Ladson Billing and Tate article response
The Ladson-Billings and Tate article contain elaborate arguments relating education and racism. Through an analysis of the implications of the urban classroom context, there are certain factors that are laid bare. The diverse factors put under consideration are relevant for determining the nature of the urban classroom. Advantages and disadvantages exist for a complete analytical process. In order to ensure that a complete cycle is observed in the process of analyzing the urban schools, crucial factors are put under effective consideration. First, race is the most important and influential factor that is given the first priority. The main arguments of the article are based upon elaborate discussion points that touch on race, class, gender, language, sexual orientation as well as the immigration status. These factors are influential in determining the effects of the diverse forces affecting the urban classroom (Billings & Tate, 1997).
The focus on the main arguments in the article offers a linkage between urban classroom issues and the discussion points addressed. Focusing on race, the article relates racism to have had an endemic and deeply rooted effect on the American Life. The article premises on the fact that if racism were to be merely neglected and unrelated, some form of educational excellence as well as equity would be realized in urban classroom (Billings & Tate, 1997). The public schools in the United States portray extreme violation of the quality practices that always lead to better standards of education. According to the article, the perpetuation of the inequity in education can be attributed to the policies undertaken in the different types of schools developed. For instance, there is a great difference between an African-American school and a purely white school. The differences are based upon several tools; all associated with property rights. These property rights are basically the amenities deemed necessary for the dissemination of the knowledge to the students. It is therefore clear that a typical urban classroom is entangled with several incidences of class and race differentiation. Though it is well known that the coloreds are the vast majority in the urban schools in the United States, there has been a continuous decline in the number of African-American teaching and administrative openings; leading to continued provision of poor services to the colored students. One of the challenges in the urban schools is the fact that there is a limitation of language study. Similarly, it is evident that only bilingual learning is promoted in the urban schools while white schools have a wide pool of languages to be learned. Reference of a school as non-white is regarded defamation. Other factors that lead to alienation of the urban schools are sexual orientation, immigration status as well as gender.
The article presents issues of utmost concern about education. Overall, I disagree with most of the points presented about non-whites in the United States. For instance, I completely disagree with the point that the urban schools need to be administered by purely white or purely African-American professionals. I oppose the domination of the schools by the white; it would be better if the African-Americans were the majority. The reduction in the number of the teaching and administrative positions for the African-American in the schools thus leads to increased hostility by the racist whites towards the non-white students; paying very little attention to what befalls the coloreds in their education programs. If the whites increase in the urban schools, there is a possibility of continued dismal performance and increased dropout rates due to the poor conditions created for the coloreds (Billings & Tate, 1997).
The implications of the decision to reduce the number of the African-American professionals in the urban schools affect me as a future teacher as well as my future students. As a future teacher, I will obviously be exposed to different teaching environments: white and non-white. Dealing with these two kinds of environments creates a high likelihood of strain for total integration and adoption to the systems in the two types of schools. For instance, I would be expected to check on the nature of programs offered in a school before I can effectively start meaningful teaching. This also affects my students in a more serious extent. My students are likely to experience slow level of understanding as I, the teacher, become acclimatized to the form of learning they are used to. There is a high likelihood that the programs offered in the urban schools are likely to de-motivate the students. Poor staff motivation is also a likely to ensue due to poor student motivation in the urban schools; no one cares whether the coloreds pass or not. In view of all the discomforts with the urban schools, I am less committed to being an urban teacher.
The critical juxtaposition of Ladson-Billings and Tate’s critical race theory in education framework with cultural subordination theory and cultural literacy addresses the critical points. To start with, critical race theory addresses the differences in the superiority of one race over the others; white over non-white in this case (Billings & Tate, 1997). While cultural subordination theory and cultural literacy provide a basis for practical aspects of day-to-day life, critical race theory tends to diminish completely the importance of other races over one race, which is regarded more important and special. Similarly, Cultural subordination and cultural literacy provide a platform for the dissemination of similar practices and beliefs that may form a basis for continued interaction and sharing. This is completely absent in the critical race theory in education where there is no likelihood of a similarity in the races. Neither is there a probability that some racial traits are similar to another.
Therefore, the cultural subordination theory and cultural literacy play a crucial role in the urban schools as they enhance socialization among the coloreds in spite of their distinct differences. The students are able to remain together in full consciousness of their cultural differences but maintain harmonious lifestyles while in the urban schools; their circumstances make them share. My pedagogy would be highly affected by the cultural subordination theory and cultural literacy. My teaching motive and focus, attitude towards urban schools, and motivation would be enhanced. This is basically due to the likelihood of effective change in the urban schools. However, embrace of cultural subordination theory and cultural literacy can lead to ethnocentrism. The results may not be very positive in the urban school set up.
Billings, W. F., & Tate, I. V. Toward a Critical Race Theory of Education. University of Wisconsin Press. 1995