The Educational System in the United States: Is it equipped to educate minorities?
By Manuel Hernandez-Carmona copyright
The minority preschool, elementary, secondary and high school
population continues to grow and is a vital factor in education
today. According to Education Week, the minority school population
from k-12 has surpassed the majority for the first time in
history (projected 50.3 percent). As more and more families
continue to make the trip to Florida, Texas, California and
other states with a steady rise in Latino population, the
demographics of schools have changed radically. The minority
population grows in numbers, but its numbers have not been
met with sufficient strategies that can bridge the gap in
their learning process.
Although it is a matter of survival at the beginning of the
adjustment process, education is a key value cherished by
all minorities, but at the same time, are less likely to receive
a quality education than mainstream students. How about those
minority students born and brought up in America? How have
they been affected by the phenomenon? The inability to meet
the growing demands of second language learners versus the
increase in the student population is detrimental for those
who are in the initial stages of the development of second
language skills and in dire need of a quality education. When
the minority lags academically but rises in student population,
the loopholes can become frightful, and the quality of education
for all students is at stake.
There are discussions throughout the states across America
that are making attempts to train and bring educators up to
date with the needs of minority students, but the increasing
numbers of students outgains the beginning stages of academic
support. There are reports of at least 1000 families moving
from Puerto Rico to the United States every week. With the
political outbreak in Venezuela, there are record breaking
number of Venezuelans also coming to the United States. About
75% of these families are moving to Florida. As a result,
schools are purchasing more portables and are hiring more
teachers but have taken lightly the academic process that
these students have when entering classrooms.
The United States Department of Education has preferred to
delegate its leadership role to state governments. As a consequence,
states are scrambling and improvising to meet the demands
of a growing student population but without a vision-those
efforts are left without purpose, guidance and direction.
Why not facilitate and create a vision and allow states to
construct their blueprint according to the needs of each one?
There are viable strategies available but not enough decisiveness
to foster them. Is the educational system in The United States
equipped to educate the enormous wave of incoming minority
students this year and the years to come? Some questions are
best left unanswered.