Racial Disparities in Education? New Report from the Center For American Progress Disappoints Me

On July 2, 2019, the Center for American Progress released a report, stating that: “The Next President’s Education Agenda Must Center Racial Disparities in Educational Opportunity.”

The report went on to state a whole lot of nothing regarding race and inequality. It included a whole lot of words that came from a whole lot of sources. 

Ninety eight different sources. 

I’ve sourced my way through enough papers in high school and college to know that the more sources you state, the least in depth knowledge of what you read you are spewing. 

There is of course, a lot of important information on this report, but none of it is new information, or even a new way of interpreting this information. After reading the very long report, you are left wondering what the solution is. 

How can I help with this race issue?

What should I be looking for in the next presidential candidate?

What exactly are we wanting to do about these racial disparities?

How do I recognize if my community is being negatively affected by these racial issues?

I can’t answer any of those questions after reading this report. All I am left is thinking of the glaring headline talking about racial disparities and all the other facts that were thrown in after the headline which leaves me feeling angry, and hopeful that may “somebody” is doing “something” about it. I am guessing the report is the depth of the something that The Center for American Progress is doing about it. 

So what can we do?

Recognize that race talk is vague and ambiguous. This is purposeful.

Pay attention in the upcoming census, and pay attention when you are filling out school paperwork. Many times, we, as brown people in “America” end up underrepresenting ourselves. We fill out that box that says “Hispanic/Latino” which is then prompted by the question black or white? What that does is erase us as people. We are still here, but on paper, we now become a part of the “black” or “white.” 

How is any report, or demand for racial equality going to benefit people who don’t exist on paper?

This is why I proudly state “Native American” on any document that asks me to put myself in a race box. Many people mistakenly believe that Native American is a term specific to the Plains Indians, or Indians of Federally Recognized Tribes. That is a farce. Native American is for any of the brown people who were here before the Europeans came and told us what to call ourselves and our lands.

Race is a very complex issue, and demanding that a President look into it is a rabbit hole that will have us finding a lot of problems, and not getting any solutions. However, since we are going to be throwing the term around loosely, we should at least give ourselves the advantage of being recognized.

What do you think?
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Melissa Cota

Melissa Cota

Melissa Cota is a Freelance Writer and long time education advocate, who has worked as a Reading Coach, Tutor, and High School Teacher. She grew up attending Chula Vista schools including Kellogg Elementary, Castle Park Middle and Castle Park High. She went on to receive a Bachelor's Degree from San Diego State University and now hopes to positively affect the Chula Vista Elementary School District through involved parenting.

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