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Narrative for Advancing a Social Justice Agenda

Gender parity in education is changing, but gender inequality continues to exist in favor for boys in Los Angles. Girls who make it to secondary level in many schools in Los Angles, only a small proportion of girls will obtain training in mathematics. Lack of training in girls, will limit opportunities for girls to improve the quality of their lives; gain employment in United States; and acquire the necessary skills that will be helpful for their success in life. Inequality in education will also deprive United States of highly talented students. The extra challenges confronting girls who seek education should be addressed in Los Angles Education System. Historically, education in Los Angles was seen as a means of preparing different people for their station in life- as teachers, musicians, businessmen and mothers. “According to Wood (1987) equal opportunity in both boys and girls, means having equal chances in life and open competition for scarce opportunities that are available in different school in Los Angles” (Cox 34). In Los Angles, there are few girls who go to school, compared to boys, in addition the country cannot afford to lose creative and innovative manpower to other nations like Saudi Arabia and Japan where wages in those countries are higher than those wages found in Los Angles. The obstacles which are hindrance to women in participation in careers that involves mathematics and science need to be addressed.

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Recent national task force, which was looking into inequality in education sector in Los Angles, has explored options for removing barriers to girls to address the inequality that exists in Los Angles. These include policies to support an retain women when they are still in school, the barriers that keep girls in Los Angles out of secondary school are well known, and solution for solving these problems exists. However, “the Governments of United States have focused primarily on the increase on enrollment of female students, but the government has not paid any attention to the quality of education for female student or their retention in secondary schools” (Holsinger 45).

If enrollment and completion rates in primary or secondary in Los Angles are high, but if the quality of education is low, then learning will not bestow the skills that will help girls in realizing educational benefits that are found in school. Los Angles Education District Board is putting most effort in trying to close the gap between girls and boys enrollment in secondary schools, but they are not considering gender dynamics that is affecting girl child in Los Angles schools and the link between gender and educational inputs, such as books, training of teachers, are not being emphasized by Los Angles Education District Board. Similarly, Los Angles Education District Board does not recognize the link between input in gender inequalities and its outcomes. “When Los Angles Education District Board mainly focuses is to put more girls to school, but they don’t address barriers girls face, it put girls at a disadvantage” (McCall 34).

Institutional racism in Los Angles is hard to change, but if the Los Angles Education District Board is really committed to change racial inequality, they will succeed. Racial equality in Los Angles is also another problem which is affecting most schools in Los Angles. Almost all the primary and secondary schools and classes have fewest African-American students and Spanish-American students. According to many studies done in Los Angles Areas, it has been confirmed, race in this area plays a role in the way classrooms are organized. Simply when you compare two schools, one in inner city in Los Angles, and another in suburbs Los Angles.

The difference in appearance alone in many school in Los Angles will be striking, in 2009, Applied Research Center conducted a research on racial disparities in school districts, in Los Angles. In Los Angles Unified School Districts, there are many white-American students than Africa-American student in many advanced placements schools and in gifted programs in Los Angles. While white-American students are under-represented when it comes to expulsions and suspension, in most schools in Los Angles when we compare the same to African-American students and Latino students. “In other key indicators in education performance in Los Angles, for example: graduation rates: dropout rates: and discipline rates. The racial disparities in Los Angles range from significant to bleak” (McCall 37).

Many of these problems are found in schools that serve mostly African-American students in the urban areas, in Los Angles. While student from different race, which is found in Los Angles, usually get separate and unequal educational opportunities in various schools in Los Angles. Racial disparity is alive and well in Los Angles schools, in 2009, there was a lawsuit, which was filled by a coalition of civil rights groups in Los Angles. The plaintiff complained against the deplorable conditions for most schools found in Los Angles. “For example, in many schools found in areas where majority of students was African-American, they had outdated textbooks and they lacked ample classroom seating, while other schools lacked the basic requirements like ventilation and toilets” (Neckerman 67).

In addition, it has been found, most of low-incomes white students are likely to excel than their counterparts: African-American students. Therefore we should not attribute these disparities in education in Los Angles, merely to family income disparities that is in Los Angles. Racial disparities in schools in Los Angles are as a result of historical and institutional racism that was experienced in America, in the past. But this should not be an excuse for schools in Los Angles which are not performing as expected to let themselves off the hook. The management in these schools should start to take responsibility of addressing racism that is experienced in their schools.

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Most people in American still think racism is an international problem and averts acts between different people. But, most of racism is found in Institutions in Los Angles rather than between individuals. Another misunderstanding on racism is that many people think racism can only occur to different races that is found in Los Angles. But this is not the case in Los Angles, “if certain groups of people in Los angles are systematically disenfranchised in term of policies and practices that are found in Los Angles, even if the school board is made up of people of same color” (Romer 46).

How can schools address inequalities that are brought about by racism in Los Angles, Firstly leaders in Los Angles should start addressing racism which is a ‘cancer” in Los Angles schools. When the leadership in these schools is willing to address the dynamics of their institutional racism in their schools, then real change will be possible in schools Found in Los Angles.

Secondly, schools boards should be ready to find out what is going on in there Institutions. A good way schools they can do that is by collecting data that is disaggregated by race and ethnicity, even if this is against the district policies. A good example of schools which is using data to correct these problems is James Lick Middle School in San Francisco. Through the data they collect in there school, the school staff are holding monthly meetings to work on alternative strategies that can help the school to address the inequalities in education among the races found in that school.

The Los Angels schools should start concentrating on quality education in their institutions. It has been found that quality teaching will encourage parents to keep sending girls to school. More female teachers should be employed in schools, in places where female teachers are working, girls tend to perform better than boys, the reason for this, female teachers acts as a role models, and also they encourage girls to attend school more frequently. “Stereotypes are barriers in families should be addressed in the grassroots communities, through advocacy, families should be told the importance of girl-child education” (Rothstein 23).

Curriculum development particular in Los Angles schools should be revised; all the textbooks and learning materials for grade 1 to12 should be revised to eliminate the entire stereotype on the roles of girls and women in America, which is found in already published textbooks and teachers guidebooks that are being used in classrooms. The local community in Los Angles should be engaged on the importance of girl-child education. Non-governmental that deals with improvement of education in Los Angles, should start working with local grassroots governances structures that are already in place in Los Angles. “Women assembly, members of parliament are able to mobilize the grassroots communities, particularly in issues that focus on the participation of girl-child education” (Wrigley 45).

Works Cited

Cox, Peter. Equalities and inequalities in education: proceedings of the eleventh annual symposium of the Eugenics Society, London 1974.London: Academic Press, 1975.Print.

Holsinger, Donald. Inequality in Education: Comparative and International Perspectives. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 2004.Print.

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McCall, Leslie. Complex inequality: gender, class, and race in the new economy. New York: Routledge, 2001.Print.

Neckerman, Kathryn. Social inequality. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 2004.Print.

Romer, Mary. The Blackwell companion to social inequalities. New York: Wiley- Blackwell, 2005.Print.

Rothstein, Stanley. Class, culture, and race in American schools: a handbook.New York: Greenwood Publishing Group, 1995.Print.

Wrigley, Julia. Education and gender equality. New York: Routledge Publisher, 1992.Print.

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