Segregation in American Education
In school, segregation started in a de jure form after the passage of the Jim Crow laws. Jim Crow laws are laws that enforced segregation by for instance requiring separate schools, railroad cars, and restaurants for the whites and the black. These laws survived the objection from the black leaders and some white people. This segregation of education for the whites and the black was perhaps the most severe and complete expression of institutionalized biases and prejudice. This segregation school had negative implications for the outcomes or achievement of the minority races who were the object of segregation. In the 1930s, three decades after the popular Plessy decision, there was more attendance of the black people in the Jim Crow states (Losen et al.
They stayed very long in school but achieved high scores. However, they were lagging far behind the white children in the ambit of the resources that they had in their schools. Their classrooms, for instance, were bigger and the children-teacher ratio was small as they were adequately funded. According to the Federal Census Bureau, the literacy rates of the black in the 1930s was about 40%. The school boards of the white people expended more than three times the fund that was funding the black schools. The disparities in funding were even greater in the deep southern states where the blacks outnumbered the whites. Only $7 was spent on a black school-child as opposed to $37 that was spent on every school white children in the state of Alabama (Logan et al.
In Mississippi, the allocation was $31 and $6 for the white and black respectively. Additionally, the black teachers received a salary that was far below the salary that was being received by the white teachers. This is because the white and the black teachers were not allowed to compete in any way (Orfield et al. This meant that therefore, the black teachers could not be well trained as they could pose a threat to their white counterparts. The outputs of their teaching, therefore, was low and poor in quality. The curriculum of the blacks was not similar to that of the whites as it reflected the opportunities of work that they could engage themselves in. This made the status of education of the blacks to remain comparatively low even in the 1950s (Alridge 480).
In so doing, the opportunities that were left for the blacks were minimal and not of much value but rather exploitative as they tended to the whites farms with little pay which could even be delayed for long. Many of the schools that were set aside for the African Americans had poor conditions. Many of them had leaking roofs, windows with no glasses, and sagging floors (Alridge 480). This was because, the amount of funding that this schools got could not suffice to buy books, build classrooms, and pay teachers. The environment surrounding the African American was not supportive in any way of their development. According to a report on the plight of blacks in relation to education, it was found that the black children were forced to walk for so many miles so that they could get to school.
For the white classrooms, the buildings were made of red bricks where each classroom was decorated with artworks, alphabets, fall leaves, and writing samples. The white children used inkwells, prang paint boxes, pencils, and colored chalks as writing materials (Owens et al. Many of these materials were not available for the poverty-stricken children of the dark skin (Billingham 98). The white children in their schools also had playgrounds where children played games like footballs and had swings where they could pass their free time doing exercises. It spent three times more on those schools that were white-only that were black alone. It is also recorded that the state spent more (100 more times) on transporting the white scholars than it did to the black Americans.
Therefore, in addition to attending the best schools, the white children were taken there by bus which was not the case with black children (Saporito et al. These costs of transporting the whites to school by bus were met by the state. In California, the value of the property of school was more by six times the property of the schools by the blacks. The decision read, “In the field of public education, the doctrine of separate but equal has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal (Hardin 69). Segregation generates a feeling of inferiority (among students) as to their status within the community that may affect their hearts and minds in a way unlikely ever to be done. ” This is the decision that reverted abolished the otherwise legal segregation that stood in the way of the black children who were hungry for education but could only go to schools with fewer facilities.
The decision of Warren however taken with mixed reactions as some of the African Americans felt opposed to it as they believed that it was better if their children remain in the black schools than go to those schools that were initially for the whites and be segregated there. Since then, the topic has been a debatable one where policymakers, educators, and parents discuss and devises ways in which this tradition of separating the white and black children can be abolished once and for all. Work cited: Alridge, Derrick P. "On the Education of Black Folk: WEB Du Bois and the Paradox of Segregation. " Journal of African American History 100. Billingham, Chase M. , and J. U. L. I. A. Saporito, Salvatore, and Deenesh Sohoni.
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