Cover image for The politics of second generation discrimination in American Indian education : incidence, explanation, and mitigating strategies
The politics of second generation discrimination in American Indian education : incidence, explanation, and mitigating strategies
Wright, David E., III.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Westport, Conn. : Bergin & Garvey, 1998.
Physical Description:
xiv, 171 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Format :


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E97 .W96 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Academic grouping techniques are often subtle methods of discrimination that allow schools to sort students into homogenous groups. Findings indicate that American Indian students are overrepresented in lower-ability special education classes and in suspensions. Conversely, American Indian students are underrepresented in gifted classes and in graduations. A model, including American Indian representation, education, and income, as well as school district size, explains the amount of second generation discrimination faced by American Indian students. School districts that have greater American Indian political power have greater political representation on the school board and hence greater representation in school administration and in classrooms. The most important and consistent factor limiting the amount of second generation discrimination that American Indian students experience is the presence of American Indian teachers.

Author Notes

DAVID E. WRIGHT, III is Special Studies Coordinator for the Oklahoma State Department of Health.

MICHAEL W. HIRLINGER is Associate Professor of Political Science at Oklahoma State University.

ROBERT E. ENGLAND is Professor of Political Science at Oklahoma State University.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Extending his coauthored 1989 work on African American students (Kenneth J. Meier, Race, Class, and Education: The Politics of Second-Generation Discrimination), England (political science, Oklahoma State Univ.) and colleagues Hirlinger (political science) and Wright (Oklahoma State Department of Health) investigate the extent to which American Indians are denied equal educational opportunities. Using aggregated census and sample data from 128 public school districts from the 1992 Elementary and Secondary School Civil Rights Survey (Office of Civil Rights), they document levels of American Indian discrimination and mitigation methods, finding substantial evidence of discriminatory practices and related under-representation of Indians as school employees and board members. Most noteworthy to political and social scientists, this study finds that American Indian teachers, fully-funded Indian Education programs, minority personnel, and "cooperative education" can be critical means of reducing discrimination. It's an old story to American Indian students, parents, and educators. As pointed out, even the term "second generation discrimination" itself "is misleading" in smaller, rural, and reservation schools that have never been desegregated. With substantial references, a good index and listing of school districts, this useful book provides additional empirical fodder for those who investigate discrimination in the education of American Indians and employ workable means for its elimination. Upper-division undergraduates and above, including professionals and practitioners. R. L. Brod; University of Montana

Table of Contents

A Political History of American Indian Education
A Theoretical Model of Second Generation
Discrimination Research Design and Measurement of Variables
The Incidence of Second Generation
Discrimination Among American Indians Representation in Educational Policymaking
The Impact of American Indian Representation on Second Generation
Discrimination Mitigating Second Generation
Discrimination: Lessons from Case Studies
Conclusion and Suggestions for Future Research