Essay on Discrimination in Publich Schools

1596 Words 7 Pages
As long as the school system has been in existence, there have been many cases of discrimination in one form or another. Blocked opportunities for students of a certain race and or in a lower socio-economic group have always existed. Many school officials, including various faculty members, have been responsible for rerouting minority students suggesting less demanding classes with the belief that these students could not handle the more advanced course work. This particular form of discrimination has been labeled tracking. For many years, racial minorities have been battling, and at times succumbing, to this form of discrimination.

Tracking involves dividing students based upon their learning capabilities and placing them in specific
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In order to supply the factories with well-trained workers, the public school system was encouraged to train future factory workers. This need for factory workers brought on the practice of tracking. Within the system of tracking, if a student was considered a racial minority or from a lower socio-economic background, they were automatically placed in the lower track, which was designed for training students for factory work upon the completion of their high school education. On the other hand, if the student was white and from a higher socio-economic background, they were provided with the best educational opportunities by taking advanced courses, which prepared them for a four year college or university.

A form of tracking called ability grouping can begin in the kindergarten years (Risley, 1999:4). Ability grouping is put into practice when children are put into groups based on their learning skills. The groups have advantages that include the extra attention needed for children that are not reading at a certain level which can bring them up to standard. The disadvantages include the alienation of students from the other advanced students along with the label of being a slow learner. There are standards within the school system to determine how to track students. Standardized tests, recommendations from the teachers and counselors, and parent and student choices are considered. The criterion appears fair enough. What is hidden from full view is that the
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