An issue close to being most important in American life is how to make the social and cultural diversity of American society work. Diversity must become a strength upon which the nation's future can depend, rather then a reason for reviving ancient animosities or inventing new ones (Howe II 31).
From the new statistics recently revised and published by the U.S. Census Bureau, it is clear that racial diversity will continue to be a major issue in society. For example, Bureau projections by age, race, and sex, based on the 1990 census show faster population growth and an increase in racial diversity that goes beyond previous estimates (Waldrop 9). Whereas the Bureau previously predicted three racial groups for the twenty-first century, it is now projecting four racial groups (white, black, Asian, and American Indian), with Hispanics increasing their birthrate from nine percent to 21 percent--thereby becoming the largest minority in the United States.
Many people believe the most effective way to solve the problems racial diversity seems to cause is to start in the school system. Diversity of student backgrounds is probably the most serious and difficult issue with which schools now struggle--partly because their transition to a multi-cultured community has been more rapid than that of adult society as a whole. Diversity is also important in training and retraining teachers. (Howe II 32).
The increasing ethnic and racial diversity of colleges and universities is forcing many faculty members to re-examine their curricula. In light of this factor, many educators are wondering whether the traditional European heritage emphasis in education should be abandoned (Rodrigues B1). For example, possibly engineering courses on irrigation might include an investigation of the social role of the acequia system in Hispanic or Native American cultures (Rodrigues B1). The more faculty members are recruited from diverse discipl...