America demands that all youth receive an education and that its educational system is free and open to all—regardless of class, race, ethnicity, age, and gender. However, the system is failing. There is still inequality in the educational system, and minorities’ experience with education is shaped by discrimination and limited access, while white people’s experience with education is shaped by privilege and access. The educational experience for minorities is still segregated and unequal. This is because the number of white children that are withdrawn from school by their parents is higher than the number of people of color enrolling. White parents are unconsciously practicing the idea of “blockbusting,” where minorities begin to fill up
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Almost two-thirds of African-Americans attend schools that are predominately minority. For example, “[a]t Adlai Stevenson High School, which enrolls 3,400 students, blacks and Hispanics made up 97 percent of the student population; a mere eight tenth of one percent were white” (Kozol 2005:1). This gap between whites and minorities in education causes minorities to dropout before completing high school and increases the chance of whites becoming more educated. Bonilla-Silva reveals the disparity in graduation rates: “66 percent of blacks compared to 79 percent of whites had completed high school in 1990” (2001:97). Children of minorities are more inclined to feel that they are worthless and that the government is not giving them the opportunity to express who they are, while white children feel like they are privileged and the system is working with them to benefit their chance of attaining knowledge.
Mickelson and Smith define a meritocracy as a place “in which hard work and individual effort are rewarded, especially in financial terms” (1984:411). This ideology is based on the belief that having a good education will open economical doors and make it possible for all individuals to improve their financial status. Unfortunately, this ideology does not apply to