Dr. Bradley Scott

Six Generations of Civil Rights in Education – Podcast Episode 132 | Classnotes Podcast 132

Classnotes Podcast (December 2, 2013) Last year in Classnotes Podcast episode 113, Bradley Scott, Ph.D. director of the IDRA South Central Collaborative for Equity, introduced the concept of a sixth generation of civil rights and educational equity. In this episode, Bradley describes the five previous generations that have led us to this sixth generation that is currently being shaped to guarantee excellent schools for all students.

The 10 federally-funded equity assistance centers, including the SCCE, identified these six phases of civil rights in education as they engage with others in profound conversations about what it will take for our public schools really to educate all children to excellence. Bradley is interviewed by Aurelio M. Montemayor, M.Ed., IDRA senior education associate.

Show length: 14:41

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Show Notes

  • Bradley outlines the first six generations of civil rights. The first began with the landmark Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme Court decision of 1954 and was characterized by litigation and court rulings. Legislative action drove educational change in the second generation, which began in 1964, while five major reports on the status of U.S. education, including the well-known A Nation at Risk, filled the third generation, starting in 1983. The fourth generation started around 1990 and focused on state-level reforms. The fifth generation began with the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act in 2000, and for the first time included disaggregated data to track educational outcomes for diverse students. The sixth generation started around 2009 with the Blueprint for Education Reform, and focuses on systemic equity and creating college-going access for all students.

  • Bradley addresses the stereotypes inherent in the claim that “college is not for everybody.”

  • Bradley explains the dangers and shortcomings of educational tracking and ability grouping, which “serve no good and just don’t good work.”

  • Bradley talks about the drawbacks to resource distribution, which too often leaves poor and minority kids at an educational disadvantage.

  • In the face of this inequity, however, Bradley also sees “pockets of excellence,” or schools and districts where all students do have equal access to educational opportunities. He sees four common traits that drive these successes:
    (1) Teachers and principals believe they can make a difference.
    (2) Educators work to improve themselves and raise their own skill levels to ultimately give students better opportunities.
    (3) Teacher and leaders fight for more financial resources for their schools and districts.
    (4) Educators are willing to work side by side with parents to make a difference in the lives of the students.