How are minorities affected in education?

How are minorities affected in education?  I have to be honest I don’t know much about how being a minority affects education.  I am a white Jewish male who was raised by two white teachers in a middle class white neighborhood. My middle and high school was a mix of various different races but I did not have many minority friends.  I played multiple sports and hung out with a variety of people but I don’t have the faintest clue how race or gender could affect a person.  I went to Rowan University where I had more minority friends but the subject of being a minority was never discussed.  I am trying to learn more about this subject by creating a @Voxer group with the author of the book, Missing Voices in Edtech, Rafranz Davis.  This book club will allow me to get an insight into the problems that minorities have within the education world. If you want to join tweet me! (@schleiderjustin) Help me discuss minorities in education this week at #slowchatpe.

When researching minorities in education I came across this article that was written in 1998: “Recent analyses of data prepared for school finance cases in Alabama, New Jersey, New York, Louisiana, and Texas have found that on every tangible measure—from qualified teachers to curriculum offerings—schools serving greater numbers of students of color had significantly fewer resources than schools serving mostly white students.” source That was 15 years ago though. Things definitely had to have changed though.  Right?

I went back to Google and found an article that was released over 15 years later.  “Racial minorities are more likely than white students to be suspended from school, to have less access to rigorous math and science classes, and to be taught by lower-paid teachers with less experience, according to comprehensive data released Friday by theDepartment of Education’s Office for Civil Rights.source  It seems that things have not changed a lot over the last 20 years.

When I think of minorities in education I think of skin color.  Gender inequality is also a problem in education.  “Last year, girls made up 18.5 percent of A.P. computer science test-takers nationwide, a slight decrease from the year before. In three states, no girls took the test at all. An abysmal 0.4 percent of girls entering college intend to major in computer science. And in 2013, women made up 14 percent of all computer science graduates — down from 36 percent in 1984.” source  This is a huge problem.  If we do not have diversity in a field then we are lacking in diverse perspectives that are needed to solve the various problems and changes that occur.

I am a firm believer that identifying the problem is only the first step in solving the problem. It is not enough to simply state that there is a problem.  I want to change the problem.  That change starts with us. How can we make sure that minorities are able to succeed in education? That will be the crux of a difficult conversation that I will attempt to tackle this week.

Q1: Do you treat both genders the same?  How do you know? #slowchatpe

Q2: Is race the bigger problem or is it SES? #slowchatpe

Q3: How do you address race in your class? #slowchatpe

Q4: What did you do to discuss the recent events in NYC and Missouri?

Q5: Do you engage in code switching with your students? Is this a positive or negative thing?


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