How does the Critical Race Theory coincide with recommendations for improving academic success of Latino Students including: Reducing segregation and isolation. Comprehensive early childhood...

How does the Critical Race Theory coincide with recommendations for improving academic success of Latino Students including:

  • Reducing segregation and isolation.
  • Comprehensive early childhood programs for children.
  • Integrated platforms of serve delivery that target poverty reduction, health and human capital promotions.
  • Develop an educational system that is culturally, structurally, and racially sensitive to encourage diversity that goes beyond the student population.      

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pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Much of my discussion of this question relies on “Toward a Critical Race Theory of Education,” by Gloria Ladson-Billings and William F. Tate IV  T e a c h e r s C o l l e g e R e c o r d V o l u m e 9 7 , N u m b e r 1 , F a l l 1 9 95.  You can find this by searching the title and author, but I cannot link to it. 

In my view, critical race theory would not necessarily coincide with any of these recommendations for improving the success of Latino students.  It might potentially coincide with the second and third of the tactics included in your question (depending on what, exactly, those entail), but it would not likely coincide with the other two.

Critical race theory holds that we are not likely to do much good to non-white students when we push for civil rights or when we try to create more inclusive and diverse institutions in our society.  They say that these types of efforts are easily subverted and made to work to the advantage of white people.  As Ladson-Billings and Tate say on p. 62 of their article,

Instead of creating radically new paradigms that ensure justice, multicultural reforms are routinely “sucked back into the system” and just as traditional civil rights law is based on a foundation of human rights, the current multicultural paradigm is mired in liberal ideology that offers no radical change in the current order.

All of the tactics that are mentioned in this question can clearly be seen as either parts of “traditional civil rights law” or “the current multicultural paradigm.”  Trying to reduce segregation is part of traditional civil rights law.  Trying to “encourage diversity” is squarely within the current multicultural paradigm.  This means that critical race theorists would clearly argue that the first and fourth tactics would not coincide with the teachings of critical race theory.

The second and third tactics mentioned might be more likely to coincide with critical race theory, though that may only be because they are vague and not well explained.  It is possible that comprehensive early childhood programs and the promotion of health and human capital would coincide with the beliefs of critical race theorists.  However, it is not clear that they would because we have no details about how these programs are to be constructed or implemented.  Critical race theorists believe that we need to understand that whiteness has a property value and that whites are typically able to use the levers of power to protect the value of their whiteness.  This implies that any programs that come about through something as traditional and “establishment” as government is likely to be coopted by whites for their own benefit.  Instead, as Ladson-Billings and Tate argue, any efforts to improve the lot of African Americans (and the same should hold for Latinos) must be based on the idea of “race first.”

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