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Oral history - Essay Example

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Yes.This is because affirmative action leads to positive discrimination and it lowers the standards or merit requirements of educational institutions.Also some minorities have too much advantage over the others mainly because they have campaigned more in the past.An example is of the Native Indian or Afro-American communities getting into high level universities based on their ethnicities.
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Interview with Mrs. Bessie Kidd Best, former Superintendent of Education And Interview with Wilburn W. "Skipper" Dick, former Superintendent of Education
1. What minority group has experienced the greatest improvement in education And experienced the least improvement
QUESTION OF FACT NOT AVAILABLE IN THE INTERVIEW-
2. Has affirmative action caused disadvantages of some minority groups over others
Yes.This is because affirmative action leads to positive discrimination and it lowers the standards or merit requirements of educational institutions.Also some minorities have too much advantage over the others mainly because they have campaigned more in the past.An example is of the Native Indian or Afro-American communities getting into high level universities based on their ethnicities.
3. How has this educator changed the education field
Mrs Best she became the Coconino County School Superintendent in 1929 and held the position until 1973. During this time she worked for the growth and development of this field and was particularly involved in campaigning for the right of married women to be hired for work and she mainly focused upon the growth of the school district in Coconino County and played a prominent role in the educationist reforms in her community.
Mr Skipper, a supporter of the Democratic Party has had quite an interesting career with because of the all the issues and controversy surrounding his dismissal as county superintendent and his unending support for the vocational, adult, and special education of the minorities. He was an activist and this is apparent from his demands that all students should have equal access to text books and his conflicts with the religious leaders over high school play
4. What has this educator done to change education for minority groups
Mrs. Best Not only has Mrs Best campaigned very eagerly for the right of the women particularly married women to be in high level teaching jobs, she has also fought for the rights of school which have a majority of ethnic students to have better access to the state funding and textbooks.
Skipper His record reflects his struggle as he spoke against racism and lay stress over the "cultural pluralism vs. "melting pot" issue. He created much controversy with his proposals to teach Communism and sex education in the classroom. Dick debates whether the Superintendent should be an administrator or a primarily an educator and the fear of politicizing this office.
5. How have the rights/privileges of minority groups improved
A prominent example of this is the ethnic monitoring systems and affirmative action.
However these minorities have also struggled on their own equipped with the knowledge that they need to achieve a higher status in the society.
6. What has the educator done to help with these improvements
Yes she has played a vital role to get the state to divert funds into the ethnic areas like the Grand Canyon. She gives an example where her campaign was successful and she proudly narrates how they got a senior politician Senator Hayden to lobby for a special bill to be passed in the Congress for a high school building at Grand Canyon
7. Has affirmative action increased the number of minorities in the educational system
Yes this policy has been very successful at achieving racial diversity in the education system.
8. What is the educator doing to improve the achievement gap for minorities
NOT GIVEN IN THE TEXT-
9. How have minority groups been included in the decision making processes, i.e. school board/board of educators
This has involved a combination of staffing and hiring policies and effective ethnic monitoring of the composition of the educational boards.
10. How has the quality of education for minority groups changed from previous generations
With better funding and to some extent the affirmative action policy the minorities are performing much better at education presently. This is also because they have been made more politically aware of their lagging role in the economy and the imperative need for them to achieve education to bridge that gap.
11. What are the social issues of that time period
The social issues of that time period consisted of cultural pluralism (the existence of groups with different ethnic, religious, or political backgrounds within one society) and how it had to be tackled in a way that the society was harmonised and everyone could be an equal achiever.This was an age when the educationists and reformists were combating racism at the grass roots level to lay the path for a greater overall national change of attitudes.
12. How has this educator influenced the social issues
This educator has not only set an example for the women of her time by balancing her role as "the hand that rocks the cradle" with the image of a dynamic working woman and an educationist. She has shown that married women should work to make a difference to the society and this should not be viewed as a social taboo! Secondly her attempt at emancipating the minorities especially the native Indians through campaigning for their improved education in her limited role has been of much influence.
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