.

On August 10, 2000, federal judge Steven Merryday granted unitary status for Pinellas County Schools. A unitary school system is one in which the school district has eliminated the old racial segregated dual system (Tampa Bay 2). There are several factors to determine if a school district has reached the unitary standard. These factors include: Facilities and resources, student assignment, extra curricular activities, transportation, administrative staff, faculty and relative quality of education (3). This agreement is set up so parents can have a choice of what school their children will be attending from kindergarten through twelfth grade. By giving the parents a choice of what school their children will be attending, the school board hopes to improve academic excellences.

The school board also hopes to accomplish: diversity base on parental choice, children are able to attend a school that appeals to them, choice promotes school improvement, families are able to move within an attendance area without switching schools, choice provides an efficient use of tax dollars by relieving overcrowding in school and fill empty seats in others, school population is stabilized which means there will be no need to shift students and teachers for a ten day count, and the potential for parental involvement will be greater (3).

The incoming kindergartners, six-graders, and ninth-graders are the only students right now that have the option of selecting their school. It is not for sure that parents will get anyone of the three schools they signed their children up for, because of the ratio percentages between black and white students. Most parents will still be upset that their children will still have to be bused to school far away. A majority of the parents will find out about the extending grandfathering act. The grandfathering act is an act stating if a sibling is already attending a certain school; the rest of his or her sibling will have the right to attend that school too.

The act also allows a student enrolled in 2002 through 2003 to bypass the new system and attend his currently zoned school. To be eligible for this preference, the student must stay at the same address through all his or her years of school. The younger siblings of Pinellas County students who are born on or before the first day of school in 2002 through 2003 also would be eligible. Students who are now bused far from home, because of court order requirements would have the choice to be grandfather to a school closer to home (Ryan 1).

This act is way for most parents to get around the choice plan, if the plan does not work in their favor. The school choice plan goes into affect in the 2002 to 2003 school year, and will remain in affect until the 2006 to 2007 school year comes to an end. Starting in the fall with the new school year of 2007 to 2008 all of the old ratio percentages will be dropped, giving parents total control over what school their child will attend (Tampa Bay 3). This means that there will be no more black to white ratio in public schools in Pinellas County. This will causes major problems for Pinellas County, especially with the local high schools in south Saint Petersburg. With Gibbs, Lakewood, Saint Petersburg, Boca Ciega, and Northeast High Schools being the only high schools that African-Americans would want to attend, overcrowding is bound to happen. According to newspaper ads we might run into some future problems with eliminating ratios percentages in public schools. In states where the school boards has tried this new system, many faced some appalling problems: white teachers leaving predominantly African-American schools, African-Americans schools finding it hard to appeal to superior faculty members, and race riots between rival schools.

“For decades Americans have had school choice providing they had sufficient funds to choose their residence, and for decades the education gap between blacks and whites has remained intact. African Americans are the losers in this arrangement. Holding less equity and facing discrimination in the housing market, blacks choose from a limited set of housing options. As a consequence, their children attend the worst public schools. The results are clear, despite the efforts of the civil rights movement, public schools today remain just as segregated as they were in the 1950s”(Peterson 1). Is this school choice plan a great one to follow; because if we ponder about the past and look presently to the future, this plan looks remotely like a new form of segregation? Most of the United States kindergartner through twelfth grade educational system is racially, economically and socially segregated (Civil Rights 1). According to the 1990 Census of Population and Housing who explore the behavioral models of traditional public and private school choice decisions, founded that most white parents are more likely to withdraw their children from urban public schools than minorities parents (1). The increase of minorities in urban schools and other socioeconomic status were the reasons for the dismissal of their children (1). Hamilton Lankford and James Wyckoff from the department of economics at State University of New York in Albany believe that these factors of choice will not stand for long in public schools, because schools are design to promote racial integration not segregation (1). Robert Fairly from the department of economics at the University of California in Santa Cruz found that blacks and Hispanics are less likely to attend private schools. He also founded evidence that parents choose their child school depending upon racial sorting in private and public school (1). By using the data from the National Educational Longitudinal Study (NELS), he founded that minorities had lower levels of income which contributed substantially to the under representation of them in the public school system (1). His estimates indicate white children attend class 22 percent higher rate than minority children and their income is 15 percent higher; thus he says, that white children attend schools that are less integrated (1). These findings provide evidence suggesting that the school choice plan will lead to an increase in segregation and white parents may enroll their children into private schools, where minority families do not have sufficient funds to pay for education (1). “Racially motivated, flight from public schools to private schools suggests that private school tuition vouchers may lead to more segregation as families have increased opportunities to enroll their children in homogenous schools” (1).

School choice programs differentiate against poor and minority families who are less informed about how the educational system works. Most minority parents are besieged with the constant survival to research the various educational opportunities; most students will be left behind in unattractive schools that often have fewer resources (Eric Digest 1). Most of these factors were apparent in Georgia’s school districts. The school counties of Georgia install this same school choice plan and it backed fired in there face. The county found out that teacher turn-over rates in public schools were vividly influenced by black-white segregation, a dynamic whose influence has been growing rather than diminishing (Gsu 1). “In the Young studies, it showed that nearly one-third of Georgia’s white teachers left predominantly black schools in which they taught before” (1). The teacher then switched to schools that had a lower percentage of African-American students, lower poverty students, and to schools with students that scored higher on achievement exams (2). While these white teachers left predominantly African-American schools, there was no similar trend of black teachers. These predominantly black schools made have a problem attraction teachers and other faculty of lighter skin color, but African-American teachers tended to flock to these schools (2). The African-American teachers tend to come to these schools, because the atmosphere is a lot like home to them. The teachers tend to use home language (slang), joke, and play with the students just as if they were kicking it with their friends.

Today we need to take equal educational opportunity seriously, because African-Americans children suffer the most in this real estate driven system of school choice (Peterson 1). “The working world is not segregated; indeed, one of the most dominant characteristics of American is its diverse ethnic, racial, and religious societies. One of the primary purposes of schools is to prepare students for the working world, and it makes no sense to prepare them with a faulty model. If the world at large is desegregated, the schools should not be segregated, either” (Watson 4).

The Civil Rights Project” 5 November 2003. Home page

O’Connor, Karen and Sabato, Larry J. American Government: Continuity and

Change 2002 Edition, Addison Wesley Longman, Inc.

Peterson, Paul E. “School Choice: A Civil Rights Issue” Home page. 5 November


“Public School Choice: Issues and Concerns for Urban Educators.”

ERIC/CUE Digest No. 63. 5 November 2003.

Ryan, Kelly. Home page. 5 November 2003.

5 November 2003. Tampa Bay Kids.

5 November 2003. Civil Rights.

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