Ci 565 dr gayle y thieman portland state university
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A Struggle for Educational Equality 1950-1980 Abby Levin Amy Newcomb David oh Kimberly Sieveke Lucinda Philipp Richard Presicci Terra Makowski. CI 565 – Dr. Gayle Y. Thieman , Portland State University. Social Context in the 1950’s. Postwar baby boomers are hopeful

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Ci 565 dr gayle y thieman portland state university

A Struggle for Educational Equality1950-1980Abby LevinAmy NewcombDavid ohKimberly SievekeLucinda PhilippRichard PresicciTerra Makowski

CI 565 – Dr. Gayle Y. Thieman, Portland State University


Social context in the 1950 s
Social Context in the 1950’s

  • Postwar baby boomers are hopeful

  • Schools expected to inoculate children from disease, protect them from nuclear threat and prepare them for a technological future.

  • There were, however, severe inequalities.

Springfield Public School - 1950


Severe inequalities in 1950
Severe Inequalities in 1950

  • African Americans Segregated by Law: 17 States

  • Average Schooling for Mexican Americans: 5.4 Years

  • Disabled Children Not Enrolled in School: 72%

  • Women Athletics Teams, Scholarships and Professional Schools and Colleges were unavailable.

Eastport School, Annapolis - 1950


Racial segregation in topeka kansas
Racial Segregation in Topeka, Kansas

  • Fight Began in Topeka, Kansas

  • High Schools

    • Integrated on the surface

    • School activities were segregated

  • Elementary Schools

    • Strictly segregated

    • 18 white schools, 4 African-American schools

  • African-American Teachers held Master’s degrees and were highly qualified. They had vastly limited resources compared to white schools.

Board of Education in Topeka, Kansas


Beginning the fight for equality parents and the naacp
Beginning the Fight for Equality: Parents and the NAACP

  • Parents fight for their children

  • School Board meetings

    • Wanted the same education

    • Separate, but equal court decision upheld

  • NAACP efforts

    • School was the platform to end segregation

    • 13 parents attempted to enroll children (1950)

    • Brown vs. Topeka Board of Education (1954 verdict)


Problems with the implementation of the brown vs board ruling
Problems with the Implementation of the Brown vs. Board Ruling

A Failure to Integrate

  • 10 years after Brown vs Board of Education ruling, 90% of schools were still segregated.

  • Example: The Little Rock Nine - 1957

Civil Rights Act of 1964

  • President Lyndon Johnson 

  • The act withheld funding if schools failed to integrate, and gave funding if schools successfully integrated.  

  • The monetary incentive was enough to make most schools comply

  • Within 8 years, 91% of schools were integrated


The bilingual education act
The Bilingual Education Act Ruling

  • 1968 - Congress Passes the Bilingual Act of 1968 

  • 1970 - Crystal City, Texas. Chicano students demand to be allowed to speak Spanish, study Chicano history, and be taught by Chicano teachers.

  • 1974 - Lau sues San Francisco's school district. Lau v Nichols US Supreme Court 1974: Specialized instruction in English; Access to core content; and Access to all other district programs and services

  • 1975 - National Association for Bilingual Education is founded.

Walkout in Crystal City - 1969

School in San Francisco - 1975


Gender equality
Gender Equality Ruling

  • In 1970, only 1 % of Medical and Law degrees were awarded to women and 7.4% of high school athletes were female

  • In 1972, Title IV was passed. Like the previous civil rights laws, enforcement was still an issue

  • Dorothy Raffle: 14 year old female basketball player. Filed lawsuit against federal government for failing to enforce the law

  • Within 20 years, 40% of all high school athletes are female, and over half of higher level graduates are women

  • Title IX had an impact broader than just K-12 education; it swept to professions, which changed the workplace


Children with disabilities
Children with Disabilities Ruling

  • Civil rights movement extended to children with disabilities, based heavily on the Brown vs. Board decision

  • Not enough to treat everyone equally, had to provide resources and training to make learning possible

  • Changes were costly and controversial

  • Widely implemented


Busing and zoning discrimination persists
Busing and Zoning Discrimination Persists Ruling

  • 1971: U.S. Supreme Court ruled that busing children within a city’s limits was lawful and a solution to the school segregation issue.

  • Detroit, Michigan was not one of those successful cities. In 1972 a federal judge ordered an unconventional solution: Bus inner city students (black) out of Detroit and into the suburban schools (white) and vice versa. This was due to the “white flight” that stemmed from Detroit’s riots of the 1960’s that now had caused severely underfunded inner city schools while the suburbs – due to a rich tax foundation – offered a rich variety of academic and extracurricular activities.

  • This affected approximately 800,000 students

  • 1974: The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the suburbs of Detroit were not responsible for the school conditions in the city.

  • Thurgood Marshall was outspoken against the ruling: “In the short run, it may seem the easier course “to allow our great metropolitan areas to be divided up into two cities – one white, the other black. But it is a course, I predict that our people ultimately regret.


The debate continues
The Debate Continues Ruling

Years later the debate for educational equality continues!

Busing as an example was used successfully to create more racially balanced schools in many cities

But it failed in places like Detroit - the numbers were out of sync to promote quality education for all

Did the lawsuits and litigation work?

Some think the debates and action were needed to address the social injustice in a democratic society  

Yet there is a doubt that the best ideas about common schools and public education have not been tried

So where did we get in 30 years of radical changes?

We sometimes forget where we were in 1954 and some do see a net gain for the society as a whole.

We got the laws in place that can allow us to move forward and develop a healthy system - but will we?


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