Hampton Institute and the assimilation of Native Americans and African Americans

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The reformation of education for the Native American race was based on ideals of individualism, industry, and the acceptance of Christian doctrine and morality (Wallace Adams 15). The set of European values that were prevalent in American culture saw to it that the Native American race could never live in harmony due to Euro-centric hegemonic views. In the 19th century it became clear that the Native Americans would either face extermination or “civilization”. The term “to civilize” comes to represent the fact that no respect is given to the Indian American culture, values and traditions. If no mutual respect is achieved than is it possible to ingratiate the Native American subculture into the wider society that is America?

Today, Native Americans are one of the most under represented groups in the hierarchy of American culture. In the past they have been viewed as savages and lower level members of society. Attempts to educate the Indians were based on the ideals of assimilation or nothing at all. Policymakers never took into account that Native Americans had their own set of skills and intellect that they could bring to the table. In general, the system of mass education, not only Native Americans but for other immigrants has been based around deculturation and not ingratiation. This process is successful in creating a mostly unified nation but it fails to account for aspects of ethnic identity that cannot be drawn out and erased. The reason why Native Americans have done so poorly in decades following the 19th century is because the assimilation or Americanization process was in opposition to their culture so it was destined to fail.

How and why did the leaders of Hampton Institute attempt to assimilate Native Americans and African Americans (particularly during 1870s-1900), and how similar or different were the experiences of the two groups of students?

The 19th century saw the rise of the common school movement, which changed American education forever. The common school movement led to the collective socialization of the American population. Native Americans and African Americans have a similarity in that they were conquered and marginalized by whites. An Americanization process was inevitable. We will look at Hampton Institute in the 19th century in order to understand how this Americanization process happened for both Native American and African Americans. Both the techniques  used and the outcomes are important in comprehending the educational values of both of these marginalized minorities today.

Hampton University is a historically black college in Virginia. In 1885 its founders described it as “a school for freedmen, which gradually, under the care of the American Missionary Association, came to assume proportions which showed beyond question that situation, surroundings and opportunity had combined to make it one of the educational centres of the South.” The school began in 1868 as Hampton Normal. It started with 15 students and two teachers. In 1878, a party of seventeen Indians were brought from St. Augustine, Florida where they had been prisoners of war. This became the nucleus for the Indian Department at Hampton.

By 1885, the United States made a clear effort to try and educate the Native Americans. Hampton Institute reported “120 Indians are provided for by the United States Government.”

“For a majority of cases the three years’ Normal course is preceded by a year in the Night School, during which time the students work eight or ten hours daily and study two hours in the evening an arrangement which…weeds out effectually the incapable or unwilling.”

“The entire course includes, or more correctly begins and ends with the essentials of a good English education. Nothing more is attempted because experience has shown us that nothing is more needed to fit our students for the work which is before them.” (p. 8)

The course load focused on “the fundamentals of political economy and civil government”

Its important to look at the rhetoric that this writer uses when describe the education of Native Americans. “Will Indians study? Can they learn.” “Will Indians work? Can they be broken into civilized pursuits?”

In this time period the rhetoric used to describe the Native Americans was very disrespectful and it is representative of the negative perspective that the white American ideology had on Natives.

Armstrong, M F, Helen W. Ludlow, and Elaine G. Eastman. Hampton Institute: 1868 to 1885. Its Work for Two Races. Hampton, Va: Normal school press print, 1885. Print.

Diana Ryan Draft

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RQ:How and why have civic engagement requirements for US public high school students changed since 1990 and to what extent has this affected their long-term outcomes as citizens?

In the United States civic engagement has been a crucial component of society, whether it be through political activism or lending a helping hand to our fellow neighbors. In recent years, youth participation in civic engagement has fluctuated, resulting in a growing number of high schools requiring them to complete a certain number of hours of service in order to graduate. This increase is most notably seen in the late 80s and early 90s when“…[v]olunteer rates among youth ages 16-19 soared from 13.4 to 24.5 percent between 1989-2007”(Youth Volunteerism, 79). There has been a range of reactions regarding the movement of mandatory participation in community service, from lawsuits to sheer enjoyment, which beckons the question, how has this requirement change since the 90s and how has it affected their long-term outcomes as citizens? Since the 90s there has been an even greater push for service because of several reasons including the obvious importance and figures in place that encouraged it, which in turn has created a population of youth with varying perspectives on volunteering.


Over the years, there has been an adverse reaction toward the graduation requirement of volunteering in the students’ communities. One such case is that of Steirer v. Bethlehem Area School District in 1993.

“The Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the argument that a district’s 60- hour service requirement amounted to “involuntary servitude” banned under the 13th Amendment outlawing slavery. The amendment bans “forced labor through physical coercion,” not service that is “primarily designed for the students’ own benefit and education” by teaching them about the value of community work”

(Youth Volunteerism, 84).

This example, is obviously one of the most extreme reactions, surprisingly heard by a grand court. The Bethlehem case only further exemplifies the challenges schools face when trying to teach their students the value of community investment. One can assume what their immediate perspectives were upon fulfilling their requirement, which is a reflection of many youth: resentment and disdain. Researchers have attributed these attitudes to several factors like disorganization of service projects and imposing on the busy lives of the students. While mandating community service has been challenging in some respects, researchers have shown that it also inspires many students to do so as well.

At my former high school, Marble Hill School for International Studies in the Bronx, we were one of the few schools which required students to volunteer in the campus (there was a total of six small schools in the building at the time). I was invited to a student summit to discuss the effects of one volunteer club in particular, then known as Building with Books. When meeting with approximately 40 students from different high schools across the Bronx, we were asked to discuss the results of the survey we had taken, to which 90 percent of students agreed that by volunteering they were motivated to further advance themselves. Some students had become more civically engaged while others thought of attending college for the first time. Such results inspired the club organizers and school administrators who heard the news.

Richelle’s draft essay

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Richelle Benjamin
Professor Jack Dougherty
EDUC 300
20 April 2012

“How have the goals and methods of gifted education changed since the 1950s? What do these goals and methods say about the intended purpose of gifted education?”

The gifted child in American education is the child who exhibits a high level of intelligence and creativity. Gifted education in the U.S. exists to foster the abilities of these exceptional students in order to cultivate the skills they posses. These gifted programs cater to the needs of gifted students, providing a challenging curriculum instead of holding the child back with a curriculum catering to average or below average students. This recognition of the need to distinguish the education of gifted students from other students has existed since the turn of the 20th century. However, the gifted education provided in today’s public schools is definitely not the same type of education provided then.  An examination of the history of gifted education will show that the methods and goals of gifted programs have changed throughout the years. Gifted education is linked to the country at large, morphing to meet the demands that the country places on the student, in an effort to produce good future American citizens.

One of the first demands on gifted and talented education came as a result of the two major World Wars. World War I and World War II brought the United States into the forefront of international turmoil and affairs. In addition, the “involvement of the United States as a force and defender of persons… forced our leaders to seek other leaders” (Imbeau). Seeing how important good leaders were during these two wars, current leaders knew that their children had to be well educated in order to secure the safety and global dominance of the United States. Politicians and educators, therefore, looked to gifted education to prepare the minds of students who had already shown the incredible capability of becoming these leaders. The goals of gifted education during this time were to develop intelligent and globally aware young citizens who would later grow up to use their skills for the betterment of human kind, both within the United States and in the international world, especially when conflicts arose.

Another major historical event changing the goals of gifted education occurred in the year 1957 when Russia launched Sputnik into outer space. This event “caused an uproar because political leaders of the U.S. realized that this country had been upstaged by a potential global adversary” and that “educators who had been berating an educational system that drastically failed to meet the instructional needs… of our brightest youth… were correct after all” (Haenesly). Russia had beaten the United States in a contest of intelligence, and politicians saw that the best way to combat this was to promote the education of America’s gifted. Therefore, the goals of gifted education during the late 50s and early 60s began to focus on producing students who were globally competitive. The country needed youth with the ability to win the intellectual battle against its adversaries. Especially, “the fields of math and science were seen as the means of making sure we had the talent to lead the world in our exploration of space” (Imbeau). As a result, a greater emphasis on the subjects that would produce future space engineers had begun. Gifted education revolved around the need to send America outside the atmosphere.

Works Cited

Haensly, Patricia A. “My View of the ‘top 10’ Events That Have Influenced the Field of Gifted Education During the Past Century.” Gifted Child Today Magazine 22.6 (1999): 33–37. Print.

Imbeau, Marcia B. “A Century of Gifted Education: a Reflection of Who and What Made a Difference.” Gifted Child Today Magazine 22.6 (1999): 40–43. Print.

Working Thesis and Evidence Draft

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Research Question: What factors have caused an increase in elementary and secondary level homeschooling in the United States in recent years? What demographic groups have become more attracted to this option over this period of time, and how have the motivations of participating families changed?


Homeschooling in the United States is estimated to be at approximately 1.5 – 2 million students today (NCES 2011). While this is a small percentage (3-4 %) of the total estimated 55,000,000 American students in grades PK-12, it is still a significant number of people, and that number is increasing 7-15% each year. Parents choosing home schooling are mostly Christian (94%), and white (77%). They have above average family income and educational background. They are mostly two-parent families with the mother dedicated to the schooling task. The children seem to do as well or better academically and socially than their peers in the public schools (Mackey 2011). This paper will address the relatively short history of the home schooling movement in the United States, and look at the make up of groups that are its members. I will look to demonstrate that the groups have not changed significantly as the movement developed, but that the growing issue of school safety may influence more parents to choose home schooling. Factors causing increased homeschooling are travel distance, increased mobility, religious and moral values, education of women, dissatisfaction with school administration, special needs, internet communication and safety concerns.

America has had required education since its early colonial days. As the country grew, a small percentage of the population was effectively home schooled due to travel distance and other reasons. Education laws said nothing about home schooling. This situation remained about the same until the 1960s and 70s, when major cultural and social changes set the stage for a greater role for home schooling. Among these were dissatisfaction with the growing complexity of school administration, and distrust of growing lack of religion. Also the growth of the suburbs, mobility, and more people politically active (especially women), and more widespread women’s education led to a greater number of more independent and capable mothers, living in good sized suburban homes. Some of these women were willing to act on their dissatisfaction and take on the task of schooling their kids themselves (Gaither 2009).

Home schooling as a recognized part of American education is a fairly recent alternative to the common education. “The modern home school movement actually began in the early 1980’s with about 60,000 to 125,000 children receiving home based education”. Not many people were even aware of homeschooling before the 1980’s (Winters 2001). By this time there was at least one small organization of homeschooling parents, and those groups have grown over time. Several people were major contributors to the increasing interest in home schooling. These were John Holt, Raymond Moore, and Michael Farris, all of whom had strong Christian beliefs, and spoke around the country encouraging home schooling.

There are several reasons that people choose homeschooling. One is the desire to include religious content in the curriculum. Another is dissatisfaction with the public school system, both in environment (safety, including violence and drug use) and results (Lyman 1998). Another reason is to accommodate special needs children, or exceptionally bright children. Public schools, and often private schools, are unable to effectively meet the needs of these students. Though there were always many reasons for parents choosing homeschooling, the main reasons seemed to be moral and religious values. Conservative Christians were consistently a major part of the movement, and still are. Surveys from 2003-5 indicate about 92-94% of home school parents classify themselves as Christian. They are mostly white, but about 23% of them are minority (Mackey 2011). Of these, African Americans and Hispanics dominate, but other groups such as Native Americans, Orthodox Jews, Catholics, Mormons, and Muslims participate as well (Gaither 2009).

While religious, moral, and academic concerns were the main factors influencing the choice of home schooling until recently, the 2003 surveys show that school environment (safety, drugs, negative peer pressure) was the most mentioned concern (Mackey 2011). It turns out that as the home schooling movement was growing, so was school violence, due in part to the racial tensions brought about by the forced bussing of students starting in the 1960s. Gallup polls from the early 1970s found that the public thought school safety, called “discipline”, was the number one problem of the school systems (Warner 1999).

Home schooling has been shown to be effective. National standardized test results from 1998 show that home schooled children do much better than their public school peers, by as much as 30 percentile points across multiple test categories and multiple grade levels (Rudner 1999). As for social development “All objective evidence indicates that home-schooled children are well-adjusted members of society. To the extent that home-schooled children are different from others, it appears to be a socially positive difference” (Farris 2000). Although very recent data is hard to find, the home schooling group makeup does not appear to have changed much since the 1980s. The issues of religion and academic quality remain, but public school safety has emerged as another major concern. The internet’s improved communication and access to information may be another factor influencing the choice of home schooling, which may attract a broader range of parents.

Works Cited:

U. S. Department of Education. National Center for Education Statistics. Digest of Education Statistics 2010. Enrollment in Elementary and Secondary Schools.

Mackey, B. W., Reese, K., & Mackey, W. C. (2011). Demographics of Home Schoolers: A Regional Analysis within the National Parameters. Education, 132(1), 133-140.

Gaither, M. (2009). Homeschooling in the USA: Past, Present and Future. Theory and Research in Education, 7(3), 331-346.

Winters, Donald K. There’s No Place Like Home: The Modern Home School Movement, 1980-Present. American Educational History Journal, 2001. ( No. 28).

Lyman, Elizabeth  “Homeschooling: Back to the Future” Cato Institute – Cato Policy Analysis No. 924.  January 7, 1998.

Warner, Beth, Weist, Mark, Krulak, Amy. Risk Factors for School Violence. Urban Education 1999 34:52.

Rudner, Lawrence M. Achievement and Demographics of Home School Students. Education Policy Analysis Archives. vol 7. 1999.

Farris, M. P., & Woodruff, S. A. (2000). The Future of Home Schooling. Peabody Journal of Education, 75(1/2), 233-255.

Teaching Then and Now: Has Teaching Changed Over the Years with the Introduction of New Technology? And Have Interactive White Boards Changed the Way Teachers Teach?

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Technology is becoming more and more advanced everyday. Items that are faster and sleeker are replacing items that we once used. These are anything, from things that are in our homes to things that are in our schools. Many schools have new technology that teachers use. This might sound great, that most schools have this advanced technology, but when we look deeper do we see any change over time? More specifically, do we see any change over time in the way teachers teach? In this research paper, I will pay close attention to what author, Larry Cuban, feels about teaching and the implementation of technology over time. I will look at a couple of his books The Classroom Use of Technology Since 1920 and Oversold and Underused: Computers in the Classroom where he says that how teachers teach has pretty much stayed the same over time. I will answer this question in a different way and say that technology has changed the ways teachers teach. I will do this by r by reviewing some articles and books that look at teaching methods from about the 1970’s to the present to show that many teachers use this technology and there have been changes in how teachers teach. Finally, I will look at a pretty recent technological innovation, interactive white boards, and show that the addition of this novelty has changed how teachers teach.

In Cuban’s book, Teachers and Machines: The classroom use of technology since 1920, Cuban says that electronic technology has not changed the way high school teachers teach. Cuban says this is due to “school and classroom structures and culture of teaching” (Cuban2, 63). For example, there are teachers who resist using technology, which could be for a number of reasons (Cuban2, 80). Teachers might not be prepared, they might not have the time, they might not like change, etc. In regards to computers, Cuban feel like they are being used like how past innovations, radio, films, etc., have been used which means things have stayed the same (Cuban2, 81). When looking into when TVs were introduced, Cuban says that they replaced the teacher in a way because the TVs had things that were represented in better ways than the teacher could show (Cuban2, 38).

In Cuban’s book Oversold and Underused: Computers in the Classroom he continues to say how technology in the classroom has no affected the way teachers teach and how some teachers don’t even use it (Cuban1, 71). Cuban found that in some high schools, teachers used computers to help prepare them for their classes rather than to teach their classes (Cuban1, 85). When teachers were asked about how they thought of the new technology in their school, they said “technology changed the way the prepared for classes, but not a lot of teaches said their daily practices changed” (Cuban1, 95). Furthermore, Cuban says that the classroom is still teacher centered and not student centered. Teachers might not use technological innovations, like computers, because “it takes a while to implement things in schools because they are citizen controlled and nonprofit” (Cuban1, 153). Even though Cuban feels that teachers’ methods have not changed with the introduction of technology, he feels things will change as we move forward and teachers get more used to seeing and using the technology (Cuban1, 179).


Cuban, Larry1. Oversold and Underused: Computers in the Classroom. Harvard

College: President and Fellows. 2001. Print.

Cuban, Larry2. Teachers and Machines: The Classroom Use of Technology Since 1920.

New York: Teachers College Press. 1986. Print.

Working Thesis-Academic Dishonesty

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Research Question: Has the Internet facilitated the growth of academic dishonesty since the 1980s in higher education in general, and Trinity College in particular?

To most educators, the essential element to the success of their mission is academic integrity. It can be said that higher education as well as society will benefit from standards of integrity that pave the way for vibrant academic life, promote scientific progress, and prepare students for responsible citizenship. Despite efforts to uphold such principles, academic dishonesty is a growing concern for most educational institutions. Academic dishonesty has been a problem in schools as long as schools have existed, but over the past decade researchers and teachers have reported a dramatic climb in the occurrence of academic dishonesty especially among students in higher education, seemingly sparked by the rise of the Internet. Although increased technological developments of the last twenty or so years have been critical in creating new aids in research and avenues for faculty to publish their works, the Internet has made it easier for students to plagiarize, fabricate, and tamper with information. Another important factor that can be considered is student confusion over the nature of originality and textual appropriation when it comes to using online resources. Because many students do not know exactly what constitutes cheating and plagiarism through the use of the Internet, it is becoming increasingly more common and acceptable among students to use sources found on the Internet in some way that is not in accordance with higher education institutions.

A Campus Fad That’s Being Copied: Internet Plagiarism-

This article is about how a study conducted in 2004 on 23 college campuses has found that Internet plagiarism is rising among students. Out of the undergraduate students surveyed said that in the last year they had engaged in some sort of Internet plagiarism without citation. In a similar survey three years earlier than this study, only 10 percent of students had acknowledged such cheating. This study in 2004, by Donald L. McCabe from Rutgers University, surveyed over 18,000 students, 2,6000 faculty members and 650 teaching assistants at large public universities and small private colleges nationwide, not including Ivy Leagues. Professor McCabe says, “There are a lot of students who are growing up with the Internet who are convinced that anything you find on the Internet is public knowledge and doesn’t need to be cited.” This studied revealed that about half the students who participated in the study considered Internet cheating to be trivial plagiarism while only twenty-two percent of undergraduates acknowledged that they have cheated in a “serious” way in the past year. According to the majority opinion of students, the more serious way of cheating is copying from another student on a test, using unauthorized notes or helping someone else to cheat on a test. Most students believe that cheating and plagiarism through the use of the Internet is less serious and therefore students are more likely to partake in this sort of plagiarism. The article also adds that administrators at Princeton have said that many times students as well as parents do not understand why it is wrong to using sections of text for academic word without using citation. The author ends by saying that colleges need to make it clear to their students what defines cheating and that is important to uphold principles of academic integrity in order to stop the growth of academic dishonesty within educational institutions.

Student Online Plagiarism: How Do We Respond?-

In this article the author talks about how it has been perceived that Internet plagiarism by college students is on the rise and that professors and administrators are alarmed. It reviews quantitative studies of student plagiarism over the past forty years, as well as how institutions have responded weakly. Lastly it offers strategies for addressing and preventing such plagiarism. The author reveals that quantitative studies based on student self-reports have reported high levels of academic dishonesty over several decades, but vary from 9 to 95 percent of students admitting to some form of academic dishonesty. It is found that Internet plagiarism is highly influenced by peer behavior on students’ decisions to plagiarize and that it is on the rise among high school students. Because of this, it is now even more critical how colleges respond to such dishonesty. In the past, cheating and plagiarism was more time consuming, as it required students to obtain books, read, and copy. Now students can find online resources in a matter of seconds, with just the click of a mouse, which has led to the growth of academic dishonesty.

Works Cited:

Rimer, Sara. 2003. “A Campus Fad That’s Being Copied: Internet Plagiarism.” New              York Times, 3 Sept. nytimes.com/2003/09/03/education/03CHEA.html

Scanlon, PM (2003) “Student Online Plagiarism: How Do We Respond?” College                Teaching, 51: 161-5. Schon, D. (1983) The Reflective Practitioner. New York:              Basic Books.

Working Thesis and Evidence Draft – Moody

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What factors led to the passage of the Education for All Handicapped Children Act in 1975 and what was its immediate impact on local schools?

Before 1975, public schools had few obligations to children with disabilities. The vast majority of children, especially those with severe disabilities, were kept out of the public schools and even those who did attend were largely segregated from their non-disabled peers. However the 1975 act, which required all schools receiving federal funding to provide handicapped children equal access to education and mandated that they be placed in the least restrictive educational environment possible, did not come out of nowhere. It was the logical result of a wave of activism that started after world war two and picked up steam during the 1960s and 70s. Though the civil right movement is mostly remembered for the rights that it brought racial minorities and women, it also created a movement demanding rights for those with disabilities. The act was brought on not just by public support, but also by legal pressure. Cases such as Pennsylvania Association for Retarded Citizens v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and Mills v. Board of Education of the District of Columbia forced the government’s hand. These Fourteenth Amendment cases affirmed the right of children with disabilities to have access to an education. However, while the Education for all handicapped children act was groundbreaking in terms of what it promised, even President Ford in his statement on the signing of the act acknowledged that; “this bill promises more than the Federal Government can deliver” (Ford). Indeed, the years immediately following the passage of the act were fraught with problems. While some advancements were made, there were problems with funding, conflicting state and federal regulations, and a general confusion over who was in charge of implementing the policies laid out in the act. In the years immediately following the passage of the act, disabled students did gain greater access to more inclusive education; they just did not receive all that the act promised to them.

(The Following 2 Paragraphs are not in the order that they will be in the final paper. They do not, and are not meant to, flow into each other)

One of the greatest factors that led to the passage of Education for All Handicapped Children Act was the legal pressure put on the government by advocates for children with disabilities. A series of court opinions invalidated the practice of denying handicapped children of an education and, in a sense, forced Congress to Act.  One of the most important cases in this regard was Pennsylvania Association for Retarded Citizens v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania 343 F. Supp 279 (1972). This case challenged a Pennsylvania statute that required that all children attending Pennsylvania Public Schools to perform at a certain level. Those who did not perform at this level were deemed “unable to profit from… public school attendance” and were not permitted to either start or continue to attend public schools. The plaintiffs in this case challenged the constitutionality of this statute on Fourteenth Amendment Grounds claiming that it denied disabled children of equal protection under the law. The case was settled with a consent agreement that schools may not “terminate or in any way deny access to a free public program of education and training to any mentally retarded child” (Pennsylvania Association for Retarded Citizens v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania p.27). This decision was later reinforced in a Federal jurisdiction in Mills v. Board of Education of the District of Columbia 348 F. Supp. 866 (D.D.C. 1972). Therefore Congress was left with little choice but to pass this type of legislation. Despite all of the advocacy, it was legal judgments that finally led to the passage of such an act.

In 1981, the U.S Department of Education conducted a study of the implementation and impact of the act at the state level. The study sought to explain “why certain Federal and Congressional expectations are not being met” (United States p.2). The study found that many states were struggling to implement the mandates of the act. It found that State Education Agencies (SEA’s) were struggling mightily in there attempts to implement the supervisor provision of the law which required them to evaluate all programs for the deaf, blind and mentally retarded. The study found that attempts at implementation had resulted in “the allocation of a relatively high proportion of SEA resources, time, and effort which were only marginally effective in implementing the provision” (United States p.11). This ineffectiveness presented a clear issue. Not only were SEA’s spending a great deal of resources on trying to supervise and evaluate programs for disabled students; they were also doing a poor job. This meant that while many programs were being created, they were largely going unsupervised. While it seems that most programs were making a good effort at providing disabled students with an education, the lack of supervision presents an obvious flaw.

Ford, Gerald. “President Gerald R. Ford’s Statement on Signing the

Education for All Handicapped ChildrenAct of 1975.” Gerald Ford Presidential Library, 2 Dec. 1975. Web. 18 Apr. 2012. <http://www.ford.utexas.edu/library/speeches/750707.htm>.

Pennsylvania Association for Retarded Citizens v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania 343

F. Supp 279 (1972). http://www.state.me.us/education/speced/cds/training/miscellaneous/partc.pdf

United States. Department of Education. P.L. 94-142: A Study of the

Impleaentation and Impact at the State Level. Volume I. Final Report. By Charles Blaschke. Washington D.C: Education Turnkey Systems, 1981. Print.

Trinity’s Department and Program Addition Thesis and Evidence Proposal

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If you were to compare the curriculum of Trinity College in 1930 to Trinity’s curriculum now in 2012, you would notice that they looked almost nothing alike.  In the 1930 curriculum, you would see no mention of “Computer Science,” “Women, Gender, and Sexuality,” or even “International Relations,” and you would see over twenty new departments and programs.  Over time, higher education institutions, including Trinity College, add departments and programs to their curriculum, and many reflect current events at the time of the department/program’s implementation.  From 1930 to 2012, Trinity College has introduced several departments and programs to its curriculum, and many of these implementations reflect major historical changes outside of the college.

One of the most profound influences of department/program additions to Trinity College is the United States’ wars and other international affairs.  In 1949, Trinity added a “Military Science” department.[1] This department’s implementation coincided with the Cold War which lasted from 1945 to 1991[2].  It also was added five years after the implementation of the GI Bill (Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944) which gave money to World War II veterans for a variety of uses, one of which was tuition to college.[3] Trinity’s implementation of Military Science reflects the student-veterans on campus and the status of the Cold War.  Prior to the addition of the Military Science department, Trinity had not had any military-related departments or courses.

The department Military Science only lasted for one year at Trinity, but was replaced by the new department “Air Science and Tactics” in 1950.[4] This department held courses relating to the military and to air science knowledge (such as airplane function and using airplanes and other such pieces of equipment in the military).  At this time in history, airplane technology was advancing rapidly.  During World War II countries invested heavily in airplane technology, and used these pieces of technology in the war, such as airplane-detecting radar, radiowave navigation techniques, airborne radar, and the first practical jet fighter.[5] Following the war, the US broke the sound barrier with a jet (1947) and the first jet-powered commercial aircraft was built (1949).[6] The combination of air space technology and the Cold War sparked Trinity’s implementation of its Air Science and Tactics department.

In Trinity’s 1965-1966 school year, the Air Space and Tactics department became “Aerospace Studies.”  Aerospace studies incorporated material on outer space studies into the air science curriculum.[7] Meanwhile off campus, the US was engaged in the “Space Race” with the Soviet Union at this time.  Beginning in 1957 with the Soviet Union’s infamous Sputnik, the Space Race was an American focal point for the next eighteen years, with its most intense years from 1957 to 1969.  Because of America’s large investment in “winning” the Space Race (“from 1961 to 1964, NASA’s budget was increased almost 500 percent”[8]), it is no surprise that higher education establishments invested in it as well.  Shortly after the US landed in the moon in 1969, Trinity subtracted its aerospace program before the start of the 1971-1972 school year.[9]

International affairs were not the only influences on Trinity’s addition of departments and programs.  In the 1997-1998 school year, Trinity made it evident that domestic affairs had a significant influence as well when it added “Courses Related to Gay and Lesbian Studies.”[10] In the 1990’s there was a surge of homosexual rights activism sparked by occurrences such as the implementation of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in 1993[11], Baehr v. Lewin (1993) in which the Hawaii Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage but the state’s legislature overruled the ruling (sparking great controversy)[12], and Romer v. Evans (1996) in which Colorado guaranteed gays and lesbians protections against discrimination.[13] Student activism on Trinity’s campus reflected the atmosphere in America.  In 1993 and 1997 Trinity students spoke up and stood up for gay and lesbian rights by holding protests, such as the Long Walk March for gay support in 1993[14]; creating student groups, such as E.R.O.S. which dealt with gay, lesbian, and bisexual issues[15]; and writing opinion pieces for/to the Tripod (which includes several articles).  With so much energy around the gay rights movement in the 90s, Trinity was right on the ball with adding Gay and Lesbian Studies.
Another inevitable addition to Trinity’s curriculum was “Computer Science”.  Computers had been in progress before Trinity added their computer courses in the 1975-1976 school year, but computers did not become consumer-accessible until one full school year before these courses were actually implemented.  In 1974/75, the first consumer computers were introduced,[16] thus starting the world’s computer hype.  In the 1975-1976 school year, Trinity officially added a “Computing Coordinate Major”[17] which would come to be known as “Computer Science” in later years.

It is safe to say that every department and program that arrives at Trinity got there for a specific reason.    By looking at the historical context in which the department is placed, we can gain excellent insight as to the department/program’s roots.  Trinity always has been and always will be affected by the world outside of its campus.  Who knows what departments we will see next?

[1] “Trinity College Hartford, Connecticut Bulletin”, 1949

[2] Kennedy, David M., Lizabeth Cohen, and Thomas A. Bailey. The American Pageant. 13th ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2006.

[3] Kennedy, David M., Lizabeth Cohen, and Thomas A. Bailey. The American Pageant. 13th ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2006.

[4] “Trinity College Hartford, Connecticut Bulletin”, 1950

[5] National Academy of Engineering. “Airplane Timeline – Greatest Engineering Achievements of the Twentieth Century.” Greatest Engineering Achievements of the 20th Century, 2012. http://www.greatachievements.org/?id=3728.

[6] National Academy of Engineering. “Airplane Timeline – Greatest Engineering Achievements of the Twentieth Century.” Greatest Engineering Achievements of the 20th Century, 2012. http://www.greatachievements.org/?id=3728.

[7] “Trinity College Hartford, Connecticut Bulletin”, 1965-1966

[8] “The Space Race.” The History Channel Website, 2012. http://www.history.com/topics/space-race.

[9] “Trinity College Hartford, Connecticut Bulletin”, 1971-1972

[10] “Trinity College Hartford, Connecticut Bulletin”, 1997-1998

[11] “The American Gay Rights Movement: A Timeline.” Infoplease, 2011. http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0761909.html.

[12] Head, Tom. “The American Gay Rights Movement – A Short History.” About.com – Civil Liberties, 2012. http://civilliberty.about.com/od/gendersexuality/tp/History-Gay-Rights-Movement.htm.

[13] “The American Gay Rights Movement: A Timeline.” Infoplease, 2011. http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0761909.html.

[14] Sullivan, Paul. “Long Walk March Supports Gays.” The Trinity Tripod, May 4, 1993, Vol XCI No.22 edition. http://images.trincoll.edu/cdm4/document.php?CISOROOT=/tripod&CISOPTR=4644&REC=4.

[15] Genco, Beth. “E.R.O.S. Formed to Deal With All Sexual Preferences.” The Trinity Tripod, March 30, 1993, Vol. XCI No. 18 edition.

[16] Bellis, Mary. “The History of Computers.” About.com – Inventors, 2012. http://inventors.about.com/library/blcoindex.htm.

[17] “Trinity College Hartford, Connecticut Bulletin”, 1975-1976

Two-way Bilingual Immersion

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Research Question: How have schools implemented different variations of two-way immersion programs and what are the long-term effects of these programs?


Two-way bilingual immersion (TWBI) programs integrate native English speakers and native speakers of a different language for academic instruction through both languages. Unlike ESL where only language minority students are learning the dominant language, the programs designed by this model are options that benefit both language minority and language majority students. Two-way bilingual immersion education has great potential to promote skills that students will need for the changing global job market and to help eradicate the achievement gap between native English-speaking and English language-learning students (Lindholm-Leary, 56). The major goals of TWBI programs are for students to develop high levels of oral language skills and literacy both English and the non-English language, attain academic achievement at or above grade level as measured in both languages, hold positive attitudes toward school and themselves, and exhibit knowledge about positive attitudes toward other cultures (Lindholm-Leary, 57). Even though most of the programs revolve around the Spanish/English language, other programs include French, Chinese, Korean, Navajo and Portuguese.

Although there is variability in the implementation of these TWBI programs there are two common instructional designs: 50:50 and 90:10. In the 50:50 model, instructional time is evenly divided between the two languages across all grade levels. Usually in the first or second year of instruction, in the 90:10 model, students spend 90 percent of their instructional day with content delivered through the partner language. Over the course of primary grades, instruction in the second language decreases while instruction in English increases. For both the 90:10 model and the 50:50 model, the content area taught in each language depend on the available curriculum and resource materials and on particular needs at each school site (Lindholm-Leary, 57).

Variations in Implementation

All striving for dual language proficiency and academic achievement, schools have implemented different variations of two-way bilingual immersion programs. There are differences in language, student population and enrollment, and program features and designs. Although Spanish is the most prevalent second language, programs differ in target languages and in the proportion of students who speak both languages. Ideally, these programs work best when the numbers of language majority and language minority students are balanced. There are different implementations of this model that may or may not maintain this balance amongst the students. For example, programs with a first come, first served policy does not guarantee this balance because it may enroll more language majority than language minority students or vice versa. Programs also differ in how they enroll students. Some may consider language background and proficiency while others may screen students for other characteristics like learning disabilities. Many of these programs set an upper limit and prevent newcomers from joining the program at upper level grades. Neighborhood based programs and magnet schools attract specifics groups of students. While neighborhood based programs only enroll students from the local neighborhood, magnet schools enroll students throughout the district. Other variable features stemming from local policy or budget decisions include staffing, special resources, summer sessions and language classes for parents (Christian, 70). Amongst all differences, programs vary in design choices and can be grouped as either allocation of languages or student integration. The allocation of languages design focuses on the distribution of both languages while the student integration design focuses on integrating language majority and language minority students rather than separate them.

Long-term Effects

Emerging results from program evaluations around the country point to their effectiveness in promoting academic achievement for minority and majority student, along with high levels of bilingual proficiency for both groups (Christian, 72). One study demonstrated large gains over time in the reading and math achievement test scores of both English language learners and native English speakers. Students who study in these programs have expressed positive attitudes toward school and their program. These programs also challenged them more, gave them more confidence, and gave them a better education than a standard school model would have done (Lindholm-Leary, 58). Today, Latino students have the highest dropout rate in the United States. In one study of Latino high school students, many credited the program with keeping them in school. Although these long-term effects have been studied and reported, there remains concern for different program implementations and factors responsible for variations in student outcome (Christian, 73).

Works Cited

  • Christian, Donna. “Two‐Way Immersion Education: Students Learning Through Two Languages.” The Modern Language Journal 80, no. 1 (March 1, 1996): 66–76.
  • Lindholm-Leary, Kathryn J. “The Rich Promise of Two-Way Immersion.” Educational Leadership 62, no. 4: 56–59.

UPDATED: The Quest to Racially Integrate: How have efforts to racially integrate changed over time? What methods were used in the past and being used today?

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Many well known colleges and universities were established as early as the 17th Century making an effort to establish themselves as very prestigious institutions. They upheld high standards and morals in their students to ensure that their reputations would remain untainted. Colleges began their admissions process by simply accepting students who could financially afford to attend their institutions, sometimes regardless of their racial make-up. It was very rare that they would accept students of color; with the help of psychological advances like phrenology it was thought that students of color were intellectually inferior. With the threat of students of color attending their institution, many institutions enacted regulations that forbade the acceptance of any student of color. With historic events like the Civil Rights Movement, they turned to nationally recognized college access programs like A Better Chance to increase its population of students of color.

This paper will focus on three liberal arts schools that have changed the way they pool students into attending their institutions; Wesleyan University, Amherst College, and Trinity College. Within the last twenty years, these institutions have employed access programs in their admissions process to admit students of a demographic much different from what they usually do. Currently, Wesleyan University, Amherst College, and Trinity College, are partners with A Better Chance, QuestBridge, and the Posse Foundation respectively. By focusing on these institutions, a clearer view of how colleges and universities attempt to diversify their classes and campuses without looking at every single institution in America.

Wesleyan University- Pre-Civil Rights

Founded in 1831, Wesleyan University began its historic start as a Methodist Institution enrolling 48 students of various ages (Wesleyan University, par. 1). The college’s first president Willbur Fisk was a Methodist educator that is well known for his statement on the purpose of education. According to the educator, education serves the purpose of the good of the student and of the world (Wesleyan University, par. 3). Unfortunately not all students of Wesleyan University felt that this positive purpose included the education of African American students. According to the school’s student run newspaper The Wesleyan Argus, the college’s first African American student Charles B. Ray attended the institution for seven weeks in the fall of 1832 after harsh racist acts he dealt with from white (mostly southern) students (Argus, par. 1). These students pleaded with Fisk to expel Ray; some even threatened to withdraw their attendance from the school. After Ray’s withdrawal from the school, the board of trustees at the time passed a resolution that stated “None but white male persons shall be admitted as students at this institution” (Argus, par. 1).

After the regulation was repealed in 1835, students of color rarely attended the university and worse, the school did not embrace racial integration. A little more than two decades later, students like Thomas F. Barnswell were able to attend the institution, with few of them graduating (Potts, 55).

So how did Wesleyan University change from an institution that banned the attendance of students of color, to one that is partners with a bridge program whose goal is to give academically able students of color a chance to attend school at well known institutions?

Future Planning: I plan to speak about Amherst and Trinity College’s race relations before the Civil Rights Era. After explaining efforts to segregate/integrate by faculty/trustees/students, I will examine how these institutions began working with access programs like A Better Chance and QuestBridge . I will then analyze the relationship between access programs

Works Cited

  1. David Potts, Wesleyan University, 1831-1910: Collegiate Enterprise in New England (Wesleyan University Press, 1992).
  2. Liz Wojnar, “A ‘Stronghold of Southern Depostism’: First African American Student Left Because of Discrimination,” The Wesleyan Argus (November 6, 2009), http://wesleyanargus.com/2009/11/06/a-stronghold-of-southern-despotism-first-african-american-student-left-because-of-discrimination/
  3. Wesleyan University, “WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY: A BRIEF HISTORY” (Wesleyan University, 2012), http://www.wesleyan.edu/about/uhistory.html.


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Bobby Moore


RQ: Was the practice of “teaching to the test” a problem in education before the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, and to what extent did the law make it more prevalent?

The drive to make teachers more accountable for their students is a trend spreading across the nation like wildfire. While there are positives to accountability there are also many negative aspects to go alongside. I believe that teachers should be accountable, but to what degree? How much impact, for example, is it fair to expect a teacher to have on a student who comes from a broken home? What do we expect from a teacher who takes on a student who received a poor education prior to entering that teacher’s class? Are we expecting a teacher to produce the same test scores from students in a lesser class as they do from students in an honors class? President Bush created the No Child Left Behind act in 2001 immediately after taking office.  NCLB supports standards based educational reform based on the premise that setting high standards and establishing measurable goals can improve individual outcomes in education. The Act requires states to develop assessments in basic skills. States must give these assessments to all students at select grade levels in order to receive federal school funding. Over the past decade we have seen the entire idea of education change due to the No Child Left Behind program. Test scores are one way to evaluate students, teachers, and schools, but cannot be the only way. It is important to remember that tests are more than just numbers and scores. One of the biggest problems with teaching to the test is the pressure placed on teachers. Their superiors on the school board apply pressure, but the media places the most pressure upon them. Test scores are rising, but for the absolute wrong reason. The question I wish to explore is whether or not teaching to the test has been a problem in education before the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, and to what extent the law made it more prevalent.

The primary source I have used so far has been the New York Times online database. I spoke with a librarian and he directed me to a few specific articles. The first of which was called Standardized Test Scores: Voodoo Statistics? by Edward B. Fisk. Its focus is on a town called Lake Wobegon where Chester E. Finn Jr., the assistant United States Secretary of Education was in charge of research. What Mr. Finn found was entitled the “Lake Wobegon effect”. Finn described the “Lake Wobegon effect” as a correlation between grades as well as scores. He noticed a trend of teenagers becoming depressed as well as having low self-esteem depending on their recent grades. He formed a non-profit organization called Friends for Education Inc in hopes of changing the obsession with test based teaching.

In their search for answers they noticed the major steps that teachers take in order to keep up with NCLB. First, definitions of average are no longer what they used to be. Major tests are based on norms that have been changed multiple times throughout the years. Schools have gotten much better at teaching to the test in order take the below average testers into the above average category. The article states, “Testers say that schools have gotten better and the average has been rising. Consequently, many students who might otherwise now be scored “below average” are still “above average” compared with the early 1980’s sample groups. “ (1).

For the next step in the process I plan on comparing the relevance of teach to the test in a few online databases. I am going to break the search down by comparing the topics relevance before 2001 when NCLB was started, and after 2001 in the new test based era. The problem is not the fact that NCLB has caused testing to be taken so seriously the problem is that after its implementation in 2001 schools will do anything to achieve their goal. NCLB has skyrocketed accountability and it is apparent through the findings of the Friends for Education that the prevalence due to it is not something to be overlooked.

Works Cited

1. Hamilton, R. A. (1986, Jan 12). Schools analyzing state test scores. New York Times (1923-Current File), pp. CN22-CN22. http://search.proquest.com/docview/110916131?accountid=14405

2. HARTOCOLLIS, A. (2000, Nov 21). Study links rises in school financing and test scores. New York Times (1923-Current File), pp. B4-B4. http://search.proquest.com/docview/91626986?accountid=14405
3. By, E. B. (1988, Feb 17). Standardized test scores: Voodoo statistics? New York Times (1923-Current File), pp. B9. http://search.proquest.com/docview/110596120?accountid=14405

Working thesis

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Research Question: How have different historians/researchers interpreted the reason for why Caribbean immigrants have become overrepresented in U.S Colleges and Universities over the last few decades?

Prior to the 1960’s educational opportunities for African-Americans were virtually nonexistent due to De Facto and De Jure segregation. After the Civil Rights Act of 1964 banned discrimination in education, educational opportunities for Blacks in the United States transcended. To ensure change, President Lyndon B. Johnson initiated various “Affirmative Actions” to increase black enrollment into the education system. President Johnson reasoning for this initiative was restitution for Nation’s past failures to accommodate for African-American needs and desires (Waters,1999).  However, recent data has shown that immigrants, especially Caribbean immigrants, are disproportionately more represented than native blacks in the most selective U.S Colleges and Universities. Are African-Americans really benefitting from Affirmative Action? Was this really the intent of the Civil Rights Act? Maybe not, but current statistics have proven it to be the current trend across the Nation. Over the past few decades many theories have been proposed to provide an explanation for this phenomenon. The most popular theories have come from sociologist and historians Mary C. Waters, Douglas Massey and his colleagues, David Glenn, and Pamela R. Bennett and Amy Lutz. These experts have postulated various reasons for why Caribbean immigrants have become overrepresented in U.S Colleges and Universities over the last few decades ranging from admissions admitting more Caribbean Immigrants because they possess objective characteristics such as higher grades or better test scores to residential location.

Mary C. Waters is a professor of sociology at Harvard University who specializes in studying the different aspects of immigration. Her research specifically focuses on inter-group relations, the formation of racial and ethnic identity among the children of immigrants, and challenges of measuring race and ethnicity. She is also the author of a well written book titled Black Identities: West Indian Immigrants Dreams and American Realities. In this book she utilizes testimonies from West Indian teachers, American teachers and legislators, and West Indian Students to formulate her ideology that the location of where West Indian Immigrants decide to live once they have arrived in the U.S influences their educational achievement. A thirty-seven year old Jamaican teacher, who has lived in the U.S for seven years, expressed that she would rather live in a neighborhood where the population was racially balanced between whites and minorities primarily because her child will be more comfortable and there would be more educational opportunities for them to explore (Waters, 1999). Another major factor that Waters mentioned as contributing to this shift in overrepresentation is the change in importance of schooling amongst parents of West Indian children due to the change in the economy.The parents of West Indian children did not mind doing someone’s housework or being a nurse’s aide when they were adolescents (Waters, 1999). Therefore, they were not particularly motivated to go to college and receive formal education.  On the contrary, West Indian children of this generation do not want jobs of that caliber. The jobs that they desire require a college education, so in order to fulfill their dreams they must enroll into a good college or university.

After the implementation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 many other policies were introduced that rectified the educational system. Amongst these policies was the loosening of immigrant restrictions after 1965. Due to this alteration the number of black immigrants more than doubled between the 1980’s to 1990’s. Specially speaking Afro-Caribbean’s accounted for 70% of foreign black population, consisting of 2.1 million (Massey et al., 2007). This leniency in immigration laws allowed more blacks to infiltrate into selective U.S colleges and universities. Douglas Massey along with his colleagues Margarita Mooney, Kimberly C. Torres, and Camille Charles conducted a study with 1,028 blacks, 959 whites, 998 Asians, and 916 Latinos to observe the discrepancies between Black Immigrants and Black Natives attending selective colleges and universities in the United States (Massey et al., 2007). Through their research they were able to gather substantial data that allowed them to frame plausible explanations for why Caribbean Immigrants are overrepresented in colleges and universities in the United States. Of all their explanations these three were the most popular; admissions officers might target immigrants for recruitment because they understand that Caribbean Students are more motivated, driven, and likely to succeed, and/or because they possess objective characteristics such as higher grades or better test scores, and/or admission officers consider documented information about how whites generally feel more comfortable with black immigrants as opposed to black natives (Massey et al., 2007).


  1. Waters, Mary. Black Identities: West Indian Immigrant Dream and American Realities. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1999.
  2. Massey, Douglas, Margarita Mooney, Kimberly Torres, and Camille Charles. “Black Immigrants and Black Natives Attending Selective College and Universities in the United States.” American Journal of Education 113, no. 0195–6744 (February 2007). http://www.umich.edu/~abpafs/blackimmgrants.pdf.
  3. Ogbu, J. U. and Simons, H. D. (1998), Voluntary and Involuntary Minorities: A Cultural-Ecological Theory of School Performance with Some Implications for Education. Anthropology & Education Quarterly, 29: 155–188. doi: 10.1525/aeq.1998.29.2.155

    Community Colleges: The potential for socio-economic gain of their students from the 1960s to the present.

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    The community college plays a significant role in the quest for American education to function as societies great equalizer, and resource to promote American meritocratic values. It has provided open access to higher education at a fraction of the cost of four year institutions. This has resulted in student populations that are disproportionally low-income and minority students when compared to the student populations at four year institutions 1 . Due to the high percentage of disadvantage students attending community college, analyzing the returns of community college education is essential to understanding the reality of upward economic mobility for disadvantage populations. This asks the question: how have community colleges contributed to the socio-economic mobility of their students when examined from the 1960s to the present? There is economic gain for an associate’s degree holder, this gain has grown since the 1960s. Unfortunately, it is not substantially more than the value of completing high school, and does not compare to the economic advantages of obtaining a baccalaureate degree. Additionally, current retention rates at community colleges are extremely low. The fluctuating economic benefits of an associate’s degree are due to the changing functions of community colleges, the demographic changes in the student populations, and the educational needs of the country.

    Community colleges were created out of the common school movement in the early twentieth century as a response to the increase in amount of high school graduates and the need for more accessible higher education. Over the last century the demographics of their student populations have changed drastically. Beach explains, “the students who enrolled in community colleges in the first half of the twentieth century were middle-class high school graduates who wanted to earn their bachelor’s degree and enter a white collar profession” 2 . He is suggesting that community college was focused on academics that would facilitate transfer to four year institutions and that the degrees awarded at community colleges were not constructed to be the only degree obtained by the students. Beach proposes the shift in student demographics suggesting, “by the 1970s the community colleges became the point of entry for new student populations who were older and more economically disadvantaged” 3 .This demographic shift had profound effect on the economic value of the degree earned at community colleges.

    The 1970s brought many changes to community colleges. An increase in the availability of federal financial aid, and the growing number of institutions allowed community colleges to actively recruit low-income minority populations and older non-traditional students. This demographic shift, contributed to less enrollment in liberal arts transfer courses and a high need for remedial courses. Brint and Karabel add to the change, by explaining that community colleges began to make stronger ties to business as a response to the countries fiscal crisis of the mid-1070s 4 . Increased enrollment of disadvantaged populations, the need for remedial classes, and the fiscal crisis of the 1970s contributed to the increase of vocational programs at community colleges. The increase in vocational programs at a time when baccalaureate credentials were needed to enter the professional managerial class affected the socioeconomic gains provided by community college completion.

    The graph was constructed by compiling data from the Statistical Abstract provided by the United States Census every seven years from 1964 to 2010.

    Examining Census data of the 1970s suggests that vocational education at community college stagnated growing financial gains for community college completion. In 1970 the graph shows that the median income of person holding an associates degree began to rise slightly above the income of a person who had only obtained a high school degree. By the end of the 1970s the graph shows that there is little difference in the median incomes between persons with high school completion and associates degree. This clarifies that in the 1970s there was little socio-economic mobility for community college students a trend that the graph indicates continued through the 1980s 5

    In the 1990s Kevin Dougherty examined community colleges and concluded that they were contradictory institutions in his book, The Contradictory College. Dougherty believed that the institutions “were just ineffective, non-encouraging, anti-academic, low performing, and overly vocationalized” 6 . Although this critique suggests that community colleges are not deliberate institutions of social class reproduction, it brings up interesting questions about the undetermined purpose of community college and how their many purposes affect the socio-economic mobility of their students. Can a public institution of higher education be a jack of all trades and a master at none?  The recent census data suggests that there is economic advantage to holding an associate’s degree but certainly not as high as the economic advantage of obtaining a baccalaureate degree (see chart above). Additionally, what good are these economic advantages if they apply to so few students? Only 30% of the students enrolled in community college will complete their degree in 150% of the time required to finish an associates degree? 7 . Lastly, community colleges currently enroll seven million students and half of all undergraduate students in the country. The efficacy of these institutions needs to be examined to support the populations they serve.

    Enrollment data complied from the National Center for Educational Statistics
    1. Beach, J. M. Gateway to Opportunity: A History of the Community College in the United States. Stylus Publishing, 2011.
    2. Beach, J. M. Gateway to Opportunity: A History of the Community College in the United States. Stylus Publishing, 2011.
    3. Beach, J. M. Gateway to Opportunity: A History of the Community College in the United States. Stylus Publishing, 2011.
    4. Brint, Steven, and Jerome Karabel. The Diverted Dream: Community Colleges and the Promise of Educational Opportunity in America, 1900-1985. Oxford University Press, USA, 1991.
    5. Division, Systems Support. “US Census Bureau The 2012 Statistical Abstract: Earlier Editions”, n.d. http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/past_years.html.
    6. Dougherty, Kevin J. The Contradictory College: The Conflict Origins, Impacts, and Futures of the Community College (Suny Series in Frontiers in Education). State University of New York Press, 1994.
    7. “Digest of Education Statistics, 2010”, n.d. http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d10/tables/dt10_198.asp.

    SAT adjustments

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    While the SAT has been an integral part of the college application process for decades, recently school administrators in both high schools and college have adjusted in order to deal with rising pressures to “teach to the test” by adjusting curriculums and how strongly colleges weigh the SAT as a part of their admissions process.  While once one of the strongest deciding factors that schools have used to determine if a student had a spot at their program, schools have now lessened the weight they carry as a part of the admissions process and high schools have adjusted.  Over three hundred colleges and universities no longer require students to submit standardized test scores as a part of the admissions process including schools like American University, Hamilton College, numerous state schools, and a majority of NESCAC schools including Trinity College.   The value of the SAT has been compromised by the advantages of richer students whose families can afford for them to spend thousands of dollars on classes outside of school that specifically teach them how to do well on the SAT, and colleges have began looking more at a student’s GPA, extracurricular activities, and personal essays.  While most colleges still hold the SAT in high regard, some high schools have began adjusting their methods so as to not stress out students as they prepare for the SAT.  When I spoke with Stephen Wallace he said he found that most students are stressed out by the SAT, and while this is not a new pattern by any means, he believes that teaching directly to the test does not necessarily guarantee higher test scores.  What students need is the ability to diversify their education in order to maintain an interest in school and remain motivated.

    In 2005, the SAT made a major modification to the test that changed what students had to learn and allowed teachers to instruct more traditional English lessons and away from an entirely test oriented environment.  The addition of the writing section forced students to learn how to properly write a major essay instead of being able to identify a grammatically correct statement or a vocabulary word.


    Gewertz, Catherine. “SAT Scores: A Gauge of College Readiness?” Www.edweek.com. 14 Sept. 2011. Web. 1 Apr. 2012.

    Robelen, Erik. “Budget Pact Deals Blow to Literacy, History Programs.”Www.edweek.com. 13 Apr. 2011. Web.

    Wallace, Stephen Gray: Former CEO of Students Against Destructive Decisions.  Author The Reality Gap.

    Was Hurricane Katrina good for New Orleans public school?

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    Was hurricane Katrina good for the New Orleans public schools and what changes occurred within the school systems after Katrina hit? Post Katrina, New Orleans was a mess.  New Orleans was known as the lowest performing school district in Louisiana and many of the teachers and students had lost hope and sight of a good education.  The city of New Orleans was in desperate need of help; in 2004, two thirds of the schools in New Orleans were rated “Academically Unacceptable” under Louisiana’s accountability standards.  After Katrina hit, government officials took quick action and New Orleans was declared to be in “Academic Crisis.”  The Recovery School District (RSD) took control over the failing public schools and turned many of them into Charter Schools.  The Pre-Katrina Era of New Orleans brought about, the rapid expansion of RSD, the removal of school attendance zones, the rise of charter schools, and a new group of teachers which improved the education system in New Orleans.

    While researching the questions of “Was Hurricane Katrina good for the New Orleans Public Schools,” I came across many conflicting articles.  For this assignment I thought it would be good to write about two sources that contradicted each other.  One book called “Resilience and Opportunity” gave the impression that Katrina was good for New Orleans, while an article called “Squeezing Public Education: History and Ideology Gang Up on New Orleans,” by Ralph Adamo explained the shortcomings that Hurricane Katrina brought to the education system.

    In chapter 3 of Resilience and Opportunity written by Andre Perry and Michael Schwarm-Baird, we see a whole chapter about the rebuilding of public schools after Hurricane Katrina.  Perry and Schwarm-Baird say that Hurricane Katrina brought about three positive things to the school system: the rapid expansion of Recovery School District (RSD), the removal of School attendance zones and the rise of charter schools.  With the RSD system, the state was able to take over failing public schools and turn them into better schools.  RSD turned many of these schools into charter schools.  During this time the government passed Act 35, which expanded the RSD schools because of its new rules.  Schools were now considered failing if their School Performance Score (SPS) was below state average and now RSD only applied to schools that were in districts that were consider to be in “academic crisis” (the district operated more than 30 academically, inacceptable schools or had more than 50% of its students in such schools) which was helpful for New Orleans obviously because their district was in academic crisis.  The last part of this act said that the RSD had authority over the land and building occupied by the school that it took over therefore there was rapid reconstruction of all the school buildings.  The RSD had five years to operate before the BESE can decide whether to return the school to local control.  From what Perry and Schwarm-Baird explained, these schools sounded like they were making a difference in New Orleans.  Perry and Schwarm-Baird also said that Post-Katrina most schools in New Orleans had attendance zones, which decided where students should attend school.  Students were forced to go to schools that were in their local neighborhoods no matter if there were better schools around them.  Pre-Katrina the government abandoned these attendance zones and gave students and parents free choice of their schools and most charter schools were required to take any student in the city.  RSD made a common application process in order to help parents apply to these schools.  Parents were please by these new rules but this also they also posed questions for the government, such as how will students get to these schools; transportation became a problem.  While Perry and Schwarm-Baird stated all these great things that happened to New Orleans Pre-Katrina, Ralph Adamo seems to think differently.

    In Ralph Adamo’s article he states that there was a rapid expansion of Recovery School District (RSD), there was the removal of School attendance zones and there was the rise of charter schools after Hurricane Katrina, but he say that some of these things were not good for Katrina. RSD came in and quickly took over most of the Public Schools in New Orleans but they did not open these schools in good conditions, Adamo says, “RSD opened seventeen schools in the fall of 2006-schools that were inadequately staffed (many still have only a minority of certified teachers); that lacked books, food services, and other infrastructural necessities; and that started the year in school buildings that had either not been improved at all or were in the middle of reconstruction,” (Adamo 5).  Also the RSD staff realized that they had not opened enough schools for the amount of students that were attending these schools so they were forced to open more schools quicker, which turned into a disaster.  Adamo also comments on the abandonment of the attendance zones.  He explained that although it was good for parents to get to choose their school for their children, it lead to confusion.  “…when the school year began in fall 2006, we saw a spectacle of confused and harried parents wandering all over town trying to make sense of their new “choices.” Instead of genuine community input…” (Adamo 4-5).  Adamo also tries to argue that in times of crisis private companies try to make a profit off of these districts and they end up making a bigger mess and more confusion.

    I am doing more research to come up with my answer to the initial question, but from these two sources it is interesting to see how many people have different opinions about the topic.


    Adamo, Ralph. “Squeezing Public Education: History and Ideology Gang Up in New Orleans.” Dissent Magazine. Web. 20 Apr. 2012. <http://www.dissentmagazine.org/article/?article=862>..

    Liu, Amy. “Chapter 3.” Resilience and Opportunity: Lessons from the U.S. Gulf Coast after Katrina and Rita. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution, 2011. Print.

    School Funding, School Choice and the Establishment Clause

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    Question:  What caused the narrative of the Supreme Court’s doctrine with regard to school choice and voucher programs to change from its initial ruling in Everson v. Board of Education (1947) to Zelman v. Simmons-Harris (2002)?

    As the nature of the public school system is rapidly changing in the 21st century, school choice plans have become more and more commonplace.  These programs naturally impact those religious academies (predominantly being Catholic schools) that served as the traditional counterpart to the public school system, and the Court has articulated a series of changing arguments with regard to how the government can and cannot aid religious academies.  The triangle of public schools, religious academies and government funding has always created establishment clause concerns, and the Supreme Court has been called upon to resolve these constitutional questions, beginning in 1947 with its landmark incorporation of the establishment clause to the states in Everson v. Board of Education of Ewing, NJ (330 U.S. 1).  The narrative of the court’s doctrine has changed over time with regard to school choice, and investigating the stimuli behind the court’s changing views with regard to voucher programs, school choice, reimbursement programs, etc. and religious academies can show why the court has granted increase deference to educational policymakers in the 21st century.  When evaluating programs of school choice, the Court must weigh facilitating the individual freedom of parents to decide how to educate their children with the constitutional prohibition of government directly aiding or meddling with religion and religious organizations (Minnow 816).  Looking at the full text of the court’s opinions and dissents, along with a discussion of changes in educational policy, can show why the court has increasingly ruled to uphold programs of school choice, even when squared against the establishment clause.  In the 21st century as problems associated with the nation’s public school system grew increasingly pressing, the court has granted greater leeway to policymakers in using religious academies as parts of voucher or school choice programs.  The increasingly compelling state interest in ameliorating public schools have certainly resulted in the Court granting increased deference to educational policymakers, but the partisan shifts to the right on the nation’s highest legal bench from Everson to Zelman v. Simmons-Harris (2002) have been the deciding factor in changing the narrative of the Court’s legal doctrine.  While grating greater policymaking “slack” to those in the educational field may be an auxiliary factor, the dominant factor has been the addition of justices who envision the “wall of separation” between church and state as being shorter than some of their colleagues from the mid-to-late of the 20th century.  In the end, some regard indirect aid to religious institutions as unconstitutional, while other jurists see indirect as a matter of private choice.

    The court first began asserting the establishment clause with regard to such programs in Everson, when the court held that Ewing, NJ’s use of township monies to compensate the transportation costs for parents who send their kids to religious academies did not constitute a 1st Amendment violation.  The opinion of the court, written by Justice Hugo Black – an ex-Klansmen appointed by Franklin Delano Roosevelt who would become one of the constitution’s strongest textural defenders – incorporated the Establishment Clause to the states and used Thomas Jefferson’s metaphor of a “wall of separation between church and state” to guide future cases concerning government establishment of religion (330 U.S. 15, Feldman 65).  Black believed that the government had a compelling interest in using taxpayer monies to provide fire and police protection, sewer lines and other services to religious organizations and schools, and that remunerating student transportation costs served the interest of student safety and was analogous to the aforementioned programs (330 U.S. 17-20).  Furthermore, since the township’s compensation program gave the reimbursement to parents and not the religious organizations themselves, the aid to religion was even more indirect than police protection, sewer lines, etc.  The first dissent in the case, written by Justice Robert Jackson, stated that the program itself did not pass Black’s own “wall of separation” standard, and that taxpayers only assume the responsibility of paying for public schools.  Justice Rutledge’s separate dissent stated famously that “Certainly the fire department must not stand idly by while the church burns (330 U.S. 61). Nor is this reason why the state should pay the expense of transportation or other items of the cost of religious education.”  The case was decided by a divisive 5-4 vote, and the dissents proved to be more influential in later cases like Lemon v. Kurtzman and Flast v. Cohen.  In Everson, the court upheld the transportation compensation program as indirect aid to religious organizations, and as being within the compelling interest of the state to provide for public safety.  The most influential aspect of Everson however, was its incorporation of the establishment clause to the states, which would allow for future judicial review of state programs that might offend the 1st amendment (330 U.S. 18).

    After the Court’s ruling in Everson, state governments and Congress began initiating programs that were seen as indirectly aiding religious academies, or aiding them in a secular manner.  Such was the intent behind Pennsylvania’s Nonpublic Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1968, a statute which used taxpayer dollars to supplement salaries for teachers of secular subjects within private schools, including religious academies (403 U.S. 606-612).  The Court had changed too, with the addition of liberal justices William Brennan, Byron White, Thurgood Marshall and Harry Blackmun to the high bench.  Alton J. Lemon, a resident of Pennsylvania sued challenging the statute as violating the establishment clause.  When the case, Lemon v. Kurtzman, reached the high court in 1971, it was consolidated with a case challenging the constitutionality of a similar program in Rhode Island.  Almost a quarter-century had passed from the court’s landmark ruling in Everson, and the nation’s educational system, while not perfect by any means, was not yet suffering from the salient problems that would later drive considerable media, legal and constitutional attention.  When the court issued its ruling in Lemon, it struck down the Pennsylvania and Rhode Island statutes as violating the establishment clause.  The opinion of the court, written by Chief Justice Warren Burger, a Richard Nixon appointee and conservative jurist, articulated a three-pronged standard that still guides Supreme Court doctrine.  Quoting from Chief Justice Burger’s opinion, “First, the statute must have a secular legislative purpose; second, its principal or primary effect must be one that neither advances nor inhibits religion…finally, the statute must not foster ‘an excessive government entanglement with religion’” (403 U.S. 602 612-613).  If a statute failed any of the three prongs, it would be invalidated.  Burger stated that the Pennsylvania and Rhode Island statutes served secular interests in promoting the teaching of secular subjects, and were offered to all private academies regardless of what faith they aligned with, so it satisfied the religious neutrality prong of the test.  What created the establishment clause violation Burger stated, was that government would have to monitor whether the funds went only to the teaching of secular subjects, so it violated the famous “excessive entanglement” prong of the test.

    The two legislatures, however, have also recognized that church-related elementary and secondary schools have a significant religious mission, and that a substantial portion of their activities is religiously oriented. They have therefore sought to create statutory restrictions designed to guarantee the separation between secular and religious educational functions, and to ensure that State financial aid supports only the former. All these provisions are precautions taken in candid recognition that these programs approached, even if they did not intrude upon, the forbidden areas under the Religion Clauses. We need not decide whether these legislative precautions restrict the principal or primary effect of the programs to the point where they do not offend the Religion [p614] Clauses, for we conclude that the cumulative impact of the entire relationship arising under the statutes in each State involves excessive entanglement between government and religion” (403 U.S. 602 613-614)

    While what was or was not “excessive entanglement”, or what kind of entanglement could be defined as “excessive” made the Lemon Standard an inherently vague piece of legal doctrine, but it has held sway in establishment clause cases from its birth in 1971 to present day cases like Hosanna-Tabor v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (2012).  What distinguished the case from Everson however, was what Justice Brennan called in his concurring opinion a “case of direct subsidy” since the monies went directly to the religious institutions in question (403 U.S. 653).  Since the funds went directly to the religious organizations, the government would have to “foster an excessive entanglement” to make sure that they did not advance any sort of religious teaching.  While the government may have been able to aid secular subjects in a separate hypothetical situation where it would be easy to monitor the strictly secular use of the funds, the facts of the case distinguished it enough for the two statutes to be invalidated by an 8-0 vote (with Justice Marshall abstaining).  Ultimately, the “excessive entanglement” prong would prove vague in future Court doctrine, but here it provided a clear legal impetus for the invalidation of the programs in question.  The addition of liberal justices to the Court from Everson to Lemon certainly served as an important factor in the invalidation of the statutes.  While the conservative Chief Justice Warren Burger authored the standard in Lemon, the clear and impactful support of left-leaning jurists like Justice Brennan surely had a strong impact on the resolution of the case.  Ultimately, Justice White set the stage for the future in his partial concurrence, stating

    “Our prior cases have recognized the dual role of parochial schools in American society: they perform both religious and secular functions. See Board of Education v. Allen, supra, at 248. Our cases also recognize that legislation having a secular purpose and extending governmental assistance to sectarian schools in the performance of their secular functions does not constitute “law[s] respecting an establishment of religion” forbidden by the First Amendment merely because a secular program may incidentally benefit a church in fulfilling its religious mission. That religion may indirectly benefit from governmental aid to the secular activities of churches does not convert that aid into an impermissible establishment of religion.” (403 U.S. 663-664)

    The impact of Justice White’s concurrence cannot be understated.  The notion that religion can indirectly benefit from government aid may not seem like anything outlandish.  After all, it is the logical conclusion of Justice Black’s opinion in Everson.  While the program in Lemon benefited secular and religious schools equally, the aid was seen as more direct, which would require the sort of “excessive entanglement” the Court feared.  Ultimately, the Court did not attack the notion of indirect benefits to religious institutions not being unconstitutional, and precedent set in Everson in that regard would rear its head in future decisions.

    After Lemon, Chief Justice Burger’s three-pronged standard faced tough tests in several cases, but was still used as the legal maxim as late as 2000 in Santa Fe Independent School District v. Doe.  Earlier in 1997 however, the Court had stated that the third prong of the test, “excessive entanglement” did not apply to school funding programs.  The case, Agnostini v. Felton (521 U.S. 203), invalidated the third prong and further strengthened the case for the constitutionality of programs that indirectly aid religious institutions.  While Agnostini can be considered a landmark case in its own right, its use as precedent in the Court’s 2000 decision in Mitchell v. Helms (530 U.S. 793), is extremely important.  The opinion of the Court in Mitchell, written by conservative Justice Clarence Thomas, upheld a program that loaned school materials (like textbooks) to secular and sectarian institutions because the aid went to serve the needs of students, as opposed to schools.  Since where their children went to school was determined “only as a result of the genuinely independent and private choices of individuals.” – citing Agnostini in affirming the statement – the aid to religious academies was indirect, and ergo constitutional, even when squared with the Establishment Clause (530 U.S. 810).  The doctrine regarding indirect impacts on religious institutions, first detailed by Justice Black, had been amplified by the addition of Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, Anthony Kennedy, Sandra Day O’Connor and the elevation of William Rehnquist to Chief Justice.  In the twenty-one years following Lemon, four conservative justices were appointed the Court, and the Court’s doctrine changed in a variety of fields of law, including school choice and the Establishment Clause.  Mitchell is an important case in its own right, just as Agnostini certainly is, but it served an important role as a legal facilitator for the Court’s landmark foray into efforts to reform the nation’s failing schools in 2002.

    The Court’s monumentally important decision in Zelman v. Simmons Harris (536 U.S. 639), the most important Establishment Clause case of the Rehnquist Court era, was saw the affirmation an important legal doctrines.  The opinion of the Court, written by Chief Justice Rehnquist, stated that the final destination of government aid does not impact a program’s constitutionality if citizens make “true private choice[s]” in determining how the assistance (monetary or otherwise) is used (536 U.S. 650).  The case divided the court along ideological lines, with the five conservative justices (Rehnquist, Thomas, Kennedy, O’Connor and Scalia) opposing the weakened liberal wing composed of Justices David Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, John Paul Stevens and Stephen Breyer.  The Court in Zelman set a new five-pronged test to further weigh programs of school choice or others that indirectly aided religious institutions against the Establishment Clause.  Following the Lemon Test, the Chief Justice articulated the “True Private Choice” standard, which stated that programs must have a legitimate secular purpose, benefit a wide range of persons, be religiously neutral, include adequate secular alternatives and provide the aid to parents as opposed to the institutions themselves.  The background facts for Zelman only serve to cloud the test.  Cleveland’s urban schools were among the worst in the nation, and the state of Ohio, with the city of Cleveland, implemented a voucher program that allowed parents to send their children to sectarian institutions – which do a remarkably good job educating inner-city minority students – or private secular institutions if they were below the federal poverty line (Ravitch 116-125).  Certainly there was a legitimate secular purpose in ameliorating the city’s failing schools and it did benefit a wide range of impoverished families in Cleveland, but the remaining three prongs divided the court.  For one, the liberal justices disagreed with the notion that indirect aid to religious was automatically constitutional, as seen in the dissenting opinions in Agnostini, Mitchell, and Zelman.  Secondly, the program in question gave vouchers that amounted to less money than the state gave to public schools on a per-student basis.  It almost seemed as if the program was designed specifically to benefit religious institutions.  As for the religious neutrality prong of the test, the government aid could certainly find its way to a wide variety of religious institutions as noted by the majority of the Court, but it did have a disproportionate impact on Catholic institutions, a point noted by Justice Breyer in his dissent (538 U.S. 639).  Moving to the adequate secular alternatives prong, the justices again remained divided.  Justice Souter wrote in his dissent that more than 95% of the participating voucher schools were private, religious academies, which muddled the implementation of the prong.  As previously stated, public schools in Cleveland had little incentive to participate, and secular private schools asked for far greater amounts in tuition money than the voucher offered, and few had open seats available (539 U.S. 639).  While the conservative wing of the court believed there were adequate nonreligious options, the liberal justices aptly countered by noting, again, that more than 95% of the participating schools were religious schools.  The last prong of the test, concerning indirect aid, similarly divided the Court.  While there are specific liberal/conservative differences in opinion regarding indirect aid, the vouchers were given to parents, but the money itself was given directly to religious institutions.  The conservative justices likened it to a tax credit, if a citizen receives money back on their taxes and donates some to his church, it should not be an Establishment Clause violation.  The liberal justices however, were concerned with the fact that the vouchers were given to schools by the parents, but the money itself was given directly from taxpayer funds to the institutions themselves.

    Ultimately, the Court’s opinion in Zelman v. Simmons-Harris was highly divisive.  In addition to the fact that the programs were upheld by a 5-4 vote, the case produced six separate opinions, further evidence that the Court’s membership could not agree on a single legal conclusion regarding the constitutionality of the voucher program.  The end result of Zelman however, was the affirmation of the principles outlined by Hugo Black in Everson.  When the government indirectly aids religious schools, and when parents make private choices in where and how that aid is used, the programs are upheld.  It is clear from the opinions of the Court’s conservative justices however, that these programs are being upheld not as an act of deferring to local and state educational policymakers, but rather because they see Thomas Jefferson’s “wall of separation” as being far shorter than their liberal colleagues.  In an alternate metaphor, programs of “true private choice” that give indirect harm can also be seen as a door allowing the Court to uphold them.

    The problems plaguing the nation’s public schools are great in number, size and scope, and the Court’s decision in Zelman certainly enlarged the toolbox available to policymakers, but the motivation behind the Court’s ruling does not lie in aiding educational policymakers.  Instead, it is simply a side effect of the Supreme Court’s ideological shift to the right, especially in the eras of the Burger and Rehnquist Courts.  There is no evidence in the Court’s many opinions in these cases to support a the conclusion that the Court has lowered the wall with the express purpose of aiding educational policymakers.  The Court’s lowering of the wall of separation is primarily driven by an ideological interpretation of the Establishment Clause that tolerates government aid to religious schools, institutions and affairs.  The key factor behind the changes in Court doctrine lie in the changes in its membership.  From Everson to Lemon, five liberal and two conservative justices were added to the Court (joining two liberal justices who remained on the high bench), and from Lemon to Agnostini, Mitchell and Zelman, five conservative and four liberal justices were added.  Ultimately, the narrative of the Court’s doctrine regarding school funding, voucher programs and school choice has been parabolic, moving to uphold such programs in Everson, striking them down in the Lemon era, and again moving to keep them in place as the Court shifted to the right in the late 20th and early 21st century.  The primary cause of the parabolic nature of the Court’s doctrine however was not a desire by the Court to give education policymakers greater deference, but rather was caused by shifts to the political right among its membership.

    Works Cited

    330 U.S. 1 (1947) Everson v. Board of Education of Ewing, NJ

    403 U.S. 602 (1971) Lemon v. Kurtzman

    521 U.S. 203 (1997) Agnostini v. Felton

    530 U.S. 793 (2000) Mitchell v. Helms

    539 U.S. 639 (2002) Zelman v. Simmons-Harris

    Feldman, Noah. Scorpions: The Battles and Triumphs of FDR’s Great Supreme Court Justices. New York: Twelve, 2010. Print.

    Minow, Martha. “Confronting the Seduction of Choice: Law, Education, and American

    Pluralism.” Yale Law Journal 120 (2011): 814-48. The Yale Law Journal Online.

    Yale University, Jan. 2011. Web. 2 Apr. 2012. <http://yalelawjournal.org/the-yale-law-journal/feature/confronting-the-seduction-of-choice:-law,-education,-and-american-pluralism/>.

    Ravitch, Diane. The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing

    and Choice Are Undermining Education. New York: Basic, 2010. Print.

    Kindergarten- Brigit Rioual

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    Brigit Rioual

    Final Paper for Ed 300

    April 19th, 2012

    With today’s economy, it’s rare to see the traditional stay at home mom. Parents today are forced to both have jobs so they can keep their home and take care of their children. To survive and be successful in today’s economy, education is necessary and the more education you have, the more successful you will be. While both parents are busy working, children are increasingly putting their children into preschool than ever before (Hatch and Freeman 1988). Since preschools are becoming more readily available, educators are questioning kindergarten and it’s purpose. If going to preschool is becoming so common, should kindergarten be the start of children’s academic education? Or, should kindergarten remain non-academic?

    While educators, scholars, and researchers all have different viewpoints of what the purpose of kindergarten is, it nevertheless has changed since it’s founding in 1837. Friedrich Froebel, a German pedagogue, developed kindergarten for the purpose that children grow, like a garden, and “become unified with God and ultimately with each other” (Jeynes 2006, 1937). Froebel emphasized the importance of children of this age, through kindergarten, to develop their personality, disciple and social skills that would help them become successful in school and their society (Jeynes 2006, 1937-8). But, to develop in all of those ways, play was necessary to Froebel, and to other educational psychologists of today (Jeynes 2006, 1940). The purpose of kindergarten was for natural child development and for them to prepare for their academic futures, because “Froebel believed that 4- and 5-year-old children were still quite immature” (Jeynes 2006, 1940).

    However, since this kindergarten model was adapted in the United States in the late 1800’s, the kindergarten of today has changed dramatically. From being very play focused, kindergarten has become more academic-focused. Although many think kindergarten has changed for many different reasons, I argue that kindergarten has changed because the state of our economy and the strong emphasis on education. Because of the state of our economy, both parents work and send their children to preschool where their children predominately play. Moreover, the state of our economy has created a strong emphasis of education. To keep up with the global economy and competition for colleges and jobs one day, states are using standardizing testing to assess whether schools are making progress and having success. With these tests comes pressure from parents, teachers and administrators for the kids to get ahead and do well; therefore, academia has been pushed into kindergarten. The earlier you start, the better you are, is the common belief.

    Although I am comparing Froebel’s model to today’s kindergarten, I think it is important to touch upon three important time periods that sought for change in education through the government, which brought about standardizing testing and academic-focused kindergarten.  In 1962-1963, the Supreme Court decided that prayer and reading the bible in school was unconstitutional, and demanded the removal. Because the bible is very moral based, this significant change hindered Froebel’s model of kindergarten and “created a significant hole in the kindergarten curriculum” (Jeynes 2006, 1949). A few decades later in 1981, the “back to basics” movement became popular. Since there was a decline in academics, especially SAT scores between 1963-1980, the importance of reading and mathematics were now more emphasized in the schools. By teaching more math and reading, it was thought that scores, such as SATs, would improve (Jeynes 2006, 1950). After this movement came what is still impacting us today. More and more Americans became increasingly concerned about the academic achievement gap between urban and suburban students. In response to this concern, President Clinton in 1993 “called for voluntary nationwide standardized reading tests for fourth graders and math tests in eighth grade” (Jeynes 2006, 1951). Once George W. Bush was in office, he continued Clinton’s work by creating No Child Left Behind “which warns schools that incessant failure to give adequate instruction will result in the loss of federal funding” (Jeynes 2006, 1951), i.e. if schools did not meet the state standards, then they would lose money.

    Since No Child Left Behind has been enacted, schools have felt the pressure of losing their federal money. To keep up with the state standards, testing is starting earlier, and now being pushed into kindergarten. Although testing now begins in fourth grade in public schools, they do practice tests in third grade that don’t technically count. With starting a year younger, there’s more pressure in the younger grades for the students to be ready. In an article, Who’s Pushing Whom? Stress and Kindergarten, the authors Freeman and Hatch both were not surprised that with the overwhelming pressure to do well on these tests, the first grade skills are being pushed into kindergarten (Hatch and Freeman 1988, 145). Although this article was published in 1988, even in 2011, according to Jennifer Russell, media sees kindergarten as “the new first grade” (Russell 2011, 237).  Kindergarten has transformed from learning how to write, paint, use scissors, glue, and play to being expected to be able to count to 100 and be able to read before first grade (Russell, 2011, 255-6). Kindergartners now even have nightly homework (Curwood 2007, 28). What is peculiar about this sudden fast-change of academics in kindergarten is that a decade ago, only “15 percent of kindergarteners were reading” while now in Maryland’s Montgomery County, which has full day kindergarten, “90 percent of kindergarteners passed an end-of-year reading test” (Curwood 2007, 30). In addition, before there was no set curriculum for kindergarten, it was based on more of the teacher’s discretion; in contrast, today, kindergarteners must pass certain standards to go onto first grade, such as being able to “match all consonant and short-vowel sounds to appropriate letters” and “use concrete objects to determine the answers to addition and subtraction problems” (Russell 2011, 253). In all, kindergarteners are expected to master 195 skills before first grade and although this example is in California, other states are following the same sort of standards (Russell 2011, 253). Ever since the pass of No Child Left Behind, children are pressured by the schools to learn at younger ages and move further away from the traditional model of kindergarten.

    However, the schools are not the only ones pushing these children to be learning at younger ages; the parents are too. With the stance of our economy, parents want to do anything and everything for their children to be ahead and to be better than everyone else. There is competition to be the best because being successful in school will help getting into colleges and later with jobs. With the pressure to achieve, mother’s of kindergartners are “”demanding that their five-year-olds be taught to read”” (Russell 2011, 250). Other parents are delaying their children starting in kindergarten, keeping them in preschool a year longer because they do not feel that their children are ready for the academics and hope that by holding them back, it will increase “future scholastic competitiveness” (Russell 20011, 250). In addition to this, upper class parents believe that by starting their children at younger ages, their children will have more of an advantage ““in a race to Harvard,” a reference to starting early in preparation for elite university admissions” (Russell 2011, 250).

    TFA Working Thesis and Evidence

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    Research Question: How have different studies that attempt to measure the effectiveness of TFA on student achievement evolved over time, and how have the results changed?

    “Teach for America Welcomes and seeks out rigorous independent evaluations as a means of measuring our impact and continuously improving our program.”

    Six years ago, on October 5th, 2006, this quote appeared on the Teach For America website promoting the importance of continuous improvement and change in order to ensure the maximum efficiency of this still developing program. Today, six years later, hard evidence and research is entirely omitted from the website with the emphasis on personal accounts of corps members and emotion evoking quotes and statements. This pattern is not solely apparent within the Teach for America website, it is also apparent among multiple different studies conducted over time to measure the impacts of Teach For America. Beginning in the early 1990’s, the first evidence reflecting the impacts of Teach for America began to be produced by scholars. Multiple criticisms appeared ranging from inadequate training of corps members prior to their placements to a lack of improvement on reading scores in the classrooms. However, improvements were acknowledgeable, specifically in math where there was a statistically significant positive impact on students of Teach for America corps members. Continuing through the early 2000’s, studies continued to review the statistical impact of Teach for America, however results were beginning to appear far more negative than the beginning years of the program. Recently, a drastic shift in scholarly articles analyzing the effectiveness of Teach for America has began to occur. Statistical analysis was quickly dissipating and articles strongly supporting this organization began focusing on studies reflecting personal accounts of the program and theoretical analysis of its impacts. Studies examining the early years of Teach for America reveal hard evidence in regards to the benefits and drawbacks of a program with potential for change, whereas more recent studies draw on abstract personal accounts of success in order to promote a statistically declining program.

    Based on a large sample of students from Houston Texas, Darling-Hammond, Holtzman, Gatlin, and Heilig, created a study comparing TFA corps members to certified teachers with similar amounts of experience from 1995-2002.  It was found that from 1996-1999 there were significantly more certified TFA members than certified non-TFA members, however, from the 1999-2000 school year and on, this relationship was completely reversed and significantly more non-TFA members were certified than TFA members. This relationship can be shown by the graph below:

    Certification of non-TFA vs. TFA teachers from 1996-2002

    This decrease in the certification of TFA corps members has caused an overall negative effect on the program. In the earlier years of this study, when TFA members were more likely to be certified than non-TFA members, the impact of their teaching was positive, specifically in regards to the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS) math test. However, in the early 2000’s, when the number of certified TFA members declined, the impacts were found to be non-significant or even negative in regards to improvements on scores. In response to this data, studies and articles have been written proposing reform and improvement to the flaws emerging from a seemingly promising program (Hopkins, 2008). Unfortunately, recent studies center on personal accounts and abstract theories in an attempt to disregard the emerging negative statistics.

    Studies from 2011 and 2012 impeccably mirror the more recent changes to the TFA website over the past six years. The change neglects to acknowledge statistical feedback of the program and instead depends on personal experiences to fuel support and present the impacts in a positive light. As shown through studies such as Darling-Hammond et al., the statistics over time have unfortunately not been in support of TFA. However, more recent studies choose to ignore these findings and instead propose theoretical explanations for TFA’s success that neglect to use statistics in order to validate them. Maier presents his findings in regards to the credentialism theory, the theory that TFA is successful due to the background of the members selected to participate, both in regards to the fields they have studied and the prestigious universities they have studied at. Interestingly, this study and theory propose that since these corps members have an expertise other than teaching, they are more apt for success within the classroom than certified teachers who do not come from the same credentials. This theory and study also proceeds to discuss the incredible opportunities corps members experience after participating in TFA. The attrition rate, according to Darling-Drummon et al., for TFA corps members is incredibly high. Theories, such as the one presented in Maier’s study, promote the use of TFA as a stepping-stone to more prestigious jobs after the two-year teaching requirement, which in earlier studies was never presented as a main incentive to pursue this path.


    Darling-Hammond, L. “Does Teacher Preparation Matter? Evidence About Teacher Certification, Teach for America, and Teacher Effectiveness Linda Darling-Hammond, Deborah J. Holtzman, Su Jin Gatlin, and Julian Vasquez Heilig.” Education Policy Analysis Archives 13, no. 42 (2005): 2.

    “Home”, n.d. http://www.teachforamerica.org/.

    Hopkins, Megan. “Training The Next Teachers For America: A Proposal for Reconceptualizing Teach for America.” Phi Delta Kappan 89, no. 10 (June 2008): 721–725.

    Maier, Adam1. “Doing Good and Doing Well: Credentialism and Teach for America.” Journal of Teacher Education 63, no. 1 (January 2012): 10–22.

    Thesis and Evidence Paper

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    When discussing sexual education in the United States, there are a number of reasons as to why it is a controversial subject being taught in grade schools. Differences in religion, questions of age appropriateness, and varying opinions in regards to whether co-ed or single sex education is more effective, all plague the integration of successful sex education programs into schools across the nation. One other obstruction that has become increasingly present from the 1960’s to today is the issue of “sex role stereotyping” within classrooms for both males and females. 1 Just as the official passage of Title IX in the Education Amendments of 1972 sparked conversation of equal rights for women and more specifically ending discriminatory acts against women in education, teaching methods changed for males in the U.S. as well through documents like “Being A Man: A Unit of Instructional Activities on Male Role Stereotyping.” My specific research question for this paper is: how have male and female gender roles been portrayed in U.S. sex education materials from the 1960’s to the present? My working thesis is that due to various societal and governmental changes in the U.S. in the early 70’s such as Title IX and others, as each decade passes, sex education material has become more comprehensive and open to interpretations of gender neutrality, and has become less focused on presenting sex role stereotypes.

    Beginning in the 1960’s, the most interesting sources for sex education curricula and other supportive materials include the 1967 Anaheim, California “Sex Education Course Outline for Grades Seven through Twelve, and Esther Schulz and Sally Williams’ Family Life and Sex Education: curriculum and instruction, published in 1969. First, in the Anaheim source in ’67, parents and teachers in a citizens advisory committee met, and after “a very thoughtful and thorough study of the whole problem of sex education” devised a revamped program for teaching their students about sex. 2 This school took on a “positive, objective approach” for sex education, and emphasized “developing effective interpersonal relations and attitudes to serve as a specific basis for making meaningful moral judgments.” 3 This source focuses specifically on the values of marriage and the more traditional views of dating, sex, and relationships. A great example of this is Appendix III on page 4 with the “Dating Ladder.” It begins at the bottom rung with “children playing together,” and ends with the highest rung and “engagement and marriage.” This traditional expectation of men being the powerful one in the relationship, asking the woman out on the date and making sure that she has a pleasant time, and of women being “a good sport” or making sure that their “personal appearance” is up to par so that she can get the boy to marry her, is also emphasized in Schulz and Williams’ book. Here, in the suggested content for the ninth grade chapter, the curriculum begins to define homosexuality as a “problem” that has a “cause” and “prevention.” 4 There are very few changes made in the 60’s in sex education, and both of these sources show this through the “How Self Confident Am I?” worksheet. Both presented the worksheet, and in both sources the questions are exactly the same, emphasizing that self-confidence means being outgoing and social. 5

    Finding materials for actual curricula of sex education courses in the ‘70s proved to be a bit more difficult than in the ‘60s. However, there were documents describing sexism in general schooling, which were curriculum changes that were carried over through all facets of education at that time. In the ‘70s, statistics showed that “only 10% of the nation’s teenagers ever had a course with [such] comprehensive content.” 6 In this case, comprehensive content of sex education courses were talking about the menstrual cycle, the reproductive anatomy, etc. Some new educational strategies were noted in the ‘70s, for example, the U.S. Office of Education and the Administration for Children, Youth, and Families teamed up with various other respected groups for young people such as Boy Scouts and 4-H Clubs to “teach the skills necessary for effective parenting.” 7 The focus in the 1970’s was mostly on “preventing unplanned teenage pregnancies,” which clearly caters to the sex role stereotyping that females who get “knocked up” are not able to successfully care for themselves as well as their unborn child.

    Also in the 1970’s, some changes were made in acceptable education curricula in general, which can be seen most prominently in Government Documents from the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. Two documents were published in 1977, discussing the problems of sexism in U.S. classrooms. The document entitled “Freedom of Reach for Young Children: Nonsexist Early Childhood Education” focuses mainly on what nonsexist education means, and what it sets out to do. For example, on page three of the document it says “the goals of nonsexist education are not to destroy tradition, but to increase individual options for expanded features.” 8 In this source, the terms “tradition” and “traditional sex roles” are used often to describe what was earlier understood as the “biased judgment of appropriate behavior according to gender alone.” 9

    An interesting source for more recent discussion of sex role stereotypes in sex education is the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in Montgomery County Public Schools, Rockville, Maryland 8th Grade Health Curriculum from 2005. This source shows very well the distinctions and changes that have occurred between the 1960s and today. For example, the teaching topics have expanded from only how to act appropriately on a date, to mental health discussions such as “managing stress” to “risk-taking.” 10 When the curriculum begins to discuss sexuality, there is no longer a negative description of homosexuality, in fact, there is an entire lesson plan dedicated to defining one’s own human sexuality. This lesson speaks of “gender roles” and “gender identities” as well, making the student feel more accepted in any role he/she feels they belong to. The discussion of gender role stereotyping is the most significant difference because educators are now teaching that the stereotypes presented in sex education classes in the 60’s and 70’s are not necessarily appropriate for all people. For example, on page 11, the curriculum defines gender role stereotyping in ways such as “girls are better at English, boys are better at science” or “boys don’t cry, girls do.” 11 This source clearly shows the change in presentation of sex role stereotypes in sex education from the 1960’s to today and how the acceptance of different interpretations of gender roles, and elimination of confirming gender stereotypes in society has spread in sex education curricula.

    Works Cited

    1. U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Office of Education, Being a Man: a unit of instructional activities on male role stereotyping, by David Miller Sadker (Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office, 1977), 3.
    2. Anaheim Union High School. “Family Life and Sex Education Course Outline: Grades Seven Through Twelve”. Anaheim Union High School District, June 1967, ii.
    3. Anaheim Union High School. “Family Life and Sex Education Course Outline: Grades Seven Through Twelve”. Anaheim Union High School District, June 1967, iv.
    4. Esther D. Schulz, Sally R. Williams, Family Life and Sex Education: Curriculum and Instruction (New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1969), 153-154.
    5. Esther D. Schulz, Sally R. Williams, Family Life and Sex Education: Curriculum and Instruction (New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1969), 140.
    6. Peter Scales, “Sex Education in the ‘70s and ‘80s: Accomplishments, Obstacles and Emerging Issues,” Family Relations 30, no. 4 (October 1981): 559.
    7. Peter Scales, “Sex Education in the ‘70s and ‘80s: Accomplishments, Obstacles and Emerging Issues,” Family Relations 30, no. 4 (October 1981): 559.
    8. U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Office of Education, Freedom of Reach for Young Children: Nonsexist Early Childhood Education, by Tish Henslee (Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office, 1977), 3.
    9. U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Office of Education, Freedom of Reach for Young Children: Nonsexist Early Childhood Education, by Tish Henslee (Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office, 1977), 2.
    10. Department of Curriculum and Instruction: Montgomery County Public Schools, Rockville, Maryland, “Grade 8 Health Education Curriculum,” TeachTheFacts, 2005, http://www.teachthefacts.org/Grade8_Field_Test_Revised.pdf, 5.
    11. Department of Curriculum and Instruction: Montgomery County Public Schools, Rockville, Maryland, “Grade 8 Health Education Curriculum,” TeachTheFacts, 2005, http://www.teachthefacts.org/Grade8_Field_Test_Revised.pdf, 11.

    Coeducation Thesis & Evidence Draft

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    Having officially accepted women to their undergraduate program in 1837, Oberlin College was the first university postsecondary institution to become coeducational. Following Oberlin, other colleges across the United States began to open their doors to female undergraduates. However there were some universities that stayed single-sex, such as the Seven Sister schools, which praised all-female education, and found that their students would thrive separated from men.  In her book, Separate by Degree: Women’s Students’ Experiences in Single-Sex and Coeducational Colleges, Leslie Miller-Bernal states, “women’s colleges have always lived under a banner of controversy…as they developed and became an important part of American higher education, stereotypes have often been used to describe them…but they have also been damaging in their ability to obscure the educational value of women’s colleges and to confuse, if not terrify, potential applicants” (Miller-Bernal p. xv).  This banner of controversy that Miller-Bernal goes on to describe is one of the many reasons why single-sex colleges merged to become coeducational institutions, to avoid some negative connotations that might have been associated with their schools, as well as to attract more potential applicants who might have been more interested in the school had it been coeducational. Coeducation, while it plays a large part in how men and women were, and are currently, educated, also affects in what ways the students are educated. In coeducational institutions, the gender demographics affect campus climate outside of the classroom, as well as inside of it; it is important to investigate how coeducation of women affected the gender demographics of student majors, by potentially further developing female-dominated majors, or bridging the gap to male-dominated fields.

    Waiting over 100 years to co-educate after Oberlin College, Trinity College officially became a mixed-sex college in 1969. The reasons for Trinity’s acceptance of women were a mutually beneficial decision for both the college and the students; the dean of faculty, Robert Fuller, proposed said reasons to President Lockwood, to explain how Trinity would benefit from accepting women[1]. Fuller explained that studies suggested that men and women educated separately may be at a disadvantage, because they would not be fully prepared for the world after college in which they did not have the option of only working with people of their own sex. At the time at which Dean Fuller was writing this memo he addressed the falling number of applications that Trinity received, and declared that it was because men, at the time, wanted to go to mixed-sex colleges. Therefore, because the number of applications was decreasing, Dean Fuller suggests that the number of talented students at the college was shrinking because there was not as large of a set to choose from.  Fuller subsequently gave the President gave three key reasons as to why Trinity could only succeed if it decided to accept women. The first reason present was to accept women would cause Trinity to draw a more talented group of applicants, therefore Trinity would have more talented students; the college could replace less talented men with more talented women. Second, the distraction associated with having a mixed-sex classroom would rapidly diminish with a constant presence of women. Lastly, admitting women would “be continuing [Trinity’s] tradition of undertaking whatever actions are necessary to protect its excellence;” this final piece of logical reasoning, as well as with those previously stated, shows that Dean Fuller truly was focused on protecting the excellence of Trinity, and proved himself right when one year after his memo was read by President Lockwood women were accepted to Trinity College, and the college’s coeducation was official.

    Presently, it has come to the attention of colleges and universities just how large of an impact that the coeducation of women has had on the nation’s higher learning institutions.  From an article in the New York Times: “Department of Education statistics who that men, whatever their race or socioeconomic group, are less likely than women to get bachelor’s degrees – and among those who do, fewer complete their degrees in four or five years. Men also get worse grades than women…faced with applications and enrollment numbers that tilt toward women, some selective private colleges are giving men a slight boost in admissions”[2]. This present-day divide is the ironic inversion of what coeducation was like in the 1900s. When women began at mixed-sex institutions they remained in a passive state, letting men remain dominant in fields that stereotypically were not appropriate for women, such as the sciences or the humanities like political science or economics. This dominance has slowly diminished, and has allowed women to find equality in the gender demographics regarding student majors.

    [1] Fuller, Robert. “The Admission of Women Undergraduates to Trinity College.” Print.

    [2] Lewin, Tamar. “At Colleges, Women Are Leaving Men in the Dust.” New York Times. 9 July 2006. Web. <http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/09/education/09college.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all>.

    The Effect of Student Social Movements on Trinity Policy

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    How were Trinity student controversies over alcohol, fraternities, and race from the 1960s similar or different to those of today, and how did they impact Trinity Policy?

    Social mobility advances on the basis of higher educational pursuit. Those who are privileged enough to receive such an accredited education are therefore the targeted audience to social and academic policies. Private liberal arts colleges, such as Trinity College, have the opportunities and extensive networking outreach to assemble an intimate setting in which students are valued and given the prospect of greater futures. Trinity migrated from a local all men’s collegiate establishment in 1823 to a regional coeducational institution broadened by global access by means of study abroad. This transformation exemplifies the multitude of periodical changes that have been made over the course of Trinity’s historical background. It is the weighted impact and pressure of these previous social movements that have determined our current generation’s collegiate environment. There are a variety of factors that produced each effectual change in Trinity policy and the most outstanding contributor has been the student involvement and influence of social change, particularly within the controversies over alcohol, fraternities, and race since the 1960s.

    Undergraduate students have been agents of social change since the beginning of the 20th century. Trinity students in the 1960s became politically substantial activists whereby the strive for influence and promotion of choice was established by their lack of control in the turmoil of the world’s hardships. “The 1960s were a time of extremes in the country, and energized by intellectual vitality and moral fervor, college students nationwide sought to counter the pervasive forces of gloom and devastation that were present on the national and international front, and whose manifestations were being reported daily in the press as well as on radio and television. Trinity students looked beyond the campus to engage in a host of local activities” [Knapp 331]. By experiencing the world in crisis, students began to formulate a community democracy and the intimate nature of Trinity’s small enrollment allowed this to occur. The Trinity College chapter of the Student for a Democratic Society (SDS) alliance was founded in 1966, which advocated for “the establishment of social democracy in the United States, and a humanist view of the rest of the world” [Knapp 335]. With a solidified outlet for social movement, students were entitled to release their frustrations, objections, and beliefs while gaining the ability to challenge the authority in which they resided under. However the 1969 separation of the national SDS diminished the allure of such an organization to Trinity students by means of deterring the interest of urgent matters to much broader concerns students knew could not be confronted. The SDS chapter was eliminated in 1970. Student immersion and involvement in national and global controversies provoked campus discourse and opposition to authority. Occurrences such as the Bay of Pigs, the bombing of North Vietnam, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the death of Malcolm X, became prominent societal turbulence particularly affecting those graduating into the reality of adulthood. Demonstrations and protests across the board consistently became increasingly violent and the efforts of students failed to provide any sufficient outcomes. Thus student expression peaked around 1970 and significantly decreased thereafter.

    Among the multitude of various incidents worldwide, Trinity’s community experienced their share of policy debates. Topics such as alcohol restrictions, fraternity reign, and attacks of racism were notorious and continue to subsist amid the student population. Racial inequality in particular drove students to perform an unprecedented act of social change. The Civil Rights Movement that occurred in the early 1960s “heightened undergraduate awareness of race relations and the status of blacks in America, and promoted many Trinity students to ask why more blacks were not being admitted to the College” [Knapp 337]. This immense battle for racial equality aggravated the Trinity community and led to the infamous “lock-in” in 1968 in which “168 students occupied the Downes and Williams administration buildings in an effort to force the trustees to consider the Senate’s proposal concerning scholarships for black students” [Knapp 351].

    Hartford Times, Trinity students’ “lock-in” of Board of Trustees, April 1968

    Moreover, the subject of racism has yet to be resolved. In April 2011, racist remarks and acts of vandalism were reported across the campus and a “No Tolerance” or “Zero Tolerance” policy was implemented by means of student activism and because of “a response they felt was appropriate given what they perceived to be a trend of racism and homophobia on campus. Conversely, others argued that the incident was an isolated event, and not symptomatic of a larger intolerant campus climate” [College Archives 2011]. Ultimately, it has become the obligation of the student community to inhibit the actions of one another whereby Trinity Policy will largely be impressed upon if student protest continues. It is additionally the duty of the college to permit and tolerate student expression and this notion was establish by President Lockwood in his 1968 inauguration speech, “If the independent college is to serve society effectively, it must retain its privilege…to examine society, and freely to question its assumptions and practices…[In addition,] a college must play an active role in helping to resolve, not simply to identify, issues off campus” [Knapp 330]. The outcomes associated with student social movement over time have been acknowledged, but it is the enforcement that remains to be noticed.

    Knapp, Peter J., and Anne H. Knapp. Trinity College in the Twentieth Century. Hartford: n.p., 2000. Print.

    “Protesting Hate at Trinity College, April 2011.” College Archives, 2011. http://digitalrepository.trincoll.edu/trinarchives/2.

    Working Thesis and Evidence Draft

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    For this draft I decided to use Peter Knapp’s Trinity College in the Twentieth Century. This source talks mainly about the reasons that the administration at Trinity decided to make it a co-education institution of higher learning. Thus, my first body paragraph gives an introduction to the reasons behind such a decision.

    My second most interesting and comprehensive source is Haydel’s and Lasher’s The Fairest College? Twenty Years of Women at Amherst College. This source is full of first hand accounts from women who attended Amherst in its earliest days of co-education. Thus, I decided to make my second body paragraph about those women’s accounts of the transition into Amherst. I wanted to cover both a little bit of both Amherst and Trinity in my rough draft, so I did. However, I also covered two different aspects of my question.


    Question: What factors led to the decision to co-educate at Trinity (in fall 1969) and Amherst (in fall 1975), and how were the first generation of women students treated at these two colleges?

    Throughout the history of our time women have been educated. Some women have been educated by governesses, others at primary or catholic schools, some at all women’s colleges, and others at co-educational colleges. However, it was not until the late 1900’s that women had the option to study at co-educational colleges. Trinity College and Amherst College were two New England colleges that decided to allow women the opportunity to attend. Trinity College decided to co-educate due to financial reasons; it needed the support financially that admitting men as well as women could offer. Amherst College’s decision to co-educate came at a later period of time, and came from a desire to keep up competitively with all the other colleges in the area that were taking steps to co-educate. Thus, neither college strove to admit women on the basis of equal opportunity for all, but for personal advancement and competitive reasons. At both colleges the first generation of women to attend met a large amount of resistance and harassment, as both fellow students and faculty grappled with the changes of co-education in a traditionally male dominant school.

    Trinity College’s decision to co-educate came from the need to enhance the institutions financial resources. Co-education had been discussed among the faculty, students, and trustees for a few years prior to the decision to co-educate. Faculty member Professor Donald D. Hook who worked in the modern language department expressed the sentiment that supported co-education. Hook stated “If the college were to become co-educational it would be the first private men’s college (of quality) in New England to do this and would thereby create a unique institution for an area extending from north jersey to Boston and west” (Knapp 365). Thus, Hook expresses the sentiment that most proponents of coeducation at the college advocated. Many employees of the college wanted to co-educate because it would give them an advantage over the other New England schools and increase the amount of applicants that they received. That was part of Dr. Robert W. Fuller, Dean of Faculty’s case in support of co-education. Fuller noted that many colleges with which Trinity competed academically were beginning to admit female students.  These colleges were Williams, Colgate, Hamilton, Union, Yale, Princeton, Dartmouth, and Wesleyan. In order to keep up competitively with these similar colleges and attain the applicant pool that the college desired it would be wise to co-educate, as other schools were doing. In the past few years before co-education Trinity’s applicant pool had been declining and did not contain the most competitive students. Thus, Fuller stated that by co-educating the school would have ten times the applicants, containing more talented students. Fuller thought it best to act immediately, presenting the opportunity for women to attend Trinity before other colleges of similar standing did so. Thus, Trinity could latch onto the type of students that it so desired before anyone else had the chance to. As displayed above the first motives for Trinity College to co-educate came from a desire to advance the status of the college financially and academically. However, the impetus to co-educate also came from the similar actions of colleges in the surrounding area. Trinity College wanted to keep up with the modern social trends. In order to maintain status as an elite college, no one wanted it to fall behind. (Source used: Trinity College in the Twentieth Century by Peter Knapp)

    The women of Amherst College had to deal with the college’s decision to co-educate in all aspects of the process. Not only did this decision have a dramatic impact on academics at the college, but it also affected residential life, social life, such as fraternities, athletics, and relationships among the students. By reading compiled interviews by Auban Haydel and Kit Lasher, two female Amherst graduates, one can deduct that the transition from an exclusively male school to a co-educational school was challenging for all involved; especially the females. When asked about the transition from a single sex to a co-educational college, many of the first women to attend the college do not have extremely pleasant comments to say about their experience. That is not to say that they did not like the college or enjoy their experience there, many of them very well did. However, although they may have enjoyed their experience the adversity they faced was not enjoyable, and ultimately made their individual characters tougher. A few women who attended Amherst in the early days of co-education stated that a few males came up to them and asked them how it felt having ruined Amherst with their presence. These comments as well as others were the kind that Amherst women faced daily. Another huge issue that women experienced was harassment, by professors and male students alike. One graduate, Alissa Revness class of 1981, stated that her professor made a pass at her. Another graduate, Dorthea Dickerman class of 1980, described how an Amherst male student attempted to trick her in order to get her to come into his room with him. These types of social interactions were the types of interactions that many Amherst women faced upon their entrance. However as Alissa Revness points out, social and cultural interactions were not what the administration had focused on upon their decision to co-educate. The administration viewed co-education from a purely academic standpoint, which may have been part of the reason social and cultural integration was more challenging. Shree White class of 1987 agrees with this view stating, “I think that the root of the trouble was the administration’s failure to consider the differences between the sexes”(Haydel and Lasher 9). It was because the administration was so fixed on quotas of female acceptance that they completely forgot to focus on the aspects of this transition. In essence, the first few years of co-education at Amherst were filed with extreme adversity for the first generation of female students. This adversity can be attributed to the administrations lack of attention to aiding a smooth social and cultural transition between the two genders. It can also be attributed to the resentment that many men faced when being forced with the task of accepting a woman as an equal in the classroom. (Source used: The Fairest College? Twenty Years of Women at Amherst by Auban Haydel and Kit Lasher)

    Works Cited

    Haydel, Auban, and Kit Lasher. The Fairest College? Twenty Years of Women at Amherst. N.p.: n.p., 1997. Print.

    Knapp, Peter J., and Anne H. Knapp. Trinity College in the Twentieth Century. Hartford: n.p., 2000. Print.