Social Problems Essay, English homework help

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SOCIAL PROBLEMS ESSAY – OPTION A

Racial and Class Re-Segregation of Schools

Preliminary Data Collection. In order to “see” residential racial-ethnic segregation patterns in Chicago (which relates, of course, to education segregation), please follow the instructions below and record the data requested. Please save the data to this document and upload a copy of it to the Sakai Drop Box as a separate file from your paper. Submit this at the same time that you submit the paper.

Population Studies Center (PSC) at the University of Michigan:

1. Click the following link: http://projects.nytimes.com/census/2010/map.

2. In the pull-down menu next to View More Maps (upper left) click on “racial/ethnic distribution 2010.” This will open a mapping program showing the distribution of racial-ethnic groups in the U.S. down to the level of Census tracts.

3. In the pull-down menu next to Zoom to a State click on Illinois.

4. Use the magnifying glass to zoom in on the Chicago metropolitan area.

5. Using your mouse, hover the pointer over various areas of the map. As you do so, you will see the Census tract number identified and it will provide you with the population data needed below. (Please note that if you click and drag on the map, you can move it around to examine other areas of the city at will. As you are collecting the data, please feel free to take note of your own neighborhood.)

Your Name: ________________________

Gold Coast, near North side on the lake: Census Tract 801 (green dots)

_____% Whites

_____% Blacks

_____% Hispanics

_____% Asians

_____% Mulitracial

Jackson Park, South side near 67th and the lake: Census Tract 4301 (or 430101) (blue dots)

_____% Whites

_____% Blacks

_____% Hispanics

_____% Asians

_____% Multiracial

China Town, near Southwest side near Cermak: Census Tract 8411 (red dots)

_____% Whites

_____% Blacks

_____% Hispanics

_____% Asians

_____% Multiracial

Pilsen, near Southwest side near 18th and Damen: Census Tract 3109 (yellow dots)

_____% Whites

_____% Blacks

_____% Hispanics

_____% Asians

_____% Multiracial

Take a look at your hometown too! It might be eye opening!

BACKGROUND. Here is a little background on the larger issue of school segregation in the U.S. and Chicago. This may be helpful as you think through the Orfield article and the CPS information below in the actual assignment.

The racial segregation of schools has been a hot-button “social problem” for many decades in the United States, at least to many. After the abolition of slavery in 1865, African Americans started regularly attending racially segregated schools. In 1896, the U.S. Supreme Court (Plessy v. Ferguson) affirmed the principle of racially segregated schools as long as facilities for blacks and whites could be described as “separate but equal.” The results were a bifurcated system – radically under-funded, ill-equipped schools for people of color, and well-funded, well-equipped schools for whites, especially those in the middle and upper classes. Because our educational system is a social institution by which society transmits knowledge – including basic facts and job skills, as well as cultural norms and values – to its members, the system, in effect, perpetuated racial and economic inequality.

In 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court (Brown v. Board of Education) ruled that separate schooling for blacks and whites was unconstitutional. Separate is never equal. In the case of the Chicago Public Schools, up until September of 2009, they were operating under a federal consent decree mandating that the district desegregate. In other words, they were found to be separate and unequal, and had to change as a matter of law. Up until September 2009, admissions policies to selective enrollment and magnet schools considered race in admissions decisions to help ensure racial-ethnic balance.

Recent court cases (e.g., Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1, and McFarland v. Jefferson County Public Schools, 2007) have challenged efforts to encourage racially integrated schools and school districts. Essentially, the court is now suggesting that considering race for the purposes of racial equality in schooling is unconstitutional. The logic here is that we are now a “post-racial” society. Quite a change (!) and one that many disagree with.

The effects of these recent decisions on social policy are still being worked through in school districts around the country. In Chicago, at least in part due to these recent Supreme Court decisions, and more directly, due to CPS being released from the consent decree, a new admission policy for selective enrollment and magnet schools was recently proposed and approved by the school board. (The links in Part B below describe the new process.)

Paper Instructions

Please write a 5-6-page, typed, double-spaced essay critically examining the following three reports focusing on the social problems connected to school re-segregation in the U.S. (Note the “re” part of re-segregation). Your paper will be divided into two parts – Part A and Part B.

Report 1. E. Pluribus…Separation: Deepening Double Segregation for More Students, by Gary Orfield, John Kucsera & Genevieve Siegel-Hawley, 2012

Full Report: https://www.civilrightsproject.ucla.edu/research/k-12-education/integration-and-diversity/mlk-national/e-pluribus…separation-deepening-double-segregation-for-more-students/orfield_epluribus_revised_omplete_2012.pdf

(NOTE: The full report by Orfield, et al., is a fairly lengthy report. Please DO NOT BOG DOWN in the details of the report. You are NOT expected to read the whole thing. Focus on the EXECUTIVE SUMMARY. The full report has a lot of data. I think you will have a better idea of how to proceed after reading the questions below. If not, be in touch with me.)

Report 2. Chicagoland Schools: For Blacks, the Most Segregated in the Country, by Whet Moser, 2012

http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/The-312/September-2012/Chicagoland-Schools-For-Blacks-the-Most-Segregated-in-the-Country/

Report 3. Minnesota Schools: How Cities Benefit from Desegregated Schools, by Marilyn Harris, 2012

http://www.minnpost.com/cityscape/2012/09/how-cities-benefit-desegregated-schools

PART A

Part A of your essay should specifically address questions #1-6 below. I strongly recommend that you first read the relatively brief executive summary of the E. Pluribus report noted above, as well as the Chicagoland and Minnesota schools articles above. See my note in red above about NOT BOGGING DOWN in the full report. I don’t expect you to read the whole thing, but you may find various sections helpful.

I expect you to cite the three sources above in your essay using in-text citations; use a simple citation like: (Orfield, et al., 2012, p. 17.) throughout the essay, where appropriate. A bibliography is not required unless you draw upon additional outside sources. You are welcome to do additional outside research on this topic, but it is not required for this essay.

Part A Questions. The three reports attempt to define and draw attention to the social problem of resegregated schools (note the “re”). Be sure to answer the following questions in Part A of your essay:

1. According to the authors, what is the social problem at hand, what are the central concerns, and what data documents the state of the social problem?

a. Please include one or two separate paragraphs presenting two subjective concerns related to the social problem. What are the authors worried about?

b. Please include one or two additional paragraphs presenting at least two objective data points documenting the state of the social problem.

(You may, of course, include more than two subjective concerns and objective data points. Please do NOT ramble though. Get to the point using short, direct statements when possible.)

2. According to the authors, what fundamental “American” value is at stake with racially segregated schools? (Please limit your remarks to a single paragraph.)

NOTE: “Values” are a component of culture; they are standards of what a particular culture espouses to be “good or bad” or “just or unjust.” Values underpin our beliefs (i.e., the things we hold to be true) and our norms (i.e., the everyday rules and regulations that guide our behavior). We covered this earlier in the term.

3. According to the authors, what future “outcomes” are at stake for students (both white and non-white) when our school systems are re-segregated? (Please limit your remarks to a single paragraph.)

4. What other related social problems (i.e., for individuals, communities and the larger society) are linked to the intersection of race and class in our segregated schools? In other words, how does a dysfunction in our schools affect other sectors of society? (Please limit your remarks to a single paragraph.)

5. In a separate paragraph, please identify one key policy suggestion made by the authors that you think is critical in addressing the problem of re-segregation and describe why you believe it should be a top priority. If you think they have missed the mark in terms of policy suggestions, please offer one suggestion of your own and why you believe it is critical. If you prefer, you can examine some of the policy options noted below in “The Integration Report,” and comment on one of those instead.

http://theintegrationreport.wordpress.com/ (issue 28)

6. Finally, in a separate paragraph, please comment specifically (but briefly) on at least one obstacle (political or otherwise) that you think educators or policy makers will face should they try to address the issue at hand.

PART B.

For “Part B” of your essay, I expect a minimum of two paragraphs addressing question #7 below and one paragraph addressing #8 below. Question #7 relates to the following site that describes the Chicago Public School (CPS) policy on selective enrollment and magnet school admissions. These are the best schools in the Chicago Public School system.

As you read through the CPS information below, be sure you delineate between the magnet school process and the selective enrollment school process; they are not the same.

The following describes the most recent modifications to the process. In “Useful Tools and Information” click on “Tier Process”:

http://www.cps.edu/AccessAndEnrollment/Pages/OAE.aspx

7. The CPS policy for selective enrollment and magnet schools seems to be trying to ensure diversity in the best schools, but without explicitly using race as a criterion. In lieu of race, name the new criteria being used to ensured “diversity” and explain how this system works for both magnet and selective enrollment schools. Be specific. In addition, in a separate paragraph, tell me what you think of this new policy. In your estimation, will it work? Why or why not?

8. Note that the process above is for the magnet and selective enrollment school systems. It does not address diversity or segregation in regular neighborhood schools. What is your reaction to this? What, if anything, might be done with the rest of the schools in the system?

NOTE: This section of the paper should be clearly labeled “Part B” and follow your response to “Part A.” These should be submitted in a single document file via the Dropbox on D2L.

Also, be sure to review the Writing Requirements and Formatting document on D2L (in the Dropbox tab) and edit accordingly before submitting your final, edited version. Finally, be sure to review the “Grading Rubric” posted to D2L in the same tab.

NOTE: You MUST upload and submit your paper via the “Paper 2” assignment found in the Dropbox tab on D2L. Your paper MUST be saved as a Word (.doc or .docx) or Rich Text Format (.rtf) file. The title must NOT include symbols (like #@$%). Use only letters and/or numbers in the title. Thank you.

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