Monday, December 28, 2015

Busing in Boston made segregation worse

Another failure of Leftist authoritarianism.  The article below is written from a Leftist perspective so sees nothing wrong with the fact that it was only when whites had little opportunity to flee that there was a degree of desegregation.  The rightness of forcing people to do things is unquestioned below.  And Leftists call Republicans Fascists!

Today, the concept of court-ordered busing to desegregate schools has few champions. Conservatives look back on busing in Boston as an outrageous overreach of government powers. Liberals look back on it as a policy that didn’t go far enough. It didn’t last long enough. It didn’t reach deep enough into the wealthy suburbs.

It’s a shame that busing has gone out of style at the very moment we’ve gotten a better understanding of why it failed — and where it worked.

It’s important to remember that busing did achieve success in places other than Boston. Bigger school districts, which encompassed both city and suburb, saw lasting gains. For instance, in Louisville, Ky., where the school district is 400 square miles.

Older civil rights activists in Boston blame racism for the fact that so many whites left the city in the aftermath of busing, robbing them of the gains that would have been achieved by integration. But the size of the district — and the availability of so many high-performing school districts nearby — probably mattered just as much. That’s a big reason school desegregation was more successful in the South, where school districts are larger and there are few neighboring districts. There, the percentage of black students in intensely segregated schools has dropped from 80 percent in 1968 to a little more than 30 percent today, according to a report by the Civil Rights Project at UCLA.

In the Northeast, which has so many alternative school districts where whites and middle-class families can flee, the results are far more discouraging: The percentage of black students who attend “intensely segregated” schools has actually risen, from 43 percent in 1968 to more than 50 percent today.

We know now that Boston “did not have the right conditions” for the kind of busing desegregation plan that Judge W. Arthur Garrity Jr. ordered, said Sarah Reber, associate professor of public policy at UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs.

The plans that saw the best long-term results were the ones that made the most gradual changes, had the smallest number of blacks, and imposed the least inconvenience on whites.

For instance, Volusia County — which covers Daytona Beach, Fla. — managed to achieve long-term success by scattering a small number of black students across a large number of white schools. Few whites were reassigned.

But here in Boston, Garrity ordered white students in Southie to go to black schools in Roxbury that he had just condemned. Half of all white students failed to show up for school, according to Christine Rossell, a Boston University professor who helped implement Garrity’s order in the 1970s and later became one of the nation’s most outspoken opponents of court-ordered busing.

Rossell changed her mind about busing when it became clear that white flight had offset any integration that had been achieved. “Boy, were we naive,” she said.

In 1974, 62 percent of black students in Boston attended schools that were more than 70 percent black, according to Garrity’s ruling. Today, about 80 percent of black students attend schools that are more than 70 percent black or Hispanic.

Statistics like these are one reason that court-ordered busing gave way to school choice programs and magnet schools across the country. Today, there’s a nationwide trend to return to neighborhood schools.

Perhaps the biggest mistake we made back in the 1970s was to frame school desegregation as a battle between racists and the righteous, rather than a public policy puzzle, full of trade-offs, that had to be solved. Today, in the era of Donald Trump and Black Lives Matter, we’re back to that same polarization. It’s as if we’ve learned nothing at all.


New softball rules for handling unruly students in Massachusetts public schools

Expect a lot of teacher resignations and maybe union action as defiant students become uncontrollable

Regulations that take effect Jan. 1 will limit how children can be physically restrained in Massachusetts public schools, at a time when alleged violations at a Holyoke school have shone a spotlight on the use of force to control unruly students.

The new rules, approved by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education late last year, are the first update to state policies on the use of restraint since 2001.

The regulations will add restrictions on how unruly students can be held down for their protection, and bar the use of devices or medication to subdue an agitated child — two tactics that previously were permitted with the consent of a parent and a doctor.

The rules also require for the first time that students assigned a “time out” to calm down be continuously monitored by school staff and that principals grant approval for any “time out” lasting longer than 30 minutes. In addition, principals must approve restraints lasting longer than 20 minutes.

Most students who are subjected to physical restraint are children and teens with behavioral or emotional disabilities. Advocates are lauding the upcoming changes.

Most of the alleged physical abuse was inflicted upon children in the school’s Therapeutic Intervention Program for students with emotional and behavioral disabilities.

Rick Glassman, director of advocacy for the Disability Law Center, said it is particularly helpful that the regulations allow a student to be pinned to the ground face-down — called a “prone restraint” — only when rigorous standards are met.

Those conditions include parental consent, the failure of other attempts to subdue the student, a documented history of behavior endangering the student or others, and the absence of medical conditions that could be worsened, such as asthma, heart conditions, obesity, or seizures.

“Basically, any floor restraint is dangerous, but prone restraints have been shown to be especially dangerous,” Glassman said. “There’s a lot of clinical literature showing . . . . an increased risk of injury or death from positional asphyxia as a result of using prone restraints.”

The law center issued a report this month alleging that workers hired to calm students with emotional and behavioral disabilities at the Peck Full Service Community School in Holyoke instead berated, slapped, tackled, and physically restrained the children, violating existing regulations on the use of force.

Sergio Paez, who was superintendent during the time the abuse allegedly occurred, has repeatedly defended his handling of reports of abuse that crossed his desk.

Another significant change in the new regulations, advocates say, is the requirement that any use of restraint be reported quickly to the school’s principal and to parents, and that principals review individual student data on restraints each week and schoolwide data each month.

The rules will also require that all uses of physical restraint be reported to the state. Previously, schools were required to report restraints to the state only if a student or school staff member was injured or the student was restrained for more than 20 minutes.

“Reporting can be particularly important . . . . so the parents know what’s going on and whether a child has suffered an injury as a result of a restraint, and why,” Glassman said. “Reporting is important for schools so that school supervisory personnel know what’s going on in the classroom.”

Programs around the state that work with special education students have been training employees this fall to prepare for the new regulations, said James V. Major, executive director of the Massachusetts Association of Approved Private Schools, which represents private, state-funded, special education schools.

He said the changes are prompting some schools to update their own policies in ways that are even more restrictive than required by the new rules.

“Even though prone restraints are allowed under restricted circumstances, I think most of our members will be moving away from using them at all,” Major said.

In pacifying children who are out of control, he believes, schools will elect to hold them in place while standing or pin them to the floor facing up. Both techniques require an additional staff member.

“Schools and providers are going to have to figure out how to get the additional staff,” he said. “That’s going to mean more money and additional changes in staffing patterns. There’s also a potential for increased injury to staff, which is why they were using prone in the past.”

With proper training, Major said, staff should be able to avoid injury.

The new reporting requirements will also require additional staff time, but they will provide schools with better information about their own procedures and how to avoid situations that escalate to the point that a child needs to be restrained, Major said.

Because the new requirements impose greater rigor, he said, they could ultimately affect enrollment policies for schools serving children with special needs.

“I think there may be an unintended consequence of tightened admission criteria and procedures as schools really scrutinize their ability to meet the needs of students,” Major said. “There might be some students that will find it more difficult to get appropriate placement.”


War on Christmas at Cornell

As anyone with half a brain knows "Jesus is the reason for the season." Christmas may be incredibly commercialized, but the imagery of what has become a largely secular Christmas season across the country is inspired by the Christian celebration of the birth of Christ. Santa Claus himself - "Jolly old St. Nick," arose out of the legend of St. Nicholas, scourge of the heretic Arius  and secret giver of gifts.

Someone should tell that to the good people at Cornell University, who are trying to purge their campus of all Christian imagery, just in time for Christmas:

The folks over at Cornell University are worried about “inclusive seasonal displays.” That’s academic code for Christmas decorations.

Cornell warned students that some “winter holiday displays” are not consistent with the university’s “commitment to diversity and inclusiveness.”

Among the items on their naughty list are Nativity scenes, angels, crosses and mistletoe.

I’m not quite sure why they frown upon the mistletoe – unless they want to discourage young fraternity men from spreading Christmas cheer among the Sorority girls.

So for the sake of inclusion Cornell University recommends ditching the Baby Jesus and hemiparasitic plants.

Let this serve as your daily reminder: liberalism is an incredibly boring ideology built around denial of the Judeo-Christian ideals that merged with the ideas of the Enlightenment to make America the greatest country in the history of the world.


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