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This house supports the creation of single-race public schools
This house supports the creation of single-race public schools
The United States has suffered from racial disparity even before it was a nation, and the lasting effects of institutions of racism are still apparent in society today. In 1954, the Supreme Court ruled that segregated public schools are unconstitutional because they disadvantage African-American students. Today, however, the education system continues to fail to properly serve black students, who consistently perform lower and are more likely to drop out than their white peers.1 Some in the education community have argued that African-American males might be better served by one-race, one-sex schools. They argue that racial separation is not racist if it is carefully designed to benefit a disadvantaged minority. Opponents argue that, while intentions might be good, this is simply another form of the segregation that has done American society so much damage.
1 Sharon Lewis, Candace Simon, RenataUzzell, Amanda Horwitz, Michael Casserly, "A Call for Change: The Social and Educational Factors Contributing to the Outcomes of Black Males in Urban Schools," The Council of the Great City Schools, October 2010, 3.
|Points For||Points Against|
|Students are more engaged in material to which they feel a connection.||Single-race schools are likely to do more harm than good.|
|Black students should have the choice to attend these schools if they wish.||Segregation is wrong.|
|Single race schools would prevent black students from being assigned to lower classes.|
|Other efforts have not proven sufficiently effective,<sup>1</sup> and so even sceptics should give single-race, single-sex schools a chance.<sup>1</sup> Lewis, 3.|
|The proposition suggests the option of all-black, all-male schools which are publicly funded in order to directly address the needs of African-American male students in modern society.|
Remember to choose a winning argument!
Students are more engaged in material to which they feel a connection.
Schools in the US focus primarily on European history and a version of American history that does not adequately cover African-American history. A few experimental schools with all black students have incorporated an "Afrocentric" curriculum, which focuses more on African history than European history and places a greater emphasis on the role of African-Americans in United States history.1 When students learn history as something that includes them, rather than the story of some other people, they are more likely to be engaged in the subject matter as they have a personal connection to the history, they will be learning their own history not someone else's.1 Ibid, 37.Improve this
This is a problem with the curriculum and should not be solved through segregation. White students should also receive an education that fairly covers the accomplishments of other cultures. To separate students on the basis of race and teach each group only one version of history does not benefit any group; each group simply learns that they need only pay attention to "their own kind." Instead, the curriculum should be adjusted to reflect a universal history.Improve this
Black students should have the choice to attend these schools if they wish.
Even though the state requires mandatory education, the Constitution respects the right of free choice and free association: Catholics, for example, are free to attend schools with all-Catholic populations, and girls can go to schools that serve only girls. The result is that students are allowed to attend the schools that serve them best. But this should not be a privilege given only to those who can afford private schooling. Public school students, too, deserve options that serve them - and those options should include single-sex, single-race schools. Equality under the law does not mean sameness.Improve this
Single race schools would prevent black students from being assigned to lower classes.
In mainstream schools which track students by ability, as many as 1/3 of black male students are incorrectly placed in slower classes.1 These lower-end classes are often assigned the worst teachers, reserving the better teachers for a school's honor classes.2 Consequently, black males are often prevented from receiving an equal education in integrated schools. Allowing black males to be educated in an environment isolated from racial tensions and inequalities eliminates the psychological impact of "tracking" in integrated public schools.
1 Narine, 25.
This is a problem with the way tracking is implemented, not a problem with integration. If students are incorrectly being placed in lower classes, a new criteria needs to be used for evaluating students. Students should, perhaps, be frequently re-evaluated, or initially placed in a regular class until there is proof that the student cannot keep up. Racially segregated schools are not an appropriate solution to an improper tracking system.Improve this
Other efforts have not proven sufficiently effective,<sup>1</sup> and so even sceptics should give single-race, single-sex schools a chance.<sup>1</sup> Lewis, 3.
Despite almost sixty years of integration, black students lag behind whites, and the difference is even greater for males.1 Only 12 percent of black fourth-grade boys are proficient in reading, compared with 38 percent of white boys, and only 12 percent of black eighth-grade boys are proficient in math, compared with 44 percent of white boys.2 Figures that are not explained just by poverty. The idyllic image of integrated schools does not line up to reality; black males are still at great risk for dropping out of school, being imprisoned and murdered at rates several times higher than young white men. There is evidence to show that this alternative school system may benefit its students; educators should not reject the opportunity without giving it a fair chance.
1 Lewis, 3.
One-race schools are a dangerous idea that will do more harm than good. Before Brown v. Board of Ed., black schools were at a striking disadvantage; they received less funding, had bigger classes, and lower performing students. While the education system still does not adequately service minority students, going back to intentionally segregated schools reinforces assumptions that interracial cooperation is not possible, thereby isolating the black community more and causing black male students even more disadvantages.Improve this
The proposition suggests the option of all-black, all-male schools which are publicly funded in order to directly address the needs of African-American male students in modern society.
In the US, black males are at a higher risk for murder, drug use, and imprisonment than any other group- they are 6.5 times more likely to be imprisoned than white males.1 They are disproportionately affected by drug use, violence, single parenting, poverty, racial profiling, and other factors that alienate them from society.2 Education specialists argue that because black males currently perform worse than any other group in school, teachers assume their black male students will be low performers and treat them differently.3 This treatment causes these students to accept defeat before they have been given a chance to show their potential. An educational environment that is specially designed to push black male students to succeed and take pride in their identity would eliminate the feeling of inferiority which integrated schools often impose. This means that all-black, all-male schools which are publicly funded are needed in order to directly address the needs of African-American male students in modern society. This does not mean that black males should be compelled to attend these schools, and, while this argument focuses on black males, the proposition is amenable to schools which address the needs of other minorities and minority females.
1 Ibid, 7.
3Marcia L. Narine, "Single-sex, Single-Race Public Schools: A solution to the Problems Plaguing the Black Community?," DRS, 1992, 25.
Single-race schools are likely to do more harm than good.
The landmark Supreme Court case, Brown v. Board of Education, was based on the fact that deliberate separation cannot be equal.1 To separate black students from white students teaches black students that they are unable to function competitively with whites. Because the majority of the United States is white, black students are learning that they are better off if they are removed from mainstream society; that they cannot handle being around most students. This implied assertion teaches black students that they are incompetent and lowers their academic performance.
1 Brown v. Board of Education, 347 US 483, 1954.Improve this
The proposed plan is not like the segregated school system of the past. When public schools were intentionally segregated, the purpose was to prevent any blacks from interacting with any whites on the basis of white superiority; no student could opt out of the system. Furthermore, a major difference was that white schools received much more funding than black schools. The proposed plan would provide equal funding, and is simply an alternative- black males would not be compelled to attend these schools. Furthermore, far from isolating minorities to keep them at the bottom of society, these schools would address unique problems that young black males face and help them to overcome these problems to succeed.Improve this
Segregation is wrong.
Children must learn to interact with all kinds of people, especially those that are different from them. Separating children from anyone of a different background teaches them that they are inherently incompatible with these other people. Children learn that they cannot get along, and are therefore more likely to develop an "us versus them" attitude. This mentality has been the cause of centuries of oppression and racial violence; going back to race-segregated schools is a step in the wrong direction.Improve this
The status quo does not teach diversity. Approximately 2/3 of black students today attend schools that are predominately black- "integrated" schools are not teaching diversity or tolerance because truly integrated schools are few and far between.1 School districts across the country have tried to increase integration by bussing children and reforming district line- this attempt has often ended in violence. Rather than assuming black students will suddenly perform better if they sit next to a white student in class, we should foster education programs that target their specific needs.
1 Narine, 16.Improve this
Brown v. Board of Education, 347 US 483, 1954.
Gabriel, Trip, 'Proficiency of Black Students Is Found to Be Far Lower Than Expected', New York Times, November 9, 2010,
Johnson, Rucker. "Long-Run Impacts of School Desegregation & School Quality on Adult Attainments," National Bureau of Economic Research, 2011.
Lewis, Sharon, Candace Simon, RenataUzzell, Amanda Horwitz, Michael Casserly. "A Call for Change: The Social and Educational Factors Contributing to the Outcomes of Black Males in Urban Schools," The Council of the Great City Schools, October 2010.
Narine, Marcia L. "Single-sex, Single-Race Public Schools: A solution to the Problems Plaguing the Black Community?," EDRS, 1992.
Reber, Sarah. "School Desegregation and Education Attainment for Blacks, National Bureau of Economic Research, 2007.
Buck, Stuart. Acting White: The Ironic Legacy of Desegregation. Yale University Press, New Haven, 2010.
[ McArdle, Megan. "Should We Encourage All-Black Schools?" The Atlantic, June 29 2010.
Horvat, Erin McNamara and Carla O'Connor. Beyond Acting White: Reframing the Debate on Black Student Achievment. Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Inc., Lanham, Maryland, 2006.
McKinney, Carolyn. "Schooling in Black and White: Assimilationist Discourses and Subversive Identity Performances in a Desegregated South African Girls' School," Race, Ethnicity, and Education vol. 13 no. 2, 2010.
McWhorter, John. Losing the Race: Self-Sabotage in Black America. Harper Perennial, New York, 2000.
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