Texas Schools and DIversity Essay

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In 2007-2008, Texas schools had a large ethnic distribution of students. Specifically, African American students made up 14.3% of the overall student population; the Hispanic student population was 47.2%; and 34.8% of the student population was White. The smallest groups represented included Native American and Asian/Pacific Islanders with Native American students and teachers representing only 0.3% of students (Texas Education Agency, 2009). According to demographic projections, minority populations are expected to increase significantly over the next 20 years (NCES, 2007). The students who were the most at-risk academically represented the African American and Hispanic populations. As a result of their at-risk status, they were not…show more content…
Gay (2000) defined culturally responsive teaching as “using the cultural knowledge, prior experiences, frames of reference, and performance styles of ethnically diverse students to make learning encounters more relevant to and effective for them. It is culturally validating and affirming” (p. 29). A quality education requires all students to be exposed to a variety of cultural perspectives that are representative of the nation at large. According to Ladson-Billings (1994), culturally responsive pedagogy must meet three criteria: “An ability to develop students academically, a willingness to nurture and support cultural competence, and the development of a sociopolitical or critical consciousness” (p. 483). Educational institutions have the charge of providing culturally diverse students with equitable educational opportunities as all other non-minority students. While culturally responsive teaching appeared to be more beneficial, other tactics have been applied to try to close the achievement gap but have not proven to be successful (Tileston & Darling, 2009). Every few years, some new process, concept, reform, or innovation is touted as the magic cure-all that will remedy whatever ails the profession – followed by disappointment that many ailments continue to plague us. Educators are often baffled by – and perhaps impatient with – these perpetual shifts and their accompanying array of
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