Monday, January 04, 2010

Black Education

by Walter Williams. Walt is pretty right but does not touch the "third rail" -- the need for high-discipline schools for some students

Detroit’s (predominantly black) public schools are the worst in the nation and it takes some doing to be worse than Washington, D.C. Only 3 percent of Detroit’s fourth-graders scored proficient on the most recent National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) test, sometimes called “The Nation’s Report Card.” Twenty-eight percent scored basic and 69 percent below basic. “Below basic” is the NAEP category when students are unable to demonstrate even partial mastery of knowledge and skills fundamental for proficient work at their grade level. It’s the same story for Detroit’s eighth-graders. Four percent scored proficient, 18 percent basic and 77 percent below basic.

Michael Casserly, executive director of the D.C.-based Council on Great City Schools, in an article appearing in Crain’s Detroit Business, (12/8/09) titled, “Detroit’s Public Schools Post Worst Scores on Record in National Assessment,” said, “There is no jurisdiction of any kind, at any level, at any time in the 30-year history of NAEP that has ever registered such low numbers.” The academic performance of black students in other large cities such as Philadelphia, Chicago, New York and Los Angeles is not much better than Detroit and Washington.

What’s to be done about this tragic state of black education? The education establishment and politicians tell us that we need to spend more for higher teacher pay and smaller class size. The fact of business is higher teacher salaries and smaller class sizes mean little or nothing in terms of academic achievement. Washington, D.C., for example spends over $15,000 per student, has class sizes smaller than the nation’s average, and with an average annual salary of $61,195, its teachers are the most highly paid in the nation.

What about role models? Standard psychobabble asserts a positive relationship between the race of teachers and administrators and student performance. That’s nonsense. Black academic performance is the worst in the very cities where large percentages of teachers and administrators are black, and often the school superintendent is black, the mayor is black, most of the city council is black and very often the chief of police is black.

Black people have accepted hare-brained ideas that have made large percentages of black youngsters virtually useless in an increasingly technological economy. This destruction will continue until the day comes when black people are willing to turn their backs on liberals and the education establishment’s agenda and confront issues that are both embarrassing and uncomfortable. To a lesser extent, this also applies to whites because the educational performance of many white kids is nothing to write home about; it’s just not the disaster that black education is.

Many black students are alien and hostile to the education process. They have parents with little interest in their education. These students not only sabotage the education process, but make schools unsafe as well. These students should not be permitted to destroy the education chances of others. They should be removed or those students who want to learn should be provided with a mechanism to go to another school.

Another issue deemed too delicate to discuss is the overall quality of people teaching our children. Students who have chosen education as their major have the lowest SAT scores of any other major. Students who have an education degree earn lower scores than any other major on graduate school admission tests such as the GRE, MCAT or LSAT. Schools of education, either graduate or undergraduate, represent the academic slums of most any university. They are home to the least able students and professors. Schools of education should be shut down.

Yet another issue is the academic fraud committed by teachers and administrators. After all, what is it when a student is granted a diploma certifying a 12th grade level of achievement when in fact he can’t perform at the sixth- or seventh-grade level?

Prospects for improvement in black education are not likely given the cozy relationship between black politicians, civil rights organizations and teacher unions.


Top British schools could be branded failures for failing to promote race relations

Another attack on educational standards -- if skin-colour etc matters more than ability and academic achievement

Schools could be put into 'special measures' if they do not do enough to promote race relations, sexual equality and human rights, it emerged today. Even institutions with top academic results could be deemed inadequate under rules that make equality as important as pupils' marks and safety. Official Government guidance says inspectors have to look out for 'gender imbalances' in classes and even that sport after school is not dominated by one ethnic group. Some schools are being told to ensure their staff reflect the ethnic mix in the local community and include people with disabilities.

Critics claim the rules mean schools will be increasingly forced to address 'social problems' rather than focus on providing a decent education.

The Ofsted guidance says inspectors will look for a disparity in results between different groups such as those from broken homes, the disabled or ethnic minorities. It adds that schools 'should be aware of gender imbalances in "upper ability" groups and which groups of learners, by ethnicity, are participating in after-school sport'.

Institutions are expected to outline their approach to gender, race and disability discrimination in an 'equality plan' dossier, it prescribes. Some councils have given head teachers draft documents they can alter to their own needs. Cornwall county council advised them to include 'realistic images of lesbian, gay and bisexual people', according to the Telegraph. It added that schools should make sure its staff include a 'balanced gender mix' as well as diverse ethnic groups and the disabled to provide good role models.

Shadow schools minister Nick Gibb said: 'We all want discrimination and equality to be tackled wherever they exist, but the Government has given too much of the responsibility for tackling social problems to schools alone, which can have the effect of diverting them from their core educational purpose - and ultimately it's education that narrows inequalities in our society.'

Ofsted said the promotion of equality and tackling of discrimination was one of three 'limiting judgments' along with academic achievement and children's safety. This means they are all given higher priority, when previously all parts of a Government inspection had equal importance. If a school is deemed inadequate on any of the three measures, its overall performance is also likely to be considered inadequate, the watchdog said.

A spokesman said: 'Inspections place a strong emphasis on outcomes for pupils and we believe attention to equality and diversity is essential in assuring the quality of their development and wellbeing.'

Last year, Stretford Grammar in Manchester was threatened with closure because of its 'outdated' race equality policy despite having a 96 per cent GCSE success rate. The school became the first grammar in Britain to be put into special measures after being branded 'failing' by inspectors who singled out its sex education programme. Ofsted said the school's curriculum was 'inadequate', while admitting academic standards were 'exceptionally and consistently high'.


Australia: School policies on disruptive students 'not working'

The Leftist horror of physical punishment is anything but kind

A MOTHER whose nine-year-old son missed 53 days of school on suspension last year is appealing for Education Queensland to improve its policies on disruptive students. Brock Duchnicz will start year 5 at a new school this year unable to spell simple words like at, in or on.

In two years he has missed 63 days – almost 13 weeks – of school for offences such as swearing, class disruption and pushing chairs over. His mother Sarndra said EQ's policy of blocking her son from the classroom was not working. Ms Duchnicz said teachers were not equipped to deal with children like Brock and called on the Government to introduce specialised behaviour management training for all teachers.

"I feel as though these kids are just pushed to the back of the classroom in the too hard basket," she said. "There are so many more children coming up the line like this and if they (teachers) are not equipped they need more understanding and time put into them."

Ms Duchnicz said the more Brock was suspended from Eagleby State School, the more he misbehaved to get another day off. "He thinks if he's naughty he gets to go home. The little light bulb goes on 'if I'm naughty I get to go home'," said Ms Duchnicz. Brock was recently diagnosed with ADHD but Ms Duchnicz stopped his Ritalin medication because it had no effect. She plans to have him reassessed.

EQ's assistant director-general of education (student services) Patrea Walton said the department fully supported a principal's decision to take disciplinary action. "It is not in any school's interests to keep badly behaved students in the classroom disrupting the learning of others," Ms Walton said.


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