The Issues of Diversity
Modern society is getting increasingly diverse by the day. A recent census report indicated that two in eight students trace his or her origin to the ethnic background of a minority. Their proportion is expected to increase with the gradual onset of globalization and their achievements in school will determine the levels of success later on in adulthood. The issue of underachievement has dominated debates that touch on the education of ethnic minorities for several decades.
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However, this issue is largely misunderstood and may now play a significant role in churning out similar stereotypes. The debate may lead to a reduction in expectations or an increase in personal failure. Nonetheless, there is no debate on the topic of separate schools for the minorities as it became not an option but a necessity (Du Bois 329). We ought to assert that the witnessed failures are due to underachievement of the system in catering for ethnic minorities.
Several comparisons that relate to the educational achievements of ethnic pupils fail to consider other influences such as their social backgrounds. Such minorities are likely to have grown up in socio-economic segments that compound their academic disadvantages. There is also an argument that the measures used while assessing academic attainment may affect achievement levels. The most commonly utilized parameters have a bias toward high-performing pupils. Nonetheless, the capabilities and knowledge of all students are at stake if we want to improve the current situation (Du Bois 330).
There were general improvements when it came to GCSE achievement during the 1990s. Such improvement has also been reflected in the attainments of the minority groups. Another important aspect that played one of the key roles in the improvements was the Critical Race Theory which studied the premises and outcomes of diverse race-based issues including education (Valencia 392). However, not all groups have improved at a similar rate. In numerous fields, the existing gap has expanded between the different groups.
This trend has particularly hurt young Mexican males. Most of the policies believe that targeting public resources towards the disadvantaged or vulnerable communities is a viable method of reducing the glaring inequalities. Even though there have been significant improvements in such communities, a 2011 census showed that there are still significant differences when it comes to comparing attainment levels between the older and younger students that have been drawn from similar backgrounds and ethnicities. However, several educational scholars believe that the reason behind the differences in performance between the two groups may be structural after all.
Progress and Research
Even though the Mexican-American community did not stay idle throughout the periods of segregation and prejudice, the legal struggle was not seen as an adequate option intended to assist in fighting the bias and improving the children’s performance (Valencia 396). Nonetheless, the Mexican American community kept going forward. The Critical Race Theory was the explanatory base for their strategy.
The community proposed a prototype that featured separate but equal schools where teachers would provide students with an adequate knowledge base (Valencia 396). This prototype is committed to the notion of social justice and relies on the legal rights of the citizens. It is also worth noting that educational achievement and progress do not imply or mean the same thing. A specific minority group can post visible progress but still post relatively unimpressive results. Nonetheless, numerous Chicano students are still exposed to poor academic outcomes and lower performance due to the segregation (Valencia 396).
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A significant amount of research has focused on the classroom environment and interactions that go on between the instructor and his or her pupils. Their findings normally lead to queries about how the pupils are experiencing their educational routine. Such studies highlight some processes that may directly deny equal rights and opportunities while at the same time pretending to thrive in an all-inclusive environment.
For instance, numerous Mexican students are facing excessive criticism coming from Caucasian teachers. One of the ways that are offered to resolve the issue presupposes that Mexican-origin Spanish-speaking children should be allowed to learn new English words, speak English, and hear it spoken properly (Valencia 403). On the other hand, Mexican pupils are usually over-represented whenever exclusion figures are compiled based on race or ethnicity. Whereas the process of exclusion is usually linked with grave offenses such as assault, there exists some evidence that suggests less obvious conflicts with instructors can contribute to the unwarranted suspension of black students.
National Initiatives and Their Drawbacks
There are inadequate national initiatives that deal with the visible educational disadvantages that such students have to contend with. Most of the government initiatives are mainly interested in showing that the problem of educational disadvantage exists as opposed to putting in place viable, practical solutions that can minimize it. The Critical Race Theory is the model that should be implemented at all levels of an educational organization to provide all the students with equal educational opportunity and commitment to social justice (Valencia 410). Mentoring has recently emerged as a viable means of reducing or counteracting disaffection among the young Mexican males.
The argument illustrates unfortunate drawbacks on the one hand and a relatively incomplete support mechanism on the opposite. The largest area of concern is on the Mexican students that record average grades that reach only half of what their white counterparts post. Most of the literature is focused only on the description and analysis of the disadvantages. It is only fairly recently that effort has been made in a bid to counter systemic discrimination. This generated numerous desegregation cases, from Texas to Arizona, but the verdicts and consequences were rather diverse (Valencia 412). Such studies should come up with a viable benchmark for the emphasis of information exchange.
Even though some internal school factors may affect the students’ attainment, other factors that lie outside the school may also have just as much of an effect on school performance. The funding inequities that correlate with the ethnic and racial causes fit perfectly into the picture that demonstrates a rise in the amount of funding that mirrors the rise in Caucasian students (Ladson-Billings 6). Most of the ethnic minorities also have the instructional language, in this case, English, as a second language.
This negatively affects their ability to communicate with instructors. Poor comprehension of instructions leads to substandard grades in both examinations and school assignments. Such pupils may thus feel that they are unfairly penalized in the classroom leading to a loss of morale or interest in a particular subject or schooling as a whole.
It is worth noting that small-scale research is prone to get marginalized. Despite the availability of literature that delves on differential exclusion among the minorities, there is still a policy vacuum on the issue. The amount of research that touches on the educational progress and achievements of ethnically minority groups is still limited. There seems to be a significant number of studies on the impact of changes such as those related to reforms in the social services. Youth services have especially been dismantled leading to a chronic absence of role models and an increase in levels of disaffection.
The success recorded in multi-ethnic institutions has not been given due credit. What is absent, in this case, is not simply some examples of good practice but also an in-depth examination of several crucial quality factors.
On the other hand, supplementary schools have had a tremendous influence that has not been acknowledged. Numerous protests organized by Mexican-American parents proved to be ineffective as these parents told their children not to attend school and this resulted in even more issues than before (Valencia 397). Coming up with a positive analysis of such schools may assist local governments or communities better utilize funding that is being funneled to the local education sector. It will also make sure that students derive significant value from their sessions in their respective schools. A noticeable gap in this research touches on the cropping up of unknown identities.
To conclude, schools should not be separated or minority-exclusive but all-encompassing and providing their student with the best education possible in the modern realities (Du Bois 335). Studies have also shown that the proportion of ethnic minorities, specifically black, school instructors is shrinking, but there is yet to be a solid proposal on how to counteract such trends. Even though there are ethnic and personal differences between the races, there is still a lot of room for improvement because a mixed school is the best basis for the education of youth (Du Bois 335). Unless the current trend is reversed, social and economic inequality will continue thriving.
Du Bois, Burghardt. “Does the Negro Need Separate Schools?” The Journal of Negro Education 4.3 (1935): 328-35. Web.
Ladson-Billings, Gloria. “From the Achievement Gap to the Education Debt: Understanding Achievement in U.S. Schools.” Educational Researcher. 35.3 (2006): 1-12. Web.
Valencia, Richard. “The Mexican American Struggle for Equal Educational Opportunity.” Teachers College Record 107.3 (2005): 389-423. Web.