Discussion of Race and Ethnicity in Education

Talking about race, ethnicity, and education in today’s US society is a touchy subject. In US history there has been controversy regarding affirmative action programs and fairness in college acceptance. I am a multicultural student with Hispanic and Irish backgrounds and I have already encountered this topic in my education.

I attended a science and technology magnet high school in the DC metropolitan area, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJ). An application process determines entrance into the school. This school has been recognized for its academic excellence, but has often been criticized for its lack of diversity. Currently, over half of the student body of 1,700 is Asian. Around 46% of students are White. The current freshman class has only four students of African heritage. Latinos generally compose one to two percent of the student body. Personally, I do not think that race should define diversity.

Many Asians and Whites at TJ would claim that race is a major college acceptance factor. They would say being African or Hispanic at TJ would practically guarantee acceptance into any prestigious college in the United States. Because of this claim, I would often feel insecure and often devalue my own intelligence, and question my identity and worth as a human.

Looking through national standardized testing results spanning ten years, it appears that some races outperform others. Looking at the various averages, I noticed that in the earlier years whites had the highest scores, but now Asians have surpassed whites. I have also noticed that African Americans and Latinos generally tend to score lower. I wonder why this is, what is it that causes such variance between races? I personally think that race is an irrelevant factor in test scores. I feel as though economic background, location, and parental education are more important factors. I respect every race; I do not think there is such thing as an academically superior race.

Above, I discussed some issues that I have seen and run into. For my research I plan to dive more into and explore this controversial topic about race and ethnicity and education.

Thanks for reading,

Kennan Murphy-Sierra

Stanford University class of 2014

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This entry was posted in CCR exchange: Stanford-CCNY, Fall 2010: Humanities, Identity, and Social Justice, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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