Race relations in America’s public schools have come a long way. The U.S Supreme Court ruling of Brown v. Board of Education deemed segregation in public schools unconstitutional, and started the process of integrating public schools . Yet, Kathleen McGrory, an education reporter for The Miami Herald, writes that creating and maintaining diversity in public schools is still difficult, even 56 years after the monumental court case. McGrory’s article states though the nation is now more racially and ethnically diverse than at any point in its history, American public schools’ demographics do not exhibit this diversity. In fact, the pierce includes a quotation from a University of Miami professor who studies education and sociology that declares “Schools are more segregated than ever before” (McGrory, 2010).
McGrory’s article gives readers an opportunity to consider what race relations in American public schools may resemble in the future. She makes a compelling case for viewing South Florida as a microcosm of the future makeup of the nation’s public schools. The article makes a number of fair points; therefore, the account can serve as a start for further discussion of race relations in American public schools. Yet, if one examines the matter with the aid of other sources discussing race issues, then one can see the potential shortcomings of McGrory’s arguments. Drawing connections to other relevant issues and considering other important factors will enable the dialogue to develop a deeper understanding of present race relations in public schools and form a more a fitting image of the future of American public schools.
South Florida’s two countries boast an incredibly diverse population. In turn, the school systems mirror the racial and ethnic mix of the region. According to McGrory, in Broward County, 11 out of 32 public high schools have a near equal mix or Black, White, and White non-Hispanic students. In Miami-Dade County, most public schools reflect a school named American Senior High, where the composition is 28 percent Black, 65 percent Hispanic, and a small percentage of White non-Hispanics (McGrory). She adds that the public school population reflects the results of repeated waves of immigration. Based on these figures, one can understand the rationale behind demographers declaring South Florida schools a sign of the nation’s future.
Recognizing South Florida’s notable racial diversity is important for the issue of race relations in American public schools. Frequently, discussion about new race relations generally center on race relations between Blacks and Whites. Juan F. Perea (2000), in his contribution to Critical Race Theory, labels the cause for this practice the Black/White binary paradigm. He defines the paradigm as “the conception that race in America consists, either exclusively or primarily, of only two constituent racial groups, the Black and the White” (Perea, p. 346). The binary paradigm precludes other minority groups...