The sins of the father: an historical analysis of race and class equality in educational resource allocation and the implications for future educational technology distribution

Leigh, Patricia
Major Professor
Ann D. Thompson
Jackie M. Blount
Committee Member
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Curriculum and Instruction

The underlying premise of this research is that American educational and economic systems are intricately tied and educational opportunities correlate with economic participation. This dissertation consists of three research papers that focus on the unequal opportunities historically afforded Black Americans and those of low socio-economic status. The first paper, "Economics and Education: Kindred Inequalities in Kindred Systems," examines the research literature concerning the connection between education and economic factors such as land, labor and capital. Particular attention is paid to the effects of racial and class discrimination upon the allocation and distribution of these factors. There is an extensive examination of how economic models and theories explain the relationship between education and economics and the gaps that occur between racial groups. In addition, national, regional and state survey data are used to assess racial and socioeconomic group disparities in educational resources from the 1960s through the early 1990s;The second paper, "Segregation by Gerrymander: The Creation of Lincoln Heights High School," traces the formation of a specific school district serving a Black, low-income community in Cincinnati, Ohio. This paper uses a case study approach to support the theory that there is a positive and reciprocal correlation between economic participation and educational opportunity. An historical investigation shows how economic factors influenced the formation of cities and communities and how the formation of school districts was entangled in this evolution;The third paper, "Electronic Connections and Equal Opportunities: An Analysis of Technology Distribution in Public Schools," uses data collected um a national survey sample to conduct quantitative analyses of differences in access to wide-area networks by ethnic or racial identity and socio-economic status. The aim of this research is to provide a current picture of the equality of available educational opportunities as measured by access to technologies important to this age.