Is Education Really The “Great Equalizer”?
When the slave ships first brought the first Africans to this country, these African slaves were denied access to books and refused the opportunity for an education in fear that they would eventually cause a revolt against their slave owners. A century later during the Civil Rights Movement in the Untied States, African Americans risked their lives to fight for equality within this country. A breakthrough came with the 1954 Supreme Court case, Brown vs. The Board of Education, which granted all minorities the opportunities to go to the same schools and receive the same education as White people. In the present-day United States, where schools are not segregated and primary school is mandatory for all children, education is understood to be the “great equalizer” between races…but is it? Is education the catalyst for equality, regardless of race or class? In many cases, education alone cannot erase decades of stereotypes and notions made about other races. In excerpts from their articles, authors Peggy McIntosh and Beverly Tatum, offer the perspectives from different races showcasing the flaws in the American education system. Education is proven to make the divisions present in today’s society painfully clear. The standards and expectations of academic achievement are very different depending on class and race. In lower class school districts, the expectations are significantly low. The majorities of parents encourage, but don’t push their kids to strive for a complete education. Instead of given the push by the teachers to challenge themselves, many students are just “pushed through” the system and given passing grades to graduate. However, for those who fall into the category of middle class and above, achievement academically is an automatic expectation. Generations of Whites have been able to complete every level of schooling; from elementary to obtaining a Master’s degree or Doctorate, therefore it is expected for...
Cited: McIntosh, Peggy. "White Privilege: The Invisible Knapsack." From Inquiry to Academic Writing: a Text and Reader. By Stuart Greene and April Lidinsky. 2nd ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin 's, 2008. 350-57. Print.
Tatum, Beverly. "Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together In The Cafeteria?" From Inquiry to Academic Writing: a Text and Reader. By Stuart Greene and April Lidinsky. 2nd ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin 's, 2008. 358-71. Print.
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