What is the rationale of the Critical Race Theory in the No Child Left Behind Act that offers both material and the psycho-social conditions faced by Hispanic children and their families that are face poverty that affecting their educational attainment?
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According to the UCLA Public Affairs Department, Critical Race Theory (CRT) involves analyzing race and inequality from a legal perspective. From a learning standpoint, the cultural and racial profile of a person is projected into a person's education through the unwritten rules of the educational system. A close observation and analysis of the system is necessary to find the problems within the educational system related to race and inequality.
The legislative act titled No Child Left Behind (NCLB) identified subliminal practices in education that had a negative effect on the education of Hispanic children. One of the identified issues was associated with language barriers. Many Hispanic students with Spanish as the primary language spoken in their homes were subject to the expectation that English was the only language considered acceptable. Therefore, prior to NCLB, considerations to assist students in learning English and supports to improve their English abilities were not present in the school system. The language barrier limited the student's educational progression.
Other issues related to the language barrier was the inability for Spanish-speaking parents to advocate for their child or understand many of the school policies and paperwork because it was written in English. The reluctance for the information to be interpreted in Spanish and provided to the parents was perpetuated by the Anglo-Saxon desire to ignore all languages other than English. NCLB required that forms and information should be provided to Hispanics in a language they could read, and the provision of an interpreter put in place during parent-teacher meetings.
Schools with a high attendance of Hispanic students with lower incomes suffered because of the unequal distribution of wealth provided to the schools. Under NCLB, the government examined the quality of education and qualifications of teachers educating Hispanic students and found many were less qualified than teachers who taught in schools with a predominately White population (Johnson, 2007).
The classification of students by race in the educational system perpetuated racial identity. Although a Hispanic child may be the child of an integrated couple, the child continued to be listed as Hispanic. Racial lines were originally established as a means of identification between Black and White students. Race is a social construct and should not be used as a means of classifying students. However, the classification of race and the neighborhood in which a student lived enabled the educational system to keep the population in predominately Hispanic schools (The American Psychological Association, 2015).
The perception of Hispanic students ranges depending on their location in the United States. Poor perceptions of Hispanics' occupations and history led to Hispanic student placements traditionally occurring in classes with students who scored lower on their assessments. The perceptions of Hispanics in the education system, the economic and psychological impact of low educational expectations of Hispanics coupled with the lack of educational resources were identified as perpetuating low economic status, lack of adequate health care, and lower levels of education. No Child Left Behind was put into action as a means to position the educators and educational system to implement vital changes that addressed the situation through legal action. The actions included laws that would lead to the provisions of additional resources through funding support, highly qualified teachers, and classrooms that included greater diversity (Johnson, 2007).
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