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Chapter two presents an evaluation of the literature according to the topics as they relate to African-American males and public schooling. First, section one focuses on the negative effects of CAHSEE: the high school academic achievement of African-American males and the high school dropout rate of African-American students. Next, section two examines the effects of educational laws and policies, special education, and other individual factors such as socioeconomic status, nutrition, self-esteem, and identity as they affect African-American males. Section three studies essential parental factors or the lack thereof, influencing the child's upbringing positively or negatively. Finally, section four concentrates on in-school factors - teacher expectations and perceptions, teacher quality, lack of culturally responsive instruction, limited funding and school resources. This chapter closes with a summary of the review of the literature.
California Education Code (CEC) Section 60850 (a) authorized the development of the California High School Exit Examination (CAHSEE), which requires students in California public schools to pass a test to receive a high school diploma regardless of students' grades and credit accumulation. Educators raised concerns, which delayed administration of the test for two years. However, in October 2001, volunteer sophomores from the class of 2004 took the first CAHSEE. Initially, the CAHSEE was intended as a graduation requirement for the class of 2004, but the State Board of Education revised the deadline and officially required the examination for the class of 2006 (cde.ca.gov, 2006).
CAHSEE according to the California Department of Education (2006) had the following primary purpose:
The primary purpose of the California High School Exit Examination (CAHSEE) is to consequentially improve pupil accomplishment in public high schools and to ensure that pupils that graduate from public high schools can corroborate grade level competency in reading, writing, and mathematics. CAHSEE results are also part of the Academic Performance Index calculated by the state of California and the Adequate Yearly Progress calculated by the federal government as part of the No Child Left Behind Act (cde.ca.gov, 2006).
Although its intent also addresses the difference in the academic success of African American male students and their White counterparts, which is at the center of educational issues in the United States of America, it has actually made the situation worse. (In 2007 former California State Superintendent of Education Jack O'Connell, who as a senator wrote the Accountability Act of 1999, admitted this in a newspaper article.) Evidence shows that different groups of our public school population daily experience negative and unequal treatment (Ladson-billings, 1994; Scheurich & Laible, 1999; Valenzuela, 1999).
As evidence from history confirms, for decades both the marginalization of the underserved students and the preservation from extinction of the status quo have maintained an advantage for the same students and families while concurrently neglecting the needs of poor students of color and their families (Apple, 1993; Delpit, 1995; Larson & Ovando, 2001). As a result, poor African American male students, without understanding, fall into a predestined hollow intended for school failure and social inequality. Denial of the equal right to excellent education, to which all children are entitled, result in African American male students being left without a vision, or a productive future (Brown, 2006).
Jennings (1997) asserted that other minority groups, such as Latinos, also continue to suffer from discrimination; African-American communities tend to bear harsher weight in terms of absolute numbers and proportions of families affected in any given community. He further said "The levels of poverty amongst African-Americans are exceedingly high, and poverty still is a harsh reality for many African-Americans today" (Jennings, 1997). The American Dream could as a result be said to have bypassed a great majority of the African-American population (Winant, 2004). As white citizens become more appeased in being able to attain the American Dream and have confidence in its transference to African-Americans, African-Americans become more doubtful if the dream is accomplishable for them (Brown, 2005).
NEGATIVE EFFECT OF HIGH-STAKES TESTING (CAHSEE)
Since not much work had been done on California High School Exit Examination by scholars, and CAHSEE is seeing as high-stakes test by California Department of Education (2006), l have collected some evidences of the negative effects of high-stakes testing, as well as those on CAHSEE in particular in support of this topic.
Reardon and Kurlaender (2009) in their study compared "Effects of the California High School Exit Exam on Student Persistence, Achievement, and Graduation" rates of students scheduled to graduate in 2005- who were not subjected to the CAHSEE requirement- to similar students in two later cohorts, who were subjected to the requirement. The outcome of their studies stated:
CAHSEE requirement has had no positive effects on students' academic skills - particularly low-achieving students whom the CAHSEE might have motivated to work harder in school - learned no more between 10th and 11th grade when compared with the students in the previous cohort who were not subjected to the requirement (Ibid)
CAHSEE requirement was said to have a large negative impact on graduation rates of students in the bottom quartile of achievement, and that this impact was especially large for minority students (Reardon and Kurlaender, 2009).
Reardon and Kurlaender (2009) asserted CAHSEE has not met its intended goal of raising student accomplishment to meet the state's goal-level standards, and that it appears to have disproportionately negative effect for minority students.
Vision, Gibson, and Ross (2001) maintain that high-stakes standardized tests fail to acknowledge and account for individual and cultural differences in knowledge, values, experiences, learning styles, economic resources, and access to dominant academic artifacts that ultimately contribute to both the appearance of accomplishment and the status of cultural hegemony upon which standards-based reforms depend. This outright denial of diversity and failure to account for these differences become increasingly consequential for minority students who are farther away from mainstream: White and middle class (Harge, 2008).
Some proponents of high-states testing hold the belief that failure of an exit examination serves as a useful signal to schools and results in students' increasing their effort and motivation, while some scholars argue against this. The opponents believe that exit examination failure does not lead to authentic student accomplishment or gains and in fact, may deter students to continue steadfastly in school. Some argue that dependence on a single standardized test may have unintended outcomes (Huebert & Hauser, 1998).
Psychological research on general student motivation suggests that students' replies to an exit examination depend largely on students' perceptions of the reward. Goal theorists suggest that passing an exit examination represents a "performance goal," a goal based on attaining some external standard, as opposed to a goal based on attaining mastery of some particular domain (Ames, 1984; Covington, 2000). Research on student motivation shows that performance goals generally do not lead students to improve their substantive mastery of the material but rather lead students to focus on attaining a performance standard that may be irrelevant to their mastery. Specifically, that is, students identifying CAHSEE as a performance goal will imply that they focus on passing the test rather than mastering the substantive material tested (Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 2010).
Ridman, Brown, & Clark (1987) found that students who failed minimum competency tests exhibited a significant increase in apprehension alongside a corresponding decrease in general self-esteem. However, when they compared students with little risk of failure who had passed to students with high risk of failure who passed, they determined that these two groupings of students had no such changes along these dimensions. Thus, the authors attributed the psychological changes they observed to the experience of failure. These findings corroborated the hypothesis that students who fail will feel discouraged-rather than encouraged-and will not necessarily believe that increased effort will lead to later success.
In response to Chicago's high-stakes testing policy, Neal and Schanzenbach (2007) studies identified as "bubble kids," those students whose scores approach the point designated as proficient and who received supplemental instruction. Although overall proficiency rates improved, they found little to no gain among the students who were the least academically advantaged. These studies suggest that if schools respond to high-stakes tests by targeting instructional efforts on students just below the margin of proficient, they may see improvements in their outcomes. Conversely, they might see no improvement, or possibly a decline, in the outcomes of the very lowest achieving students (Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 2010).
It is also possible that exit examination failure leads instead to low self-assessment, disengagement, and no increase in student effort. In terms of school responses, the early administration of the CAHEE several years prior to graduation could provide schools the opportunity to intervene on the students' behalf. Yet because the stakes are high and the amount of time in which to provide remediation is really short, teachers may feel forced to adopt coping strategies that ultimately are nonproductive. To complicate the issue of the motivational and curricular effects of failing an exit examination, these effects may be incongruous and affect students just below the margin of the proficient score differently from those who initially scored far below (Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 2010).
(B) African-American Males and Academic Achievement in High School
African-American males encounter several social, economic and academic problems that form a blockage against their academic accomplishment in high school (Alonzo, Tindal, & Robinson, 2008). Often these problems cause the young men to lose hope, lead an isolated life, and revert to having a somber outlook due to racism, depression, despair, school dropout, frustration, homosexuality, incarceration, drug addiction, disease, crime, unemployment, or even death (Holzer, 2006). Not only do individual young African American males suffer, but also the African American family is subject to deterioration due to early pregnancies, out-of-wedlock births, and households headed by single mothers (Pinkney, 1987; Staples, 1986). A report from the US Census Bureau in 2000 stated that 65% of African-American children grew up in a home without a father as the head of household (Hirsh, 2009).
Hoberman (1977) asserted that athleticism, which most African-American males cherished, contributed to visible racism and unconscious onslaughts on African-American males in society from whites. Hoberman (2000) further stated that the dreams of many African-American males to achieve recognition through sports have influenced many African-American male students to back off from educational opportunities.
In view of the fact that high school athletics are always combined with the students' academic performances, the effects that extracurricular activities in general have on academic accomplishment makes this result inconclusive (Holland & Andre, 1987).
Steele's (1997) stereotype threat model indicates that students' can harmonize stereotypes into their own perceptions of their self-concepts and thereby adopt and develop into their perceived perception. This theory also asserts that students tend to reduce areas in which they believe they are not so good or in which they are performing poorly, such as in the classroom, and conversely students prefer areas where they excel, such as athletics and other physical aspects.
Marble (1986) said that the essential problem for African-American male students is that they have an inability to define themselves outside of the negative stereotypes that the larger society has imposed on them. African-American male students tend to internalize these attitudes and stereotypes and thereby develop negative perceptions about themselves, the educational process, and self-effacing prejudices (Kunjufu, 1986).
Negative stereotype and purposeless student-teacher relationships are an important reason for the failure of black males. Research shows that disenfranchising stereotypes have a negative effect on students' acquiring skill and taking part in science and mathematics classes, and significant student-teacher relationships have an indisputable effect on students' learning and participation in science and mathematics classes (Brand, Glasson, & Green, 2006). They further stated that African-American males :have a high tendency to manifest fewer academic strong desires, are less likely to finish high school on time, and are at greater risk of dropping out of school compared with other ethnic groups.
History of Racism against African-Americans
Since the days of slavery, African-American males have been battling the stigmas that they cannot succeed, that they are not as intelligent as white males that they cannot achieve a high-level success on an academic basis, and unfortunately, these stigmas exist both in society and in the educational arena (Kunjufu, 2002, p.94).
History shows Whites controlled the education of African-Americans, and in many cases, purposely deprived them of any education to keep them knowing their rights. The attitude that prevailed is evident in the life of Frederick Douglass (a former slave) when the Mr. Auld, the husband of the mistress who was assisting him to learn, stated, "If you teach that nigger how to read, there would be no keeping him, it would forever unfit him to be a slave. He would forever become unmanageable and of no value to his master" (Douglass, 2004, p.47).
Over time, African-Americans began to realize the empowerment embedded in the ability to read and write, and as a result, became motivated. Frederick Douglass's words convey his inspiration, "â€¦ what made white man so much more powerful than black man, l knew what empowered them and what l needed to be empowered, the argument of Mr. Auld so warmly urged, against my learning to read, only served to inspire me with a desire and determination to learn (Douglass 2004, p.48.) As a slave Douglass discovered the previously unknown power and freedom and became aware of their endless potential, so he began risking and teaching other slaves to read so they, too, could discover the same. His words conveyed his intent, "I taught them, because it was the delight of my soul to be doing something that looked like bettering the condition of my race, for it is bad to be shut up in mental darkness prior to learning how to read" (Douglass, 2004, p.88).
Patterson (1982) compared a slave to a socially dead person. He is deprived of all essential things of life, he is not allowed to lay claim to anything and can be separated from close relatives at any time without his consent. He further stated that slaves are dishonored persons because of absence of any independent social relationships and lack of power.
Smith (2011) stated that some of the reasons that contributed to the crisis of African-American males are racism and discrimination brought about by slavery and has resulted to African-American males developing various comportments and behaviors in an attempt to withstand the unremitting effects of oppression.
Leary (2005) in publication Post-Traumatic Slave Syndrome highlighted a scenario where a Black mother and White mother were engaged in a conversation about the academic and social progress of their sons who were classmates and teammates:
The Black mother asked the White mother about her son's progress. The White mother described her son in glowing terms such as "talented", "gifted", and "good athlete" and so on. However, when the White mother asked the Black mother about her son's progress, though clearly proud of her son, the Black mother talked about his sometimes less than the fitting behaviors in school and at home. It is important to note that the African-American student was outperforming the Caucasian student, both in the classroom and in the athletic arena, but his mother neglected to publicly acknowledge his achievements.
In spite of all efforts to improve ineffective schools and raise academic accomplishment, there is a well-documented, lingering achievement gap between affluent students and poor students as well as between White students and Black students (Grissmer & Flanagan, 2001).
A situation where the basic necessities of life such as food, shelter, clothing, and medical care are inadequate as commonly found among the minority, a child's health can be compromised with harmful effects on a wide-ranging array of learning factors, including school attendance (Rooney et al., 2006). Homes where parents cannot provide financial assistance for their children may experience high levels of stress and can create a context growth for the emergency of behavioral and emotional difficulties (McLoyd, 1990), which affect learning.
Housing segregation is connected to school segregation as low-income people of color are confined to houses in poor urban environments as a result, low-income suburbs also produces segregated, and low-income schools were the children of the low-income people are enrolled- children of color (Anyon, 2005).
Recent national trends suggested Black and other underserved students continued to be inappropriately enrolled in schools in central cities (U.S. department of Education 2002). For many Black high school students, this translated into overrepresentation in large, urban comprehensive or "zoned" schools that are situated in racially isolated and high-poverty areas. Academic accomplishment and graduation rates at these high schools are consistently very low, when compared with affluent suburban schools, as worst cases show that less than one quarter of the student body reaches twelfth grade on time (Balfanz & Legters, 1998).
African-American males are overwhelmingly more likely to attend high schools that are predominantly black and have an enrollment with a large number of students on free or reduced lunch. In almost every category of academic failure, African-American males are excessively overrepresented (Dallmann-Jones, 2002; Martin, Martin, Gibson & Wilkins, 2007). White further wrote that Black male students are underrepresented in advanced and honors courses and more likely to be placed in special education programs and suspended, or expelled from school (Garbarino, 1999; Strayhorn, 2009).
In 2000, more than 70% of all Black students in the United States attended predominantly underserved schools, a higher percentage than thirty years earlier (Rumberger, 2007). Although segregation has often been viewed in racial terms, racial segregation is strongly related to socioeconomic segregation. Not only are Black students' families more likely to be poor, but students are also more likely to attend high-poverty schools. This has a strong impact on the educational accomplishment of African-American male students (The Journal of Negro Education, 2004).
The African-American male students attended various schools where they were marginalized students (Theoharis, 2007). Instead, the these young African-American male students need schools with leaders who understand Black family life, who realize that life extends beyond general parenting and school community relationships, and who truly desire to impact their students in a positive, life-changing manner to guide them from dropping out of school and feeling disheartened, discouraged, and frustrated (Noeth & Wimberly, 2002).
(C) Dropout from High School of some African-Americans
A dropout is a student who leaves school early prior to completing the program in the number of years assigned to prepare and earn the expected certificate, and research explains that leaving school early is the outcome of a long process of disengagement from the school (Christon, Sinlair, Lehr, & Godler, 2001). Characteristics of a dropout include withdrawal from school (poor attendance) and unsuccessful school experiences (academic or behavioral difficulties) that often begin in elementary school. Actual disengagement is generally accompanied by feelings of alienation, poor sense of belonging, and a general dislike of school (Kavetuna, 2009).
Education is vital to successfully developing the economic, social, scientific and political institutions of nation states (Lockheed & Verspoor, 1991); hence, it is essential for districts, states, and the country at large to immediately give the dropout problem the attention needed. Generally, school districts are failing to meet their primary responsibility to educate all American children as statistics show that about 7000 students leave American schools every day. This is a distressful indication that at this rate, 1.2 million students in our schools will not graduate with their expected class on time (Alliance for Excellent Education, 2008). The Alliance for Excellent Education (2008) stated in their estimation if the student dropouts from the class of 2008 had graduated, 319 billion dollars would have been added to the nation's economy over the lifetime of these non-graduates. This organization further said that if the number of dropouts is not reduced over the next ten years, twelve million students will be added to the dropout figures costing the nation's economy one trillion dollars (Alliance for Excellent education, 2008).
Annually, the financial negative impact of student dropouts costs the state and the local governments billions of dollars paid to recipients in public assistance, unemployment benefits, lost revenue and rehabilitation efforts (Bridgeland, Dilulio, & Wulsin, 2008; Christle, Jolivette & Nelson, 2007; Orfield, Losen, Wald, & Swanson 2004; Rumberger, 1987). School districts across the nation encounter serious challenges in order ensure students receive an engaging quality education that will prevent them from becoming disengaged from their education and becoming school dropouts (Swanson, 2008). Dropout students are not alone in their challenges: the outcome of their challenges is felt by society because leaving school early for the dropout resulted in their forfeiting many of the opportunities they would have had available to them as graduates with high school diplomas. These opportunities would have allowed the drop out students to make positive impact in their community and open an opportunity for post-secondary education, but unfortunately, all these vanish when students drop out of school (Patterson, Hale, & Stressman, 2007).
According to Schott Foundation for Public Education (2010), the nation graduates only 47 percents of Black male students who enter ninth grade.
GRADUATION RATES OF 2007/8 COHORT
District of Columbia
The 2010 Schott 50 State Report on Public Education and Black Males
Black/White Male 20 States Graduation Rates by Total Black male Enrollment
Graduation Rates Of 2007/8 Cohort
Total Black Male Enrollment
The 2010 Schott 50 State Report on Public Education and Black Males
The Education of Black male students has been full of separate and unequal educational opportunities (Strayhorn, 2008). Statistics show that across the fifty states, Black male students significantly lag behind their White counterparts in terms of graduating from high school, and the above table shows that in California only fifty-four percent (54%) of Black male students graduated in the 2007-2008 cohort compared to seventy-eight percent (78%) of White male students, a startling difference of twenty-four percent (24%). Researchers have studied, statistics and contributing factors, whether referring to statistics in California or across the nation, and researchers can cite numerous reasons for the lower graduation rate of Black male students (Schott Foundation for Public Education, 2010; Bell, 2010a).
A school is an institution for instruction in a particular skill or field (Dictionary.reference.com).
Social justice theorists unanimously agree that schools are not business centers, but instead, they are social structures organized in relatively stable patterns meant to attend to fundamental problems of people. According to social justice theorists, schools serve as not only institutions that only convey knowledge to young minds, but also equally important they serve as the vital institutions that sustain the viable societal structures within a given environment (Bellah, Madsen, Sullivan, Swidler, & Tipton, 1991; Tyack & Hansot, 1982).
In line with the United States' decision to adopt universal standards and high stakes testing in many states, the plan for poor children and children of color to gain knowledge and achieve as high as their more privileged peers has not received serious attention (McLaughlin, 2000). High stakes testing is a way of silencing discussions of curriculum and closing doors to the insights, concerns, and needs of the children and families attending public schools. Freire submitted a dialogue approach, which puts the main needs, interests, and concerns of the poor children and children of color at the center of their own learning and achieving equal rights and status (Grinberg, 2001).
When one considers the consistent higher dropout rates of African American male students, the inclusion of critical race framework in education is necessary. Critical race theory presupposes the historical and contemporary role that racism has played, and continues to play in education, and it asks questions that are more penetrating. "How has racism contributed to educational disparities? How can it be dismantled?" The fact that race and racism influence the widespread failure or low-academic achievement of African-American male students has become clearer. We begin to understand the wide influences inequality, discrimination, race and racism have and how these influence the dropout. Lewis's (2006) stated, "it is essential for the students to understand how they believe these 'signifiers' of race influence their realities in schools and in classrooms and shape their prospects for learning."
Cohen et al. asserted that poor students and colored students, on average, experience higher levels of stress in school because they are aware that performing poorly establishes the negative stereotype about the rational ability regarding their race. Another consequence of the stereotype danger was that some students would rather be seen as lazy because they did not thoroughly complete an assignment versus being tagged as unintelligent for having finished an assignment incorrectly (Cohen et al., 2006).
Cultural feelings and racism also play a part in the dropout rates. Some underserved students sense that the majority culture sees them as less capable and expects little of them. Since they believe they will not succeed, these students put little effort in school. Host of explanations has been offered to explain the differences in academic performance and outcomes among underachieving groups. One of the more troubling explanations for disparate educational outcomes, which culturally responsive teaching attempts to disrupt, is deficit-based explanations of low-income students and students of color. These explanations usually are centered on low-income students and students of color lacking or being devoid of culture, coming from a culture of poverty that is not suited for academic success, posting an oppositional culture, having a disdain for educational accomplishment, or having parents who lack concern for their children's academic aspirations (Howard, 2010).
Howard (2001) stated, "Culturally communicative methods focused on the role language played in the teaching as well as the learning process." He further said that when the teacher is planning his lessons he needed to use instruction that incorporated the cultural competencies related to discourse patterns, face-to-face interaction and vocabulary.
Ladson-Billings (2009) suggested that what happens between African-American male students and their teachers represented a lack of "cultural synchronization." She further suggested that this lack of cultural synchronization and responsiveness relates to other factors that inhibit African-American students' school achievement, including the "prescriptive ideologies and prescriptive structures that are premised on normative belief systems."
Instruction is critical to learning, and so lack of culturally responsive instruction affects the curriculum, what teachers teach, the instruction, how teachers teach, are factors that interrelate and influence students' accomplishment. The curriculum is the foundation, and it shapes the classroom instruction that the teacher gives students, and then students are tested to assess how well the instruction prepared them to show mastery.
Culturally responsive instruction refers to practice of classroom teachers to draw meaningfully on the culture, languages, and experiences that students bring to the classrooms with the goal to increase the participation and academic achievement of students of color (Ladson-Billings, 1995). Teachers, in most schools, do not plan lessons that indicate they value the language and cultural knowledge students bring from their home or to connect the knowledge to the lessons. Consequently, this obvious disregard negatively affects the academic success of students of color. However, teachers possess the knowledge and the power to change the negative effect to a positive effect by purposefully creating lessons that connect the experiences students bring from home and their culture to meaningful lessons and experiences in the classroom (Dutro, Kazemi, Balf, & Lin, 2008).
National Center for African Statistics (NCAS) (2005) indicated that 30 percent of African-American children under the age of 18 were living in poverty, compared to 10 percent of White children. Poverty and other socioeconomic factors such as income, self-esteem, and nutrition are all important components that have effect on the academic attainment and accomplishment of Africa-American males.
EDUCATION LAWS AND POLICIES
Some educational policies and laws are targeted to attend to the needs of the minorities or the underserved populations in providing supplemental funds and categorical programs that could improve the learning capacity of the minorities (McGuinn, 2006). Some of the policies are Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965, Goals 2000: Educate America Act of 1994, and No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) of 2001(McGuinn, 2006).
Federal Legislative Act:
(i) Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965
Elementary & Secondary Education Act (ESEA) 1965:
An Act: To strengthen and improve quality and educational opportunities in the Nation's elementary and secondary schools.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United states of America in Congress assembled, That this Act may be cited as the "Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965".
TITILE 1-Financial assistance to local Educational agencies in the areas affected by federal activity- The Act of September 30, 1950, Public Law 874, Eighty-first Congress, as amended (20 U.S.C. 236-244, is amended by inserting immediatelyâ€¦
TITLE 11- Financial assistance to local Educational agencies for the Education of children of low-income families and extension of Public Law 874, Eighty-first Congress:
Provision of school library resources, textbooks, and other instructional materials in recognition of the special educational needs of children of low-income families and the impactâ€¦
TITLE 111- Supplementary educational centers and services (Grants under this title may be used, in accordance with applications approved under section 304 (b), for (a) planning for and taking other steps to the development of programs designed to provide supplementary educational activitiesâ€¦ (b) the establishment, maintenance, and operation of programs, including the lease of constructionâ€¦
TITLE 1V-Educational research and training -The purpose of this Act is to enable the Office of Education more effectively to accomplish the purposes and to perform the duties for which it was originally established.
TITLE V-Grants to strengthen State Departments of Education- (Elementary & Secondary Education Act Public Law 89-10, 1965) Retrieved from http://www.nitric1p.org/files/40646763.pdf.
Passage of ESEA revolutionized the federal government's involvement in education. Before ESEA, educational policy-making had been relegated almost solely the state and local government. ESEA consisted of five titles, pursuant to which the federal government provided funding to about ninety percent (90%) of the nation's public and parochial schools. It permitted distribution of federal funds to school districts based on the number of poor children enrolled; therefore, it increased federal spending on educations, but it did not specify which services districts should provide to "educationally deprived" children (McGuinn, 2006).
Congress appropriates title funds for five-year periods, and to date continues to reauthorize them for another five-year period. Of the five titled funds, Title I provides the greatest benefit to public school because although is specifies ways funds can be allocated, it offers flexible options provided they meet the guidelines as a "target assistance program" earmarked for students identified at risk of failing and supporting them to improve their academic achievement. Title I permits the use of funds to provide programs for children from families who have migrated to the United States, for or youth who are neglected or at-risk of physical or drug abuse, for dropout prevention programs and for improvement to the school site.
Elementary and secondary Education Act (ESEA) failed to achieve its main goal of improving educational opportunity for the poor as Hugh Graham noted,
The crux of the matter was that too much money was being spent too fast in too many places and under too many categorical programsâ€¦ [ESEA faced] already severe problems of implementation [which were exacerbated by] the chaos of a radically reorganized United States office of Education (McGuinn, 2006).
United States Office of Education had little power under the original ESEA legislation to compel states to comply with federal goals, or to punish states and school districts that failed to do so.
Joel Berke noted, "State and local education authorities have failed their students in ensuring equal educational opportunities without federal intervention, and they could not be trusted to do so in future" (McGuinn, 2006).
(ii) Goals 2000: Educate America Act of 1994
To improve learning and teaching by providing a national framework for education reform; to promote the research, consensus building, and systemic changes needed to ensure equitable educational opportunities, and high levels of educational accomplishment for all students; to provide the development and adoption of a voluntary national system of skill standards and certifications; and for other purposes.
As enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
Short Title-This Act (other than titles V and IX) may be cited as the "Goals 2000: Educate America Act".
TITLE 1- National Education Goals
TITLE 11-National Education reform leadership, Standards, and Assessments -
Part A- National Education Goals Panel
Part B- National Education Standards and Improvement Council
Part C- Leadership in Educational Technology
Part D- Authorization of Appropriations
TITLE 111- State and Local Education systematic improvement
TITLE IV- Parental assistance
TITLE V- National skill standards boards
TITLE VI- International Educational Program
TITLE VII- Safe schools
TITLE VIII- Minority-focused civics education
(Goals 2000: Educate America Act, Public Law 103-227). Retrieved from federaleducationpolicy.wordpress.com/â€¦/goals-2000-educate-americaâ€¦
The enacted Goals 2000 specified that education is a state and local responsibility by stating that "no state is required to have its standards or assessments certified or should participate in Goals 2000 systematic improvement programs as a condition of participating in any federal education program." Goals 2000 also indicated that education must be viewed as a national priority, as states and local departments are required to team with federal education agencies to help create and sustain productive and effective systems of education (McGuinn,2006).
These Goals 2000 empowered state-level departments of education the freedom to create their own standards for their students, but specified that standards must be challenging with a focus on academic knowledge and skills that students should master. In order to facilitate students' accomplishment, grants were provided for schools, communities, and states to support the development. In addition, Goals 2000 granted the Secretary of Education the authority to waive some federal laws for some states and communities to enable them to implement various school improvement initiatives (McGuinn, 2006).
Goals 2000 failed to achieve its motives because the department of education failed to push hard to enforce the law set up for improving America's schools. Also, there was too much flexibility as the states and districts were giving free hands to operate, no tougher sanction for failing states or districts (McGuinn, 2006).
Schatz (1998) stated that Goals 2000 had failed the students when he said "Why is more money and power being given to an educational establishment that has clearly done an increasingly less effective job with increasingly more taxpayer dollars?" He stated further "In spite of this massive spending spree, students' test scores have experienced a dramatic downward slide."
(iii) No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) of 2001.
To close the achievement gap with accountability, flexibility, and choice, so that no child is left behind.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
Short Title- This title may be cited as the "No Child Left Behind Act of 2001".
TITLE I- Improving the academic accomplishment of the disadvantaged
TITLE II- Preparing, training and recruiting high quality teachers and principals
TITLE III- Language instruction for limited English proficient and immigrant students
TITLE IV- 21st Century schools
TITLE V- Promoting informed parental choice and innovative programs
TITLE VI- Flexibility and accountability
TITLE VII- Indian, Native Hawaiian, and Alaska Native Education
TITLE VIII- Impact and program
TITLE IX- General Provisions
TITLE X- Repeals, re-designations, and amendments to other statutes
(No Child Left Behind of 2001, Public Law 107-110, 2002) Retrieved from www.2.ed.gov/legislation/esea02/107-110.pdf
The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 allowed the federal government to have more participation in public education and to give assurance of the quality of education to all children in the United States. It approved state grants for innovative programs to meet the educational needs of all students, including at-risk youths and to develop and implement educational programs to improve school, student, and teacher performance as well as to provide professional development for educators and to reduce class size. Additional community service grants were available to develop programs for expelled or suspended students to provide the meaningful educational activities to occupy their time during their absence from regular school and to avoid negative behavior, which would affect their community (McGuinn, 2006). As the new measures held schools accountable for their students' progress, the role of high-stakes testing in American public education required annual assessment of students in grade three through eight in reading and mathematics. Implementation of supplemental educational services under the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 assured additional academic instruction designed to increase the academic accomplishment of students in low-performing schools (Council for Exceptional Children, 2004).
Frederick M. Hess and Chester E. Finn Jr. in 2006 organized a conference at American Enterprise Institute in Washington D.C. to allow scholars present their analyses of NCLB's prescribed remedies - choice and after school tutoring. The scholars agreed that choice was not working as less than one percent (1%) of California eligible students in failing schools requested to transfer to another school, and in Colorado less than two percent (2%) agreed to move. In respect of after school tutoring overall only about twenty percent (20%) of eligible students got it, this was due to the location of most private organizations involved as they were unable to secure space in the public schools (Ravitch, 2010). Ravitch (2010) said that most of the remedies dictated by the U. S. Department of education are not effective as they lack record of success.
The legislative command that under NCLB all students in every school must be proficient in reading and mathematics by 2014, including special needs students is unrealistic (Ravitch, 2010).
Court Cases That Influenced African-American Education
Plessey v. Ferguson, 163 U. S. 537, 16 S. Ct. 1138, 41 L. Ed. 256 (1896).
Plessy (P) attempted to sit in an all-white railroad car. After refusing to sit in the black railway carriage car, Plessy was arrested for violating an 1890 Louisiana statute that provided for segregated "separate but equal" railroad accommodations. Those using facilities not designated for their race were criminally liable under the statute.
At a trial with Justice John H. Ferguson (D) presiding, Plessy was found guilty on the grounds that the law was a reasonable exercise of the state's police powers based upon custom, usage, and tradition in the state. Plessy filed a petition for writs of prohibition and certiorari in the Supreme Court of Louisiana against Ferguson, asserting that segregation stigmatized blacks and stamped them with a badge of inferiority in violation of the thirteenth and fourteenth amendments. (Summary of Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537, 16 S. Ct. 1138, 41 L. Ed. 256, 1896) Retrieved from http://www.lawnix.com/cases/plessy-ferguson.html
Since the social status and treatment of person is based on an individual's racial identity in the United States of America (Helms, 1994; Zuckerman, 1990), this was a critical ruling handed down by the Supreme Court. Although the case does not have a direct link to education, it has served as a main case in reference to educational cases involving mostly African-Americans and other underserved groups. Today the case of Plessey v. Ferguson still stands as a platform of progress for blacks because legal scholars, and others, view it as the light that has brought illumination for the blacks in many cases (Supreme Court cases/p/ Plessey.htm).
The findings of the research conducted by educational psychologists Kenneth and Mamie Clark (1939) with children, some as young as three years, greatly influenced the Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of Education case and other race related cases. They presented children with white dolls and brown dolls, and carefully observed them when the children followed their instructions to select the one they liked the best, the one with which they wanted to play, and the one they thought had a nice color. From their observations, Clark asserted that African-American students, "like other human beings experiencing inferior status in the society in which they live, have been surely harmed in the development of their personalities" (Jackson, 2001).
Missouri ex rel. Gaines v. Canada, 305 U. S. 337 (1938)
The state of Missouri provided separate schools and universities for whites and Negroes. At the state university, attended by whites, there was a course in law; at the Lincoln University, attended by Negroes, there was as yet none, but it was the duty of the curators of those institutions to establish one there whenever in their opinion this shall be necessary and practicable, and pending such development, they are authorized to arrange for legal education of Missouri negroes, and to pay the tuition charges, at law schools in adjacent States where negroes are accepted and where the training is equal to that obtainable at the Missouri State University. According to the State's of separation of the races in its educational institutions, the curators of the state university refused to admit a Negro as a student in the law school there because of his race; whereupon he sought a mandamus, in the state courts, which was denied (Summary of U.S. Supreme Court case of Missouri ex rel. Gaines v. Canada, 305 U.S. 337, 1938) Retrieved from 305 US 337, 59 S.Ct. 232, 83 L.Ed. 288-Supreme Court, 1938- Google Scholar.
The case reached the Supreme Court, and the Supreme Court upheld the state's decision.
(1) That so far as the curators of the state university represented the State, in executing its policies, their action in refusing the Negro admission to the law was state action within the purpose of the Fourteenth Amendment (deprivation of the Negro civil rights). (2) The conduct of the State in financing legal education within the State for whites while not financing legal education within the State for the Negroes was racially offensive with regards to the Fourteenth Amendment. The basis of argument was not what sort of opportunities other States provided, or whether they were as good as those in Missouri, but rather argued what opportunities Missouri furnishes to white students and denies to Negroes solely based on their color. The issue in this case focused on Missouri granting a white resident a legal education within the State and at the same time denying a Negro resident, having the same qualifications, a legal education, thus, forcing the Negro to go outside the state to obtain a legal education (http;//supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/305/337/case.html).
(c) McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents, 339 U. S. (1950)
Appellant, a Negro citizen of Oklahoma possessing a master's degree, was admitted to the Graduate School of the State-supported University of Oklahoma as a candidate for a doctorate in education and was permitted to use the same classroom, library and cafeteria as white students. According to a requirement of state law that the institution of Negroes in institutions of higher education be upon a segregated basis, however, he was assigned to a seat in the classroom in a row specified for negro students, was assigned to a special table in the library, and, although permitted to eat in the cafeteria at the same time as other students, was assigned to a special table. Held: The conditions under which the appellant was required to receive his education by the State based upon race reprieved him of his personal right to the equal protection of the laws; and the Fourteenth amendment (Summary of McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents, 339 U.S. 637, 1950). Retrieved from http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/us/339/637.html
Shay (2012) in his book "Remembering McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents" said
On June 5, 1950-62 years ago, the Supreme Court, in one of two education segregation decision that day, struck another blow to segregated education when it declared an Oklahoma statute unconstitutional, arguing that the differential treatment shown to an African-American student was itself a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United State of America Constitution.
In addition, that the appellant was handicapped in his effort to secure effective graduate instruction. The restrictions impaired and inhibited his capacity to study, and exchange ideas with other students as to learn his profession. Furthermore, the impact of the restrictions' on the appellant would have affected those who would have gained from his training and education.
(d)Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954)
Segregation of white and Negro children in the public schools of a State solely on the basis of race, according to state laws permitting such segregation, denies Negro children the equal protection of the laws assured by the Fourteenth Amendment - even though the physical facilities and other tangible factors of white and Negro schools may be equal (Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 347 U.S. 483 (1954). Retrieved from Supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/347/483/cases.html
Brown v. Board of Education was a truly significant case because it overturned the separate but equal doctrine established by the Plessey decision (1896) and set the precedent for desegregation cases of today. The case was argued in United States Supreme Court in 1952 and 1953, and the court's decision was given in 1954 (http://www.supremecourtus.gov/visiting/visitorsguidetooralargument.pdf).The Brown unifies three separate cases from the states of Delaware, Virginia, and Kansas in which lawyers for the plaintiff requested that the Black students be permitted to attend public schools in their districts without segregation based racism. By presenting arguments and evidences, the lawyers for the plaintiff convinced the Supreme Court justices that Black students were denied equal protection under the laws and that Black students were open to attack from White students (Sigler, 1998).
African-American Males and Special Education
The individuals with Disabilities Education Act ([IDEA], 2004) is designed to ensure that students with disabilities receive a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). To accomplish this goal, schools are mandated to have in place appropriate procedures to determine if a child who is referred to special education and related services is a child with a disability that requires special education and related services to achieve progress appropriately in the school curriculum (Willie, Garibaldi, & Reed, 1991). In many instances, children were inappropriately referred for special education, when in fact; they would not have needed special education and the related services with early intensive remedial intervention in place (Washington D. C.: Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, 2001). Such was the case for students of African-Americans families in many districts across the nation, which resulted in a disproportionate percentage of this group's membership in special education (Willie, et. al., 1991). The issue of overrepresentation of African American students, and especially African American male students in special education program, was a national problem (Dykes, 2008). In order to control the misplacement of underserved children into special education, Public Law 105-17, amendments to the individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1997, required expanded state-level reporting and corrective provisions intended to resolve the problems in identification and placement of children representing diverse social, racial, ethnic and linguistic backgrounds in special education (U.S. Department of Education, 2002).
Patton (1998) asserts that in spite of the presence of actual data on the overrepresentation issue and the existing literature challenging special education processes that lead to recognition and placement, the challenge of overrepresentation of African-American male students in special education continues steadfastly (Dykes, 2008). He agreed with other scholars in their literature on the factors leading to placement of African-American male students in special education. These factors include the failure of general education system (Articles & Tent, 1998), inequalities in the referral, assessment and placement procedures (Agbenyega & Jiggetts, 1999; Zhang & Katsiyannis, 2002), social class (Williams & Collins, 2001), and the lack of consistency in the method of measuring disproportional representation used in various studies (Public Policy Research Institute, 2003).
Abgenyega and Jiggetts (1999) said poverty impacts have strengthened overenrollment and placement, into special education, for families living abject poverty, from homes of teenage mothers, with or without husbands, from separated parents, and from parents who are low-level educated.
The problem of underserved overrepresentation in special education was seriously challenging. Losen (2002) indicated that the use of high-stakes tests that burdened poorly taught children with diploma denial and grade level retention called for immediate attention and review. He suggested that the inappropriate use of high-stakes testing likely exacerbated the consistent problem of the exclusion of low achieving and special education students from state assessments used for school and district accountability.
Losen (2002) noted that decisions on evaluation are often personal involving school politics, teacher ideas and cultural bias instead of been objective.
Kunjufu (2005) stated "The disproportion of Black male students in special education is not normal, and it is not acceptable, and that the professionals should be looking not for rationales to justify continuance of the problem but strategies to eliminate it." He further stated "African-Americans male students were disproportionately placed in special education classes because the regular classroom is not culturally sensitive to the needs of this unique population."
National Alliance of Black School Educators (NABSE) (2001) said overrepresentation of African-American students in special education and its services had caused more harm. It stated that the students may:
Receive services that do not meet their needs
Be denied right to the general education course of study.
The body of NABSE suggested that administrators should review data and develop performance-based evaluations for teachers and students. Also, that student achievement data must be disaggregated and aggregated based on race, gender, ethnicity, and language, with the result reported to the community (2001).
Eugenics Movement and African-American
Eugenics is the study of heredity advancement of the human race by dominant selective breeding or the science of advancing a breed through the careful selection of parents (www.freedictionary.com).
Rather than African-Americans enjoying the science of advancing their breeds, they were experiencing negative eugenics which is eliminating of Black Americans through abortions (Mortimer, 2002).
Adamek (2010) asserted that the chief causes of death among African-Americans were abortions. He further stated that in 2005, over 445,000 African-American babies were aborted. In his article Maafa 21: Eugenics, Plan Parenthood and Abortion's impact on the African-American community, he stated that the DVD Maafa 21 showed that when slavery ended in the United states, eugenicists and population control supporters targeted African-Americans and that this program is still in existence to the present day. The film pointed out that Margaret Sanger, who established the American Birth control League (ABCL) in 1916, with its name changed in 1942 to Planned Parenthood, was both a eugenicist and a racist, who targeted reducing African-American population through abortion.
Planned Parenthood Service Report of 1992 revealed that total clientele was around 74% White and 26% minorities, but its abortion customers were 57% White and 43% minorities and that its abortion clinics nationwide were mostly located in areas with high concentration of Blacks. In February 2010, a 40,000 square foot surgical center was opened in Portland, Oregon in the heart of the African-American community (Adamek, 2010).
Grant (1995) asserted in his book Killer Angel that Thomas Robert Malthus, a 19th Century cleric and professor of political economy believed there was population explosion, and viewed social problems such as poverty, deprivation and hunger as evidence of this population crisis .He therefore suggested that restricting population growth of certain groups of people should be the solution. Grant quoted from Malthus' magnum opus, An Essay on the Principle of Population, published in six editions from 1798 to 1826:
All children born, beyond what would be required to keep up the population to a desired level, must necessarily perish, unless room is made by the deaths of grown persons. We should facilitate, instead of foolishly and vainly endeavoring to impede, the operations of nature in producing this mortality. [ibid]
Grant commented, "The bottom line is that Planned Parenthood was self-consciously organized in part, to promote and enforce White Supremacy. â€¦ It has been from its beginning implicitly and explicitly racist."[ibid]
Green (1999) in her book "The Negro Project: Margaret Sanger's Eugenic Plan for Black Americans," spoke about The Harlem Clinic that was opened on November 21, 1930 and served as an experimental clinic for Sanger's evil plans to reduce Black population. It was opened during the period of Great Depression, and African-Americans were mostly affected as they faced harsher conditions. Many Blacks looked for ways to escape the adverse conditions and could not identify the eugenic superficial significance of the clinic; hence they fell into the trap.
Gil-White (2004) stated that the means of eliminating whole ethnic groups in America was not with armies' weapons, not by hate sects at the margins, but by white esteemed professors, elite universities, wealthy industrialists and government officials conspiring as racists, using various theories called eugenics, and the victims were mostly African-Americans.
Essential Parental Factors
When Anyon (2005) connected social class, or socioeconomic status (SES) to educational achievement, she found that students from families with high resources would achieve much greater educational accomplishments than students from families with low resources achieve. Anyon (2005) believed that poverty and its environment have consistent negative effects on children's cognitive growth. Studies showed that family income consistently predicts children's academic and cognitive performance, even when other family characteristics are taken into account (Howard, 2010). A majority of African-American male students' families find themselves among the groups that are overwhelmed by persistent and extreme poverty. Health and behavior difficulties affect students from these low socioeconomic groups, much more than those from affluent families, and thus, they diminish educational success for the students in these groups (Bolger & Patterson, 1995; Duncan & Brooks-Gunn, 1997; Houser, Brown, and Prosser, 1997; Korenman & Miller, 1997).
A balanced diet helps the brain develop; indicating nutrition is a major factor in a person's achievement. Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Study (2009) assessed the relationship between nutrition and achievement, using a Health Behavior in School-Age Children (HBSC) dataset, by testing thirteen (13) foods and beverages to determine their relationship to academic accomplishment among African-American male students. The outcome showed that African-American, students with low-academic accomplishment were more likely to eat junk food (potato chips, cakes, hamburgers, sweet and cola) more often and were less regularly to eat healthy food (cooked vegetables, raw vegetables, fruits and whole wheat) compared to their White counterparts. The study further stated that raw vegetables contain enzymes, minerals, and vitamins that could improve brain functioning and reduce psychosomatic stressors