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The Politics of Schooling in America

The Politics of Schooling in America - Politics of...

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1 Politics of Schooling The Politics of Schooling in America The Politics of Schooling in America: African American Education 1896-2002 Katie Snediker Daemen College Blacks and Education November 18, 2007
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2 Politics of Schooling Abstract An overview of the history of African American Education, from post-Civil War segregation and its reinforcement with the Plessey vs. Ferguson decision, to its overruling with the Brown vs. Board of Education decision and the integration of blacks into schools, and a discussion of current Education policy with reference to race, specifically Affirmative Action policy.
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3 Politics of Schooling The education of African Americans in the United States, from its very conception as a political issue following the Civil War, has been riddled with difficulties. Ingrained racial prejudices and a slow process of integration and acceptance have severely undercut efforts throughout our nation’s history to promote an equal educational practice, which has in turn created an economic barrier that exists in the way of many blacks’ opportunities for further education. However, an effort to redress these effects, Affirmative Action, has promoted an alternative kind of racism that creates resentment towards the beneficiaries, and discriminates against those disadvantaged people whose financial or educational disposition does not correspond to an oppressed race, gender, or ethnicity. After the American Civil War, the Reconstruction of the South facilitated great change in the power structure of the South. Outraged Radical Republicans worked to promote the civil and voting rights of the newly freed slaves. The Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments were adopted to abolish slavery, guarantee citizenship, grant civil rights, and establish the right to vote for blacks. Under martial law, the Southern state and local governments were upended, allowing for African Americans to enroll as voters and participate in elections. African Americans were elected to numerous political positions, and, for the first time in American history, black men served in Congress. The Republicans also established a system of education in the South, which they believed would be the ultimate solution to the poverty and economic disparity of the races in the South. The new public schools were segregated; a motion supported by both blacks and whites, for it provided for jobs for African American teachers and maintained a safe learning environment free of racial tension. However, these schools (both black and white) were very ineffective, as the extreme poverty of the South, coupled with the large distances between families, allowed for only small schoolhouses with poorly paid teachers.
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4 Politics of Schooling Yet even these strides were erased with the end of Reconstruction and the return of power to traditionalist Southerners. With the splintering of the Republican Party, which had
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