Sheff Movement Lecture: Educational Equity

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For Final Essay on Sheff case and Educational Equity, please read project finalized in EDUC 308: Cities Suburbs and Schools: The Struggle for Educational Equity During the 1970s: Lumpkin v. Dempsey, here

Listening to Professor Paris from the CUNY College of Staten Island’s lecture on the Sheff v. O’Neil case after having sat through and written a journalism piece of the case. Paris was very particular about telling the story of school desegregation from differing points of views while reminding everyone in the room that the topic of conversation was as relevant as it was in the 80s. The Sheff vs. O’Neil case was centered around school desegregation and fought the fact that many Hartford residents were not able to receive an equal opportunity for education because of what many consider “racial isolation.” For many years now, people have questioned whether race or poverty is to blame for creating instances of unequal opportunities in the school setting. Paris reiterated that Sheff reformers argue that a combination of poverty AND race both contribute to this phenomenon which ultimately affects many students in Hartford and across the nation.

I did not understand the seriousness of the Sheff V. O’Neill movement after having attended the meeting that one cold saturday morning. Seeing that this case has inspired many lecturers and other parents who have experienced a similar case is inspiring to me as well. I enjoyed Michael Paris’ thorough lecture on the Sheff v. O’Neil case and as inspiring as I felt his passion and expertise on it was, I feel as if the only way to actually achieve equal education opportunities is to gather those who are strong advocates for the movement and have them go out into different cities to educate parents that may be misinformed.

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