Class Highlight - Understanding Educational Inequality in the U.S.

Class Highlight - Understanding Educational Inequality in the U.S.

What class?

LSAL 4733 – Understanding Educational Inequality in the U.S.

Why is it cool?

How big of a role do race, gender and economic status play in the American education system?

Take a look at one urban Oklahoma City high school.

At Crooked Oak High School where 10 percent of the students are white, 20 percent are black, 70 percent are Latino and 100 percent qualify for free or reduced lunch, not a single student has been accepted to the University of Oklahoma in the past seven years. Female graduates from Crooked Oak are even less likely than their male peers to pursue college.

Why are these demographics having such a negative impact on these students’ futures?

In Understanding Educational Inequality in the U.S., OU Extended Campus students will focus on inequality in both K-12 and higher education. Students will look at how proportional education and employment are based on race, class and gender. Next, they’ll examine the causes and results of inequality in K-12 education and look at the impact of inequality on higher education.

Toward the end of the course, students will use research data to find solutions to help increase the number of students graduating from Crooked Oak and moving on to higher education, said instructor Paul Ketchum.

“Students will put all of their information together and formulate a proposal,” Ketchum said. “They must propose a solution for increasing the number of students attending OU and to also get proportional gender representation in the students who are accepted to OU with the goal being that they get a better feel for the issue than they would simply reading about it.”

By the end of the class, students will be able to clearly define how race, class and gender impact education in the United States.

Talk to your advisor to see if this class might be right for you, or see what else is offered by the OU Extended Campus College of Professional and Continuing Studies.


OU logo

Tami Althoff

Tami Althoff holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism. She is a reporter with more than 20 years’ experience working for newspapers, including The Oklahoman. She has covered everything from breaking news to local music and art. She loves sports, especially OU football and basketball games, where she often embarrasses her children by yelling too loudly.