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Is American Education Still Racially Separate?


In this country, we talk about race, and we talk about education, but these are often separate conversations. Yet race and education intersect in powerful ways. Since the United States Supreme Court established the separate-but-equal rule, racial inequality has been a most common issue in United States. During the time of segregation, public school was separate for black and white students. Until the Court declared state laws, Brown v Board of Education of Topeka, declared that separate public schools for black and white students is unconstitutional. However, the inequality still exists in the U.S. education system, and we have to treat this issue seriously.


 “Implicit bias” is the main factor of the cause of racial disproportionality in school discipline (Emeric). Even the law says it is unlawful to treat someone unfavorably because of he/she is of a certain race or because of personal characteristics associated with race (such as hair texture, skin color, or certain facial features), but discrimination still lurks in the U.S. education system. For example, Lewin states that “over all, black students were three and a half times as likely to be suspended or expelled than their white peer.”(Lewin). Research shows that African American students, especially African American boys, are disciplined more often and receive more out-of-school suspensions and expulsion than white students. Research also suggests that “young Black students around five years old are routinely suspended and expelled from school for minor infraction like talking back to teacher or scribbling on the desk”(Lewin). They do not deserve that, according to Emeritus, “In this context, implicit bias is defined as the mental process that causes us to have negative feelings and attitudes about people based on characteristic like race, ethnicity, age and appearance.” Maybe some negative social phenomenon and some people misunderstand black children so this creates a negative stereotype of Black students as unruly, disruptive and disrespectful. And most people have implicit bias to African American as irresponsible and dishonest, so African American student face harsher discipline in schools than other students.


Socioeconomic and education affect each other. Many people rely on the foundation of education for their lives and career, but income inequality causes an imbalance in education. Wealth inequality has widened along racial or ethnic group today. The bar chart in Restituto’s project show the huge income and employment gap between white families and black families, “white family’s annually income is $20,000 dollar higher than black families in 2002. Also a study from the national Center for education Statistics showed that 34% of African American children are living in poverty, compared to 10% of white American and 27% of Hispanics”(Restituto). These show the huge income gap between black students and other students in the United States, as most black and minority or ethic group students are living in poverty compare to white student. In Mitchell’s article, she states how some studies show the disproportionate college attendance, that low income individuals have a low probability of going to college. In addition, growing income inequality threatens American education. Although the tuition fee of private school is too expensive than most parents. Because high income parents can support their children to participate in enrichment activities, and private school facilities are usually better than public school. Lewin highlighted racial inequities in access to education, a quarter of public high school with high percentages of black and Latino students do not offer Algebra II or Calculus classes. What this shows is low income students have to work harder than other students in order to get into college, this is not fair. An ideal education system should set up a fair starting point for all students, no matter what race, ethnicity and culture they are. 


We have to treat education inequality seriously. The United States is a land of opportunity, people struggle for their American dream here. However, the precondition of the American dream must be on equal education for all. Education is the foundation that helps people to succeed. According to Martin Luther King Jr, “education must enable a [man or woman] to become more efficient, to achieve with increasing facility the legitimate goals of [his or her] life… the function of education, therefore, is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically.” This tell us that education play a very important and crucial role in this society. Everybody in this country deserves equal educational opportunities. The competition in the twenty first century is fierce, if our children can not graduate from high school with the skills they need to be successful in college or compete in the technologically driven society, these students will be unprecedented to lead the future of the United States. Therefore, we have to address the inequality in this education system.


Education is the most important factor for a strong America to grow stronger, but racial inequality still influencing our education negatively. Policy maker can not wait to eliminate this issue, they have to treat this seriously and contribute to solving this. Equal educational opportunity must be a goal for today in the United States. Achieving this goal will not be easy and it may take a long time to achieve, but for the future of the United States, all people in America should contribute to it.


Work Cited


Emeritus, Tom Rudd. "Racial Disproportionality in School Discipline Implicit Bias Is Heavily Implicated." 1 Feb. 2014. Print.


Lewin, Tamar, “Black Students Face More Discipline, Data Suggests.” The New York Time 6

Mar.2012 Print.


Mitchell, Anthea. "Is America Still Racially Divided? Here’s What the Statistics Say Read More: Http://" CheatSheet (2015). Print.


Thomas, Mark Ridley. “Why We Can’t Wait to Close the School Achievement Gap.” (2014). Print.


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