Goldstein Chapter 6 and 7 (On May 17, 1954, a unanimous Supreme Court…
Goldstein Chapter 6 and 7
On May 17, 1954, a unanimous Supreme Court declared in its Brown v. Board of Education decision that de jure school segregation was unconstitutional. (Goldstein 110) This one act sets the mood for the entirety of chapter 6.
This decision over the segregation of white and black students was declared unjust on the basis that segregation played a detrimental effect on black students because it gives the feeling of inferiority.
Writing in The Nation of 1953, the black sociologist Oliver Cox wondered if Negro teachers would become "martyrs to integration... Freedom to work is at least as sacred as the right to non-discrimination in education." Any school desegregation program , Cox argued, must contain strong protections for black workers. (Goldstein 111) This drastic change came with repercussions. Cox was right that certain people would need protection during the transition. This was a shameful part of our history and people really like to cling to their old ways even if these ways are at times, Evil.
In the mid-1950s and early 1960s, desegregation was moving so slowly that no one could say for sure how Brown might ultimately affect the education of black children, or the employment of black teachers.(112) All that changed in 1964 due to President Johnson's influence. When Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, allowing the department of justice to sue schools that resisted of delayed integration.(113) This helped speed up our changes in the educational system. Though this act still had opposition through many loop holes by the school systems in place.
Where integration led to staff redundancies and school closings, black black schools were disproportionately closed and black teachers were disproportionately dismissed or demoted, regardless of their seniority, qualifications, or success in the classroom. (118) These types of closing were the loop holes used to reduced black teachers in school systems. If they couldn't directly fire someone they would just transfer them to a poorer school and shut it down to remove the perceived problem.
The federal Department of Health, Education, and Welfare estimated that between 1954 and 1971, the nation lost 31,584 black teaching positions and 2,235 black principalships, even as the total number of jobs in public education grew(119)
NAACP lawyer Jack Greenberg wrote a letter to The New York Times complaining that it wasn't enough. Policy makers must protect black teaching jobs in the South, he wrote since black educators held a "uniquely important place in Southern society"(122) What is sad about this is that a letter from HEW suggested that in a majority white school, one black teacher would suffice. Jobs were being lost when they didn't need to be due to the demand but racism kept people and their children down.
The Cardozo Project 1966. This project utilized veteran teachers to mentor new interns.
In the South, angry parents accused several interns of teaching about evolution or communism, and in a few cases, interracial relationships among aroused local gossip and hostility. (131) As with many other attempts to try and enhance the teacher workforce, this was met with racism.
But true to Anna Julia Cooper's and Zora Neale Hurston's warning, the Johnson administration's aggressive push toward school integration in the South often came at the expense of veteran black teachers(132) Through much of this chapter, I found my self feeling depressed. Though we have come such a far way as a society, we still have a long way to go in public education reform. I just hope we don't ever regress to the states that the educational system was in during the time periods of this chapter.
In Tuscaloosa, Alabama, the school board began cautiously, not by reassigning students but by transferring two black teachers to white schools.(117) This was met by local public outcry and George Wallace threatened to remove black teachers from white schools. These threats did work temporarily. I found this as one more disgusting act by our southern heritage. People want to know why we need Federal funding for education instead of leaving it up to the states to determine academic standards, you only have to look at our shaded past. .
Al Shanker is the bridge who links today's teacher union politics, driven by promises of reform and accountability, to the democratic socialism of early twentieth century, from which the modern teachers unions emerged.(133) Teacher's unions and other such things.
Shanker had issues with his administration due to lack of attention paid to student instruction. He was hired as a teacher and didn't know how to teach. His administration only seemed to care about trivial things like broken clocks and other matters that had little to do with instruction. This lead to Shanker to becoming an organizer in the teacher's guild the United Federation of Teachers.(134) I believe if I had met with similar circumstances I would have done the same. A broken system needs to be fixed.
The UFT started the teacher movement that was led by the cry of" teacher power" this movement utilized collective bargaining for higher wages, and an end to non-professional chores. (134) I have always seen collective bargaining as a great way to keep powers in check. If people have no way to bargain and ensure they get fair treatment then they will be walked over. The saying "The squeaky wheel gets the oil." comes to mind.
In 1963 Shanker Marched along side Dr King in Washington and in 1965 from Selma to Montgomery. When Shanker was elected UFT president in 1964, he committed the union to freedom summer. (135) The UFT was considered a trusted ally in the Civil rights movement.
This eventually would be short lived because a litany of Civil rights groups would eventually turn on the UFT and Al Shanker would be cast as a villain in the the debate over educational equality, seen as a defender of teachers' interest at the expense of poor children of color and their parents. (138) Whether this assessment was fair or not can be debated. He did defend teachers rights above all else. Some one had to.
In New York City in 1967, the UFT went on strike again, in part for the right to evict unruly students from the class room. This was reworded by critics as White teachers -90 percent of the New York City workforce- seemed to be claiming the right to determine which children of color were capable of learning. (137) This was taken completely out of context. We have a similar system today with detention and suspension. At least that is what I believe this is describing.
This lead to the community control movement. Where parents and neighborhood school boards , not city wide boards or superintendents , should have control over budgeting and the hiring and firing of teachers at local schools.(138) I could see this blowing up and costing a lot of teacher jobs. Parents can be crazy and unreasonable when it comes to their children. At times a lot of blame is passed in today's educational system. It could also lead back into community racism.
At a birthday rally for Black Panther defense minister Huey Newton, Carmichael declared that black youth" are more intelligent than all those honkies on those school boards.(142) Martin Luther King called this philosophy "nihilistic" and said it made more sense to advocate for poor people overall , not just black people. I agree with King. There is alot of blame that gets passed around instead of addressing the actual problem. Sure blacks were a target due to a large portion of them living in poor areas but this problem was so much bigger than that. There were children of other races suffering just as much as any other.
Ocean Hill -Brownsville JHS 271, parents were appalled due to teachers essentially baby sitting and not holding any type of curricula.(143) This was the response to busing children to all white schools. Teachers refused to help the children nor did they even know how to handle the cultural differences. Resistance will be met everywhere. This type of behavior is unacceptable.
There was a lot of striking, blaming, and racism during this era. This continued through out as the UFT and many other organizations placed their stances on many differing issues. This bouncing back an fourth eventually let to Ocean Hill-Brownsville's JHS 271 to be closed and reopened as Eagle Academy. though this academy emphasizes a longer school day and strict discipline, it seems to be no more successful than JHS 271 was(159) This school went through such a tug of war i am surprised it was even remotely successful.