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Racism At Public Elite High Schools

Conservatives set up the racist testing system to eliminate black and Hispanic Students. What Uncle Toms like Ward Connolly either didn’t realize, or didn’t tell white parents was that eliminating black and Hispanic students via high stakes testing wouldn’t mean their white kids would get in. Many if not most of these schools are now massively overbalanced with Asian students, whose special test prep classes have rendered the testing bankrupt.

Hostility towards the few black and Hispanic students who do make it through the tests is fairly endemic at many of worst balanced schools. My own daughter refused to go to our Elite school, which is consistently ranked as one of the 3 best in the nation – because it was an uncomfortable place for black students. The school is 70% Asian in a country which only has 12% Asian population. Less than 3% of the students are black or Hispanic.

Prior to the conservative racist organizations, AKA the Federalist Society and the misnomered “Center for Equal Opportunity” fighting and suing to have only high stakes testing as the key determinant of acceptance for the school, the population generally represented the population at large. The minority population was small, but the county had attempted a solution much like “One Texas”, where the top students from all of the schools were eligible for admission. The idea that this would raise the number of black and Hispanic students to anything approaching the general population sent racist conservatives into apoplexy.

Another failed system brought to America by racist conservatives.

Being Black at America’s Elite Public High Schools

The complacency and inaction of school administrators following incidents of racism isn’t confined to colleges campuses.

On Martin Luther King Day in January—a day set aside to honor a man who fought against racial injustice—two black students at Boston Latin School (BLS) launched a social-media campaign to expose the racially hostile school climate they say exists at America’s first and oldest existing public school. #BlackatBLS soon cast a spotlight on a string of shocking alleged incidents: from verbal slights that disparaged black students’ intelligence and identity, to classmates posting racial slurs on Twitter and Facebook and “saying nigger without fear of being reprimanded,” according to a YouTube video posted by two members of Boston Latin School’s Black Leaders Aspiring for Change and Knowledge.

The resulting social-media storm touched off a range of responses. Mayor Marty Walsh promised to investigate the allegations. Boston schools superintendent Tommy Chang called for systemwide professional development to train school officials to respond to and handle complaints of racism. “In recent months, BLS has taken steps to improve cultural proficiency at the school,” said a spokesperson for Boston Public Schools in an email. “This has included providing educational opportunities for students, faculty, and families to engage in dialogues around issues of race, diversity, and social justice in safe spaces; improving procedures to report bias-based incidents; and mandatory professional development on cultural proficiency among other efforts.” And the U.S. attorney’s office in Bostonannounced an independent probe into possible civil-rights violations at Boston Latin School. Meanwhile as the events in Boston unleashed a series of difficult conversations on racism and campus climate, the national dialogue on black and Latino students in highly selective high schools remains centered on access and admissions.

In March, New York City’s Department of Education released the demographic breakdown for next year’s freshman class at its eight “elite” public high schools, where admission is based exclusively on test scores, and the numbers continued adismal trend. Black and Latino students comprised a tiny fraction—according toPolitico New York, just over 3 and 5 percent respectively—of the students admitted, in a school system where black and Latino children are 70 percent of all enrolled students. An unscientific analysis by Slate found similar patterns in other districts, such as New Orleans and Fairfax County, Virginia. Black and Latino youngsters were vastly underrepresented in selective high schools as compared to their numbers districtwide, and Asian students were significantly overrepresented—underscoring the complexities among student-of-color groups. Yet as educational-rights activists and elected leaders focus on diversifying enrollment in highly competitive schools, scant attention is being paid to the racial and cultural atmosphere in these institutions, and how welcome black and Latino students are made to feel once admitted to some of the country’s most elite public schools.

Omekongo Dibinga graduated from Boston Latin in 1995, and said up until the 10th grade he felt invisible. “I barely had any black teachers. The only time I seemed to get attention was if I was getting in trouble.” He moved from year to year “unnoticed and unacknowledged” until his sophomore year when he got more involved in student leadership. By senior year, Dibinga was the president of the student council and recounts his last few years at BLS as “unapologetically black.”

However, when he ran for senior class president, things took an alarming turn. As he wrote in a January blog post, on election day some of his white classmates allegedly put white sheets on their heads—distinctive attire worn by the white-supremacist Ku Klux Klan—to protest his candidacy. “A typical day at Boston Latin for me does indeed dovetail with what I read from current students,” he said, including the complacency and inaction of school administrators following incidents of racism like he experienced.

Earlier this year, similar accusations were leveled by black students at New York’s Brooklyn Technical High School—a highly ranked selective public high school—who charged the principal and faculty with minimizing acts of racism at their school. In the aftermath of #BlackatBLS, headmaster Lynne Mooney Teta apologized for her “lack of urgency in addressing racial tensions” and reaffirmed her commitment to providing a safe and discrimination-free school environment…Read the Rest Here

 
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Posted by on May 17, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter, The New Jim Crow

 

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Dystopian Racist View of Black College Students

 

I’ll take this one apart out front – so you don’t have to.

  1. University of Missouri is not a “selective School”
  2. The lie about “very large admissions preferences” is belied by the fact that the numbers of African-American kids at the top 100 selective universities has flatlined or gone down.
  3. To white racist like this writer, there are only two types of black kids on campus – those on athletic scholarship or those unqualified because of “affirmative action”.
  4. Black kids have increased their proportion of STEM degrees. The numbers of master’s degrees earned by Black and Hispanic students more than doubled from 1999–2000 to 2009–10 (increasing by 109 percent and 125 percent, respectively).
  5. 72% of black students earning STEM Bachelors do so at HBCUs, with Howard University graduating 33% of all black students with STEM Degrees. They are 3 times more likely than their white counterparts to pursue Master’s and Doctoral Degrees, usually at selective Universities. About 90% of all black Students earn Bachelors/Masters/PHds in the US, do so at schools east of the Mississippi.
  6. Although 22% of white students enroll in STEM, only 6% are awarded degrees in 4 years. 21% of black students enroll in STEM, and 3% graduate in 4 years. The differential is not significant, as it tends to level out in 6 years where 16% of black, Hispanic, and white kids gain Bachelors.  The difference between Asian students and whites is very significant, in that 30% of Asian kids who enter the STEM curriculum graduate.
  7. Many lower level and mid-range schools still use academic testing in terms of the SAT and ACT. Most of the selective schools have either dropped the SAT/ACT entirely or made it optional. There is no difference in graduation rates between those that use the SAT and those that don’t – proving SAT Score are irrelevant. Indeed, differences in SAT scores are largely arbitrary and can be influenced heavily by coaching, which typically in unaffordable by lower-middle income parents.

So what we got here, is another group of racist lies in an attempt to discredit black students because they are (successfully) protesting.

A LITTLE-UNDERSTOOD ENGINE OF CAMPUS UNREST: RACIAL ADMISSIONS PREFERENCES

They are some of the most privileged students in the nation plunging into a racial grievance culture and upending their campuses as though oppressed by Halloween costumes they don’t approve, imagined racial slights, portraits of Woodrow Wilson, a tiny handful of real racial epithets, and the like?

The reasons are of course multifaceted. But one deserves far more attention than it has gotten: Many or most of the African-American student protesters really are victims — but not of old-fashioned racism.

Most are, rather, victims of the very large admissions preferences that set up racial-minority students for academic struggle at the selective universities that have cynically misled them into thinking they are well qualified to compete with classmates who are, in fact, far stronger academically.

The reality is that most good black and Hispanic students, who would be academically competitive at many selective schools, are not competitive at the more selective schools that they attend.

That’s why it takes very large racial preferences to get them admitted. An inevitable result is that many black and (to a lesser extent) Hispanic students cannot keep up with better-prepared classmates and rank low in their classes no matter how hard they work.

Studies show that this academic “mismatch effect” forces them to drop science and other challenging courses; to move into soft, easily graded, courses disproportionately populated by other preferentially admitted students; and to abandon career hopes such as engineering and pre-med. Many lose intellectual self-confidence and become unhappy even if they avoid flunking out.

This depresses black performance at virtually all selective schools because of what experts call the cascade effect. Here’s how it works, as Richard Sander and I demonstrated in a 2012 book, Mismatch: How Affirmative Action Hurts Students It’s Intended to Help, and Why Universities Won’t Admit It:

Only 1 to 2 percent of black college applicants emerge from high school well-qualified academically for (say) the top Ivy League colleges. Therefore, those schools can meet their racial admissions targets only by using large preferences. They bring in black students who are well qualified for moderately elite schools like (say) the University of North Carolina, but not for the Ivies that recruit them. This leaves schools like UNC able to meet their own racial targets only by giving large preferences to black students who are well qualified for less selective schools like (say) the University of Missouri but not for UNC. And so on down the selectivity scale.

As a result, experts agree, most black students at even moderately selective schools — with high school preparation and test scores far below those of their classmates — rank well below the middle of their college and grad school classes, with between 25% and 50% ranking in the bottom tenth. That’s a very bad place to be at any school.

This, in turn, increases these students’ isolation and self-segregation from the higher-achieving Asians and whites who flourish in more challenging courses. At least one careful study shows that students are more likely to become friends with peers who are similar in academic accomplishment.

Put yourself in the position of manyHispanic and especially black students (recipients of by far the largest racial preferences) at selective schools, who may work heroically during the first semester only to be lost in many classroom discussions and dismayed by their grades.

As they start to see the gulf between their own performance and that of most of their fellow students, dismay can become despair. They soon realize that no matter how hard they work, they will struggle academically.

It is critical to understand that these are not bad students. They did well in high school and could excel at somewhat less selective universities where they would arrive roughly as well prepared as their classmates.

But due to racial preferences, they find themselves for the first time in their lives competing against classmates who have a huge head start in terms of previous education, academic ability, or both.

Researchers have shown that racial preference recipients develop negative perceptions of their own academic competence, which in turn harms their performance and even their mental health, through “stereotype threat” and other problems. They may come to see themselves as failures in the eyes of their families, their friends, and themselves.

Such mismatched minority students are understandably baffled and often bitter about why this is happening to them. With most other minority students having similar problems, their personal academic struggles take on a collective, racial cast….Read the Rest Here if you can stomach it

 

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How Conservatives Destroyed Education in the US

Conservatives and the privatization to failure in the schools…

 

 

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Parent Gun – Pulling the Trigger on Non-Performing Schools in California

An interesting concept. I can see both sides of this, where something needs to be done – but what may be done may be worse than the old school. Charters are almost universally failures with a few bright exceptions, and consistently under-perform the Public Schools they were supposed to replace. The ability to shake up the school administration, and make the educators accountable (IF the educators are the problem) is a positive step. Unfortunately, most failing schools are also populated by “failing parents”. Someone needs to ask the question as to why the educational system in the United States, despite spending several times what other countries spend – is so bad? Is it actually a failure of the system, or a failure of the folks who run and fund the system? Seems that every time someone comes up with a bright idea to tweak the schools, from “No Child’s Behind” to high stakes testing -the result is worse than the system being replaced. That is not a failure of the school system. It isn’t a failure of the educators or kids for that matter – and to an extent the parents…

It’s a failure of the clowns in charge.

Parent trigger: School tests California law that allows takeover via petition

The national battle over the best way to fix failing schools is ripping through this desert town like a sandstorm, tearing apart a community that is testing a radical new approach: the parent takeover.

Parents here are trying to become the first in the country to use a trigger law, which allows a majority of families at a struggling school to force major changes, from firing the principal to closing the school and reopening it as an independent charter. All they need to do to wrest control is sign a petition.

The idea behind the 2010 California law — placing ultimate power in parents’ hands — resonates with any parent who has felt frustrated by school bureaucracy.

“We just decided we needed to do something for our children,” said Doreen Diaz, a parent organizing the trigger effort. “If we don’t stand up and speak for them, their future is lost.”

Her daughter attends Desert Trails Elementary, where last year two-thirds of the children failed the state reading exam, more than half were not proficient in math, and nearly 80 percent failed the science exam. The school has not met state standards for six years, and scores place it in the bottom 10 percent of schools statewide.

The children can’t wait years for improvement, Diaz said.

It’s just the type of situation that reformers had in mind when they crafted the trigger law, which applies to 1,300 public schools in California that under certain criteria are labeled as “failing.”

Others see the trigger law as dangerous, handing the complex challenge of education to people who may be unprepared to meet it. Critics also say the law circumvents elected school boards and invites abuse by charter operators bent on taking over public schools.

Trigger laws are spreading beyond California, passing or sparking debates in other states, including Maryland. Even Hollywood has noticed; a feature film, made by the producers of the 2010 documentary “Waiting for Superman,” is coming out this fall.

In Adelanto, the debate is destroying friendships, sowing suspicion and attracting powerful outside interests to this town on the edge of the Mojave Desert.

Parents trying to pull the trigger are backed by Parent Revolution, a Los Angeles organization funded in part by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Walton Family Foundation.

In recent weeks, a group of parents opposed to the trigger has formed, with help from the California Teachers Association, the state’s largest teachers union.

“We all agree we’d like to see some improvements, but would you rather blow everything up, start from scratch and hope for better?” asked Lori Yuan, who has two children at Desert Trails and is fighting the trigger. “That doesn’t sound very good to me.”

In a plotline worthy of a soap opera, each group has accused the other of intimidation, harassment and hidden agendas. The district attorney has been asked to investigate charges of fraud, and lawyers are lining up.

“This has never been done before, and it’s very confusing,” said Carlos Mendoza, the president of the Adelanto School District Board of Trustees, who is also a high school teacher and a union member. “If we can get all these outsiders out, we can work out something.”… (more)

 
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Posted by on March 6, 2012 in Domestic terrorism

 

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The New Jim Crow, High Stakes Testing, Diversity, and Bigotry

Went through this same battle some years ago at our own local elite High School, complete with threats of lawsuits from the Federalist Society’s KKK racial enforcement arm, the misnomered Center for Equal Opportunity. Increasingly, educational researchers are proving that high-stakes educational testing is a failure. A number of elite Universities have either discontinued the SATs, or reduced their importance relative to academic selection oriented towards a more holistic view of the complete student profile.

That hasn’t quite percolated down to the High School level yet, where there is a tremendous parent investment in keeping the old, racially and economically biased system.

Case in point –

Diversity Debate Convulses Elite High School

Justin Hudson, Hunter College High School Graduate and Commencement Speaker

With one of its alumnae, Elena Kagan, poised for confirmation as a justice on the United States Supreme Court, it should be a triumphant season for Hunter College High School, a New York City public school for the intellectually gifted.

But instead, the school is in turmoil, with much of the faculty in an uproar over the resignation of a popular principal, the third in five years. In her departure speech to teachers in late June, the principal cited several reasons for her decision, including tensions over a lack of diversity at the school, which had been the subject of a controversial graduation address the day before by one of the school’s few African-American students.

Hours after the principal’s address, a committee of Hunter High teachers that included Ms. Kagan’s brother, Irving, read aloud a notice of no confidence to the president ofHunter College, who ultimately oversees the high school, one of the most prestigious public schools in the nation.

The events fanned a long-standing disagreement between much of the high school faculty and the administration of Hunter College over the use of a single, teacher-written test for admission to the school, which has grades 7 through 12. Faculty committees have recommended broadening theadmissions process to include criteria like interviews, observations or portfolios of student work, in part to increase minority enrollment and blunt the impact of theprofessional test preparation undertaken by many prospective students.

Eliminating the test, which has remained essentially unchanged for decades, is not on the table, said John Rose, the dean for diversity at Hunter College. The test, he said, is an integral part of the success of the school, which has a stellar college admissions profile — about 25 percent of graduates are admitted to Ivy League schools — and outstanding alumni like Ms. Kagan and Ruby Dee.

“Parents, faculty members and alumni feel very strongly that the test is very valuable in terms of preserving the kind of specialness and uniqueness that the school has,” Mr. Rose said.

As has happened at other prestigious city high schools that use only a test for admission, the black and Hispanic population at Hunter has fallen in recent years. In 1995, the entering seventh-grade class was 12 percent black and 6 percent Hispanic, according to state data. This past year, it was 3 percent black and 1 percent Hispanic; the balance was 47 percent Asian and 41 percent white, with the other 8 percent of students identifying themselves as multiracial. The public school system as a whole is 70 percent black and Hispanic.

When Justin Hudson, 18, stood up in his purple robes to address his classmates in the auditorium of Hunter College, those numbers were on his mind. He opened his remarks by praising the school and explaining how appreciative he was to have made it to that moment.

Then he shocked his audience. “More than anything else, I feel guilty,” Mr. Hudson, who is black and Hispanic, told his 183 fellow graduates. “I don’t deserve any of this. And neither do you.”

They had been labeled “gifted,” he told them, based on a test they passed “due to luck and circumstance.” Beneficiaries of advantages, they were disproportionately from middle-class Asian and white neighborhoods known for good schools and the prevalence of tutoring.

“If you truly believe that the demographics of Hunter represent the distribution of intelligence in this city,” he said, “then you must believe that the Upper West Side, Bayside and Flushing are intrinsically more intelligent than the South Bronx, Bedford-Stuyvesant and Washington Heights. And I refuse to accept that.”

The entire faculty gave him a standing ovation, as did about half the students. The principal, Eileen Coppola, who had quietly submitted her formal resignation in mid-June but had not yet informed the faculty, praised him, saying, “That was a very good and a very brave speech to make,” Mr. Hudson recalled. But Jennifer J. Raab, Hunter College’s president and herself a Hunter High alumna, looked uncomfortable on the stage and did not join in the ovation, faculty members and students said.

 
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Posted by on August 6, 2010 in The New Jim Crow, The Post-Racial Life

 

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The New Jim Crow – The Academic Testing Myth

One of the long running “truths” spouted by conservatives is that black students perform worse than white or Asian students on SATs, and thus are variously a) less intelligent, b) don’t take educations seriously, c) are lazy, or d) are “anti-education” in condemning successful students as “acting white”.

Despite mounting evidence of flaws in high stakes academic testing is invalid.

“All admissions decisions based exclusively or predominantly on SAT performance–and therefore access to higher education institutions and subsequent job placement and professional success–appear to be biased against the African American minority group and could be exposed to legal challenge.”


New evidence that SAT hurts blacks

Roy Freedle is 76 now, with a research psychologist’s innate patience. He knows that decades often pass before valid ideas take root. When the notion is as radical as his, that the SAT is racially biased, an even longer wait might be expected. But after 23 years the research he has done on the surprising reaction of black students to hard words versus easy words seems to be gaining new respectability.

Seven years ago, after being discouraged from investigating findings while working for the Educational Testing Service, Freedle published a paper in the Harvard Educational Review that won significant attention.

He was retired from ETS by then. As he expected, his former supervisors dismissed his conclusions. Researchers working for the College Board, which owns the SAT, said the test was not biased. But the then president of the University of California system, a cognitive psychologist named Richard C. Atkinson, was intrigued. He asked the director of research in his office to replicate Freedle’s study.

Now, in the latest issue of the Harvard Educational Review, the two scholars who took on that project have published a paper saying Freedle was right about a flaw in the SAT, even in its current form. They say “the SAT, a high-stakes test with significant consequences for the educational opportunities available to young people in the United States, favors one ethnic group over another.” Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 20, 2010 in The New Jim Crow

 

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