The American Life , March 2016 (unedited) by Amaris Jacobs.
Many individuals living in or out of the boundaries of the U.S. regard America as an oasis, filled with opportunities for all, especially citizens. Unfortunately, contrary to popular belief, the reality is there are opportunities, but the equality of such fails to exist for all Americans. In 1954, due to “Brown vs. Board of Education”, the Supreme Court ruled racially segregated schools as a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment (PBS, 2008). Currently, no laws in America enforce racial segregation in public schools. Yet, Black and Latino students endure inequality in today’s educational system. Achievement gaps between Whites, and other people of color, further remind that education is not a fundamental right. As a result, not all Americans receive quality instruction or education. The American Life podcast discusses the concealed reality of America’s failing educational system for Black and Latino ethnic minorities.
The podcast explains, teachers and educational board’s primary focus is improving student academic success scores. Academic test scores are meant to determine the knowledge obtained through schooling. Thus, the discussion on achievement gap of White academic success, compared with people of color, is alarming. It’s great to want to improve academic scores; however, why is there not an obsession with quality instruction such as inspiring, discussing ideas, or stimulating individuals mind’s outside of the conventional and institutional educational system? The truth; people want to learn, but several are unmotivated by the uninspiring curriculum system or employed teachers. This is especially true for predominantly Black and Latino neighborhoods. Such is proven in American Life, when 1,000 students drove 30 miles away from their district home to attend a great school. It’s unfortunate that children do not have personal access to quality education. The focus needs to be beyond academic scores, and instead enriching lives in educational environments with knowledge. The results will fall into place when individuals feel empowered and reminded their worth is not determined by scores, tests, where they come from, or skin complexion. Improvement may not always reflect in scores, but it will exhibit in the individual’s life. Isn’t the purpose of education to get us ahead in life? With more diverse educational teaching, learning, and test methods, students can experience a balance of pleasure and challenge in the educational system.
According to American life, 1980 was the height of desegregation, and public schools were integrating. With integration, every individual receives quality teachers and education. For this reason, reporters suggest the solution to better the achievement gap is integration; however, xenophobic whites are opposed to the idea. The racial slurs parents expressed during Francis’s Howells meeting on Normandie district’s desegregation program reveals integration’s difficulties. Prejudice and racism continue to exist, even with Black and Latino children. It’s best to focus on mending equal neighborhood resources, especially in education. This is a humanitarian right for members of any community. The journey towards equal education is hard, but necessary. In American Life, Maurea’s mother reminds us that the individual who lack resources may be the one cure cancer, be a lawyer to protect one’s child, and more. I agree, failure to provide equal education is failing to nurture one’s great potential. Quality education is a critical factor to reach heights of success. Every individual is deserving of such. A solution is crucial for the well being of the young, no matter their racial or ethnic background; they are our future. Individuals’ successes are halted in life by obstacles, non-existing opportunities, and uninspiration. Thus, predicaments are not always a result of individual choice(s). In the words of Maurea, “we’re just stuck there because we aren’t open to the opportunities”.