The No Child Left Behind Act of 2002 was intended to hold schools responsible for their students’ education using something called the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) to measure test scores and overall performance. This AYP would then be used to help students in poorer areas transfer to a better school. When Obama took office, the administration added waivers to the act, requiring schools to have plans of attack in case they came in under AYP.
Many educators have criticized the Act, stating that there’s too much reliance on standardized testing – which we all know sucks. Teachers have also complained about lack of funding since the Act passed in Congress.
Unfortunately, the Act has given parents the choice of where to send their children. While this sounds good on paper, it hasn’t worked out in practice. What the Department of Education has discovered is that more schools are becoming segregated. African Americans are putting their children in schools with other African American students. Hispanic parents are sending their children to schools with other Hispanic students.
Obviously, this is bad for the sole reason of moving backward in our progress to end racism in America. A huge step backward. Re-segregating schools will lead to children only learning about their particular culture and no others. This system will not produce worldly, tolerant children.
For parents Melvin Canas and Delfina Ramirez, the elementary school “lottery” has them fuming. They desperately wanted their daughter to go to a good, diverse school. Instead, they were given their second-to-last choice – an institution with only a 3% white students.
The problem this uncovers is that, with more segregation in schools, the teachers are less effective and the turnover rate is ridiculous. And so it seems the problem doesn’t only lie with the parents, but also the system.
And they’re blaming each other. Parents are blaming the system for segregating their children. The system is blaming the parents for choosing non-inclusive schools. And the schools are blaming the kids by saying the children decide on their own to segregate on the playground.
I know I don’t have to tell you that’s ridiculous. Most kids don’t give a shit what color you are. They care about what Pokémon cards you have or what’s in your lunch. And if they do segregate, we should be looking at their parents.
What are your thoughts?
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Goldstein, D. (April 25, 2019). San Francisco Had an Ambitious Plan to Tackle School Segregation. It Made It Worse. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/25/us/san-francisco-school-segregation.html
Kaul, G., Knight, H., Tucker, J. (n.d.). Lessons on desegregation. Retrieved from https://www.sfchronicle.com/schools-desegregation-districts/
Klein, A. (April 10, 2015). No Child Left Behind: An Overview. Retrieved from https://www.edweek.org/ew/section/multimedia/no-child-left-behind-overview-definition-summary.html