Moore shared this insight with other children's-book writers, librarians and editors, including Elinor Sinette, Franklin Folsom, Mary Elting Folsom, Frances Keene, Stanley Faulkner and Sylvia Faulkner" (Kohl, 1991).
Later on the Council on Interracial Books for Children was founded by Moore and they made it their cause to highlight the flaws in the text books. The council not only supported reform but it also became an example of an interracial organization. They started their work with the Interracial Books for Children Bulletin as a platform to highlight issues of treatment of minorities in textbooks and library books. Later workshops, public meetings and the Bulletin were used to augment the cause. This and other such organization made public the stereotypes and biases portrayed in the text books. They not only criticized writers but they also blamed publishers for encouraging books that supported a racist stance. Due to their efforts a moderate and better representation of minorities became evident in text nooks. Alternatives became available as others started writing in a positive frame of mind and publishers started using their work. When the council made people in academia as well as government realize the inherent problem of racism in the text books then they went on to include issues like sexism, homophobia and discrimination on the basis of handicap, age and class. It is very important for policy makers for infusing issues of discrimination and racism in the curriculum.
Precautions to Prevent Racism in Schools
School management can control racism by establishing, making or stating rules of behavior. These principles can play major part in nullifying growth of racial attitude in schools. There are many rules that may be cooperative in cleaning out racial attitude from schools. First of all school's environment is of key importance. Creating school's atmosphere on equality basis all students should be treated equally without any discrimination. Reducing class size and raising teacher quality are policies that all schools should follow.
In this regard teacher's attitude is also important as fair method of teaching should be applied & students should be given ranks according to their performance rather than judging them on racial grounds. Adequate and balanced interaction of teachers and students should be encouraged. Teachers should not give special attention to students of particular race and should provide equal opportunity to all the students. Teacher's own day-to-day interactions with other teachers and students and their general conduct conveys a positive message. Teachers should assist youngsters in succeeding despite a general environment that one way or the other supports racism.
The atmosphere should discourage any sort of grouping of students or playing racial jokes. Students or teachers who are in any way found associated with incidents of racism in school, then appropriate actions should be taken against them. Any activity that suggests the presence of racism should immediately be taken into consideration. It is important for schools and teachers to convey to students the messages of personal accountability and responsibility. It would be much easier to counter racism by instilling in children a sense of accountability rather than taking stern actions against them. Apart from accountability schools and teachers must show students an understanding and appreciation for diversity.
Developing students counseling in school can be a good step in curbing racism. Schools' management can also ask help from parent and student advisory board. Such counseling should discourage any sorts of grouping on the basis of race inside or outside the classes and should support interracial and multicultural approach among students Management should be appreciative of those students or teachers who play their part in eliminating any racial activity. Students can be given special assignment for understanding diversity like researching languages spoken by people in the neighborhood or investigating safety as a local social issue, surveying different ages, genders, racial, ethnic groups. There should also be classroom discussions of issues relating to discrimination and racism.
Parents should in the face of probable racism in schools try to instill in children a positive approach. Parents should interact with teachers in schools. They should launch complaints with school administration as soon they see any signs of racism coming from school or the environment. Parenting practices are crucial determinants in countering the racism in children. Parents are primarily responsible for the intellectual development of their children.
In the United States Fourteenth Amendment supports and guarantees all of its citizens equality. The Fourteenth Amendment states, "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." So, according to this legislation every citizen in the United States has equal right and any discrimination on the basis of race or otherwise is not supported by laws.
Apart from different organizations working specifically for the cause of education, specific laws have also been promulgated. No Child Left Behind Act is considered as the most noteworthy educational idea formulated and enacted in decades. The federal No Child Left Behind Act came into effect in 2001. This law was signed by President George W. Bush on January 8, 2002 as a part of reforming elementary and secondary educational programs in the United States. " According to NCLB 2001 the goal is to ensure that all children have a fair, equal, and significant opportunity to obtain a high-quality education, and reach, at a minimum, proficiency on challenging state academic achievement standards and state academic assessments" (Garner, Lacava & Simpson, 2004).
There are special provisions for Title I schools in the Act. Title I schools are schools that receive federal funding because they have a high number of poor students. Different states are setting yearly criteria for meeting the goal of all children performing at grade level by 2014. There are many bottlenecks, problems and issues that have surfaced following its enforcement in United States but still passage of this Act could be considered a step in the direction helping all students irrespective of their races. Poor schools and students are given importance in the law. There might be flaws in the laws but process should continue and contribute towards removing the racism from the U.S. education system. Schools serving poor youngsters are facing numerous problems and so need more resources. Apart from laws education budgets should provide more than equal per pupil budgets for schools with exceptionally large numbers of severely disadvantaged children in disadvantaged areas with poor population.
Schools & Educational institutions must work to get the benefits out of their diverse student body. Diversity is now considered a benefit rather than a problem by modern education experts. The presence of minorities, people belonging to different religious, ethnic and social backgrounds add value to the overall educational & learning experience of students. If used productively such a diverse student body can do wonders for an educational institution. Diversity can give students a broader perspective. If managed successfully then diversity builds the spirit of trust and tolerance in young minds who can later contribute a great deal to the society at large.
The success of the schools today depends on the skill of school administrators related to the management of diversity. Today in most American educational institutions diversity should become a part of overall education strategy. All educational institution at all levels (primary, secondary & high school) should have specialized diversity programs for attracting, retaining and managing diverse student body. In this regard exemplary schools have been operating in the country that support diversity and curb a climate of racist peer pressure. An increasing number of schools have adopted new curricula promoting racial and ethnic awareness. These schools became an example for others to follow through multicultural education. It is high time that all schools considered diversity as an opportunity. Diversity is the way forward for both students and schools. Diversity is the face of future and so all schools should embrace it with open arms.
Any educational institute in a society plays a major and important role in the development and growth of society. Schools prepare youth to take on challenges and play their part in prosperity of the society. So, each and every school should be free from any sort of racism. Schools should provide a pure and excellent atmosphere where a student can groom himself and contribute to the society. In fact multicultural education is the new mantra of the developed world. Schooling is the foundation for racial harmony in the society at large.
Graner, P., Lacava, P., & Simpson, R. (2004). The No Child Left Behind Act: Challenges and Implications for Educators. Intervention in School…