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Old 02-07-2019, 09:38 AM
 
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Things are more complicated than just schools not getting resources. When some under-performing schools get funding and resources to build upon, sometimes those resources get ruined by the students themselves and there's not necessarily support by the parents to enforce responsibility on such behavior of their kids. That topped with other behavior problems that probably come from the home and environment. It's a dangerous cycle and when a lot of these students (and possibly parents too) who don't handle their situations well are put together, that doesn't necessarily propagate an easy balance for a teacher and school to coordinate and manage.
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Old 02-07-2019, 09:44 AM
 
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Originally Posted by MarketStEl View Post
It shouldn't be the case that black kids need to have white kids present in the schools for them to get a better education. But it is, by and large, and this post illuminates some of the reasons why. Imagine what kind of progress might ensue if the teaching staff at this school didn't turn over every 1 to 3 years.
Turnover is definitely a big issue in such schools. The personal problems of a lot of those kids is such that they don't trust or open up to authority figures easily, even in school. So for new teachers, everything is compounded because the students don't know you or trust you (or even respect you), and that makes your job even more difficult. You have to fight to earn all of that. And by the time you have, if you're on your way out the door to go somewhere else, it's all been for naught. (And the kids will be reminded, again, that few people ever stick around in their lives.)

My wife taught for two years in Red Clay, and her school was heavily inner city kids. When she returned for year two, the students were AMAZED. "YOU CAME BACK?!?!" was the refrain she was greeted with after the summer. It's hard enough to get through to these kids; it's harder still when you keep having to start at square one with them every year.
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Old 02-07-2019, 11:31 AM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
4,160 posts, read 2,014,302 times
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Originally Posted by Fireshaker View Post
My wife taught for two years in Red Clay, and her school was heavily inner city kids. When she returned for year two, the students were AMAZED. "YOU CAME BACK?!?!" was the refrain she was greeted with after the summer. It's hard enough to get through to these kids; it's harder still when you keep having to start at square one with them every year.
This anecdote reminds me of one I heard from a Harvard '64 alum at a Harvard Club of Philadelphia networking event.

This guy had had a long career in PR (which I was working in at the time), but the firm he had been working for first turned him into a contractor when it downsized, then dropped him completely.

So there he was, a seasoned pro with time on his hands and no desire to sit around and twiddle his thumbs.

So he heard of the Philadelphia Teaching Fellows program and signed up for it.

He got assigned to an English class at Simon Gratz High, which Mastery Charter Schools had not taken over at the time.

He told me all sorts of stories about the kids in his class and the problems that stood in the way of their learning. But the most poignant one he told was of a kid who, when he was grading papers after class, came up to him and asked, "Mister, did you really go to Harvard?"

"Yes," he replied.

"So what are you doing here?"

"I'm here to make a difference in your life," he responded.

That answer may sound a bit arrogant - it's not the first time that label's been applied to a Harvard grad; I've been called that often enough myself - but I think it was honest.

What was more poignant was the question. I think a lot of these kids know that nobody cares about them, or at least nobody that matters.
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Old 02-07-2019, 12:36 PM
 
Location: The mountain of Airy
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Originally Posted by MarketStEl View Post
I guess the thing is that, as with so much else in our society, the two get conflated.

White flight, which helped create the current school situation, occurred not because the fleeing whites knew anything about the socioeconomic status of the blacks who were moving in. The whole housing policy apparatus was based on the assumption that blacks by definition "lowered property values." And since school attendance is tied to place of residence, that meant the schools would become all-black too.

The school segregation fight in Tredyffrin-Easttown in 1935, where a Main Line community that had a sizable black population already attempted to put those residents' children in a separate school, is also emblematic of the conflation. The school board sold it as a concern for the welfare of the black children, who, they argued, would be better served attending a school of their own with black teachers. The blacks in the townships weren't buying it. It took them four years and a boycott, but they won the fight.

And if you read the material on that website I linked above, much of it is aimed at convincing parents that there's little or no risk in sending children to such schools. This would be directly relevant here in Mt. Airy, for instance.

Which brings us to one of the schools I mentioned upthread, one whose enrollment stats will probably prove your point while not invalidating mine. Anna L. Lingelbach Elementary School has 421 students in grades K through 8. Its attendance zone takes in all of Germantown's northwest quarter - where almost all of the neighborhood's most affluent residents, including the 5 percent of households with annual income >$125K, live - and the southernmost sliver of West Mt. Airy, which is more affluent and whiter than East Mt. Airy overall - but this sliver includes the Census tract with the lowest MHI in all of Mt. Airy.

85 percent of Lingelbach students are African-American. 100 percent of them are on free or reduced-price lunch - thanks to a policy change that took effect in 2014; that policy enables the district to serve free lunches to all students regardless of household income. Were this policy not in effect, however, we would probably find that the overwhelming majority of Lingelbach students would be eating a subsidized lunch because the more affluent parents in its attendance district send their kids to private or public charter schools.

Here's what one such parent who took their kid out of private school and enrolled the child at Lingelbach said in 2015 on GreatSchools. That parent gave the school four stars out of a possible five, as four of the nine GreatSchools users who submitted reviews did:



* Anna L. Lingelbach School was built in 1957 on a lot that includes a ca. 1910 English Gothic mansion that is city-owned, historic and currently unused. It's actually among the newer schools the SDP runs. Age of the facilities is one big difference between the city schools here and the suburban ones.

Now, note what this parent said when they explained why they weren't going to keep their child in Lingelbach after the following year (boldfaced in the quote; the review was written in February of 2015). A lot of what she writes about is socioeconomic in nature; parents in lower-income households, for whatever reason, often don't devote the time or attention better-off ones do to their kids' schooling, quite possibly because they don't have the time to devote. But again, the socioeconomic status and race are probably conflated here (2.1 percent of all Lingelbach students are white; worth noting, however, is that five percent are of two or more races, a figure that's probably higher than at other SDP schools. Six percent are Hispanic, one percent Asian, and less than one percent native peoples or Pacific Islanders).

So the parent who did this is clearly an affluent parent who "chose integration" not because they were previously apprehensive about the racial composition of the school but because they no longer wanted to spend money on performance they weren't getting. And they got it at Lingelbach - but they were still troubled enough by the downsides to pull their son out again.

As I said, this proves your point while not invalidating mine, except to the extent that race didn't really factor into this parent's decision to both enroll and withdraw their son from the school. But since the two are conflated (including in the minds of many African Americans), race can often be a proxy for socioeconomic status.

And it does require conscious, deliberate, affirmative action on the part of the parents to overcome the apprehension. Were more of this parent's fellow Germantowners and Mt. Airyites to follow her lead, some of those downsides would diminish.
And that's exactly my point. There is far too much of a racial focus with regard to schools and pretty much everything else. The truth is that I wouldn't want my son going to a school with a lack of resources, high contrition rates among teachers, and poorly behaved children...regardless of color. And let's be clear, there are plenty of bad schools in this country with white children (I went to one).

In regard to skin color and "integration", I don't want my kid to go to a white-only or black-only school. And with that statement, there is another point to be made. Black children are more familiar (in many cases) of being a minority in white schools. And it's not easy; I have heard many accounts of why it's not easy (it does build character). It's rarely pointed out that white children would have the same difficult path in these scenarios. AND, if we consider the socioeconomic and funding challenges (which are not necessarily racial), then it's a particularly undesirable option. And it is not a matter of not wanting "integration". In fact, it's already a scenario of subjecting your own child to segregation.
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Old 02-07-2019, 01:01 PM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
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Originally Posted by AJNEOA View Post
Black children are more familiar (in many cases) of being a minority in white schools. And it's not easy; I have heard many accounts of why it's not easy (it does build character). It's rarely pointed out that white children would have the same difficult path in these scenarios. AND, if we consider the socioeconomic and funding challenges (which are not necessarily racial), then it's a particularly undesirable option. And it is not a matter of not wanting "integration". In fact, it's already a scenario of subjecting your own child to segregation.
I was one for my entire K-12 career, first in public and then in private school.

I was the only black child in my class at William Rockhill Nelson* Elementary School until third grade, when the Kansas City (Mo.) School District began busing students over from the overcrowede Kumpf School, which was the school I would have attended had I gone to my neighborhood public school. But even after that, black students made up one-third of the classes at Nelson.

The ratio went back down when Mom enrolled me in Pembroke-Country Day, but at least there were two other black students in my class of 53. One was the son of our family dentist, who began attending Pem-Day in grade nine (I had started in seventh grade, at which point I was the only black student in my class).

I'm very used to this sort of thing.

But it seems that white families who have the opportunity to send their kids to schools where middle- and upper-middle-class blacks make up the bulk of students don't consider doing so an option. Jenks is one of those, it seems to me.

*In retrospect, I consider the grade school I attended karmic. Google "William Rockhill Nelson" to learn why.
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Old 02-07-2019, 02:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by AJNEOA View Post
And that's exactly my point. There is far too much of a racial focus with regard to schools and pretty much everything else. The truth is that I wouldn't want my son going to a school with a lack of resources, high contrition rates among teachers, and poorly behaved children...regardless of color. And let's be clear, there are plenty of bad schools in this country with white children (I went to one).

In regard to skin color and "integration", I don't want my kid to go to a white-only or black-only school. And with that statement, there is another point to be made. Black children are more familiar (in many cases) of being a minority in white schools. And it's not easy; I have heard many accounts of why it's not easy (it does build character). It's rarely pointed out that white children would have the same difficult path in these scenarios. AND, if we consider the socioeconomic and funding challenges (which are not necessarily racial), then it's a particularly undesirable option. And it is not a matter of not wanting "integration". In fact, it's already a scenario of subjecting your own child to segregation.
White children are twice as segregated in schools as they are residentially. White people overwhelmingly prefer their children attend majority white schools. Not surprisingly most white children attend majority white schools and almost no white children attend a school that is less than plurality white. This pattern persists despite the fact that white children are barely half of the US school age population currently and will soon be just a plurality.

Most white people want integrated schools with integrated meaning majority white. There is a very large body of research on this topic. Once black or Latino enrollment reaches 30% at a school, white people begin abandoning the school. Forty percent is roughly the tipping point for Asian enrollment.

I’ve lived the white flight from Asians story with my own children in a high income school district (median household income at our elementary school is about $140k) at schools with the some of the highest test scores in our state. Our neighborhood elementary school went from 90% white to now 80% Asian in ten years. Just as the research predicts once Asian enrollment hit the 40 - 45% range white families started steering clear of the school. Once Asian enrollment hit about 50% white families started to send their kids to private schools or use school choice options to send their kids to a nearby majority white school.

Decades of school resegregaton, current school enrollment patterns and abundant research on the topic make it clear that race matters to the vast majority of white people. The fact that schools are as highly racially segregated as they are despite decades of prohibition of de jure segregation and steadily declining white enrollment as a percentage of total enrollment speaks volumes.

The fact is that attributing our decisons to SES is the go to move for whites because admitting that race is a factor in where we choose to send our children to school and worse still that we STRONGLY prefer majority white schools makes most of us unbearably uncomfortable.
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Old 02-07-2019, 02:28 PM
 
Location: The mountain of Airy
5,219 posts, read 5,135,074 times
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Originally Posted by BR Valentine View Post
White children are twice as segregated in schools as they are residentially. White people overwhelmingly prefer their children attend majority white schools. Not surprisingly most white children attend majority white schools and almost no white children attend a school that is less than plurality white. This pattern persists despite the fact that white children are barely half of the US school age population currently and will soon be just a plurality.

Most white people want integrated schools with integrated meaning majority white. There is a very large body of research on this topic. Once black or Latino enrollment reaches 30% at a school, white people begin abandoning the school. Forty percent is roughly the tipping point for Asian enrollment.

Iíve lived the white flight from Asians story with my own children in a high income school district (median household income at our elementary school is about $140k) at schools with the some of the highest test scores in our state. Our neighborhood elementary school went from 90% white to now 80% Asian in ten years. Just as the research predicts once Asian enrollment hit the 40 - 45% range white families started steering clear of the school. Once Asian enrollment hit about 50% white families started to send their kids to private schools or use school choice options to send their kids to a nearby majority white school.

Decades of school resegregaton, current school enrollment patterns and abundant research on the topic make it clear that race matters to the vast majority of white people. The fact that schools are as highly racially segregated as they are despite decades of prohibition of de jure segregation and steadily declining white enrollment as a percentage of total enrollment speaks volumes.

The fact is that attributing our decisons to SES is the go to move for whites because admitting that race is a factor in where we choose to send our children to school and worse still that we STRONGLY prefer majority white schools makes most of us unbearably uncomfortable.
What mostly black schools in Philadelphia offer a top-notch education? As a white parent of a white child, I don't have any around me that would meet the quality criteria but I don't know what options there are city-wide. And it would need some quality rankings or something that dictates the quality over just parents saying it's a good school.
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Old 02-07-2019, 02:33 PM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
4,160 posts, read 2,014,302 times
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Originally Posted by BR Valentine View Post
The fact is that attributing our decisons to SES is the go to move for whites because admitting that race is a factor in where we choose to send our children to school and worse still that we STRONGLY prefer majority white schools makes most of us unbearably uncomfortable.
um, yeah.

The T-E segregation fight may be an item in the history books, but it reflects the way too many whites think today. And the black students didn't make up even 30 percent of the school children in the two townships.

And I do think that BR Valentine has a point when they call out (their fellow?) whites for rationalizing racial fear. If there's any minority group that should not trigger a panic reaction in whites, it's Asians, whose academic achievement outstrips their own at every socioeconomic level.
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Old 02-07-2019, 02:42 PM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
4,160 posts, read 2,014,302 times
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Originally Posted by AJNEOA View Post
What mostly black schools in Philadelphia offer a top-notch education? As a white parent of a white child, I don't have any around me that would meet the quality criteria but I don't know what options there are city-wide. And it would need some quality rankings or something that dictates the quality over just parents saying it's a good school.
Didn't I just hint at this upthread?

"The plural of anecdote is not data," but the data can hide as well as reveal. I point this out often when discussing Germantown, for the median household income and crime-incidence data hide some significant departures from the norm. I maintain that the neighborhood I call home is probably the most diverse in the city from a socioeconomic standpoint. Again, what other neighborhood can you name where the median household income is in the mid-$20k range yet five percent of the residents earn $125k or more annually?

I also am at some pains to point this out when the subject turns to residential segregation in Philadelphia overall. This city places high on racial segregation indices, but if you travel around it, you might not know that, for there is a patchwork-quilt quality to residential segregation here. Where both Chicago and my hometown have vast bands of territory that are either almost all black or almost all white, and the territories don't mix, you can find here pockets of whites in mostly black neighborhoods, vice versa, and ethnic enclaves bumping up against one another. Then there's that little United Nations that we know as the Lower Northeast.

I might give some weight to those anecdotes if they run counter to the conventional wisdom - enough to want to see for myself why those people buck the trend.
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Old 02-07-2019, 02:58 PM
 
Location: The mountain of Airy
5,219 posts, read 5,135,074 times
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Originally Posted by MarketStEl View Post
Didn't I just hint at this upthread?

"The plural of anecdote is not data," but the data can hide as well as reveal. I point this out often when discussing Germantown, for the median household income and crime-incidence data hide some significant departures from the norm. I maintain that the neighborhood I call home is probably the most diverse in the city from a socioeconomic standpoint. Again, what other neighborhood can you name where the median household income is in the mid-$20k range yet five percent of the residents earn $125k or more annually?

I also am at some pains to point this out when the subject turns to residential segregation in Philadelphia overall. This city places high on racial segregation indices, but if you travel around it, you might not know that, for there is a patchwork-quilt quality to residential segregation here. Where both Chicago and my hometown have vast bands of territory that are either almost all black or almost all white, and the territories don't mix, you can find here pockets of whites in mostly black neighborhoods, vice versa, and ethnic enclaves bumping up against one another. Then there's that little United Nations that we know as the Lower Northeast.

I might give some weight to those anecdotes if they run counter to the conventional wisdom - enough to want to see for myself why those people buck the trend.
"And it would need some quality rankings or something that dictates the quality over just parents saying it's a good school."

If people have the money to send their child to a better education than the public school nearby, they will. I asked the question with the quoted caveat above, because people are not going to send their child to a school where their child will be a minority AND do so while questioning the quality of the school, basing their decision on anecdotes. My question is an honest one.
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