Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Soft Bigotry of Low Expectations

The bigotry may be soft, but the results are anything but:
While New York’s Mayor Bloomberg sees racism in the campaign of Bill deBlasio and Jay Z finds racism in the Trayvon Martin decision, I perceive racism in these jobs figures.    Blacks are increasingly left behind, at least in part because their leaders do not demand better schools. The greatest source of “disparate impact” in this country, to borrow a phrase currently popular with the Justice Department, is that most black kids can’t read or write. Upward mobility for the African-American community, tenuous at best, is squashed the minute they enter kindergarten...

To their shame, the leaders of the African-American community tolerate the educational status quo. In New York City’s mayoral contest, candidate Bill Thompson – the only black in the race--has won backing from the UFT, one of the nation’s largest union locals.

Union leaders stated that Thompson would “address the needs of teachers,” according to The New York Times, including “reducing standardized testing and ending the city’s practice of closing low-performing schools.” Why would anyone want to preserve our worst schools? To keep teachers on the payroll; it’s all about the money...

Until our African-American leaders target the terrible bigotry of allowing black children to grow up ignorant and often illiterate, their community will continue to suffer.


maxutils said...

Teachers are largely irrelevant, here, ... a great teacher might be able to win over a student or two, but the main problems are parents and culture.

W.R. Chandler said...

By better schools, do you mean the building they are in, or the students inside it?

If the worst schools are closed down, where do those students go? Wherever they end up, do you see those new schools' test scores suddenly dropping?

I ask this because my two kids go to an excellent school. It's a run down 1950s-era campus with an API score that was once around 935. But the school is full of kids from functional families where parent involvement is not only encouraged, it is mandatory.

Then, two years ago, a failing school in "the hood" nearby was doing so badly, that parents there could send their kids to a non-failing school... that would be my kids' school.

Now my kids' school is seeing behavior issues that school never dreamed of, and the API score is slipping every year.

When one speaks of failing schools, we have to face facts that a school is the sum of its students. Are the schools failing, or are the students? And if you move those failing students to a successful school, they aren't pulled up by the successful school; they drag the successful school down toward failing.