Monday, February 19, 2007

Race, Ethnicity, or Culture?

Britain most certainly has its own race whores, like we do here in the US. I wonder how they explain the following headline:

Chinese pupils eclipse all other ethnic groups in English tests

Chinese pupils are best-performing ethnic group with 86% passing national curriculum tests

Schoolchildren of Indian origin come second with 85% achieving the same standard

But only 80% of white British pupils manage to reach a similar level in the assessment

Must be all those racist British teachers, keeping the white kids down. And not only racist, but sexist:

Yesterday's analysis also shows that girls outperform boys at all levels in almost every exam - although the gap has narrowed slightly. "Overall, the difference in attainment of five or more A*- to C-grade GCSEs or equivalent by gender has dropped slightly from last year when it was 10.1 percentage points to 9.6 percentage points in 2006," it says.

This next part was interesting, given that black immigrants to the US do better than native-born blacks:

The breakdown follows an official report from the DfES, which drew attention to the exclusion rate for black Afro-Caribbean children - they were three times as likely to be excluded from school as white youngsters. Their rate of permanent exclusions was four per 10,000 compared with 1.3 for white pupils. Again, Chinese-origin pupils had the lowest exclusion rate, with 0.2 per cent. The report said: "Black pupils are disproportionately denied mainstream education and the life chances that go with it."

The low performance of black Afro-Caribbean boys has prompted ministers to launch their "Aiming High" project, seeking to improve their performance by providing them with mentors.

There are several other juicy morsels in the article to chew on, but one omission jumped out at me. I want to see a picture of this "Schools minister":

Andrew Adonis, the Schools minister, welcomed the findings.

It should be against journalistic ethics to have a name like that and not publish a picture.

As I often say, go read the whole thing. It presents an interesting outlook on British education.


George said...

Since I have started reading the edublogs, I have found it startling that GB is experiencing the same low performance from a similar demographic as us. Wonder what conclusions to draw?

Mike said...

There are obviously a number of interrelated issues involved, but both societies seem to have lost the work ethic that built them. We not only expect something for nothing, we demand it. Students demand 100% for work that barely rates 70%, if they bother to do it at all. Many expect top grades merely because they, unlike most of their compatriots, turned in something.

Cultures that believe in self and societal improvement through the dedicated application of hard and consistent work thrive. They don't shrink from labor in individual lives or in the defense of their way of life. They know that life isn't easy and the education and presistence in the face of difficult odds or failure pays off.

If I'm on the right track here, this bodes not well for us.

Lincoln Bartlett said...

Is Eclipse a PC term? Or is the author of that article being subliminally racist by giving people an image of squinting at the sun? I am offended by that alone.