CHAPTER 12EQUAL ED OPS VIDEOOVERSEER OF GROWTHIEP GOALS METCLASS COMMUNITYGO OVERUS Schools were the world’s first to aim at providing all students with educational opportunity through high school and postsecondary levels. Nonetheless, as Chapter 11, Social Class, Race, and School Achievement, indicated, effective education all too rarely extends to economically disadvantaged and minority students. Stimulated by the civil rights movement, many people have recognized the need to improve educational opportunity, not just for disadvantaged students but also forstudents with disabilities.In this chapter, we examine desegregation, compensatory education for economically disadvantaged students, multicultural education (including bilingual education), and education for students with disabilities. These topics reflect four significant movements that have attempted to enlarge and equalize educational opportunities for our students. You may agree that our schools should provide equal opportunity but consider this a matter for the government, the school board, and civil rights groups. Equal opportunity may affect you in the classroom in several ways:Wherever you teach, you will find yourself professionally and morally obligated to furnish specific help for low-achieving students.The increasing racial and ethnic diversity in student populations means that you will probably need to accommodate students from a variety of ethnic groups, cultural backgrounds, and languages.More students than ever before are being classified as having disabilities, and increasingly these students are included in regular classrooms. As a teacher, you will be at least partly responsible for addressing their special needs.12-1Desegregation
Desegregationof schools is the practice of enrolling students ofdifferent racial groups in the same schools. Integrationgenerally means that not only are students of different racial groups attending school together but also that effective steps are taken to accomplish two of the underlying purposes of desegregation:(1)overcoming the achievement deficit and other disadvantages of minority students, and(2)developing positive interracial relationships.During the past five decades, attention has turned increasingly from mere desegregation to integration, with the goal of providing equal and effective educational opportunity for students of all backgrounds. However, we have much to do to fully achieve either of these goals.12-1aA Brief History of Segregationin American EducationDiscrimination and oppression by race were deeply embedded in our national institutions from their very beginnings. The US Constitution, for example, provided for representation of the free population but allowed only three-fifths representation for “all other persons,” generally meaning slaves. (“Representation” refers to distribution of seats in the US House of Representatives.) In most of the South before the Civil War, it was a crime to teach a slave to read and write.