The Intersection of School Desegregation and Economic Globalization in America

By Brown, Frank | Forum on Public Policy: A Journal of the Oxford Round Table, Summer 2008 | Go to article overview

The Intersection of School Desegregation and Economic Globalization in America


Brown, Frank, Forum on Public Policy: A Journal of the Oxford Round Table


Introduction

Public education in America continues to be view as being worthy of major investments to improve the county's economic position in the world. But quality education for many Americans is still not within their reach (1). Fifty years after the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education (2) eliminating legal segregation of public education by race the country is still a long ways from realizing quality education for all of its citizens (3). Retired Federal Court of Appeals Judge Robert L. Carter (4), who argued the Brown case in admits that Brown did not achieve its goals. He feels that this generation must ensure that the Brown principles become a reality all children have an equal opportunity to a quality education in their respective communities; and the country increasingly dependent on the global economy cannot afford to under educate entire segments of the population along racial or social class to remain competitive. Exposing young people to people of different races is the only way to combat the self-perpetuating process of segregation that institutionalizes inequality (Carter, 2007: 248) (5). This assessment was also supported by Judge Carter's co-counsel in Brown (6).

This paper explores what happened in public education after Brown: changes in the demographics of the population, and economic changes world wide that should motivate the county to invest more to education minority children. Educational inequality is the major source of the pool from which America produces its labor force is changing; and demographic changes in the population along racial lines is increasing at a faster rate than in the past. This paper also focuses on the ability to produce well educated students to be more competitive economically given a more racial and ethnically diverse population.

Economic Globalization

Globalization raises the notion that someone anywhere on earth can do your job, better and more cheaply; and boundaries between nations are removed so businesses may engage in worldwide market competition (7). Lenin (8) in 1916 noted the role of economic globalization. Lenin felt that the wealthy investment class would use their capital to make a profit any place on the globe without regard for the workers in developed countries who lose their jobs. Globalization is more advanced today compared to the world in 1916 and the role of education in this new economic battle ground to become more economically competitive. The term globalization (9) and education was introduced in 1985; yet, economic globalization has been around for centuries.

Economic globalization has raised the ante for quality education around the world for those countries who wish to compete in the modern economy. Today, economic power goes to countries that can compete in this arena, not to those who currently control the most arms, wealth, or the hold politic dominance over countries but to countries that can compete more effectively in the new economy. The concept of globalization it induced in 1916 by Lenin (10) saw globalization as a means by which wealth countries could take advantage of poor countries with their capital without colonization. For Lenin globalization by in several wealthy countries (German, France, Great British, Russia and the United States) was imperialism; developed countries took advantage of their superior capital assets to buy cheap raw material and labor in underdeveloped countries. These countries would continue to remain underdeveloped and poor; and the transfer of jobs from developed countries to underdeveloped countries would cause suffering among workers in developed countries. America needs more financial and political support for education at all levels to compete more effective in the new world economy.

Trade between countries has existed form its earliest form, but in the past improvements in one country mostly help the country making the improvements as in America: the national railroad system and the national highway system benefited Americans only. …

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