Poor European and African-American Settlers
Another educational issue that the author focuses on is the influx of poor European and African-American settlers to the community and its school system. The first influx of “European immigrants to the United States came mainly from norther Europe—England, Scotland, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Germany” (Ornstein, A. C.
, Levine, D. U., Gutek, G. L., & Vocke, D. E., 2017).
This resulted in overcrowded schools due to the large number of students added to the school system. To accommodate these new students the school system introduced a series of innovative programs such as kindergartens, all-year schools, summer school, vocational and trade programs at secondary schools, and continuation and evening schools.
In addition, “between 1880 and 1917, 44 new school buildings were built, and 76 additions” (Anyon, 1997). Nonetheless, these new immigrant students were non-English speakers and the instructors were not prepared to teach them. Consequently, these students were put in classrooms with educators that did not care for them or their education.
Despite the push for improvements “the majority never went past fifth grade” (Anyon, 1997) and “the large percentages of the immigrant poor who attended school failed in their studies” (Anyon, 1997). Additionally, between 1920 and 1940, there was an influx of African-Americans who “arrived in search of work and freedom from southern Jim Crow segregation laws” (Anyon, 1997), but instead found discrimination, low-paying jobs, unfavorable living conditions, and segregation, which resulted in the redlining.
Because of the Great Depression educational reforms, in Newark, were limited to “white middle-class areas of the city” (Anyon, 1997). Failure to provide fair educational reform resulted in students studying in poorly maintained schools; students high retention and failure rates; students being below grade level; and students being unprepared to earn a living. These were “unfortunate consequences for the education of African-American children and, as we shall see, would continue to do so for generations to come” (Anyon, 1997).