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Old 02-16-2015, 09:48 AM
 
3,275 posts, read 5,161,570 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoFigureMeOut View Post
People are largely segregated based on income, which is then reflected in the schools. Parents don't want integration which is why they're willing to bust their butts to afford houses in desirable school districts. What's the point of doing that if you're kid is just going to get shipped off to some crappy school in the inner city in the name of "keeping things fair."

There are so many social problems within the poor black community that need to be fixed before you can even approach the argument of fixing the school system in urban areas.

I would want my kids in the most competitive school environment possible, and those occur in mostly white areas. It's just a fact of life.
But should the opportunity exist in our public education system where such choices are allowed to be made essentially resulting in neo-segregation and undeniable inequalities?

Ignoring for a moment some of the comments made in your second paragraph, which to a degree are undeniably true. Students with the most serious special needs are overwhelmingly concentrated in a small number of districts/schools. The services necessary for impoverished students (such as free breakfasts, lunches, etc.) and students with limited English language ability are also heavily-concentrated in certain schools. Even if you believe that it is okay for all of these types of kids to be herded into schools away from everyone else, the funding system we have doesn't fully cover the costs for all of these services. The burden of unfunded mandates falls disproportionately on the schools that have gotten a raw deal simply because of (oftentimes imaginary) geographic barriers.

Busing didn't work in the 1970s and it won't work now. However, creating a funding system on the state level (as a previous poster suggested) that ignores geographic boundaries would be a good first step. Eliminating suburb-based school districts and allowing for open-enrollment on a wider scale would be another step in the right direction. Neighborhood schools are a good thing, but placing high numbers of the most troubled students in small numbers of schools with underfunded mandates is a recipe for disaster. We can do better.
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Old 02-16-2015, 10:05 AM
 
3,275 posts, read 5,161,570 times
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Originally Posted by Linda_d View Post
Those neighborhood demographics also include low socioeconomic status of the residents. If all your students magically became white tomorrow, they'd still have the very same problems tomorrow as they have today. Poverty, family dysfunction, substance abuse, mental problems, and poor attitudes toward society, work, and education are not exclusive to blacks or Hispanics or Native Americans but are found generally among poor people whatever their color or ethnicity. You see similar patterns among white students from low socioeconomic families as you do among black students from the same kinds of families.

People of color are just easier to see by judgmental individuals with agendas, especially because they tend to be concentrated in specific urban neighborhoods, so it's easier to say it's "black/Hispanics are poor students" rather than admit that it's poverty and its attendant pathologies that are the real problem. The fact is, in my county, at least 95% of the students are white, an awful lot of them are from poor families, and most exhibit the same problems that black students in poorly performing schools exhibit. That they're scattered among 10-12 small school districts, their impact on each district is diluted.

If blacks and hispanics were more evenly scattered among a metropolitan area's population, the impact of the number of poor students, whatever their color, would also be scattered. Unfortunately, the geography of most large urban metros doesn't allow that. Poor people have limited choices of where they can afford to live.
I don't think that this discussion is just about race or just about socioeconomics, but I also don't think that either can be completely written off or ignored as the basis for certain behaviors or outcomes. That said, I would love to spend a year teaching in a poor white area like Appalachia. However I'm not sure that I buy the argument that there's some culture of poverty with the same behavior everywhere or amongst different groups of people just because they all have poverty as a common trait.

I've taught middle-class whites and middle-class blacks in large enough numbers to draw what I believe to be legitimate conclusions on real differences in behaviors and norms. That said, this is still no excuse for the institutionalized neo-segregation that I believe is happening.
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Old 02-16-2015, 10:19 AM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
26,579 posts, read 27,400,962 times
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There is plenty of institutional racism that screws up outcome of even economically advantaged blsck students. Not to me tion that milddle class black families tend to have kess wealth and live in crappier neighborhooods than their white peers. Housing discrimination has a huge lingering inpact on access to educational opportunities across multiple levels.
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Old 02-16-2015, 12:10 PM
 
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Clevelander, you seem to assume a priori that integration is the most important function of the public schools, rather than education. If education is the most important function, schools will remain more or less segregated. Like it or not, there is just about a full standard deviation in IQ between Black kids and White kids, and a large component of intelligence is hereditary. I don't know why this is so (and I don't think that anybody reading this does either), but thems is the facts. The difference is accentuated by the kinds of values and virtues that the kids come from.

You can see the implications of this in my local school district. We attempted to integrate by offering magnet schools in dysfunctional neighborhoods to lure White children. These same schools also serve as the base school for the local constituents. Same school, same teachers, same level of funding. But in order to make the whole thing work, where "work" means educating rather than social engineering, students are grouped according to ability and accomplishment. This "re-segregates," within the magnet school. The White component does wonderfully well, and the Black component "graduates" barely literate.

It might be useful to remember that other races also have rights -- for example Whites and Asians -- and that their children are just as deserving of an optimal education as Blacks'. It is not in anyone's best interest to have the school systems dragged down in order to accommodate the least able students simply in the name of "integration."
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Old 02-16-2015, 12:33 PM
 
Location: Maryland
18,503 posts, read 15,455,313 times
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Originally Posted by Linda_d View Post
I'm a former teacher and I have numerous friends and relatives who are current or former teachers, and I don't hear that complaint at all. What I hear most are complaints about is the constant standardized testing that seems to rule schools these days.

FYI, AP is not tracking. Tracking is when children, sometimes beginning as early as the primary grades, are grouped according to "ability", ie, their performance on standardized tests. The main problem with this system before high school is that children generally stay in these same groups all the way through junior high, and they become identified as "smarties" or "dummies" not only by other students but by teachers as well as by themselves. It breeds arrogance among the kids in the high ability groups and poor classroom behavior among ones in the lower groups because children often act the way they're expected to act. Do not think that even first and second graders don't figure out that the "bluebirds" who finished four reading levels are "smarter" than the "redbirds" who only finished two. Tracking also contributes to cliquishness and bullying because these groups tend to remain pretty static throughout elementary and middle school.

Since academic performance strongly follows parents' educational and economic achievement, most children who are put in low performing classrooms by tracking also tend to be poorer. If the school district contains a racially diverse student body, it's very likely that more children of color wind up in lower "tracks" simply because blacks and Hispanics tend to be poorer than whites.

Mixing ability levels does not "hold back" brighter students. Elementary and middle school are not a race to just learn as much academic subject matter as possible. It's a time for children to grow as individuals, to explore their talents, to learn social skills, to develop/improve/master skills that they'll need later in life.
I get really annoyed by this line of thinking. No one dares question that some kids are more athletically inclined than others but supposedly we're all of the same intellectual ability. Just doesn't reflect reality and continuing this blank state nonsense is harming too many kids.

Can't find the article now but I recently read a report about a principal in Minnesota, I think, that stealthily implemented tracking at her struggling school. The test scores, reading etc. shot up dramatically.
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Old 02-16-2015, 12:34 PM
 
Location: Maryland
18,503 posts, read 15,455,313 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
There is plenty of institutional racism that screws up outcome of even economically advantaged blsck students. Not to me tion that milddle class black families tend to have kess wealth and live in crappier neighborhooods than their white peers. Housing discrimination has a huge lingering inpact on access to educational opportunities across multiple levels.
Yet Black immigrants seem to be doing well or at least better than Black Americans. Race isn't the full picture here.
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Old 02-16-2015, 12:43 PM
 
Location: Maryland
18,503 posts, read 15,455,313 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
I live in a city that is nearly evenly mixed between all groups. Elementary schools reflect their neighborhood composition. Many are quite mixed. By middle school give or take, all schools in all neighborhoods are 75-95% black and latino, and the economic characteristcs no longer match the neighborhood. Basically all white kids and people who are middle class and up leave the district by moving out of town or going to private school, leaving schools segregated and less diverse than their neighborhoods.

Schools have improved a ton all over the city at every level, but are still really segregated.
Happens across the country. Elementary schools pull from smaller zones, so if you live in stable middle class hood most of the kids at the school will be middle class. Also kids at the elementary level are more biddable so parental influence can overcome deficiencies at school to a degree.

That shifts during middle school. Attendance zones widen meaning more chances your precious little one might be in class with kids who have chaotic home lives. Kids come under the influence of peers more so best to get them in a school where peers are mostly middle class, with school success emphasized.

I see this a lot in the DC area. There's usually an exodus from the minority schools starting around 5th grade.
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Old 02-16-2015, 01:50 PM
 
457 posts, read 458,974 times
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Originally Posted by scocar View Post
I teach in an inner-city all black high school. I find it ironic that the prevailing wisdom of SCOTUS in overturning Plessy V Ferguson was that segregated schools were "inherently unequal". Yet today we allow segregated schools based on neighborhood demographics. I can tell you for certain that even the good students in my classroom get an inferior education to what they would get in a suburban school. This is due to the amount of educational time that is lost from dealing with distractions of the many students that have no interest in being at school. And I taught in a highly performing school in Arizona. Most of my current 10th grade World History students would have failed my 8th grade Social Studies class in Arizona if I held them to the same standard that I held my 8th graders to.
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Old 02-16-2015, 01:58 PM
 
457 posts, read 458,974 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamish Forbes View Post
Like it or not, there is just about a full standard deviation in IQ between Black kids and White kids, and a large component of intelligence is hereditary. I don't know why this is so (and I don't think that anybody reading this does either), but thems is the facts. The difference is accentuated by the kinds of values and virtues that the kids come from.
I bet it would just floor you speechless to meet any minority but especially a black or Hispanic who had an I.Q. higher than their white peers, scored higher on the ACT's/SAT's, had gone to "gifted and talented" elementary schools and a magnet college-prep high school, where they also outscored most of their white and Asian peers on a regular basis....and in Math and the sciences, no less.

People quoting statistics like this, and espousing the beliefs that follow, are the root of American prejudice and racism. The root reason for the surprise from most Americans that "not all Ivy League graduates are White or Asian."

Yes, the ROOT. The early years of life are where it all STARTS.

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Old 02-16-2015, 02:07 PM
 
457 posts, read 458,974 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
When I was 12 my famiky moved across the country and wanted me to resume honors classes at the new school. The new school district accused my parents of forging my scores as they were incredulous that a black student could have those. They wanted me take tests given in October to "prove" i qualified for the classes. Obviously joining said class halfway through the semester would make it difficult to catchup. And not taking pre-albebra in 7th grade would mean no AP math in high school.

My parents convinced them the tests were real by threatening a lawsuit. Suddenly they believed my scores. (I went on to do just fine in those clases).

Good for your parents. My father would have done the same if any of my teachers had dared challenge my test scores. He kind of did that with my 3rd grade teacher - on this "country your ancestors came from" project I told her we're American Indian, and she told ME that no I was NOT American Indian but "black" and she wanted my report to be of Africa, and I told my father that and he threatened to go down there and deal with her for basically calling him a liar about his being Eskimo. Now that I think back, that was my first experience with THAT which was to become the "story of my life" but it didn't happen again until after high school, long after he died and couldn't just SHOW UP and prove people wrong.

I should have told him back then to go ahead and sue her. She should have lost her teaching credential for that. Teachers nowadays say WAY worse than that to kids and barely get a slap on the wrist for it.

That was the 70's. Nowadays I believe that 3rd and 4th-grade teachers allow the students to CHOOSE which country they WANT to do their "country report" on....at least in every school I've ever taught in.
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