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IJER Vol 24-N4

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The mission of the International Journal of Educational Reform (IJER) is to keep readers up-to-date with worldwide developments in education reform by providing scholarly information and practical analysis from recognized international authorities. As the only peer-reviewed scholarly publication that combines authors’ voices without regard for the political affiliations perspectives, or research methodologies, IJER provides readers with a balanced view of all sides of the political and educational mainstream. To this end, IJER includes, but is not limited to, inquiry based and opinion pieces on developments in such areas as policy, administration, curriculum, instruction, law, and research.
IJER should thus be of interest to professional educators with decision-making roles and policymakers at all levels turn since it provides a broad-based conversation between and among policymakers, practitioners, and academicians about reform goals, objectives, and methods for success throughout the world.
Readers can call on IJER to learn from an international group of reform implementers by discovering what they can do that has actually worked. IJER can also help readers to understand the pitfalls of current reforms in order to avoid making similar mistakes. Finally, it is the mission of IJER to help readers to learn about key issues in school reform from movers and shakers who help to study and shape the power base directing educational reform in the U.S. and the world.

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Introduction: Impact of Educational Reform on African Americans

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Introduction: Impact of Educational Reform on African Americans

After Brown v. Board of Education

Frank Brown

American education has changed dramatically since the Supreme Court’s 1954 decision in Brown v. Board of Education to desegregate public schools. Yet, in 2007 (Parents Involved v. Seattle School District), the Court ordered lower federal courts to, in effect, cease enforcing Brown (Brown & Hunter, 2009). Today, there are more minority than White students (50.2% vs. 49.8%; Hefling & Holland, 2014). Furthermore, of the approximately 55 million students enrolled in public schools (Weiner, 2012), more than half live in poverty (Rich, 2015b). Yet, Whites find ways to maintain majority White schools with choice programs such as charters and vouchers even as most students are enrolled in segregated schools (Kozol, 2005). And, sadly, fewer college students are seeking careers in education.

In the years since Brown, many White parents have relocated to Whiter schools or enrolled their children in private schools, as many states have enacted programs to counter desegregation with school choice programs (Brown & Hunter, 2009). But these reforms have not been successful (Herbert, 2014; Rich, 2015a). Charter schools are operating in 40 states, while voucher programs are allowed in about 20 states. These reform programs are no better than traditional public schools (Rosenthall, 2012). The argument for choice programs is to introduce market conditions into education to bring more competition between schools (Coons & Sugarman, 1978). But public education cannot yield to market conditions, because public education is compulsory—with the result that it cannot get rid of low-performing students.

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Educational Reform and African American Male Students After Brown v. Board of Education

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Educational Reform and African American Male Students After Brown v. Board of Education

Frank Brown

ABSTRACT: African American (Black) males in K–12 public schools lag behind all groups by race and gender. Black male students experience greater barriers in achieving academic success in school. This places Black boys at the bottom of the American’s race and economic caste system. Black girls, for several reasons, are more successful in school than Black boys. This is true when you compare Black boys to Black girls from similar economic conditions. Black males are treated more negatively than any other racial or gender group in public elementary and secondary schools. They are more likely than other groups to be placed into lower academic tracks and lower academic programs (special education), and federal compensatory education programs. Black males are subjected to harsher school disciple and suspensions than are White students and Black females, which results in more Black male students being underachievers (Ladson-Billings, 2006). This sorting process by race and gender begins in elementary school, where more Black males are placed into lower academic tracks (Tyson, 2011) and are taught by less qualified teachers. This tracking system is coupled with more severe disciplinary action for Black boys. This article provides information on barriers for the lack of educational success among Black males.

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The Impact of Brown v. Board of Education on Student Learning in Public Schools

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The Impact of Brown v. Board of Education on Student Learning in Public Schools

Pamela Young

David Dolph

Charles J. Russo

ABSTRACT: This article discusses three aspects of Brown v. Board of Education. The first section offers a brief judicial history of desegregation in American public schools. The second portion discusses the promise and ultimate limitations of Brown, while the final part offers recommendations aimed at eliminating the effects of racial segregation in public education in the United States.

The 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education (1954) provides an excellent opportunity to revisit the status of desegregation in American public schools. The anniversary also is an occasion for reflecting on the ongoing challenges involving school desegregation.

Anticipation that all schools “everywhere . . . would be desegregated by January 1, 1963, the hundredth anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation” (Patterson, 2002, p. 4) became a hoped for legacy that has yet to materialize in the post-Brown years. If anything, today, activity directed toward desegregation has slowed perceptively to the extent that it can be argued that with the lack of interest displayed by the federal courts, resegregation is actually occurring.

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Post-Brown School Reforms for Black Children

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Post-Brown School Reforms for Black Children

Are They New Remedies to “The Remedy”?

Latish C. Reed

ABSTRACT: This article critiques post-Brown educational reforms for Black children by examining what effects post-Brown educational reform efforts had on Black children. To frame the discussion, post-Brown is defined as the broad ideology that desegregation was supposed to improve education for Black children. This analysis explores how and why Brown came about. Next, post-Brown educational reforms and their impact on Black children are examined. These post-Brown reforms include charter schools, voucher programs, magnet schools, homeschooling, and special education programs.

The economic foundation of America was built on Black slavery as a staple and standard practice, as Blacks were legally prohibited from being educated (J. D. Anderson, 1988; Williams, 2007). Even after passage of the Thirteenth Amendment in 1865, which abolished slavery, Black people continued to suffer mistreatment, violence, and death when they sought education and other basic civil liberties (Litwack, 1998). The 1896 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Plessy v. Ferguson codified racial segregation in education and society at large by allowing the states to use the “separate but equal” document in Plessy to enforce by law separate facilities for Blacks and Whites.

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The Title I Program

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The Title I Program

Fiscal Issues and Challenges

Cosette M. Grant

Noelle Witherspoon Arnold

ABSTRACT: Title I aims to tackle the academic achievement gap between disadvantaged and advantaged students via federal funding to school districts serving low-income students and to help equalize educational opportunities for students from poor households. Title I has been the largest K–12 program funded by the federal government. Yet, despite 49 years of Title I investments since 1965, persistent efforts to close the achievement gap between disadvantaged students and advantaged students have not been successful. Using existing research, we provide information on current fiscal issues that govern Title I funding to give a better understanding of challenges associated with managing Title I programs designed to close the achievement gap.

Education is a human right with immense power to transform. On its foundation rest the cornerstones of freedom, democracy, and sustainable human development.

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The Problems of Implementation of Educational Reform Initiatives After Brown and Their Impact on African American Children and Their Community

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The Problems of Implementation of Educational Reform Initiatives After Brown and Their Impact on African American Children and Their Community

Richard C. Hunter

ABSTRACT: This article is organized into sections, with the first consisting of a discussion of many efforts to discrimination against African Americans citizens and public school students in the United States. These discriminations include slavery, Plessy v. Ferguson, and the “massive resistance” movement to public school desegregation, which was a major problem for the implementation of the Brown decisions. Additional forms of discrimination against African American public school students include school finance disparities, tracking, special education placements, and discipline practices. The second section of this article is based on educational innovations implemented in public schools to address the discriminations against African American citizens and public school students since the Brown decisions. These innovations include charter schools, vouchers, privatization, school reform, and restructuring the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 and Race to the Top—the final two of which are federal programs advanced by presidents George W. Bush and Barrack Obama. The final section of the article includes 10 recommendations that I believe are necessary if the nation is to improve public education for African American students. This, I maintain, will not be possible without first fully recognizing the gravity of the 416-plus years of discrimination waged against African American citizens and public school students in the United States.

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