” Every failure is a blessing in disguise, providing it teaches some needed lesson one could not have learned without it. Most so-called Failures are only temporary defeats.”
America has emerged into a big melting pot. Why is it so difficult to deal with integrating America’s schools? Let’s review magnet school programs as an example. Some critics suggest that magnet schools increase racial tension thereby decreasing student performance. I would say that it isn’t the magnet schools that increase racial tension. I would consider the environment and other external variables. Given the transformation of the nation’s public schools, American students are enjoying a wealth of diversity. However, magnet schools operate under a strategic fallacy. Let’s look closer.
Magnet schools were created to attract suburban kids to poor, urban schools. Magnet schools were a market-driven approach to desegregation as opposed to federal courts and government agencies demanded race-conscious policies (Armor & Rossell, 2001). These mandatory desegregation plans created several issues. For example, many white parents started a massive withdrawal of their children from public schools into private, segregated academies. This resulted in the demise of public schools by withdrawal of crucial financial support. This left the public schools under funded and inferior (Levin, 1999).
By 1986, there were only 3 percent of the nation’s white school-aged children enrolled in the twenty-five largest urban districts; however, large urban districts are predominately white and middle class (Levin, 1999). Furthermore, whites students of all racial groups, are the most isolated, where more than three quarters (78 percent) of their peers are white. Therefore, many minorities are not exposed to white students than would be expected of the nation’s public schools (Orfield and Lee, 2006).
Today, blacks and Hispanics comprise 56.1 percent of students in the urban areas (Levin, 1999). Many fear the inner city environment. Therefore, the wealthiest and brightest retreat to the suburbs and other places. Parents, teachers, educators, legislators, and other supports ponder if these problems can be fixed.
Armor, D. and Rossell, C. (2001). The Desegregation and Resegregation in the Public Schools. Hoover Press, pp. 219-258.
Levin, B. (1999). Race and School Choice. School Choice and Social Controversy. Pp. 266-299.
Orfield, G. and Lee, C. (2006). Racial Transformation and Changing Nature of Segregation. Civil Rights Project. Harvard University. pp. 1-41.
Source by Dr. Daryl D. Green