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Week 1: - Essay Example

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By the year 2010, 51.7 of the total number of students enrolled in high school was white, 15.3% Black American, 4.2 Asian and the remaining 4.5% were native pacific islanders, American Indian and mixed races. Of concern were the statistics presented for white, Black American and…
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Diversity in the Education Sector; a Comparative Analysis By the year 51.7 of the total number enrolled in high school was white, 15.3% Black American, 4.2 Asian and the remaining 4.5% were native pacific islanders, American Indian and mixed races. Of concern were the statistics presented for white, Black American and Asians. The National Centre for Education Statistics (NCES) produces an annual report that conveys The Condition of Education in America as a whole. Previously referred to as the 40 indicators, years have seen the number of indicators used to compile this report increase. For instance, in 2005 42% of students attending public school were from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds compared to 22% in 1972. A noted increase, however, was that of Hispanic students. The enrolment of Hispanic students went up from 6% to more than19% between 1972 and 2010. As such, Hispanic student enrollment surpassed that of white children in the western region and Black American students nationwide. These changes are as a result of change in socio-political policy owing mainly to demographic changes (Bowler & Thomas 2005).
On a smaller scale, the state of Oregon reported changes similar to those seen on the national front. The state total for white student enrolment by the year 2010 was 65.8%, black Americans 2.5%; Hispanics 20.7% while that of Asians 3.7%. Taking 1990 as the base year, there has been a more than 40% increase of cultural diversity up till recently with a large percentage of these changes arising from Hispanic immigration. Of the 48 million students in public schools in 2010 4.7 million were English language learners. In Oregon, more than 7% of the total enrolled students were English language learners. These statistics indicate that there is a need to examine the cultural diversity in schools and come up with proper policies and curriculum that provides for students that fall under these categories.
However, research still indicates that these policies do not shell the culturally and linguistically diverse students because they still experience less favourable learning conditions especially in the public sector. One such report was done by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in 2007. Findings indicated that on average, White pupils in the 4th and 8th grades scored higher in math and reading than Black American, Asian and Hispanic students. Another statistic worth attention is that by the year 2010 10% of elementary and secondary school students were in private schools. Shockingly, this is in light of a 7% drop of the number of white students in public schools and an 11% increase in the number of Hispanic children in public schools. In light of the increased attention the media and other relevant bodies are giving to the state of education for culturally diverse students these statistics are shocking. The general perception is that white students are advantaged than other students and these are the same students moving at a very high rate to even better private institutions. Meanwhile the most disadvantaged students like the Hispanics and Black Americans are increasing in the public sectors.
NAEP noted a common factor in this situation, socio-economic status. Hispanic, Asian and Black American students generally come from disadvantaged Socio-economic backgrounds. Of the 18% children living in poverty nationwide only 10% were white while the other 90% accounted for Asian, Hispanic and Black American children. In Oregon culturally and linguistically diverse students do not automatically fall under this category but a significant percentage (over 30%) make up part of the 90% disadvantaged children. These statistics make poverty a condition determining the state of education especially in view of poor academic performance (Bowler & Thomas 2005). One would think that with this continuous, gradual increase of culturally diverse students would inevitably help change their learning conditions for the better but evidence indicates the contrary (Bowler & Thomas 2005). This is especially so because the reasons for these discrepancies in performance could be mitigated with the right policies and proper government attention.
While the financial status of the students’ parents and guardians is beyond the scope of the US department of education, there are other ways the students get assistance. On elementary and secondary education, The United States government in the year 2008 alone spent approximately $10,995 per student in all states. This figure was more than 35% the estimate the government intended to use. Given, the relevant bodies are working to fix these discrepancies but the rate at which change is taking effect is alarmingly slow. The diversity of students in Oregon State is a reflection of the situation in the nation. Therefore, Oregon state officials develop and continuously revise culturally competent policies to meet the rising needs of the students. The Oregon department of Education ensures the availability of a culturally competent education workforce by setting training requirement standards tailored for this purpose. Other factors include ensuring a bias free environment and provisions to integrate the students without inducing a feeling of inferiority (Bowler & Thomas 2005).
References:
Bowler M., Thomas D. (2005, June 1). Annual Report on American Schools. Retrieved January 14, 2012, from Ed.Gov US Department of Education: http://www2.ed.gov/news/pressreleases/2005/06/06012005.html Read More
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