Over the last years an increased attention has been paid to the race problem in the USA. In spite of the fact that the racial equality is enshrined in the law, the problem still exists. Apart from differences in standards of living, there is an inequality in obtaining education for the representatives of different races. The hypothesis of the given investigation is based on the assumption that representatives of different racial minorities have the reduced access to education.
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The main function of education is acquainting children to the prevailing values of society. Simultaneously education performs a function of the social control in the state. In the USA, education is compulsory. Alongside with religion, family, and legislative system education is one of the institutions that promotes the maintaining stability in society. In the USA, as well as in other countries, the level of education has an impact on every sphere of human activity. Some students of secondary schools continue their education in colleges, institutes, and universities obtaining in such a way education in the fields of right, medicine, commerce and other spheres that imply intellectual labor. In such a way, schools and colleges perform the function of some sort of a filter defining the future occupation of a person. There is no need to say that the difference in the level of education means the difference in social standards. In the USA, the educational level depends upon the race.
The most educated groups of the American population are white representatives, followed by Asians, and Black people. The representatives of Latin America close this chain. The methodological foundation of our research project aiming the validation of this statement that is based on the analysis and on the investigation of various sources related to the given topic.
Darling-Hammond, L. (1998). Unequal.Opportunity: Race and Education. Web.
The author of the article emphasizes the difference in the educational achievements between white representatives and minorities students. Rejecting the widely spread opinion that there are equal opportunities in the U.S. system of education, Darling-Hammond argues that the difference in the level of education is stipulated by the fact that since the 1960 most Latinos and African-Americans have received their education in completely segregated schools. The educational possibilities of these schools were rather poor in comparison with that of whites. In such a way, even by the end of the segregation there was a significant difference in students school performance. Even in present days, the two-thirds of the minority students attend those schools. The authors states that despite the efforts of the government, the lack of qualified teachers and deficiencies in curriculum make this disproportion rather significant. There is also a significant difference between the schools for color students in urban and suburban districts.
The author distinguishes between four major factors that have an impact on the educational attainment of students. They are the size of schools, the number of students in classes, the curriculum, and the level of teachers proficiency. The author states that the best education achievement are shown by the students who study in small schools and in small classes. The problem is that minority students are less likely to be educated under such conditions. Darling-Hammond also emphasizes the dependence between the financial and educational levels of students. According to the authors opinion, the possible way out is an implementation of the national program aiming the reducing of teacher shortage and the elaboration of one equal standardized curriculum with equal educational opportunities.
Luo, T. (2009). Education and Wage Differential by Race: Convergence of Divergence? Web.
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The author of the given research has made an investigation of the dependence between the incomes of the representatives of various racial groups and the level of their education. Based on the data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Luo states that there is a difference in money investment in education between different race groups. Thus, comparatively with Whites, the representatives of the Asian minority spend more funds for education while Blacks invest less. The author points out the existing difference in wages between various racial groups. Luo states that the Asians are more successful in the labor market while the representatives of Latin America and Blacks are largely involved in badly paid situations.
The author explains this tendency by the higher level of investment of Japanese and Chinese in education. At the same time, the representatives of Latin America have reduced capabilities due to the low levels of schooling. The authors points out the tendency for lightening this situation comparatively with recent years. Now there exists the relational socioeconomic equality between Asians and Whites, while the gap between the representatives of these two groups compared with Hispanic and Blacks is still significant. The majority of Blacks occupational disadvantages are explained by their low level of education. At the same time, the author comes to conclusion that Black college graduates have higher incomes comparatively with Whites due to more working hours.
In the given research enlarges on various psychological aspects of racial disparities in education. Such minorities as African American, Latina and American Indian are less educated in comparison with Whites and Asians Americans. In the given report it is pointed out that there is a similarity in the educational inequalities that are adherent for minority groups. At the same time, some significant divergences are typical for each minority. For instance, the representatives of Latin America are characterized by the large amount of immigrants who have problems with English. The difficulties in education for these concrete group are emphasized by the language gap and by the absence of relevant bilingual programs. The African Americans have problems with discipline that cause various behavioral sanctions.
The authors also points out the problem of the existing stereotypes in education existing in American society. Thus, teachers do not expect good progress from children of color, especially from boys. The similar prejudices exist in relation to girls implying that they have troubles in studying exact sciences. At the same time, the report identifies that many representatives of racial minorities are eager to obtain a qualified education but they do not have relevant opportunities in comparison with Whites.
The report also enlarges on the interdependence between the social status and the access to qualified educational programs. Thus, in several states only families with high incomes can provide their children with good education.
The report points out that the educational level of Asian Americans is similar or in certain cases, it is even higher in comparison with that of Whites. At the same time, the difference between the academic performance of Whites and Latinos is significant. This phenomenon is explained by the fact that immigrants from Asia enter the USA on preferable terms. As a rule, they are educated specialists who are in-demand in their sphere of activity. At the end of the report there are several practical recommendations aiming to expand access to educational programs and reduce ethic and race gap.
The dependence between race and education level
Higher education has always been associated with a high social status, high wages and prestige. At the same time, in American society there is a public concern connected with the educational gap between the representatives of various minority groups. The reasons, which have caused the disparities in educational system, are partially connected with individual characteristics of the representatives of these minorities and partially wiyh the fact of discrimination.
According the data from the National Center for Education Statistics, the investments of the USA into education are higher than that of other OECD countries. At the same time, the vast sums of money spent for education have not resolved the existing problems in this sphere. Now there number of students from racial minorities is constantly increasing and there is a tendency for their future growth. The problem is emphasized by the fact of the significant educational gap between Whites and the representatives of other ethnic communities.
Apart from many racial disparities in health care and legal system, many inequalities have been found in the sphere of education, which can be explained by the social, racial and even psychological factors. The existing prejudices in society in the field of education in a great degree influence the lower educational level of the representatives of Latina and Black communities. “Research indicates that teachers and even some parents promote gender stereotypes with lower academic expectations for boys, especially boys of color” (Ethnic and Racial Disparities in Education: Psychology’s Contributions to Understanding and Reducing Disparities, 2012, para.5). These low expectations form parents and teachers lead to the lack of motivation, cause the negative attitude towards the school and the teaching process.
The difference in the educational levels can be observed since early childhood. Thus only small number of children of color aged from three to five of demonstrate good skills in counting, or reading activities. Moreover, comparatively with whites, they have reduced vocabulary. The educational problems continue in schools. As a rule, the staff of the schools serving minority population consists from the less experienced teachers many of whom are even not certified.
Apart from school, the impact of the family to the process of education can hardly be overestimated. Various researches suggest that there is a mutual dependence between the educational level of parents and that of their children.
The problem is that the end of legal segregation has not resolved the educational problem. Every major national test shows a big difference between educational levels of American population. It is quite natural that White and Asian students show significantly better results in comparison with the representatives of Black and Hispanic minorities.
In spite of the various programs, aiming reducing of the educational gap, the fact is that segregation in education still exists. Those school attended by students of color have significantly fewer possibilities in compared with the schools serving whites. This is the case for various aspects, beginning from the poor lecturing staff and up to the lack of the necessary equipment. This problem is especially vital for the Southern states the financial possibilities of which are not very high. The tendency in the difference of educational level may be observed all over the country. However, the strongest disparities are typical for industrial urban regions and they are usually associated with the economically disadvantaged students.
The dependence of the quality of education on the financial well-being has been researched in the works of many investigators. It is supposed that the representatives of minorities with low incomes have the reduced access to educational resources and various programs. The same correlation, which describes the educational diversities, may be found in standards of wages between racial minorities. “Asians have higher and Blacks have lower family income than Whites” (Luo, 2009, p.53). The difference between the general wage rates of the representatives of various races is illustrated below.
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The phenomenon that Asians have higher wages many researchers explaine by socio-cultural factors, rather than by discrimination. In the USA Asians are represented mainly by the descendants from China and Japan. These nations are known by their diligence and ambitiousness. For Asians education has been always associated with high public profile and financial soundness. Luo (2009) states that “Asian singles have especially spent much more on higher education than any other groups” (p.54).
Moreover, it should be noted that Asians have some privileges in comparison with the representatives of Black or Hispanic communities. As a rule, they are highly skilled professionals involved in top-paying jobs. In such a way, they have better level of the access to educational resources that predetermines the Hispanics relatively high socioeconomic status. On the other hand, the educational difficulties of many representatives of Hispanic community are emphasized by the language gap. English is not the native language for many of them, while the access to bilingual educational programs are reduced because of the low incomes. Conclusion made by several studies suggests that “children who receive instruction in their native language have higher rates of academic achievement” (Ethnic and Racial Disparities in Education: Psychology’s Contributions to Understanding and Reducing Disparities, 2012, p.8). Moreover, researches in this sphere have shown several factors that make an influence on the process of education. It has been found out that “students perform better if they are educated in smaller schools where they are well known” (Darling-Hammond, 1996, par.8). Apart from this, the size of the class is of importance. The most significant factors of successful learning are challenging curriculum and qualified teachers.
Unfortunately, the majority of schools serving minorities are large, reaching approximately 3000 students and even more; classes are big, as well as the quality of teaching materials and curriculum wish to be desired. Nevertheless, in spite of the existing racial disparities in education, in recent times various organizations such as National Commission on Teaching, implement various programs aiming to ensure a qualified teacher for every child.