Changes Brought by Civil Rights Movement

The Civil Rights movement, during the 1960s and 1970s, created many changes for both American society and its schools. The transformations were the result of such movements as Bilingual Education, women”s” rights activity, and the passing of the Public Law 94-142 legislation. The incorporation of these new laws and ideas into society all came with their own consequences. Each of them helped, in some way, to lessen the inequality of minority groups in America, like students whose primary language was not English, women, and handicapped children.
They also faced opposition by certain groups, who did not eel that their inclusion in American life was necessary. Those fighting for the minorities, though, were steadfast in their efforts, and made many successful The Bilingual Education movement in America began in the late 1960s. It was made to be an important issue due to the fact that many Spanish-speaking children were attending schools that only included the English language in their curriculum. This resulted in low academic achievement rates for the students.
Bilingual education programs were developed to try to resolve this dilemma in the American schools. In these programs, teaching was given in both Spanish nd English. Some attempts were eventually made to set a standard for the bilingual education and make it a nationally recognized idea. The Bilingual Education Act, passed by Congress in 1968, made an approach to legitimize the instruction of non-English speaking children (U & W, 317). It did not set any standards though, so how well the act was observed was basically left up to whose arguments were stronger–the opposers or the defenders.

The Supreme Court popularized the issue in 1974, in the Lau vs. Nichols case. This case involved “Chinese American children in San Francisco who spoke little or no English” (ibid. . Those fighting for the children wanted them to receive extra attention in teaching English. After the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the children, various proposals were given to attempt to solve The inclusion of bilingual education in America”s school”s curriculum brought about different ideas on how to resolve the issue.
The first of these approaches suggested that there be a special curriculum for non-English speakers, so that they can concentrate on learning the English language. The second involved taking non-English speaking students out of regular classrooms until they learned the language fully. The third approach, bilingual education, suggested teaching the student”s native language and English equally. According to Urban and Wagoner in American Education: A History, “advocates of this last approach sometimes emphasized biculturalism as well and These attempts were both supported and opposed by various parties.
Those who defended incorporation of bilingual education into American schools included politicians and other Hipic leaders, who were trying to prevent assimilation. Opposers included “teachers, Anglo politicians, and some Hipic intellectuals”, who thought that it was important for the children to ssimilate in to the society (ibid. ). Women”s rights activity also became popular in the 1960s, but did not have many large effects on the schools. Teachers did not want to be involved with the feminists, and so the activists also distanced themselves from the teachers.
The hard work and determination of the feminists did though, bring about the passing of the Title IX of the Higher Education Act in 1972 (ibid. , 320). This act instilled gender equality in institutions of higher education, and has played a monumental role in regulating fairness among the sexes in colleges and The Title IX continues to aid in maintaining equality between college men and women, among other things, though there is still work to be done. The act has been successful supporting attempts to bring more female administrators into schools.
In actuality though, women principals and administrators in schools and school districts are still scarce (ibid. ). Public Law 94-142, the Education for All Handicapped Children Act, was an act of legislation passed by Congress in 1972. It assured that all handicapped children received equal public education. It also allowed disabled hildren to be students in regular classrooms, an idea called “mainstreaming” (ibid. ). Included in the act, was a development called the individualized education plan (IEP).
This plan was for all handicapped students enrolled in the program, and it would analyze the children”s” progress, as well as any goals that Public Law 94-142 encountered intense debates from both supporters and opposers. The children and their parents greatly approved of the special education program because it provided a much more favorable education than what they were receiving previously. They were getting a chance to be educated n the same atmosphere as children without disabilities.
Others who opposed mainstreaming and the special education programs included various school officials, and the parents of non-handicapped children. The officials believed that Congress was violating the school system, by enacting educational legislation, without providing a way to fund it. The parents were angered because they felt that the handicapped children brought in to the classrooms would take too much attention away from their children”s” education. This issue was never quite resolved with the legislation, and it still remains today.
The Bilingual Education movement, women”s rights activity, and Public Law 94-142 are just a few of the ideas, movements, and acts of legislation that produced changes in American society and the education system in the 1960s and 1970s. Some, like bilingual education, affected what was taught in the classroom. Others, like the women”s rights movement, and Public Law 94-142, transformed the schools themselves, and also who was attending them. Each included their own outcome and consequences when they were enacted. The outcomes, in fact, have allowed for standards that exist in American schools today.

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