Equal education has not yet been achieved. Educational reforms and others have helped correct discrimination and inequality, yet small amounts still remain. Despite the current issues affecting equal opportunity in education today, public education strives to provide equal opportunities for all students.
Students came to receive equal education opportunities through a chain of events. Brown vs. Board of Education began the integration of American public schools. The Supreme Court decided that segregation had no place in public schools; they felt that segregation created a feeling of inferiority, which in turn affected students learning. (Webb) Even though this movement directly affected blacks, the outcomes were far reaching. Other groups such as women’s rights, disabled rights, as well as the rights of ethnic and racial groups were set into motion because of Brown vs. The Board of education.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was another movement that involved the federal government in American public education. Title VI of this Act insured that Schools who received federal money could not discriminate against students for any reason. Since Title VI, the government has the right to withhold federal funds from any school that violates Title VI (Webb). Title IX and Title VII (1964) addressed sexual discrimination both in Schools, and the workplace.
Another court case Lau v. Nichols (1974), Addressed non-English speaking students. Before the 1960’s most schools were taught only in English. The Bilingual education act of 1974 addressed this problem. The act ensured that schools provided special language programs for non-English speaking students, as well as funded these programs. Soon to follow were the Indian Education act of 1972, and the Indian Self-Determination and Educational Assistance Act of 1975. These acts increased educational opportunities to Native American children.
Serrano v. Priest in 1973 addressed the nation’s overall decline in school enrollments, lower academic achievement, and the poor academic achievement in poor districts, by pushing a “back to basics” curriculum. They stated that the “A child’s education could not depend on the wealth of the district.” (Webb)
Presidents of the United States addressed education Starting 1983 With President Regan. Regan in a response to sputnik and the Nation’s technological competition with the Russians was concerned with American’s mediocre education. A Nation at Risk: The Imperative for Educational Reform (1983), Stated that “that it would have been seen as “an act of war” if any unfriendly power had imposed our educational system on us.”(Webb) President George H.W. Bush administration approved six national educational goals; these goals were not supported because of the controversy over the vouchers that would promote school choice. Bill Clinton in 1992 wanted to be an effective “education president”. Clinton’s administration implemented the Educate America Act. Goals 2000.