"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Friday, March 21, 2014

Duncan Invites Parents to Conduct Research on Reasons for Racist Practices in Schools

Duncan sent one of his underlings to the News Hour this evening to express her disgust that 3 and 4 year old students, most of whom are minority children, would be suspended from school.  The young African-American woman from the Duncan's Civil Rights Office leaned forward into the camera and expressed her disgust at such practices.  

When the interviewer asked her why this was happening, she stopped leaning forward and excused herself from any such speculation, since it is the Department's duty to report the facts, ma'am, just the facts.  Why it's happening--can't say.  That's for parents, or researchers, or someone else to determine.

Could it be Duncan's department dare not dig deeper into why minority students are suffering, for fear of what it may turn up facts that would tie the U. S. Department of Education directly to the shameful results of their own survey.  Let's take them one at a time:

1) African-American children comprise 18% of all public school children enrolled . . . but account for nearly half of all suspensions.
Now we know that the education conformers of the BRT, the billionaires, the corporate media, and even the President have celebrated the philosophy of No Excuses for almost 20 years now.  The reason KIPP has become the poster chain gang for urban schooling is the fact that they were first to embrace fully the penal pedagogy of the No Excuses ideology, and former teachers offer testimony to reality of total compliance schooling that needs no excuse to abuse and humiliate children whose needs are secondary to the No Excuses dogma.  

We also know that the 6,000 charter schools are mostly the No Excuses variety, and they enroll a disproportionate number of minority students--until they are found wanting, either behaviorally or intellectually.  Student attrition in KIPP schools is 40-60 percent between grades 5 and 8.  

We also know the federal government has spent over $700 million since 2010 to seed, feed, and breed more segregated charter schools of the total compliance, no excuses, zero tolerance variety.  The KIPP model has also influenced other urban schools that believe that turning schools in medium security prisons can have big pay-offs in test scores, which has become the debauched surrogate for what it means to learn.  

To Point 2.  African-American and Latino students
2) . . . are more likely to attend schools with a higher concentration of first-year teachers than white students. And . . . nearly half a million students nationally attend schools where nearly two-thirds or fewer of teachers meet all state certification and licensing requirements. Black and Latino students are more likely than white students to attend these schools.

There’s also a teacher salary gap of more than $5,000 between high schools with the highest and lowest black and Latino students enrollments, according to the data.
And the Obama Administration's role in all this?  Just like their predecessors, Team Obama has been a relentless advocate for alternative certification programs like Teach for America and its knock-offs, and it has given hundreds of millions to Teach for America over the past 6 years.  In 2010 alone, TFA landed a $50 million dollar lump from ED.

KIPP and other chain gang charters could not operate without TFA's inexperienced 2 year temps.  Conditions are too grueling for non-masochists to work for any length of time in these schools, where teachers are subjected to the same abusive treatment that they are expected to mete out to students.

The interviewer tried once more:  With the Supreme Court decision from the 1950s and the Civil Rights Act of the 1960s, why are these inequalities still commonplace?  Even though the young Obamaite would not answer, don't we all know?  

What has the federal government been doing, other than making sure that these inequalities get worse than they have been?  

What is amazing to me is that the survey ever saw the light of day.  Watch the video below.

1 comment:

  1. This 'research' is nothing new to those of us who are people of color. The high percentage of Black males involved in suspension/ disciplinary problems that is out of proportion to their overall total in the general population has been abhorrent for decades. What is appalling is that this horrible situation has changed very little, if at all.