Education, Opinions

Case Analysis: The Williams v. California

Summary:

A class action suits out of San Francisco in 2000 alleged that schools in California were offering less educational opportunity for low-income children and English Language Learners than for middle-income children. The suit alleged that the teaching quality, books, and school conditions were worse in low-income schools. The case was settled out of court and resulted in an extra $1 billion allocated to equalize conditions, including the phasing out of the chaotic and expensive “multi-track” year-round school calendar.

Case Result:

The Williams settlement requires that all students have instructional materials and that their schools be clean and safe. It also takes steps toward assuring they have qualified teachers. The settlement holds schools accountable for delivering these fundamental elements, and provides nearly $1 billion to accomplish these goals. The settlement also expands the number of schools benefiting from the High Priority Schools Grant Program and phases out the use of the Concept 6 multi-track, year-round calendar by 2012.

Analysis:

The case results to settlement build public confidence and political will for refining the education system and leading more resources to institutions and students most in dire. By working out with the communities and public organizations to utilize the Williams protest, other advocates have assisted students, parents, teachers, schools, and state officials to work together. While complaining is just one instrument for fixing explicit types of problems, the importance to students and parents of engaging in that process is incalculable. As communities achieve tangible developments at specific schools, they also shape a consciousness of their potential to create social change.

Ironically, this case does not fit neither how this has been resolve in the Philippine setting.

Because basically, it is obvious that in our country, there are several public schools especially in the province that being neglected unintentionally. The standards are being set by Department of Education across the country in terms of curriculum and required learning outcome. Sadly, the materials, the teachers and other resources are not evenly distributed. Factors can be the demographic locations. Several documentaries showing how much sacrifices both the students and teachers where doing just to facilitate learning for those schools located in the remote places. But the alarming facts is that of the urban public schools are also going through situations which reported to be congested. School administration resorted to cutting classes in half. The lack of books and other school materials obliges teachers to shell out money from their inadequate to buy additional visual materials and even to buy chalk. From the end of educational sector, amended basic education was started to be implemented across the country in response to the quality education that we have in the current time. Unfortunately, the scarcity in so many needs have not yet been addressed.

As an educator here in the Philippines, it reveals how challenging the role of a teacher given these many deficiencies that the situation may offer. Limitations from the government end are beyond the control of the teachers. Similar complaints against quality can be raised not just against the government or the school, but also against the educators. As a component of the system, we do not want to be left behind. Adaptation and flexibility is another important key to consider. It is an individual responsibility to grow and improve.

 

References:

http://www.showandtellforparents.com/wfdata/frame154-1000/pressrel64.asp

http://decentschools.org/settlement/Williams_Highlights_April_2005.pdf

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