ERIC Number: ED309223
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Perspectives on Equal Educational Opportunities. Something for Thought--What Is the Answer?
Washington Office of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Olympia.
Educational reform movements aimed at providing equal opportunities for minority children have ignored the basic social, political, and economic context in which schooling takes place. Although equal educational opportunity has emerged as the central ideology of American schooling, underlying characteristics of American society prevent these ideals from being achieved. American society is fundamentally unequal and this inequality is perpetuated by limiting the access of subordinate groups to political, economic, and social power. The content and structure of schooling is not neutral, but actively reproduces this societal inequality through the knowledge and cultural mode which has been designated as a high status and through mechanisms by which groups are sorted and treated differentially. Schools are part of the larger societal dynamic which functions to perpetuate structural and cultural inequality, and school reform movements should be viewed, in part, as a reflection of dominant cultural beliefs. The following traditional assumptions about the role of schools in society are analyzed: (1) meritocracy; (2) upward mobility; (3) the myth of the "Model Minority"; and (4) functionalism. (FMW)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Washington Office of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Olympia.