Civil Rights Movement in Education Essay

Published: 2021-07-28 21:15:06
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The Civil Rights movement, during the 1960s and 1970s, created manychanges for both American society and its schools. The transformations werethe result of such movements as Bilingual Education, womens rights activity,and the passing of the Public Law 94-142 legislation. The incorporation of thesenew laws and ideas into society all came with their own consequences. Each ofthem helped, in some way, to lessen the inequality of minority groups in America,like students whose primary language was not English, women, andhandicapped children. They also faced opposition by certain groups, who did notfeel that their inclusion in American life was necessary.
Those fighting for theminorities, though, were steadfast in their efforts, and made many successfulThe Bilingual Education movement in America began in the late 1960s. Itwas made to be an important issue due to the fact that many Spanish-speakingchildren were attending schools that only included the English language in theircurriculum. This resulted in low academic achievement rates for the students. Bilingual education programs were developed to try to resolve this dilemma inthe American schools. In these programs, teaching was given in both Spanishand English.
Some attempts were eventually made to set a standard for thebilingual education and make it a nationally recognized idea. The Bilingual Education Act, passed by Congress in 1968, made anapproach to legitimize the instruction of non-English speaking children (U & W,317). It did not set any standards though, so how well the act was observed wasbasically left up to whose arguments were stronger–the opposers or thedefenders. The Supreme Court popularized the issue in 1974, in the Lau vs. Nichols case.
This case involved Chinese American children in San Franciscowho spoke little or no English (ibid. ). Those fighting for the children wantedthem to receive extra attention in teaching English. After the Supreme Courtruled in favor of the children, various proposals were given to attempt to solveThe inclusion of bilingual education in Americas schools curriculumbrought about different ideas on how to resolve the issue.
The first of theseapproaches suggested that there be a special curriculum for non-Englishspeakers, so that they can concentrate on learning the English language. Thesecond involved taking non-English speaking students out of regular classroomsuntil they learned the language fully. The third approach, bilingual education,suggested teaching the students native language and English equally. According to Urban and Wagoner in American Education: A History, advocatesof this last approach sometimes emphasized biculturalism as well andThese attempts were both supported and opposed by various parties.
Those who defended incorporation of bilingual education into American schoolsincluded politicians and other Hispanic leaders, who were trying to preventassimilation. Opposers included teachers, Anglo politicians, and some Hispanic intellectuals, who thought that it was important for the children toassimilate in to the society (ibid. ). Womens rights activity also became popular in the 1960s, but did nothave many large effects on the schools. Teachers did not want to be involvedwith the feminists, and so the activists also distanced themselves from theteachers.
The hard work and determination of the feminists did though, bringabout the passing of the Title IX of the Higher Education Act in 1972 (ibid. , 320). This act instilled gender equality in institutions of higher education, and hasplayed a monumental role in regulating fairness among the sexes in colleges andThe Title IX continues to aid in maintaining equality between college menand women, among other things, though there is still work to be done. The acthas been successful supporting attempts to bring more female administratorsinto schools. In actuality though, women principals and administrators in schoolsand school districts are still scarce (ibid.
). Public Law 94-142, the Education for All Handicapped Children Act, wasan act of legislation passed by Congress in 1972. It assured that allhandicapped children received equal public education. It also allowed disabledchildren to be students in regular classrooms, an idea called mainstreaming(ibid.
). Included in the act, was a development called the individualizededucation plan (IEP). This plan was for all handicapped students enrolled in theprogram, and it would analyze the childrens progress, as well as any goals thatPublic Law 94-142 encountered intense debates from both supportersand opposers. The children and their parents greatly approved of the specialeducation program because it provided a much more favorable education thanwhat they were receiving previously. They were getting a chance to be educatedin .

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