Education Reform From the Teacher's Perspective

Thursday, November 15, 2007

There may have been no bigger case in recent history that affected education more than the landmark decision in Brown versus Board of Education. Chief Justice Earl Warren stated in his majority opinion “Segregation of white and colored children in public schools has a detrimental effect upon the colored children (Brown vs. Board of Education, 1954).” This opinion has had dramatic impact over the past fifty years.

Recently, Brown has been cited by Chief Justice John Roberts in stating that, as he interprets Brown, the best way to stop racial discrimination is to stop discriminating by race. This viewpoint is impacting local school districts because, according to Roberts, school districts cannot even consider race as a factor for any reason (Sacks, 2007).

The push now, according to Sacks (2007), is to focus on schools that are segregated by social class. Sacks states that while race is still a major factor in how students will be treated, their social class is a “class background is a far better predictor of how much education that child will achieve, and whether he or she will attend good schools surrounded by high-achieving peers. (para. 7).

Clearly, while Brown changed the landscape of education, our country still has a long way to go in making sure every student has the same access and opportunities.

References

Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483, 1954
Sacks, P. (2007, September 12). It’s Time to Confront the Class Divide In American Schools. Education Week, pp. 25,25. Retrieved November 13, 2007, from Academic Search Complete database.
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Dr. James Norwood is a middle school teacher (English/Language Arts and Drama). He is very passionate about true education reform that reaches all students and all parents. Dr. Norwood possess a PhD in the area of curriculum and instruction and spends much of his time working with his school and district developing a more holistic approach to the curriculum. Contact me james@drjrn.us

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