Little Rock 9 50 Years Later

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In 1957, the Little Rock Nine entered the all-white high school in Little Rock, Arkansas. These black students began the movement for integration in public schools, and, as a result, were exposed to acerbity and vulgarity that would remain ingrained in their minds for the rest of their lives. What at the time seemed to be a civil rights advancement has sadly proven ineffective. Because of anemic funding for urban schools, and the human inclination to surround oneself with others who are similar, segregation still prevails in U.S. education. Two possible solutions to segregated schools are the reinstatement of mandatory busing and the redirection of funding so that public schools in jeopardy are allotted more. By ignoring this problem, the United States is accepting resegregation, an already proven catastrophe in American history.

In “Little Rock Central: 50 Years Later,” HBO's 2007 documentary about present-day Little Rock Central High School, a young black woman says, “You [Caucasians] got it all fed on a silver spoon when you were born.” Writer Jonathan Kozol affirms this statement in a 2005 article from Harper's Magazine: “The present per-pupil spending level in the New York City [public] schools is $11,700, which may be compared with a per-pupil spending level in excess of $22,000 in the well-to-do suburban district of Manhasset, Long Island.” Additionally, he states that New York City schools have not yet reached the funding levels that some of the more affluent suburban schools had nearly three decades ago.

Wealthy families can afford to enroll their children, at ages two and three, in programs known as the “Baby Ivies.” This two-year education can equal seven public school years. Nevertheless, students whose families cannot afford this – disproportionately minorities – are expected to pass identical curriculums and standardized tests. These children must compete with peers who have already developed essential social and didactic skills. In other...
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