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Race in the Classroom

OK…This guy was a rookie. What he should have said was all white people in America benefit from racism.

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Discussing race in the classroom: ‘Are all white people racist’?

A high school teacher in Norman, Okla. is under fire for this assertion. But how should the conversation about race relations be framed? 

One high school teacher’s bold premise – that “all white people are racist, period” – is reigniting discussion about how difficult it is to talk about race in school classrooms.

One offended student in the philosophy elective at Norman North High School in Oklahoma recorded the remark, part of a lecture about how to heal racial divides, on her cellphone last week. The student, who wished to remain anonymous, told the local NBC-affiliate KFOR that she felt the teacher was encouraging the class “to pick on people for being white.”

The controversy comes as the country is confronted with questions of institutional racism in its educational systems and police departments, police misconduct against young black men, and racial inequality. The teacher, James Coursey, appeared to try to draw his classroom into this national conversation. Some education experts applaud Mr. Coursey and others’ efforts to engage students in what can be a challenging dialogue. But they also say he could have just worded his argument differently.

“I think it was a rookie error in teaching about race,” Paul Ketchum, a professor of liberal studies at the nearby University of Oklahoma, told The Norman Transcript. “You go for the big term when the a less loaded term would be better to make it a teachable moment.”

In a statement, Joe Siano, the superintendent of the school district, agreed that the discussion could have been handled better but emphasized the subject should still be a conversation in classrooms.

“Racism is an important topic that we discuss in our schools,” said Dr. Siano. “While discussing a variety of philosophical perspectives on culture, race and ethics, a teacher was attempting to convey to students in an elective philosophy course a perspective that had been shared at a university lecture he had attended.”

In the video the student first posted to social media, Coursey starts the lecture by showing a YouTube clip about imperialism. In the video, a man uses white-out on a globe to illustrate how European influence spread across the world, as The Washington Post reported.

Coursey is heard in the recording rhetorically ask: “Am I racist? And I say yeah. I don’t want to be. It’s not like I choose to be racist, but do I do things because of the way I was raised.”

“To be white is to be racist, period,” he says.

The offended student, who said half of her family is white and half Hispanic, told KFOR along with her father they felt the teacher encouraged the “demonization” of one race over others.

More than 100 student demonstrators stood behind Coursey, organizing a walkout Tuesday. One student said the remark was taken out of context.

“We believe it is important to have serious and thoughtful discussion about institutional racism in order to change the history and promote inclusivity,” he said, according to The Norman Times.

Other educators across the country, from preschool teachers to professors, have stumbled or faced criticism about how they have tried to discuss racism. A professor at the University of Kansas was suspended last year for using the N-word in a discussion she led about instances of racism on college campuses. Some of the nine graduate students in the class filed discrimination complaints with the university against the professor, Andrea Quenette. The university dismissed the complaints, but chose not to renewMs. Quenette’s employment following the conclusion of the spring 2017 semester, according the Lawrence Journal-World.

The University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., drew national media attention in 2014 by offering a “White Privilege Seminar.” Iris Outlaw, the professor of the seminar, said at the time that its purpose is to explore white privilege and other systems of oppression to help students grow. But some conservatives said it was a liberal perspective gone too far.

“This isn’t education, it’s indoctrination,” Notre Dame student and conservative campus activist Mark Gianfalla told the Daily Caller. “The problem I see with this course is that it is teaching a flawed and inherently racist sociological theory as fact.”… Not surprising, from a conservative racist. Read the rest here…

 
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Posted by on October 21, 2016 in The Definition of Racism, The Post-Racial Life

 

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High School Graduation Rates in US at Record High

More kids are graduating High School in 4 years than ever before.

Nation’s high school graduation rate reaches new record high

The nation’s high school graduation rose again in the 2014-2015 school year, reaching a new record high as more than 83 percent of students earned a diploma on time, according to federal data released Monday.

The figures show gains among every group of students — including white, black, Asian, Hispanic and Native American, as well as low-income students, students with disabilities and those learning English as a second language. The broad improvement continues a trend that began with the 2010-2011 school year, when states first adopted a uniform method of reporting graduation rates.

Gaps between student groups continued to close but remained large: Nearly 88 percent of white students graduated on time, 10 percentage points higher than Hispanic students (78 percent), 13 percentage points higher than black students (75 percent), and 16 percentage points above Native American and Native Alaskan students (72 percent).

 

 
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Posted by on October 17, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter, The Post-Racial Life

 

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What Happens When The Last Black Teacher Leaves?

Have had a few discussions over the years about the impact of integrating schools.

The US School System has been in freefall for a number of years – indeed since Raygun. How an entire political class dedicated t hatred of the Public School system and dedicated to destroying Teachers Union could do anything but fail is beyond me. We are about 17th or 18th in the world now behind almost every one of the “socialist” developed nations.

In Philadelphia, the number of black teachers fell 18.5 percent between 2001 and 2012. In Chicago, it dropped 40 percent.

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BLACK TEACHERS MATTER

America’s schools desperately need educators like Darlene Lomax. So why are we driving them away?

One spring morning this year, Darlene Lomax was driving to her father’s house in northwest Philadelphia. She took a right onto Germantown Avenue, one of the city’s oldest streets, and pulled up to Germantown High School, a stately brick-and-stone building. Empty whiskey bottles and candy cartons were piled around the benches in the school’s front yard. Posters of the mascot, a green and white bear, had browned and curled. In what was once the teachers’ parking lot, spindly weeds shot up through the concrete. Across the street, above the front door of the also-shuttered Robert Fulton Elementary School, a banner read, “Welcome, President Barack Obama, October 10, 2010.”

It had been almost three years since the Philadelphia school district closed Germantown High, and 35 years since Lomax was a student there. But the sight of the dead building, stretching over an entire city block, still pained her. She looked at her old classroom windows, tinted in greasy brown dust, and thought about Dr. Grabert, the philosophy teacher who pushed her to think critically and consider becoming the first in her family to go to college. She thought of Ms. Stoeckle, the English teacher, whose red-pen corrections and encouraging comments convinced her to enroll in a program for gifted students. Lomax remembers the predominantly black school—she had only one white and one Asian American classmate—as a rigorous place, with college preparatory honors courses and arts and sports programs. Ten years after taking Ms. Stoeckle’s class, Lomax had dropped by Germantown High to tell her that she was planning to become a teacher herself.

A historic Georgian Revival building, Germantown High opened its doors in 1915 as a vocational training ground for the industrial era, with the children of blue-collar European immigrants populating its classrooms. In the late 1950s, the district added a wing to provide capacity for the growing population of a rapidly integrating neighborhood.

By 1972, Lomax’s father, a factory worker, had saved up enough to move his family of eight from a two-bedroom apartment in one of the poorest parts of Philadelphia into a four-bedroom brick house in Germantown. Each month, Darlene and her younger sister would walk 15 blocks to the mortgage company’s gray stucco building, climb up to the second floor, and press a big envelope with money orders into the receptionist’s hand. The new house had a dining room and a living room, sparkling glass doorknobs, French doors that opened into a large sunroom, an herb garden, and a backyard with soft grass and big trees. Darlene and her father planted tomatoes and made salads with the sweet, juicy fruit every Friday, all summer long.

To the Lomax children, the fenceless backyard was ripe for exploration, and it funneled them right to the yards of their neighbors. One yard belonged to two sisters who worked as special-education teachers—the first black people Darlene had met who had college degrees. As Lomax got to know these sisters, she began to think that perhaps her philosophy teacher was right: She, too, could go to college and someday buy a house of her own with glass doorknobs and a garden. She graduated from Rosemont College in 1985, and after a stint as a social worker, she enrolled at Temple University and got her teaching credential.

On February 19, 2013, Lomax was in the weekly faculty leadership meeting at Fairhill Elementary, a 126-year-old school in a historic Puerto Rican neighborhood of Philadelphia where she served as principal. A counselor was giving his report, but Lomax couldn’t hear what he said. She just stared at her computer screen, frozen, as she read a letter from the school superintendent. She read it again and again to make sure she understood what it said.

Then, slowly, she turned to Robert Harris, Fairhill’s special-education teacher for 20 years, and his wife, the counselor and gym teacher. “They are closing our school,” she said quietly. They all broke down weeping. Then they walked to the front of the building in silence and unlocked the doors to open the school for the day.

Five miles away, as Germantown High School prepared for its 100th anniversary, its principal was digesting the same letter. In all, 24 Philadelphia schools would be closed that year. These days, when Lomax visits her father in the house with the glass doorknobs, she drives by four shuttered school buildings, each with a “Property Available for Sale” sign.

Back when Lomax was a student in Philadelphia in the 1970s, local, state, and federal governments poured extra resources into these racially isolated schools—grand, elegant buildings that might look like palaces or city halls—to compensate for a long history of segregation. And they invested in the staff inside those schools, pushing to expand the teaching workforce and bring in more black and Latino teachers with roots in the community. Teaching was an essential path into the middle class, especially for African American women; it was also a nexus of organizing. During the civil rights movement, black educators were leaders in fighting for increased opportunity, including more equitable school funding and a greater voice for communities in running schools and districts.

But today, as buildings like Germantown High stand shuttered, these changes are slowly being rolled back. In Philadelphia and across the country, scores of schools have been closed, radically restructured, or replaced by charter schools. And in the process, the face of the teaching workforce has changed. In one of the most far-reaching consequences of the past decade’s wave of education reform, the nation has lost tens of thousands of experienced black teachers and principals.

According to the Albert Shanker Institute, which is funded in part by the American Federation of Teachers, the number of black educators has declined sharply in some of the largest urban school districts in the nation. In Philadelphia, the number of black teachers declined by 18.5 percent between 2001 and 2012. In Chicago, the black teacher population dropped by nearly 40 percent. And in New Orleans, there was a 62 percent drop in the number of black teachers.

Percentage Change in Teacher Population by Race and Ethnicity, 2002-2012

Many of these departures came as part of mass layoffs and closings in schools…Read More Here

 

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How Bad are Charter Schools?

John Oliver’s rant –

 
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Posted by on August 22, 2016 in American Genocide, The Post-Racial Life

 

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Dealing With Segregation in NYC

In actuality, the most segregated school systems in America are in the Northern Big Cities. Hyper-segregation at the neighborhood level leads to segregated schools. This enforces, and supports different outcomes for black and white children. While black kids certainly don’t need white kids around to learn…It seems far too many school administrators and teachers need white kids around to teach.

Why Liberal New York City’s Schools Are Among the Nation’s Most Segregated

 

New York City’s public schools are among the most segregated in the country – a fact that flies in the face of the city’s history as a bastion of progressivism. For this podcast, I spoke with former ProPublica reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones, now a New York Times Magazine staff writer, about her decision to delve deeply and personally into that paradox.

Hannah-Jones wrote about the public school her daughter attends in New York City, PS 307. The school is populated by poor children of color from nearby housing projects. It also became the site of community tension when predominantly white and well-off parents living nearby were pushed into its school zone to ease crowding at another school.

 

 
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Posted by on June 28, 2016 in The New Jim Crow

 

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Most Educated Group in America? Black Women

Which group in America, by ethnicity and gender is the highest educated?

Black women.

Black women are now the most educated group in the United States

Black women are now the most educated group in the United States, according toreports by the National Center for Education Statistics.

By both race and gender there is a higher percentage of black women (9.7 percent) enrolled in college than any other group including Asian women (8.7 percent), white women (7.1 percent) and white men (6.1 percent).

Also black women earned 66 percent of bachelor’s degrees, 71 percent of master’s degrees, and 65 percent of all doctorate degrees awarded to African-American students in the United States between 2009 and 2010.

Two critiques of that –

  1. Brothers – get your isht together
  2. Sistas – Forget the basket weaving degrees in HR and “Business”… I would love to see many, many more of you in the STEM Fields
 
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Posted by on June 2, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter, The Post-Racial Life

 

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Malia Obama To Harvard

Nothing unexpected here with both parents being Harvard Grads. Other factors in her favor include that nearly 80% of Sidwell Friends School graduates attend the Ivy League, second only to a Public High School also in the Washington area.

Malia is taking a year off, before attending Harvard, I would guess to be with family in life outside the bubble of the Presidency.

Malia Obama

Malia Obama will take a gap year, then attend Harvard in 2017

Malia Obama will take a gap year after graduating from high school and then attend Harvard University in the fall of 2017, the White House said Sunday, ending speculation at campuses across the country.

Obama, 17, the older of the president’s two daughters, visited more than a dozen schools, including Stanford, Yale and Columbia, before making her decision. The White House did not say what she would spend her gap year doing.

The tall, poised teenager will be one of the most famous members of her class — and a standout for the Secret Service agents who will be in tow.

The older Obama daughter was 10 when her father took the highest office in the land. Now a senior at the elite Sidwell Friends School in northwest Washington, she has come of age with the world watching. Her sister, Sasha, 14, is wrapping up her freshman year at the private school.

Although her grades and standardized test scores remain closely guarded secrets, factors in her favor included her family background, study at top-flight schools and a unique, privileged upbringing that was bound to make for a remarkable college essay.

Her parents, both Harvard Law grads, have four Ivy League degrees between them. First Lady Michelle Obama graduated from Harvard Law in 1988, and her husband followed in 1991. He completed undergraduate studies at Columbia University in 1983. She graduated from Princeton in 1985.

The president, speaking at a Des Moines high school last fall about college access and affordability, said he knew that finding the best school was a “tough process” because his daughter was “going through it right now.”

“You guys are juggling deadlines and applications and personal statements,” he told the audience.

He called his daughter a “hard worker” and said he advised her “not to stress too much about having to get into one particular college.”

He said there were a lot of good schools and “just because it’s not some name-brand, famous, fancy school doesn’t mean that you’re not going to get a great education there.”

The elder Obama child is said to be an aspiring filmmaker. She plays tennis for fun.

She took a look in 2014 at two rival schools in Northern California — Stanford University and UC Berkeley — and later shifted attention to schools on the East Coast.

Media reports show she inspected six of the eight Ivy League schools: Brown, Columbia, Harvard, Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania and Yale. She also paid stops to New York University, Tufts University, Barnard College and Wesleyan University.

Born in Chicago on July 4, 1998, Malia Obama attended the private University of Chicago Laboratory Schools before she and her family entered the White House in 2009.

The first of the first daughters made headlines in August 2014 when, bicycling with her parents while on vacation in Martha’s Vineyard, she donned a Stanford T-shirt. Some thought her choice was made.

The last two presidential children in the White House, twins Barbara and Jenna Bush, were spared major media scrutiny as they chose their colleges; they already were enrolled by the time their father won the presidency in 2000.

Barbara Bush graduated from Yale and Jenna Bush, the University of Texas at Austin.

During Bill Clinton’s presidency, his daughter, Chelsea, went from Sidwell Friends, a Quaker-affiliated prep school, to Stanford, choosing the place where her friend (and future husband) Marc Mezvinsky already was in attendance.

Chelsea Clinton graduated from Stanford in 2001 and later obtained a master’s degrees and doctorate from Oxford University in England and a master’s degree from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.

 

 
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Posted by on May 1, 2016 in Giant Negros

 

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