Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Invisible Quality of Whiteness in Our Schools - Higher Education

The Invisible Quality of Whiteness in Our Schools - Higher Education: Much has been made about recent Census reports highlighting the fact that White students are no longer the numeric majority in U.S. public schools. Awareness of these changes is important, but statistics on students’ racial demographics tell only part of the story. Interviews with educators at a Southern California high school where more than 80 percent of the students are Asian Americans or Latinas/os reveal that how, even when Whites are a small percentage of students, whiteness still dominates.

As is the case in schools throughout the U.S., most of the educators at the school I refer to as SCHS are White. Three-quarters of the administrators and half of the teachers are White compared to more than 90 percent of the students who are of color. While race alone does not determine perspective, this racial gap between educators and students is glaring. It is a reflection of educational barriers, historical differences and varied immigration patterns. This gap also hinders students’ access to racially diverse role models and approaches.