The Implied Promise of a Guaranteed Education in the United States and How the Failure to Deliver it Equitably Perpetuates Generational Poverty – Race, Racism and the Law

 

Excerpted from: Anjaleck Flowers, The Implied Promise of a Guaranteed Education in the United States and How the Failure to Deliver it Equitably Perpetuates Generational Poverty, 45 Mitchell Hamline Law Review 1 (2019) (284 Footnotes) (Full Document)

AnjaleckFlowersThe United States is known as a country where anything is possible. Immigrants, foreigners, and citizens alike know what it means when someone says, “the American Dream”–that anything is achievable in the United States and that everyone has a chance to achieve their financial goals, regardless of their socioeconomic status. Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth president of the United States and a former attorney, espoused this belief in his speech on March 6, 1860:

I don’t believe in a law to prevent a man from getting rich; it would do more harm than good. So while we do not propose any war upon capital, we do wish to allow the humblest man an equal chance to get rich with everybody else. When one starts poor, as most do in the race of life, free society is such that he knows he can better his condition; he knows that there is no fixed condition of labor, for his whole life. I am not ashamed to confess that twenty five [sic] years ago I was a hired laborer, mauling rails, at work on a flat-boat–just what might happen to any poor man’s son! I want every man to have the chance–and I believe a black man is entitled to it–in which he can better his condition–when he may look forward and hope to be a hired laborer this year and the next, work for himself afterward, and finally to hire men to work for him! That is the true system. Lincoln’s speech shows that the American dream should be a possibility for every person in the United States. Although this article focuses on impoverished individuals and the hardships in changing their predictable outcomes, one cannot discuss poverty without factoring in the element of race. Unfortunately, poverty and race often go hand in hand. This paper will also touch on how impoverished persons with disabilities– particularly those who are minorities–face challenges in breaking the chains of generational poverty under the United States’ current laws and unfunded educational system. These mostly invisible barriers impact impoverished students as early as preschool, in ways that affect these students’ pipelines to college opportunities and overall career earnings.

This article will show that although there is no constitutional right to education at the federal level, all states have mandated compulsory education for children. The Fourteenth Amendment and case law further support the notion that the United States has promised and expects states to educate children in an equitable manner. The United States Supreme Court came very close to declaring that education is a right in Brown v. Board of Education by stating that “[s]uch an opportunity, where the state has undertaken to provide it, is a right which must be made available to all on equal terms.” Unfortunately, United States laws and policy have not financially and explicitly supported mandates under the law. Opportunity and education gaps for impoverished students exist at astounding rates in comparison to their non-impoverished peers. Laws, policy, resources–and an inquiry into how U.S. society views the idea of providing a thorough, well-rounded, and equitable education for all–can deliver the necessary changes to reduce the gaps. These factors have the potential to create pathways for every person to realistically have an opportunity to change their financial trajectory in life, regardless of where that person’s financial journey at birth begins.

This article will also examine the history of compulsory education law and share data that reveals educational inequities relating to poverty and inadequate resources necessary to fulfill the educational obligations under the law. Finally, this article will share the research-based practical solutions shown to help reduce the implications of adverse financial outcomes of impoverished students–solutions that provide alternatives to continuing the status quo of the current U.S. education system.. .]

Closing the achievement and financial gaps ultimately helps students in poverty–including minority students and students with disabilities–to end generational poverty. Providing these students with resources to get a quality education will help them build strong financial futures. Supporting future generations of students helps strengthen the nation in its entirety. As stated in Brown v. Board of Education,“[i]n these days, it is doubtful that any child may reasonably be expected to succeed in life if he is denied the opportunity of an education.” This education must be one of quality, with standards of adequacy and minimum levels of achievement. Without education, the cycle of generational poverty simply repeats and perpetuates. Education must be the disrupter to interrupt and stop the pervasive cycle of financial disparity.

The income and achievement gaps are also signs of a bigger impact on quality of life. Sufficient and equitable education is a tool that can help everyone achieve a better quality of life. The U.S. education system may not be intentionally causing these disparities, but the U.S. education system must be intentional about bringing these disparities to an end.


Anjie Flowers currently works as the Deputy General Counsel for Minneapolis Public Schools.

Source: The Implied Promise of a Guaranteed Education in the United States and How the Failure to Deliver it Equitably Perpetuates Generational Poverty – Race, Racism and the Law

The Importance Of Historically Black Colleges And Universities | News One

The Importance Of Historically Black Colleges And Universities

Excerpt

Key role played by black schools

HBCUs have always been the vehicles for liberty and equality in the journey toward black liberation within America.

Black Americans have long understood the relationship between education and democracy. Following the Civil War, learning the rules of the American and southern political economy was necessary to take full advantage of one’s citizenship rights.

However, at the time, not only did most people believe the formerly enslaved had no desire for education, they also thought black Americans did not possess the mental capacity to pursue it.

The fervent efforts of the formerly enslaved to establish colleges in the post-bellum South ran counter to these beliefs, although the founding of Lincoln University in Pennsylvania in 1854, even prior to the Civil War’s conclusion, proved beyond doubt that black Americans were keen to seek education.

The point is, HBCUs played a crucial role in transforming how America was to understand and envision what it meant to be black following the Civil War. And throughout the years, these schools have served as incubators for future generations of freedom fighters.

It was HBCUs, for example, where the carefully crafted educational strategies that birthed the mass protests and civil unrest of the 1950s and 1960s emerged, a fact that many people today may fail to appreciate adequately.

Contributions of black colleges

HBCUs influenced the character of the black liberation struggle. They trained the leaders and served as key sites of exchange where ideals about the best paths toward freedom took shape.

Take Howard University, an HBCU founded in 1867, as an example. Without this school, our understanding of equality and access would be quite different.

It was Howard graduates who would use the law to challenge the idea that separate educational facilities could ever produce equal outcomes for black Americans.

Charles Hamilton Houston, vice dean of Howard Law School, viewed the school as a laboratory that would “create the select and talented corps of lawyers who would work to fulfill constitutional promises.”

So it did.

Thurgood Marshall, the lawyer who would argue the Brown v Board of Topeka case and later became a Supreme Court justice, emerged from this environment. He came up with a brilliantly constructed critique of racially segregated education that persuaded the Supreme Court to strike down the system.

Past and present challenges

Predictably, black schools faced many challenges. From the start, defenders of white supremacy have understood HBCUs as spaces intricately connected to the fight for civil rights and black liberation.

To impede these schools’ ability to become training grounds for equality, political foes did all they could to make sure HBCUs remained underfunded, underresourced and understaffed.

For instance, southern state legislative bodies routinely diverted money away from HBCUs, leaving the schools to operate on razor-thin budgets.

In the 1920s, foundations urged the schools to limit their curriculum to politically neutral yet economically relevant subjects such as domestic service and agriculture, which were not likely to inspire students to challenge a system that denied their humanity.

Unfortunately, some of these challenges continue to this day.

Data from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities indicate, for example, that between 2010 and 2012, the state legislature underfunded South Carolina State University by more than US$6 million.

Impact of black colleges

Questioning the contemporary relevance of HBCUs is the modern-day equivalent of such efforts.

It is true that only about 9% of all blacks enrolled in college attend HBCUs. And I can agree that if we understand the role of HBCUs only in terms of the numbers educated, then these schools are not as relevant to the majority of black Americans as they once were.

However, if we are to understand the role of HBCUs as vehicles of freedom and black liberation, then they still have an important role within our society.

In fact, when compared to predominantly white colleges, HBCUs continue to have a disproportionate impact on the production of college-educated black Americans. They may account for approximately 3% of all colleges and universities, but well over 20% of black Americans continue to earn their degrees at these schools.

And about 25% of black Americans earning STEM degrees do so at HBCUs.

Why we need black colleges today

So, I find it troubling when people question their contemporary necessity.

Also, doubts about these schools’ continued relevance underestimate the relationship between HBCUs and the struggle for black liberation within America that continues to this day.

Students of these schools have been at the forefront of peaceful protests. Learning from past efforts that used art as a tool for black liberation, students at Morgan State University created a large-scale photo installation around the theme of “Black Lives Matter.”

Students from Howard University gathered in front of the White House to protest the grand jury decision in the Michael Brown case. Likewise, Morehouse College students staged a march and, in conjunction with students from nearby Clark Atlanta University and Spelman College, also held a peace rally protesting the decision.

The contemporary economicpolitical and social precariousness of black life in America indicates that we need more settings like HBCUs, not fewer.

If we as a society come to recognize that black lives matter, then we must do the same for the venues that cultivate and nurture these lives as well.

In fact, no set of institutions better exemplifies the American ideals of civil rights and equality than historically black colleges and universities.

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Source: The Importance Of Historically Black Colleges And Universities | News One

Why America lost so many of its black teachers – Civil rights and wrongs

Why America lost so many of its black teachers

Before 1964 nearly half of college-educated African-Americans in the South were teachers

The share of black teachers in government schools nationwide has continued to decline: from 8.1% in 1971 to 6.9% in 1986 and 6.7% today—this during a period during which the black share of the population as a whole has risen to nearly 13%. There are a number of reasons for the decline, including an increased range of professional opportunities for African-Americans in other fields. But it is also true that desegregation accelerated a trend towards ever-greater teacher accreditation requirements that continued to disproportionately affect African-Americans.

When North Carolina raised its cut-off scores for the National Teacher Exam in the late 1970s, for example, it was associated with a 73% drop in newly licenced black teachers in the state between 1975 and 1982.While higher teacher accreditation standards reduce the number of black teachers, they have done little for students of any ethnicity: teacher licencing test scores are weakly related to outcomes for students. That helps to explain why Mr Hanushek found no significant gains in average test scores for American 17-year-olds tested between 1987 and 2017, and no further progress in closing the black-white test gap since the 1980s. The legacy of a discriminatory response to desegregation continues a half-century on, with limited benefit to children.

Source: Why America lost so many of its black teachers – Civil rights and wrongs

White People Need to Understand That Helping Is Not the Same as Controlling

He told me that White people need the humility to understand that helping is not the same as controlling. Not only should we not assume the lead, we must also possess and exercise the humility to be told what to do, what is best, what is right—and what is wrong.We need to help support communities gain the power to control their own destiny, not “help” them by assuming that control for ourselves.And we need to be honest.

IF WHO WE TRULY ARE DOES NOT ALLOW US TO TEACH, SUPPORT, CARE, LOVE AND FIGHT FOR BLACK AND BROWN KIDS, THEN WE NEED TO GO DO SOMETHING ELSE.

If who we truly are does not allow us to teach, support, care, love and fight for Black and Brown kids, then we need to go do something else.These were not easy things for me to hear. I was triggered, defensive and unsure. Which was precisely the reaction that demonstrated how comfortable I had been telling others what to do and how to be, but how little experience I, as a White man, had being on the opposite side of the conversation.

Source: White People Need to Understand That Helping Is Not the Same as Controlling

Inside Liberty University’s ‘culture of fear’: How Jerry Falwell Jr. silences students and professors who reject his pro-Trump politics. – The Washington Post

“Falwell, 57, possesses a certain Orwellian gift for painting Liberty as a bastion of tolerance where alternate viewpoints are not just permitted but encouraged. In March, he attended the signing of Trump’s executive order on college free speech and later claimed on “PBS NewsHour” that Liberty was inclusive of all ideas because it had invited Jimmy Carter to deliver its 2018 commencement address and Bernie Sanders to speak in 2015 at the assembly that students are required to attend twice a week. After Falwell learned last month that I was writing this essay, he posted a column on Liberty’s site disputing “sensational stories . . . that we do not allow opposing views.” He wrote, “If there’s one thing I’m certain of, it’s that there will be a strong and critical response to this article by a few former students and a handful of national media determined to paint Liberty in a completely different light on these issues.”His Twitter account is a much better reflection of his approach to dissent. Falwell’s profile announces that “Haters will be blocked,” and several students who have disagreed or argued with him on Twitter have met this fate. Falwell outright lied on the platform to Sojourners Web editor Sandi Villarreal — who is now my colleague — when he said he’d removed a Champion op-ed criticizing Trump’s “locker room talk” defense because there was simply not enough room on the page. (The piece was already laid out on the page when he pulled it.) In fact, much of Falwell’s message control has to do with safeguarding Trump.”

Source: Inside Liberty University’s ‘culture of fear’: How Jerry Falwell Jr. silences students and professors who reject his pro-Trump politics. – The Washington Post

America’s Largest Black Boarding School Sends 97 Percent of Students to College – The Atlantic

America’s Largest Black Boarding School Sends 97 Percent of Students to College

 

The Piney Woods Country Life School is America’s largest historically black boarding school, and one of the few remaining, with a sprawling campus of pine trees and rolling farmland just 20 miles south of Jackson. It opened in 1909 as the vision of an educated African-American man from St. Louis who felt a desire to teach the illiterate children of freed slaves how to farm and read. In the face of hunger, poverty, and lynching threats, Dr. Laurence Jones and his wife fought to keep the school open in the segregated South.

Source: America’s Largest Black Boarding School Sends 97 Percent of Students to College – The Atlantic

INCREASING PUBLIC POWER TO INCREASE COMPETITION: A FOUNDATION FOR AN INCLUSIVE ECONOMY

INCREASING PUBLIC POWER TO INCREASE COMPETITION:  A FOUNDATION FOR AN INCLUSIVE ECONOMY

ISSUE BRIEF BY WILLIAM DARITY JR., DARRICK HAMILTON, AND RAKEEN MABUD
MAY 2019

Executive Summary

The United States needs an economy grounded in justice and morality, where everyone, free of undue resource constraints, can prosper. To achieve this, citizens ought to have universal access to undeniable economic rights, such as the right to employment, medical and health care, high quality education, sound banking and financial services, or a meaningful endowment at birth (Paul, Darity, Hamilton 2018). Currently, our system provides these rights primarily through the “free market” by private providers, but these private companies often fail to meet the following criteria:

•   Quantity: Are goods adequately supplied?
•   Quality: Are the goods high quality?
•   Access: Do people have adequate access to these goods?

Because of the failure of America’s markets-first approach to policy, the federal government should intervene by introducing public options that provide these essential goods and services in direct competition with private firms. Doing so will set “floors” on wages and quality and “ceilings” on price for private actors who are intent on providing important economic rights at a cost. In employment, this might mean providing a federal jobs guarantee (FJG); in financial services, this could mean access to bank accounts and safe, nonpredatory loans. Throughout this issue brief, we explore what public options might look like in employment, health, housing, education, and financial services. We argue that in these sectors, public options are necessary to combat high-cost, low-quality provision by private actors and ensure universal and better quality access to all Americans.

Full Report here.   https://rooseveltinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/RI_Increasing-Public-Power-to-Increase-Competition-brief-201905.pdf

CREATIVE COMMONS COPYRIGHT 2019 | ROOSEVELTINSTITUTE.ORG

The report features the work of OUR COMMON GROUND Voices, Drs. William “Sandy” Darity and Darrick Hamilton

Darity Hamilton