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As I read the article “How Brown v. Board of Education Changed – and Didn’t Change – American Education”, by Ronald Brownstein and the National Journal, there were many statements and a lot of new information that helped me fully understand the history of education and the process of how we got where we are today. The Supreme Court’s final decision in this case resulted in a forever changing impact on black children’s ability to succeed through our education system and allowed our minority to become our future majority.
While this was a great turn around for public schools and families, there are also many inequality issues that remain the same in our world today that not everyone may be aware of.
As I read this article, the most powerful statements that stood out to me talked about the increase in high school and college degrees for all blacks after this world changing decision was made. It states “Just before Brown, only about one in seven African-Americans, compared with more than one in three whites, held a high school degree.
Today, the Census Bureau reports, the share of all African-American adults holding high school degrees (85 percent) nearly equals the share of whites (89 percent); blacks have slightly passed whites on that measure among young adults ages 25 to 29” (Brownstein). This statistic was absolutely shocking to me. When I read this, it proved to me how much impact a student’s surrounding environment and available resources have on their education. Today, we have so many resources in our classrooms, and we have so many teachers that are willing to help us whenever we are in need.
This quote shows the major differences that have been made to our education system to help our children succeed over the years. However, this did not stop at high school, and the numbers continued to rise throughout college. “Before Brown, only about one in 40 African-Americans earned a college degree. Now more than one in five hold one” (Brownstein). Not only did this decision change the outcome for students receiving a high school diploma, these black students are now continuing on to college and succeeding just like everyone around them. This was so meaningful to me because I feel like we take our education opportunities for granted today. During this time, students had to work 10x harder than we do today, just to receive a diploma and go off to college to receive a degree. These students were doubted, labeled, and did not have the confidence or support that students are lucky enough to have today throughout our education system and they were still able to succeed.
Another key point in this article that was both meaningful to me and also helped me understand how the education system has grown throughout history is the process of the minorities becoming the majority after segregation was deemed unconstitutional. “The National Center for Educational Statistics recently projected that minorities will become a majority of the K-12 public-school student body for the first time in 2014—and that majority will steadily widen” (Brownstein). After the Supreme Court’s decision, the minority has worked their way into the public-school systems. The minority, or the racial groups, have lived a life being labeled and beaten down but in reality, what others do not understand is that they are our future workers, consumers, and taxpayers. If our minority does not receive the same education and treatment as our majority, we will not have a competitive society which will then turn to less money in our economic system. Learning about the history of education, I was not aware of how long it took the minorities to become a part of the majority and all of the hard work that they had to be put in. This is extremely meaningful to me because even after all the hate they have been through and the doubt that everyone in the majority had towards them, the minority did not give up when trying to prove themselves. They worked hard to become better students, better people, and to become a part of the majority for the future.
The Supreme Court’s ruling on the Brown v. Board of Education case changed the world for the better. There is now no more segregation throughout our public schools, and it is solely based on the student’s ability to learn and succeed. The world is a better place today because of this ruling and many other cases that followed but there are still many inequality issues today that not everyone is aware of. One of the biggest lessons I have learned about the history of education is that it is still changing and growing for the better as time goes on, even if inequality is still an issue at times. “The barriers to fulfilling that vision, from family breakdown to persistent residential and educational segregation, remain formidable. The difference is that as our society grows inexorably more diverse, the consequences of failing to overcome those barriers are rising—for all Americans” (Brownstein). This quote explains that even though we have inequalities today, there are many ways to overcome them that were not available during the segregation time. This was very meaningful to me when I read this portion because our education system has conquered a lot of difficult times, such as segregation, but it always comes out as a stronger system in the end. And even though we still have inequalities throughout our education system, we are still growing and succeeding for our students benefit.
This reading was extremely meaningful to me because this was a very difficult time for our country and our education system. We had to use this difficult experience to better our future education system for our students so that every student has the same opportunity to be successful. This article also helped me understand the history of education and the process that it took to grow and how much it has changed throughout the years. Students today should be so grateful for the opportunities they are given. Segregation and minority vs majority are no longer an issue in our school systems today, but they should always be remembered when talking about the history of education and how our education system was shaped. Everyone should also be aware that inequality is still seen in our society today, but the amount of diversity and the rise of our barriers allows us to conquer these inequalities as an education system together.
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