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The Effect Of Racism In Schools On Education

1441 words - 6 pages

The Effect of Racism in Schools on Education

I recent years there have been considerable interest in the
educational performance of ethnic minorities. A number of studies have
been carried on this issue, a common example is the government -
sponsored Swann Committee report Education for all. This report
carries out research on different aspect on educational performance,
and one aspect that stands out form all is, racism in school. Although
the precise findings of studies have varied, most have found that,
overall, ethnic minorities (blacks, Asians and other nationalities)
tend to do less well than other members in the population. The Swann
report found important differences between ethnic minorities' children
and white children. From a survey of five LEAs it was found that Asian
children did almost as well as whites or 'others'. Asians were
slightly less likely than 'others' to get five or more graded results
in GCSE exam or any other sort of important examination
qualifications. Although the Swann report did stress the importance of
the Asian community doing quite well, a certain type of Asian
community known as the Bangladeshi did particularly bad, was this, the
result of racism or the result of ignorance.

The Swann report found out that the average performance of West
Indians was considerably worse than that of whites. A shocking five
percent of West Indians passed an A Level and only one percent went
off to university. All though not is all shocking a large percent of
ethnic minorities between the age of 16 and 19 were in full time
education. This can be backed up by Jones (sociologist) suggestion.
Jones suggested that the greater tendency for members of ethnic
minorities to stay in education may be partly due to difficulties in
finding jobs in a labour market in which racism is still common.
However, it may also be partly due to a greater motivation toward self
improvement through educational achievement amongst ethnic minorities
and to strong family encouragement of young ethnic minority people to
stay on in full time education.

Before the discussion of whether schools are racist towards ethnic
minorities, the relevance of other factors that could lead to an
explanation of ethnic differences in educational attainment must be
explained. One such factor is language. A majority of Asian households
only see English as a substitute language due to fact that many Asian
parents were not brought up speaking English nor were they brought up
in England. In some West Indian households 'creole' or 'patois'
(variation upon conventional English) are spoken. However, recent
research evidence does not support the view that language is an
important factor. A study by Geoffrey Driver and Roger Ballard found
that by the age 16, Asian children whose native tongue was not English

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