Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Some British schools are roughly as segregated as St Louis - the US city hit by the Ferguson race riots

Surprise, surprise! Blacks and whites self-segregate in Britain too!  There wouldn't be important differences between the two, would there?  Caring English parents move heaven and earth to keep their kids out of chaotic "black" schools

Some schools in Britain are more racially segregated than St Louis, the US city torn apart by race riots in November.

That's according to the first analysis of the racial divide in schools across England, which has found primary schools in the council area of Blackburn with Darwen have higher levels of segregation between the white British population and all ethnic minorities than the black-white divide in some St Louis neighbourhoods.

The analysis of the national pupil database by the think tank Demos has revealed ethnic minority children starting primary school in year 1 in Blackburn have the highest level of separation from the white British population.

According to The Sunday Times, the score of 0.764 is higher than the 0.706 rating for residential segregation in St Louis, Missouri, where race riots broke out last year after a grand jury decided not to charge white police officer Darren Wilson for shooting dead unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in the suburb of Ferguson.

The dissimilarity index, as the score is known, is calculated by taking the ethnic composition of an area and seeing how far the ethnic mix of the schools in that area deviate from it.

A score of 0 would show a perfect match between the two, while the closer the figure is to 1 the greater the ethnic segregation in schools.

The St Louis measure captures the degree to which two groups are evenly spread among census areas across the city, compared with the racial composition of the whole city.

A score of 0.6 and above typically points to social problems according to Eric Kaufmann, professor of politics at Birkbeck College, University of London.

Bradford came in second place with 0.710, followed by Oldham, Birmingham, Kirklees and Calderdale, both in West Yorkshire, and Rochdale, all with scores higher than 0.6. Bolton, Redbridge in northeast London and Leicester complete the top 10.

The three least segregated areas for year 1 pupils are Bracknell Forest (0.153), Sutton in southwest London and Brighton and Hove.

Trevor Phillips, former chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality and current head of the Demos integration hub, which did the analysis, said: 'There is obviously a difference between school segregation and residential segregation and in this country the schools tend to be more segregated than the neighbourhoods they are in.

'But even if that is true, it still means children are spending more than half their waking hours largely in the company of people like themselves, and that has to be unhealthy.'

In London, 90 per cent of ethnic minority children begin year 1 in primary schools where ethnic minorities are the majority of pupils. Across the country this applies to 61 per cent of ethnic minority children. By contrast, 94 per cent of white British pupils are in schools with a white British majority.

Phillips, who as chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality warned a decade ago that Britain risked 'sleepwalking our way to segregation', added: 'We have lost an entire decade trying to pretend that it would all come right and it clearly hasn't.

'We cannot afford to lose another decade, crossing our fingers and wishing that everything is going to get fixed by magic.

'I'd hope leading political figures would now have the grace to swallow their words and realise what they dismissed 10 years ago has turned out to be true.

'Their inaction and scepticism ... has damaged a generation of children.'

Phillips has previously spoken after the 7/7 London bombings and on Washington's response to Hurricane Katrina, which devastated New Orleans and exposed deep racial divides.

Ethnic minority children starting primary school in year 1 in Blackburn have the highest level of separation from the white British population.

Partly because they have larger catchment areas, secondary schools are less segregated, though Blackburn is still top with a score of 0.683 in year 7.

This is followed by the Isle of Wight, Bradford, Birmingham, Leicester, Bolton, Kirklees, North Lincolnshire, Redbridge and Westminster.

The least segregated is North Somerset, then Bracknell and Richmond.

Compiled for 2013 and 2008, the figures show a slight improvement across all ethnic groups over five years, but not enough to keep pace with the rate of change in the minority ethnic population.

Segregation levels for people of Pakistani and black Caribbean origin showed least improvement.

More than half of ethnic minority pupils in year 11 would have to move school for them to be spread proportionately across the school system.

Phillips claims segregation risks both cutting certain ethnic groups adrift and dragging down standards among the entire population.

He said: 'When you have a healthy mix of high-performing immigrants, that improves performances for everybody.'

Typically high achieving Chinese pupils are the most highly segregated in the first year of primary school with a score of 0.832 - something that worries Phillips.

A spokesman for Blackburn defended its record to The Sunday Times, saying: 'School admission is a matter of parental choice and faith schools make and decide their own admissions policies.

'Schools within Blackburn with Darwen have a good record of supporting cohesion and ensuring the borough's children understand a wide variety of different faiths and culture. [Our] schools perform strongly in the light of the social challenges they face — close to the national average at the end of secondary school in 2014.'


UK: Muslim junior school teacher banned for LIFE after spewing racist bile on Twitter

Including praising the beheading of Alan Henning and urging the murder of non-Muslims

A junior school teacher has been banned from the classroom for life after posting dozens of sick, racist tweets encouraging the murder of non-Muslims and praising the beheading of British aid worker Alan Henning.

Mother-of-one Nargs Bibi, 31, who worked at Knowsley Junior School in Oldham for three years, posted 40 offensive and malicious messages immediately after Mr Henning's brutal murder by Jihadi John.  A disciplinary hearing heard she also urged ISIS to kill all non believers.

Divorcee Bibi, who was fired from the school over another matter, also hurled a diatribe of abuse at Mr Henning's widow.

She admitted making the comments and accepted they amounted to unacceptable professional conduct and conduct that may bring the profession into disrepute.

Bibi did not attend a disciplinary hearing of the National College for Teaching and Leadership in Coventry and was not represented.

The messages began appearing on her Twitter account on the day of Mr Henning's death on October 3 last year and continued the following day. Taxi driver and humanitarian Mr Henning came from nearby Salford.

She was arrested by Greater Manchester Police but no further action was taken.

Bibi said the tweets were out of character and claimed she was suffering poor mental health at the time.

Chair Mrs Mary Speakman said: 'The panel considered that the nature of the tweets had the potential to incite religious hatred and expressed some extreme views.

'The messages would have been offensive to people of Muslim and other faiths and were self-evidently demonstrating intolerance to other faiths and beliefs.

'The panel was satisfied that such communications undermined fundamental British values of mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs, and promoted political and religious extremism.'

She added that Bibi's extreme and malicious behaviour demonstrated deeply held beliefs that might lead to 'pupils being exposed to or influenced by her behaviour in a harmful way.'

Bibi was sacked from the school in December 2010 and was subject to an interim prohibition order for being abusive towards staff, including the head teacher.

She was making tentative steps to return to teaching and was hoping to engage in some voluntary work under the advice of her doctor, but the tweets have finally finished her career for good.

The panel recommended she be allowed to apply to have her position reviewed after five years, owing to her mental health problems but Alan Meyrick, representing Secretary of State for Eductation Nicky Morgan, overruled the recommendation.

He ordered that Bibi be prohibited from teaching in any school, sixth form college, relevant youth accommodation or children's home in England ever again.

He said: 'In my view this decision reflects the extreme nature of the material posted on Twitter and the regard with which the public will hold a teacher who has posted such material.'


Montana Teachers' Union Halts Much Needed Education Reform

While Montana parents are celebrating the new access to education tax credits, there is a giant upset over the still limited school choice in the state. This year, the Montana legislature proposed a whole slew of education bills during its session, ranging from Common Core repeal to greater school choice for parents. Yet, of the numerous bills introduced this year, only two education bills made it to Governor Steve Bullock's desk.

Bullock vetoed one and the other became law after the designated waiting period without objection or real input from the governor. In a state that was pushing to expand school choice, end Common Core, and reform student internet privacy, how was so little passed? Republican Senator Chris Hansen recently blamed the incredible power that teachers' unions hold over state politics:

“In Montana, if there’s any bill that isn’t 100 percent supported by the teachers’ union, the first claim is that it’s unconstitutional,” Hansen said. “The unconstitutional claim falls on a segment of the Montana constitution...Our constitution gives a division of power over education,” Hansen continued. “It is [the state legislature’s] responsibility to establish a free system of public schools. The next clause establishes the [Montana Board of Public Education] and gives the board general supervision over the public school system. That’s it. We’re supposed to be a local-control state, but that is totally broken in Montana.”

The constitutionality of the proposed bills wasn't the only thing causing frustrations. Efforts to repeal Common Core proved just as futile:

“Once I saw who was on the committee, I knew it wouldn’t get out of the Senate,” Lamm said. “Democrats were stacked with educators who wouldn’t buck the system.”

The power that teachers' unions hold over state continues to stifle efforts that strengthen the rights of parents over who can teach their children, and where and how they are taught. According to Senator Don Jones:

“The thing we have to do in Montana is to educate the people...When you get into these smaller communities, the first thing they’re afraid of is [school choice] getting their school shut down and often the school is the backbone of the community and the only thing bringing in revenue..."

Teachers' unions throughout the country have not only backed progressive candidates, but have stifled much-needed education reform in the past. Recently though, a large number of teachers who have broken the pattern of sticking to the regular progressive agenda have actually began to speak out against flawed programs such as Common Core. In January of 2015, the New Jersey Education Association was one of the first to take aim at Common Core and fight for the rights of parents and teachers:

“NJEA supports the parents rights to make the decision for their children about the test and get the best education for their children,” the union’s president said

These unions need to start looking out for the rights and privacy of students and their families, not backing legislation or candidates that create failed programs and harm the education of future citizens.


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