The current problems that African-Americans and Native Americans face in line with access to quality educational opportunities are subtle and make most individuals from these groups lag behind in terms of development. It is worth noting that most of the African-Americans leave in deplorable conditions and are forced to attend low quality schools as they cannot afford to pay for expensive education. Again, the standardized tests that are utilized in evaluating students before being allowed to join graduate and undergraduate programs also limit the opportunities for African-Americans and Native Americans to access quality education in the United States of America. These problems have made it difficult for the educational system to reflect the required sense of diversity and equity in the United States of America.
This essay explicates the current challenges that face African-Americans and Native Americans in terms of access to quality education. The essay also highlights the steps to be taken to address the matter and offers alternatives to standardized testing.
One of the key remaining challenges that African-Americans face concerning access to quality educational opportunities is the use of standardized tests to select those viable to join institutions of higher learning. Perry, Moses, Cortes, Delpit, & Wynne (2010) reiterate that most African Americans and the Native American lead poor lives, and the standardized tests are usually expensive hence locking most of them out of the exercise. It is significant to note that some of them are not able to pay for the standardized tests because of the poor quality of lives that they lead. The high level of poverty denies them the opportunity of access quality educational opportunities that other students in the United States of America access. The high level of poverty is worsened by the high levels of inequality existing among citizens in the United States of America. Most whites do not have problems accessing the standardized tests and proceeding to the institutions of their desire. Notably, the brains of most African American students go to waste as they cannot afford to pay for the standardized tests that are demanded for all students before joining any institution of higher learning.
Another significant challenge is the high level of racism existing in the United States of America. Racism is a still an enormous issue in the American society today, and it denies most African Americans and Native Americans the opportunity to access quality educational opportunities in the US. The standardized system that is utilized in the selection of students to proceed to undergraduate and graduate programs is also blamed of accommodating racism hence denying African Americans and Native Americans the opportunity to access quality educational opportunities existing in their own country. Pitre (2009) affirms that racism also promotes stereotyping, which leads to the alienation of African Americans and Native Americans from key educational programs that would have been used to promote their literacy standards. Therefore, it is also significant to note that African Americans and Native Americans still face challenges such as racism even under the standardized tests. Thus, they are not given the opportunity to progress to places that would enable them learn appropriately.
The government should come up with programs focused on the promotion of education for African Americans and Native Americans. The program would be special; its focus would be to ensure that all African American and Native American students have the opportunity to access educational opportunities without any limitation. Kincheloe & Weil (2001) agrees that with the program in place, students from these groups would not be limited by poverty and racism. They would have the opportunity to move and learn in any institution of their choice as long as they have excelled in their respective subjects. A specific example of this program is the No Child Left Behind Act that is aimed at ensuring that all children in the US access quality education despite their racial orientations. Additionally, the program for the promotion of education for African Americans and Native Americans would facilitate equality in the admission of these individuals to institutions of higher learning in the United States of America.
Moreover, all states should come up with a better system of ensuring that all students are tested properly and fairly before getting the opportunity to move to institutions of higher learning. As noted before, the existing standardized method of testing students appears unfair as it is expensive and can be easily affected by the existing stereotypes and racist feelings. A fair system of grading would give African Americans and Native Americans the opportunity to attend institutions of higher learning and develop effectively similar to the white population.
The standardized tests is the current approach used to select individuals who are eligible to join universities for undergraduate and graduate programs. This system requires students aiming at joining universities to pay large amounts of money in order to be considered for the tests. Johnson & Johnson (2010) confirms that students are then required to take particular examinations that would ensure they comfortably move to institutions of higher learning and achieve their goals as desired. It is asserted that the standardized tests are always unfair as they encourage racism and unfair distribution of chances to all students in the United States of America. Additionally, these standardized tests do not reflect the true work and ability of students as they are not based on consistency. Thus, there is a need to replace the current standards with newer and better standards that would reflect the hard work of all students.
The best alternative to standardized testing that would help improve the ability to predict academic success is the accumulation of all the students’ results across the different years of study. This implies that the performance of the student from the earlier stages of study to the current level of study should be taken into consideration as this would help indicate the performance of the student and true success emanating from the student. Consistent results would be indicative of the improving performance among students, and the continuous decline in performance could indicate poor performance. It is significant to pay attention to the performance of the student before determining the level of success. This will be the best alternative to replace standardized tests that do not reflect actual success.
The rationale behind the utilization of all the students’ results from the earlier stages of education is that it would show the ability of the student clearly compared to standardized tests. The ability of academic performance is reflected in the consistency of the students’ results. There would be significant selection of students to different courses in line with their performance and the level of achievement over years. Therefore, the measurement of performance over years reflects true performance and is more effective.
In conclusion, African Americans and Native Americans still face challenges relating to poverty and racism in their efforts to accessing quality education in the US. The ongoing discussions indicate that the education docket in ensuring that the formulated policies with regard to ensuring diversity, equity, and standard in the educational system in America are effected without prejudice and favor, and this would require the involvement of professionals who are experts in teaching and learning in the decision making process when policies are determined.