Sunday, October 30, 2016

October 30, 2016                                
Teaching After the Brown vs.                      
Board of Education                               

As I listened to the radio broadcast, I became emotional at times. I kept thinking how can this still be happening? Why is our country still in disarray? I listened to the This American Life Episode in my car and then chose to read the transcript at home before continuing. I wanted to make sure that what I heard was accurate. I again became emotional while reading. Even though I have never experienced what these people went through in Missouri, I truly felt for them. In my mind, segregation is what you learned about in the history books not in present day America. Or so I thought. The fact that there are school districts today like Normandy District, is unacceptable. Brown v. Board of Education was the case in Topeka, Kansas that resulted in the beginning of integration in schools.  That was over 60 years ago!! It was considered one of the greatest Supreme Court decisions of the 20th century. According to Bob Herbert, his view is that while we claim to be post-racism, we really aren't. Many schools are still segregated. There aren't laws that make this happen, but they are segregated due to where people can afford to live and that determines where they go to school. He also claims that poor children in poor schools do worse than poor children in affluent schools. As Kozol said, "the system traps them." Poor children need to receive a better education and programs need to be developed in those poor schools instead of integrating schools based on socioeconomics. Bob Herbert explains that "Schools are no longer legally segregated, but because of residential patterns, housing discrimination, economic disparities and long-held custom, they most emphatically are in reality." He also says that, "If you really want to improve the education of poor children, you have to get them away from learning environments that are smothered by poverty." He continues to say that it is not about the culture or race of students that matters but "the improved all-around environment of schools with better teachers, fewer classroom disruptions, pupils who are more engaged academically, parents who are more involved, and so on." (Herbert) The Brown vs. Board of Ed case is still relevant in today's society. As I have taken in all of this information, I'm still wondering why is this still going on today? We obviously haven't come as far as what many people believe, and segregation is a big problem. Kozol had said, "Clumping so many people, all with the same symptoms and same problems, in one crowded place with nothin' they can grow on? Our children start to mourn themselves before their time." (Kozol) By putting all poor students together, they will not be able to improve their situations and lead successful lives. They give up hope and are stuck in a "rut." It is very difficult for them to be successful. When Michael Brown was shot and killed, his mother cried, "You took my son away from me. You know how hard it was for me to get him to stay in school and graduate? You know how many black men graduate? Not many!" Nicole Hannah-Jones states he has become the national symbol of the police violence against black youth and he was in a school that didn't graduate about half of its black boys.
I feel like I am really lucky to be in a school for my service learning that is making change. I have never seen a school like this that has tackled the many issues prevalent in schools today. The school has a commitment to community involvement and take a "whole child" approach to learning. It was formed to help urban students in 3 surrounding cities to complete high school, attend higher education and contribute to their local, regional and global community. As I was reading and listening to this weeks assignments, I kept thinking of this school and how unique they truly are. Imagine if the whole country could emulate this style and approach to learning.

Image result for segregation in schools 
 In this video 5th grade students from the Bronx talk about segregation. There are only 2 white kids in their class.....


  1. Listening to the audio made me emotional as well. I can't believe how many years later, since Brown, children and communities are still dealing with this.

  2. I completely agree, the audio if anything made me angry. Awesome job with the incorporation of the video and pictures!

  3. Like you said, I also kept thinking about why this is still happening. Nice connection to Kozol, I used him in my post as well.