Educational Equity

“Examining Capitalism’s Role in Educational Inequality: A Mixed-Methods Study” “Continuing the Fight for Educational Equity: Examining Landmark Cases and Ongoing Challenges” Title: The Importance of Acknowledging Educational Equity in Law and Policy for a Just and Democratic Society Title: The Legal Basis for Educational Inequality: A Literature Review of Constitutional Law Cases and their Impact on Policies in the United States.

Matthew Alvarado
Adam Irish
22 April 2024
To investigate how capitalism fosters inequality in America, this study will take a
mixed-methods approach, combining quantitative analysis of educational financing statistics
with qualitative examination of court cases and policy. The study will concentrate on three major
topics: financial inequities, race-conscious admissions policies, and the impact of landmark court
decisions. Quantitative Analysis: The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) and other
relevant sources will be used to collect data on district-level educational funding for the
quantitative study. This statistics will contain information about per-pupil spending, teacher
salaries, and school facilities. The data will be evaluated with descriptive statistics to detect
patterns and gaps in educational financing between high- and low-income districts.
The qualitative analysis will include a review of historic court judgments and programs
addressing educational inequality. This will include a thorough discussion of Brown v. Board of
Education (1954), Rodriguez v. San Antonio Independent School District (1973), and Students
for Fair Admissions v. President and Fellows of Harvard College (2023), among others. Case
law, legal analysis, and scholarly publications will be examined to better comprehend the legal
and policy ramifications of these cases. A case study on the influence of Rodriguez v. San
Antonio Independent School District (1973) on educational financing inequities will be done as
part of the qualitative research sample. This case study will provide a thorough examination of
the court’s ruling and its implications for funding strategies in low-income school districts. A
content study will also be undertaken on two of the four educational equity statutes. These laws
will be chosen based on their significance to the study issue and their impact on educational
funding and access.
The qualitative analysis will be driven by thematic analysis principles, with an emphasis on
identifying major themes and patterns in the data. The qualitative findings will be combined with
the quantitative data to create a thorough understanding of how capitalism causes educational
inequality in America. Overall, this research design will allow for a detailed examination of
capitalism’s role in producing educational inequality in America, as well as insights into how
policy and legal frameworks may be modified to promote educational equity.
Acknowledge Inequity in Education
Education is often hailed as the cornerstone of societal progress, serving as a catalyst for
personal development and economic growth.”However, not all students have equal access to
high-quality education, and as a result, an achievement gap persists among various demographic
groups. Education equity is the principle that all students have equal access to high-quality
education. This means ensuring that all students have the resources and support they need to
succeed in school. In the United States, there is a wide gap in educational funding between
wealthy and low-income school districts. This gap has widened in recent years, due to cuts in
state and federal funding for education. As a result, low-income students are more likely to
attend schools with larger class sizes, fewer experienced teachers, and fewer resources for. The
disparities in educational funding have a significant impact on student achievement. Students
from low-income families are less likely”to graduate from high school and go on to college.
They are also more likely to drop out of school and be incarcerated (NCES). We should focus on
the distribution of resources to promote educational equity.
In the pursuit of educational equity, it is imperative that society embraces policies and
initiatives that ensure all students, regardless of their background or circumstances, have equal
access to quality education, thereby fostering a more just and inclusive future; while Brown v.
Board establishes equal rights to access education, it does not address equity. A landmark case in
the fight for educational equity was the Supreme Court case of Brown v. Board of Education
(1954). In Brown, the Court ruled that racial segregation in public schools was unconstitutional,
violating the Equal Protection Clause. Chief Justice Earl Warren, supported by all nine justices,
left no room for ambiguity, asserting, “The doctrine of separate but equal has no place. Separate
educational facilities are inherently unequal.” The Equal Protection Clause obligates states to
ensure all students have an equal opportunity for success in school, irrespective of their
background, including race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, or disability. However, Brown did
not end educational inequities in the United States. Many southern states resisted desegregation
and implemented a variety of strategies to maintain segregation, such as closing public schools
and creating private academies for white students. It was not until the 1970s and 1980s that
desegregation was largely achieved.
Despite the progress made in desegregation, educational inequities persist in the United
States today. One of the most pressing challenges is the school-to-prison pipeline, the
disproportionate number of students of color, particularly Black and Hispanic students, who are
disciplined in schools, pushed out of the classroom, and into the criminal justice system. The
school-to-prison pipeline is a major barrier to educational equity. Students who are suspended or
expelled from school are more likely to drop out of school altogether and to become involved in
crime. This can lead to a lifetime of disadvantage and poverty. Essentially what has progressed is
a separate but equal school system where the impoverished, consisting of minorities, are sent to
the criminal justice system while the bourgeoisie get higher quality education.
Rodriguez v. San Antonio Independent School District (1973) stands as a pivotal Supreme
Court case with enduring implications for educational equity, as it upheld the constitutionality of
funding public education primarily through local property taxes, perpetuating disparities in
educational funding between affluent and low-income school districts in the United States. In
this case, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of funding public education primarily
through local property taxes. This ruling has perpetuated a significant gap in educational funding
between affluent and low-income school districts in the United States. As a result, students in
wealthier districts often have better resources, higher-quality education, and improved prospects,
while those in poorer districts face disparities in opportunities and outcomes. This decision has
had a devastating impact on low-income school districts across the country. In a more recent
case, Justice Sonia Sotomayor argued that education is a fundamental right and that states have a
constitutional obligation to provide equal educational opportunities to all students. She wrote,
“The quality of education that a child receives has a profound impact on his or her life chances.
By denying children in poor school districts the same opportunities as children in wealthy school
districts, the state is perpetuating a cycle of poverty and inequality” (2018). There are ongoing
efforts to reform school funding systems to address this enduring issue of educational inequality.
A well-educated citizenry is essential for a democracy to function properly. In the recent
Supreme Court case of Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard University (2022), the Court
overturned Harvard’s race-conscious admissions policy, ruling that it violated the 14th
Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause. Our government should acknowledge educational equity
in our laws because it is essential to a just and democratic society. In her dissent, Justice
Sotomayor wrote, “A diverse student body is essential to the educational mission of colleges and
universities. It prepares students to live and thrive in a diverse society and to contribute to the
betterment of our nation.” An educated citizenry is more likely to be engaged in civic life, to
vote, and to hold their elected officials accountable (NCES). However, Students from historically
marginalized groups, such as Black and Hispanic students, are more likely to attend underfunded
schools with fewer resources (NCES). They are also more likely to live in poverty and to
experience other challenges that make it difficult to succeed in school (NCES).
The opposing side argues that acknowledging educational equity in our laws is unfair and
amounts to reverse discrimination. They believe that all students should be treated equally,
regardless of their race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status. They argue that race-conscious
admissions policies give an unfair advantage to students from minority groups and discriminate
against students from majority groups and that the constitution should remain ‘colorblind.’ The
Court overturned Harvard’s race-conscious admissions policy, ruling that it violated the 14th
Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause. Despite these decisions, Justice Thomas, a member of the
majority opinion, writes “I of course acknowledge that our society is not and has never been
colorblind” (Pg 45). He asserts that policies should be colorblind and that considering race in
decision-making may not be the best way to address the historical and ongoing issues related to
race in America. Justice Thomas’s statement is part of his broader perspective on issues of race,
he is acknowledging the historical and ongoing presence of racial disparities and discrimination
in society. He recognizes that race has played a significant role in American history and that
issues related to race persist. The decision in S.F.F.A v Harvard is a setback for educational
equity in the United States. Race-conscious admissions policies are one tool that colleges and
universities can use to create more diverse student bodies.
Others argue that acknowledging educational equity in our laws is unnecessary. They
believe that the free market will eventually solve the problem of educational inequity (NAP).
The belief that the free market will solve educational inequity is based on the idea that
competition and choice will improve the quality of education; however, it often fails to address
the underlying disparities, leaving low-income students with limited access and perpetuating
inequality. They argue that parents will choose to send their children to schools that provide a
high-quality education, regardless of the school’s location or demographics (NAP). When student
bodies are more diverse, all students benefit from learning in a more inclusive and enriching
environment as diversity promotes creativity. By acknowledging educational equity in our laws
and enacting policies that support all students, we can create a more just and democratic society.
It is important for our government to take action to address the educational inequities that exist in
the United States. We need to ensure that all students have access to a high-quality education,
regardless of their race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status.
Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483, (1954).
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. School Choice: Issues and
Evidence. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2017.
National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). “The State of Education for Low-Income
Students in the United States.” 2022. Accessed October 10, 2023.
San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 1, (1973).
Students For Fair Admissions v. President and Fellows of Harvard College, 600 U.S. ___ (2023).       and feedbacl: My suggestions are threefold. First, as written, this draft lacks much of the source citation that should accompany a legal research article. Given that your focus is on the constitutional law cases surrounding education, there should be a literature review that considers prior analyses of the cases you’ve selected and the broader topic of equality/inequality in education. This literature review should include law review articles as well as political science research on the topic.
Second, I think you can narrow your focus because you are really zeroing in on the legal cases related to equality in education. Go ahead and present the intro that way. And to make the hook a bit more lively, try out adding a paragraph or two of a story related to the inequality that you are exploring.
Lastly, in addition to the legal analysis that you are conducting, I think you need a clearer research design section to lays out what kind of evidence you are analyzing. Beyond the trends in the cases (and for that matter in the existing literature on educational inequality), you could pull in how these cases have formed laws in some key states (using popular media reporting and other scholarly research as the “evidence” that you’ll consider to comment on related policies like funding, bussing, etc). This would give you a bit more to chew on in this paper beyond the core Supreme Court cases.
Overall, this is a promising intro and good first cut on the cases selected. To get this paper to fulfill the project requirements, a more thorough literature review and clear statement of research design are needed. Additionally, you can/should consider some additional evidence to include beyond a legal analysis of cases to tie your investigation of the legal basis for inequality to the policies that we see enacted in the US.