ERIC Number: ED250406
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1984
Reference Count: N/A
The Future of Desegregation and Urban Education.
Willie, Charles V.
The urban school desegregation movement, which resulted from litigation initiated by racial minority groups, has accomplished its primary goal of eliminating dual public educational systems. But it has also had effects that are currently determining the future of educational policy and practice. Desegregation exposed the urgent need for providing equal educational opportunity for each individual. Moreover, it has laid the groundwork for meeting this new goal by undermining the hold of the social class system upon the schools. Recent attempts to promote equal achievement (manifested in such measures as minimum competency testing) are merely one more effort of elitists to control public education. In the past, elitist techniques excluded racial minorities, other minority groups, and women. These groups, having benefitted from desegregation, will no longer tolerate any educational approach that does not recognize the varying experiences and capacities of individuals, as well as the obligations of "the many" for each person. Minorities have successfully rejected the meritocratic view that what is good for the elites is good for all. Education is now seen as a process for maximizing self-fulfillment, not as an end in itself. In the future, these lessons of desegregation will be extended to the suburbs, where social-class segregated schools have yet to be dismantled. New schools of pluralistic populations will be created, and along with them will come new educational goals that emphasize truth and honesty as well as academic proficiency. These changes will occur as minorities continue to serve as creative dissenters who insist that this nation live up to its basic constitutional values. (KH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA. Graduate School of Education.