Present Day Segregation & Education Inequality

562enlarged.jpghttp://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/562/the-problem-we-all-live-with

Listen to this podcast. It’s 58 minutes long and completely worth it. It begins by explaining the current education inequality in America. It goes into detail about how Black and Hispanic American students are receiving a less than quality education. This happens because of present-day segregation. Yes, exactly like it was before Brown vs. Board of Education. I see it in Knoxville. If you live in East Knoxville, you’re attending a majority Black school. If you’re living in West Knoxville, you’re attending a majority White school.

The podcast presents an example: the same school system in Missouri that Michael Brown attended.

The school system is primarily Black. The story begins by explaining that it has had such a low quality education that it has been on probation for fifteen years. Threatening to lose its accreditation because it’s not up to educational standards. This means that a student could have gone K-12 without ever receiving a proper education. An example of an everyday high school classroom experience consisted of AP English taught by an unqualified teacher doing middle school level  worksheets, four periods of music, and a permanent substitute who had not taught an actual lesson in months.  It was so bad that a middle school student and her mother called every school district surrounding them to try to get her into another school. Everyone said “Sure! … but you owe us tuition money.” Finally, something amazing happened and the school system lost its accreditation. This meant that every student had the opportunity to attend another school for free. However, the school system decided that the school they would be attending was a primarily White school 30 miles away. The 5am bus stop was supposed to be so unappealing that no student would want to leave their current school. This happened because the more students to go to the new school system, the more the old one had to pay. However, the middle school girl was determined to go to this new school system to get a real education.

She and her mom decided to go to a meeting the new school system was holding regarding all of these students being shipped to their school. The meeting sounded a lot like this… “We don’t want them here!” “They are going to bring violence and drugs into our school!” “We demand a vote!” “Our test scores will be negatively affected by this!” “Where are our metal detectors and drug dogs going to be at?” “I’m worried about my child’s safety!” “If they’re coming here, we’re going somewhere else.” “Maybe we can move the start time up, so it’ll be even more unappealing for them to come here!”

After getting over my initial anger at the brutal stereotyping these parents and school board members were displaying with their words…

What these parents didn’t know is that the integration that was about to occur would be life changing. This accidental integration would be proof that this is what we need all over the country.

The Black students flourished in this new environment. Well, until the old school system changed their name meaning they went from being “unaccredited” to “non-accredited”. Which meant every. single. student. had to return to their old crappy school system OR pay tuition at their new one.

I’m infuriated.

Every single person deserves a quality education. It’s a fundamental human right. But there are students all over the country not receiving that. They are graduating high school behind. This is a perfect example of that playing out TODAY.

It’s also a fact that these students who aren’t receiving a quality education are primarily Black. We have become just as segregated as we were before the segregation era. The reality is if a student is in a classroom where everyone is performing poorly, so will that student. If a student is in a classroom where everyone is performing well, that student will succeed. We need integration all over again for that to happen.

Again, I urge you to listen to this podcast to be enlightened on the education inequality happening HERE. Something needs to be done about it. Soon.

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