America's School Segregation

Numerous East Los Angeles high school pupils left class in protest of the subpar educational system in March 1968. Throughout the following few days, hundreds more students from fifteen various schools join them. Students' frustrations with the educational system in the public schools they attend, which are almost entirely attended by Mexican Americans and have extremely high dropout rates and low college enrollment rates, are at the core of their protests. Due to the segregation of blacks and whites, enrollment in American public institutions significantly decreased. However, when the Supreme Court ordered the desegregation of Mississippi schools in 1969, the black-white segregation reduced significantly.

This research is written based on a historical event which took place in early1968 in Los Angeles and its focus more on the causes and effects of school segregation. Students in Los Angeles demanded for more bilingual education and Mexican teachers and administrators, courses that were relevant to their heritage and the overall improved school conditions. Forty years later, some the same issues plagued Los Angeles school district. This paper will focus on the thesis the cause and effect based on segregation in schools.

The causes of segregation

The contemporary and historical purposes of public education in the educations system of United States are strategic. The major aim of public education is to raise a citizenry which is educated to support the democratic process. In addition, the education system of the United States to prepare an educated group of citizens that will produce a stable workforce for the betterment of coming up with a more product economy and assimilate immigrants into the culture and the languages of America. As a country which is dominated by immigrants, many newcomers have successfully mixed with the citizens of the United States and have acquired a full citizenship into the United States policy.

Spanish people, for example, have always been in the struggle to excessive a form amendment of their rights particular freedom of speech, freedom of organizing the peaceful assembly, to petition the government for relief and secure equity in schooling. The Latinos at Los Angeles have remained a nation that emphasizes equal treatment under the law through constants and continuous advocacy of being treated as full citizens of the United States.

The battle of advocacy for fair treatment in the unites states schools began in the early 19th century with an aim of bringing equality in the segregated black schools in the Los Angeles in 1960's. It was an all attack on the statutory position of education in which schools were demanding for freedom to access right education and movement in the teaching environment as well as improvement in states welfare in the segregated schools. The key cause of the civil rights movement was the brown discussion and the outlawing jury that announces that southern apartheid was very unconstitutional and illegal. The principle goal of school movements began along sides the process of bringing the new government power into the social considerations of the southern affairs. The demonstrations to have an integrated education were led by Martin Ruther king. There was a decade of struggle in the history of United States for the almost decade in 1960-1970. In fact, hundreds of protests from the Los Angeles schools and other places were against unequal conditions and opportunities availed to segregated schools. There were about ten years of struggle in the United States congress about whether to cut off the federal funds to thousands of districts that had defied the directive of the Supreme Court led by brown.

In fact, the struggle was never for desegregated schools neither were it motivated by the interests of the bells students to assistance to the white students. The struggle was an integral a greater broader movement for economic justices and racial justices supported the alliance of major civil society organizations, the churches, students, and leaders of opposition in political parties.

In fact from 1954 to 1964, the effort of the law enforcement faced uniformed state and local resistance from the south schools. A group of civil rights lawyers from the NAACP decided to sue local schools boards for trying to face the desegregation process into courts that were presided over by the conservative federal judges. When the United States president John F Kennedy requested the 1964 congress to prohibit discrimination in all programs which receive federal support, approximately 98% of the blacks in the Laos angels were still studying in segregated schools. The desperation of schools came to the peak in early 1960's and 1970's and that both executive government branches and the courts lead the period when there was a massive support. In fact, during this period, the justice department, the education officials, and the high courts in the Los Angeles decided to maintain a strong and reasonable consistent pressure to achieve the actual desegregation of schools.

It was in the period of 1960s when the desegregation policy was transformed from an antidiscrimination policy to a full intergeneration policy. In the same period, the schools in Los Angeles moved from total segregation to become an integrated region of the nation. The presidential elections of 1968 which brought the form United States president Nixon Richard became a turning point that led to the first shutdown of the law enforcement machinery in education systems and changed the positions in which the department of justice encouraged the Supreme Court to reduce the requirements for desegregation.

By 1974, the schools in the United States, particularly in Los Angeles, found it so clear that there was no possible way for providing desegregated education for the Latino children and blacks who attended the minority school districts in the central city of Los Angeles within the rapidly changing districts. After facing the potential decline of the white enrollments and getting the mandate to desegregated districts, many school districts that were dealing with the declining middle class and white enrollments decided to adopt the antidiscrimination plans that had desegregated part of the population of students and the emphasized choice.

Effects of the school segregation

The continued emerging of subtractive language policies and curricula accompanied with few Spanish decent public school teachers and the attracting Puerto Rican and Mexican American students into vocational colleges as well as segregation of schools resulted in a collective fight for quality education rights among the Latinos during 1960's ad 1970's.

Students movements in both colleges and schools, the emergency of new activists implies the people in Los Angeles were not patient with the world war II reforms, During the 1968 spring, Chicano students in four east Los Angeles high schools decided to stage massive walkouts from class while demanding for better counselors guidance for the college. In addition, students demand for better Latino teachers, American history classes, as well as small and bilingual classes for those who needed such classes. The walkouts from classes to a movement were demanding for the parental advisory board in schools.

Much as these walkouts resulted in negative responses from the Los Anglo community such as crackdowns and arrests, the Los Angeles city eventually gave in to some of the demands of the students. Parents decided to form their own Mexican-American committees for educational purposes to monitor the new reforms.

In response to these school protests and campaigns, government agencies and private foundations decided to provide sufficient funds, made an official recognition of the demands of the Mexican American, and legitimated the students demands. Having an identifiable ethnic group was a point of the symbolic achievements of these school segregation protests of the 1960s in the Mexican American history. Mexican Americans developed hopes that their needs would be recognized by the society under several programs after President John F. Kennedy's tragic assassination and election of Texan Lyndon B. Johnson to the united states senate that resulted in the united states passing the1968 bilingual education act. In fact, the first federation legislation piece recognized the students' needs of those who were limited by English speaking abilities. At first, the operation of the bilingual education act by schools districts was a voluntary endeavor. However, after the 1974 the United States Supreme Court that was presided over by Lau v. Nichols mandated the provision of education services for learners who were interested in learning English language of any ethnic nationality background.

As an outcome of the high school movements, the United States Supreme Court had to recognize first the Mexican American as an identifiable ethnic group. This was so significant because the relief for discrimination extended beyond having racial classes. According to the 1973 supreme court presided over by Denver, Colorado, the Mexican Americans had the right to recognition as separate minority groups. The outcome of students in Los Angeles schools among Chicanos and Puerto Ricans affected a large number of society dynamics including the higher education. In fact, one of the most tangible results of this movement was the creation of the research centers for Puerto Rican and Chicano scholars at campuses. The research on Latinos in the campus social sciences courses was introduced in the traditional research agendas.

In addition, more Spanish decent and Rican faculties were hired. The experience of the Latino is a new legitimate study field and currently, there are new courses and academic journals as well as university departments that are devoted to Latino culture and history. The department of ethnic studies that encompasses Native Americans, African Americans and studies at the state university of San Francisco considered such entities first in higher education history learning disciplines established in 1968. In addition, Prior to 1970, the number of Latino students who were entering colleges was actually small than that of whites or African Americans students. Because of the activist's movements, the Latinos took an advantage of having greater access to higher education during the period of early 1970's.

The Latinos enrolled into public universities and community colleges as well as the ivy language campuses. In the period of 1970's the first generation of the Puerto Rican and Chicano Ph.D. Scholars managed to enter the united states academic field while teaching the history classes of Chicanos and Puerto Ricans and authored books from the specific cultural perspectives. However, the number of Latino faculties at the national universities remained limited to approximately 4% up to date but there are hopes that the Latino faculty will increase since there is a new generation of Ph.D. students that are entering the academic field of ethnic studies.


The latest challenge of the maintaining equal educational opportunities and access to students from various cultural dimensions lies in the young babies who are brought to the United States and remain undocumented. When they reach high school stage and discover that their citizenship is not documented, they may perhaps see little hopes for themselves in the dynamics of America. Hence, they will end up into being deported with their undocumented parents. From early times, the arrival of the Anglos, Mexicans, Cubans, and Puerto Ricans in America had imposed a great value in the education systems of American as means of political, economic, and social maintenance as well as upward mobility. The provision of equal opportunities and equal accessibility to education services has continuously posed a difficult challenge in the history of United States, especially to the Latinos.

The Latinos have continued to show courage, persistence, heterogeneity, and persistence in their response to segregation and discrimination. However, Latino communities have never left their constitutional rights aside and neither have they ever taken their rights for granted. This implies that disregard of their minority nature, they will continue to advocate for their rights in schools and communities as well while demanding equal opportunities and fair treatment.


Brian D. Behnken, Fighting Their Own Battles: Mexican Americans, African Americans, and the Struggle for Civil Rights in Texas (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2011)

Guadalupe San Miguel, Jr., Contested Policy: The Rise and fall of Bilingual Education in the United States, 1960-2001 (Denton, TX: University of North Texas Press, 2004)

Gilbert González, Chicano Education in the Era of Segregation (Philadelphia, PA: Balch Institute Press, 1990);

J. L. Logan, "ścoral Way: A Bilingual School,"TESOL Quarterly 1, No. 2 (June 1967), 50-54; and María Christina García, Havana USA: Cuba Exiles and Cuban Americans in South Florida, 1959-1994 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996).

Juan Gonzalez, Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in America (New York: Viking Press, 2000), 174.

Mario T. García & Sal Castro, Blowout!: Sal Castro and the Chicano Struggle for Educational Justice (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2011);

Rub & eagraven Donato, The Other Struggle for Equal Schools: Mexican Americans During the Civil Rights Era (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1997);

Thomas P. Carter, Mexican Americans in School: A History of Educational Neglect (New York: College Entrance Examination Board, 1979)

Richard R. Valencia, "The Mexican American Struggle for Equal Educational Opportunity in Mendez v. Westminster: Helping to Pave the Way for Brown v. Board of Education," Teachers College Record 107 No.3 (March 2005): 389-423.

Victoria-María MacDonald, Latino Education in the United States, 1513-2000: A Narrated History (New York: Palgrave/Macmillan, 2004).

Victoria-María MacDonald & Teresa García, "Historical Perspectives on Latino Access to Higher Education, 1848-1990," eds Jeannette Castellanos and Lee Jones, The Majority in the Minority: Expanding the Representation of Latino/a Faculty, Administrators, and Students in Higher Education (Sterling, VA: Stylus Press, 2003), 24-27.

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