The Generational Problem of Race in Our Schools


Inequalities have existed in our society for thousands of years; from kings versus the serfs in medieval times, to slavery and gender inequality. We still face implications of past prejudices today. Given that these inequalities that are still prominent, our society has still managed to progress. Even with these improvements, the education system still faces inequality..

Over the course of American history, there marginalized groups have taken their causes to the Supreme Court. . In 1954, the ruling in in  Brown v. Board of Education was a push in the right direction. Brown v. Board of Education was a case in which the segregation of white and black public schools was deemed unconstitutional. The court’s decision reaffirmed a core American principle that, “In the field of public education the doctrine of ‘separate but equal’ has no place.”

In schools with high percentages of students of color, students are more likely to be taught by less experienced teachers, less likely to have access to AP courses, and are more likely to receive correctional punishments. These inequalities in children’s education have major ties to their futures. We aren’t educating our youth to the best of our abilities and giving them equal opportunities to succeed in their futures. Maybe the treatment of minorities stems from a generational problem. A Stanford study found that black students are treated differently by teachers when they misbehave or don’t listen and follow directions a second time. The preconceived notion from past generations that minorities aren’t ‘on the same level’ as white people may be causing a disconnect in education opportunities.

The inequalities that students face now in their education have real world implications for their futures, not only for the students, but for our society. If we have the upcoming generations of minorities not getting as educated as their white counterparts, then we are slowly diminishing jobs that are currently held by minorities and creating an even bigger discrepancy in workplace opportunities. . It seems that these problems are stem from older generations.

The problem of unequal opportunities and racism as a whole isn’t something that putting a law in place can fix. It’s seemingly a generational issue of which the solution is just that the generations of Americans who see race as a defining factor of who you are need to die out. Inequality doesn’t just change overnight. Of course there will always be those people who will agree with the ‘white supremacy’ mindset. A mindset of which you think that white people are superior to those of other races, especially over black people, and therefore should dominate society but with changes and sacrifices starting in our school systems we can help shape the generations to come and give every student no matter their racial or socioeconomic backgrounds an equal opportunity to achieve greatness.