Racism in American Schools | Free Essay Example

Racism in American Schools

Words: 933
Topic: Politics & Government


This paper attempts to review racism in American schools as a social problem.the The focus is on the PSQ that has been adopted to deal with this social problem. The PSQ under consideration is ‘No Child Left Behind’ (NCLB). Like any other program, NCLB has had a fair share of problems.

Five such problems were discussed in the previous assignment and will be highlighted below. In this paper, I have discussed the ways to fix the problems including alternatives that would improve or substitute the PSQ.

The minority students still lag behind

As noted in assignment 5, the NCLB program was established on the basis of creating equality in schools. This was meant to bridge the gap between the advantaged and disadvantaged students. The policy makers failed to realize that the program was to maintain the status quo as nothing special was done to uplift the marginalized groups. In fact, it favored all the students hence those who were ahead maintained their positions.

To deal with this problem, I have identified two solutions. The first one is to improve the NCLB from within. This will involve committing a part of the program to the disadvantaged students only so as to try and bring them to the same level with the other students. The program will create extra time for tuition. During such lessons, individual problems will be dealt with. This is meant to ensure that the less privileged students are uplifted academically.

The second solution would be the creation of a parallel program which works independently from the NCLB. The program will be financed by the federal government and run just like NCLB. This program should use the shortcomings from the NCLB as the platform for its operations. It will therefore handle the students who lag behind and concentrate on ways of bringing them to be at par with the students’ population.

When the solutions are compared to the existing PSQ, it is evident that the most cost effective method is that of improving the existing NCLB from within. Only a little more funding will be required. Hence, the students will be helped within the framework of NCLB. The second solution is expensive to formulate and implement.

NCLB tests

The main issue with these tests is manipulation by individual states as the guiding interest is compliance for funding (Krieg, 2011). Teaching is focused on passing the tests at the expense of other crucial programs.

To alleviate this problem, the federal government should be the sole developer of these tests. Centralization of the tests will ensure fairness and make the results valid. This would make the states to prepare the students adequately and not to necessarily pass the tests. The government could also scrap the tests all together and introduce a new method of reaching out to the minority students.

This will be through identification of the students and monitoring of their progress. The most effective solution is where the government takes over the role of developing the tests since it would be cost effective. Creating a program for reaching the minority students would mean seeking for extra funding from the already burdened exchequer.

Federal underfunding

The funds given to the districts are not sufficient. This means that the program cannot be implemented in full. NCLB comes with a lot of teaching resources. When the budgetary allocation cannot accommodate these resources, full implementation of the program becomes impossible. The first solution is for the government to increase the funds allocation.

This second method for alleviating the problem will be through federal government’s cooperation with other nongovernmental agents. By so doing, pulling together of resources will be achieved. The best way forward is for the government to increase funds to bridge the deficits in NCLB. This will be time effective as inviting the agents and creating a working formula is bound to take long.

Poor Mathematics performance

The performance for the minorities was poor from the beginning prompting intervention through NCLB. However, the program only worsened the situation as many of these students are no longer taking the subject at higher levels (Caref, 2007). One of the solutions would be to improve the performance of Mathematics among the minority students within NCLB. The current PSQ could be made sensitive to Mathematics as a subject.

The other solution will involve the creation of a new countrywide program for Mathematics. The new program will operate independent of NCLB and work with minority students to positively change their attitude towards Mathematics.

Weighing these options gives advantage to improving Mathematics performance within NCLB. Creation of a new program is not cost effective and will only serve to widen the existing gap (Blank & Council of Chief State School, 2011).

Test-oriented teaching

All teaching under the NCLB is geared towards passing tests (Randolph & Wilson-Younger, 2012). Giving education for career and life has been neglected. The driving force behind the teaching is securing funds from the federal government. The main solution will be a reduction of the emphasis on the tests by the government. States have put a lot of weight behind the tests.

The government should also improve the curriculum by creating other forms of alternative assessments. It will open other avenues for testing the students so as to identify strong and weak areas. This would greatly decrease the importance attached to these tests.

The best way forward here is the creation of alternative assessments. It is cost effective as no additional funding will be required. The alternative forms of assessments will be entrenched in the existing curriculum and implemented as an adjustment.


Blank, R. K., & Council of Chief State School, O. (2011). Closing the Achievement Gap for Economically Disadvantaged Students? Analyzing Change Since No Child Left Behind Using State Assessments and the National Assessment of Educational Progress. Council of Chief State School Officers. Retrieved from http://ehis.ebscohost.com/eds/detail?vid=4&sid=377dded7-14b0-4c6d-b548-f24092546b85%40sessionmgr111&hid=115&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWRzLWxpdmU%3d#db=eric&AN=ED518986

Caref, C. (2007). Math and NCLB: No Child Left Behind’s High-Stakes Testing has Particularly Adverse Effects on the Math Teaching and Learning of Low-income Students of Color. Illinois Institute of Technology. Retrieved from http://www.substancenews.net/articles.php?page=454

Krieg, J. M. (2011). Which Students Are Left behind? The Racial Impacts of the No Child Left Behind Act. Economics of Education Review, 30(4), 654-664. Retrieved from http://ehis.ebscohost.com/eds/detail?vid=3&sid=377dded7-14b0-4c6d-b548-f24092546b85%40sessionmgr111&hid=115&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWRzLWxpdmU%3d#db=eric&AN=EJ926669

Randolph, K., & Wilson-Younger, D. (2012). “Is No Child Left Behind Effective for all Students?” Parents Don’t Think So. Online Submission. Retrieved from http://ehis.ebscohost.com/eds/detail?vid=3&sid=377dded7-14b0-4c6d-b548-f24092546b85%40sessionmgr111&hid=4&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWRzLWxpdmU%3d#db=eric&AN=ED536444