Racial Dynamics the Organization for Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Differences in achievement are often attributed to race, ethnicity, gender or social class, when in reality it is often these demographic considerations that impact the ways teachers, parents, and educational professionals treat students. Lowered expectations for African-American students or elevated expectations for upper-income whites are common symptoms of the current and outmoded ideology. All schools needed to examine the problem with such obviously biased assumptions and to reform school curricula based on a more democratic ideology. Furthermore, the schools had to reform the definition of intelligence in order for the reforms to take root. Redefining intelligence was in fact the largest obstacle in altering the racial dynamics in the public schools.

We will not face such serious ideological challenges, as our organization is fundamentally different from a school. However, we face our own outmoded beliefs and assumptions and must also learn to redefine some of the essential aspects of our business. For example, our wish to diversify our workforce represents a kind of "detracking." We have prided ourselves in our uniqueness. In the same way that public schools gleefully distinguish their "gifted" students from the masses, so too have we proudly distinguished ourselves as a unique company offering unique services. When we diversify, we may feel like we are losing some of that distinctiveness. However, as Oakes et al. point out, such fears are largely unfounded; just as heterogeneous classes benefit all students in the long run, so too will a heterogeneous workplace benefit all our employees and all our clients in the long run. We will still offer the high quality services and multilingual support that serves minority communities and we will still cater specifically to the needs of the Chinese community in Los Angeles; that is our focus and will remain one of our main focuses. However, as we grow we will have to redefine our business model to include other communities of distinction in the Los Angeles area. We are lucky in that our city is diverse enough to support the development of a rich, heterogeneous client and staff.

Ideologically, all eight of us are committed to growth in the direction of heterogeneity, and must realize that it will not be easy to change. Just as the teachers, parents, and educational professionals at the ten schools Oakes et al. examined held tight to their unconscious beliefs about students from minority communities, we too will operate within the framework of our biases and prejudices. We are only human. However, we must be willing to rise above such biases in order to implement change. Otherwise we will stagnate from being too focused and too specialized a company. Therefore, part of the process of change would be to redefine our business's mission statement to include a broader view of social justice and social change. Through our commitment to diversity and heterogeneity we can reflect back to our community democratic values and help foster positive changes throughout the society.

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