Tuesday, February 02, 2016

The Left are still obsessed with race

The report below is from  Boston.  It is race-obsessed.  The carefully set-out categorization of students by race is reminiscent of apartheid South Africa.  But why does race matter? The school is an academically selective one, which is why its students get good results. So the students who are there are there because of their ability.  And blacks are simply less able as judged by the school's admission criteria.  So admitting less able black students would simply destroy the basis of the school's success and do nothing for the blacks concerned.

And there is nothing even slightly surprising in fewer black enrollees in a selective school.  The "gap" between black and white educational achievement is well-known. And that gap too is totally unsurprising in view of a century of research which regularly shows very low average IQs among blacks.  It would be surprising if blacks regularly did well at school.  Their educational performance validates the IQ test figures.

But the Left dream of all men being equal so repeatedly refuse to accept the obvious -- and look for something other than IQ as an explanation for low black educational aptitude.  They have never found one -- despite decades of trying.

And the decline in black enrollments is no mystery either.  The school is not allowed to implement "affirmative action" now.  Only blatant racism will let you get around low black average IQ.

And I must say that I find the emphasis on the school "supporting" students rather wrong-headed.  The students are there to be taught, not to be "supported".  They won't be "supported" when they go out into the workforce.  "Supporting" them gives them altogether the wrong life-lessons.  Families are the place for support, not schools

And I am quite sure that the incidents of "racism" reported below are very few and far-between at the school. And such incidents as there are would be more likely to be a product of hyper-sensitivity among blacks rather than anything intentional by the white speaker.  There is such huge censoriousness about any mention of race in conversation throughout American society that any overtly "racist" student would be taking great risks

Twenty years ago, some 23 percent of students at Boston Latin School were black, giving hundreds of African-American teenagers access to the city’s top public high school and a springboard to elite colleges.

Today, just 9 percent of Latin students are black, and only 12 percent are Hispanic, levels far lower than the city’s other two exam schools — Boston Latin Academy and O’Bryant School of Mathematics and Science — and markedly out of step with the district as a whole.

The percentage of black students who attend Latin School has declined each year since 2010, state data show, reaching its lowest mark since at least the mid-1990s.

The disparity lends context to recent complaints of racism that have roiled the school, prompted a School Department investigation, and raised questions about the cause — and consequences — of low enrollment of students of color at the competitive exam school.

Some Latin School students and alumni say the decline has contributed to a climate where students of color are marginalized and racial epithets are thrown around all too casually.

Boston school officials will look at whether administrators did not discipline students who harassed black classmates.

In the 13 days since a student group launched a social media campaign to raise awareness of alleged racism at the school, some parents, alumni, and close observers of the school system have said the issues are longstanding and have even deterred some students from enrolling.

“I know of parents of color [whose children] will score high enough to get into Latin, but will choose Latin Academy because they are concerned about the culture, a feeling that their students won’t be supported in the way that they need,” said Kim Janey, senior project director at Massachusetts Advocates for Children, a Boston nonprofit.

Larger demographic trends have also played a role in reducing diversity at the school. The percentage of black students who attend Boston public schools has dropped from 48 percent in 1996 to 32 percent this year.

That citywide decline appears to be one cause of the long-term decline in black enrollment at Latin School, where seats are coveted due to high academic performance that makes it among the top feeder schools to Harvard and other prestigious colleges. Last year, every student at the school scored proficient or advanced on the English and math sections of the MCAS tests.

Another cause of shrinking black enrollment at the school is a 1995 lawsuit that led the Boston School Committee the following year to eliminate racial quotas that had, since the era of court-mandated school desegregation, reserved 35 percent of exam school seats for black and Hispanic students.

Since then, the number of black students at Latin School has dropped by 60 percent. Over the same period, the school’s Hispanic population has grown by less than 1 percent, even as the percentage of Hispanic students across the district has increased by almost 70 percent.

The school is a magnet for white and Asian students, which is unusual in the Boston system. Nearly half of Latin School students are white, compared to 14 percent districtwide. The number of white students at the school has declined slightly over the past 20 years, but not nearly as quickly as their representation in the district as a whole.

Almost 30 percent of Latin School students are Asian, compared to 9 percent across the city. That portion has swelled from just 17 percent two decades ago, when the district had over 1,100 more Asian students.

Boston public school officials said in a statement Thursday that although a 1998 court order banned the district from considering race in exam-school admittance, it is working to “increase diversity and cultural proficiency at these schools and those across the district.”

Under Superintendent Tommy Chang, the district is trying to close achievement gaps and increase the acceptance of black and Hispanic students into exam schools, in part by offering more preparation courses for the entrance exam, the statement said. Currently, only one is offered.

Scores on the exam, which students can take in the sixth and eighth grade, are combined with grade-point averages to determine admission into the three schools.

The present controversy surfaced last week, when two [black] Latin School seniors — Meggie Noel and Kylie Webster-Cazeau — said in a YouTube video that black students are routinely subjected to racial slurs and insensitive remarks.

They accused administrators of failing to discipline students for racist behavior and called on classmates to share stories of racist experiences on social media, using the hashtag #BlackAtBls. The social media campaign has since expanded to high schools across the district.

In response, school officials said they would investigate the students’ charges and provide mandatory training for school leaders on how to respond to reports of bias.

This week, Chang and Mayor Martin J. Walsh met separately with students to discuss their concerns and praised the students for sparking a discussion about diversity and inclusion.

“This struggle is not new to Boston,” Chang said at Wednesday’s School Committee meeting, where Noel and Webster-Cazeau spoke. “We are ready to listen and act on [the student advocates’] behalf.”

Omékongo Dibinga, who teaches at American University in Washington, D.C., said in an interview that he experienced racism when he attended Latin School in the 1990s.

Dibinga said there were times he was disciplined more harshly than white students for the same offenses, and that when he ran for senior class president some white students wore white sheets in protest. They were not disciplined, he said.

Dibinga said he wasn’t surprised such issues have persisted. Declining black enrollment, he said, may have made matters worse and discouraged parents from choosing the school.

“Black families are very sensitive about how their children are going to be perceived,” Dibinga said. “If parents feel like nothing has changed, or maybe even gotten worse, why would they subject their child to that?”

Janey, of the children’s advocacy group, said her sister was one of many black students of their generation who entered the Latin School in the 1980s but eventually transferred because they did not find a nurturing environment.

“There is, from the people I know personally, a feeling that there wasn’t the support there needed to help navigate through,” she said.

But Ernani DeAraujo, an attorney and former city official, said he saw high attrition among students of all backgrounds, and he did not remember feeling isolated or experiencing racism as one of few Latino students at the school in the 1990s. At the time, he said, Latin School warned incoming students to expect three hours of homework each night.

With more than 2,400 students, Latin School is the largest public school in Boston. And because of its high academic expectations, it is widely considered one of the most difficult.

But for many students, especially those of limited means, the exam school provides a route to top colleges and career paths that would have otherwise been closed, DeAraujo said.

“A year at Phillips Andover or at Choate costs more than my mom’s annual income at that time,” he said, naming two top private schools. “So to get that quality of education at a public school is just amazing. I wouldn’t be where I am today without it.”

Complaints of racism at Latin School are not new, said Rosann Tung, a Brown University researcher who has studied Boston’s public schools. Tung said black and Hispanic students are substantially underrepresented at the prestigious school.

“It’s a systemic opportunity gap,” she said.


UK: The value of a university degree is being undermined because too many students can't read or count properly

Too many students who cannot read and count properly are going to university which is undermining the 'currency' of a degree, a major international report said today.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) said a three year undergraduate was too expensive and unsuitable for people with poor literacy and numeracy.

And it warned the removal of a cap on student numbers could make the problem worse.

Some 7 per cent of 20 to 34 year old graduates in England have numeracy skills below 'level two' - considered to be enough to properly read a car's fuel gauge.

The report found some 3.4 per cent of graduates are below this level for literacy, defined as being able to understand the label on a bottle of aspirin. 

For numeracy, this is worse than in other nations - including Australia, Ireland, Poland, Italy and Spain, the report shows.

Around one in five young university graduates can manage basic tasks, but struggle with more complex problems, it adds.

'Those with low basic skills should not normally enter three-year undergraduate programmes, which are both costly and unsuited to the educational needs of those involved, while graduates with poor basic skills undermine the currency of an English university degree.'

These would-be students should be encouraged to take alternative, professional courses that will help to boost their levels of literacy and numeracy, while more needs to be done in universities to help students with intermediate levels in the basics to develop their skills.

It also suggests that preventing universities from graduating students that have low basic skills could help to raise achievement.

The report, based on an international survey conducted in 2012, goes on to warn that while England has more young people graduating from university than many other countries, many young people are not well-prepared for degree study as the basic skills of those teenagers who may go into higher education is much weaker than elsewhere.

Overall, a third of 16 to 19-year-olds are struggling with the basics - three times as many as in countries such as Finland, Japan, Korea and the Netherlands.

In 2012, in England, 70 per cent of youngsters in this age group were in education or training that would lead to a formal qualification, compared to almost all young people in many other nations, the survey says.

The OECD warns: 'In England, the weak basic skills of young adults compared with other countries can be traced back to a lower standard of performance at the end of initial education.'

'The priority of priorities is to improve the standard of basic schooling in England,' it adds.

The report notes that a raft of reforms have been introduced, including an overhaul of qualifications, raising the age that youngsters must stay in education or training to 18 and a decision that any teenager who does not gain at least a C at GCSE in English or maths must continue with the subject.

It is too early to assess the impact of these reforms, the OECD says, but adds that 'their objectives are clearly the right ones'.

The organisation does note that the move to lift the cap on university numbers could worsen the problem of students with low basic skills.

Overall, there are an estimated nine million working-age adults in England with literacy or numeracy skills, or both, the report says.

A Government spokeswoman said: 'Good English and maths skills are essential to success in later life, and thanks to our reforms thousands more students are leaving education with these vital skills.

'While we are pleased the OECD recognises the progress we have made, we are not complacent, and will maintain our relentless focus on literacy and numeracy so all young people have the chance to succeed.'


Rotten Academia: Professor Who Praises Jihadis Still Teaches, Jihad Critic Doesn't

To understand just how depraved today's college campuses are, compare the treatment of two professors - one defending a Western, pro-American democracy (Israel) and the other suspected of supporting this century's most gruesome Islamist terror organization, the Islamic State ("ISIS").

Julio Pino, an associate history professor at Kent State University, is under investigation by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security for potential ties to ISIS.

Pino's jihadist leanings and virulently anti-Israel rants on social media include possible threats against the U.S. government. In 2002, he praised a teenage Palestinian suicide bomber who had killed two people in Jerusalem, saying that the teen had "died a martyr's death in occupied Jerusalem, Palestine."

In a 2014 open letter to "academic friends of Israel," Pino published an unhinged and anti-Semitic invective: "I hold you directly responsible for the murder of over 1,400 Palestinian children, women and elderly civilians over the past month...[w]hile The Chosen drain the blood of innocents without apologies you hide behind the mask of academic objectivity, nobility of research and the reward of teaching to foreign youth - in a segregated university, of course." Pino closed the letter with: "Jihad until victory!"

Despite decades of hateful and extremist rants, Kent State reportedly gave Pino multiple awards, including the Faculty Excellence Award in 2010, 2003, 2000 and 1996, along with the Professional Excellence Award in 1999 and 1997.

Kent State remains comfortable with him in the classroom despite the over-the-top rhetoric and news of a federal investigation. The Kent Stater, the university's student newspaper, provided him with a video platform to defend himself, and the editorial board wrote that "it is too soon to make a judgment on the investigation..."

Contrast Pino's case with Connecticut College's treatment of professor Andrew Pessin for defending Israel in its 2014 war with Hamas (a State Department-designated terrorist organization).

Over half a year after Pessin's Facebook post critiquing Hamas, the student newspaper at Connecticut College launched a surprise character assassination by publishing three editorials condemning Pessin (including on the front page), without giving him a chance to defend himself against libelous accusations of racism.

In a reportedly packed auditorium Connecticut College President Katherine Bergeron said that she was "disappointed by the language" of Pessin's post, which "seemed to show poor judgment," and she praised "the valor of the students who responded to these incidents by exercising their own right of free speech with confidence and intellectual acuity." These statements by Bergeron (as of this writing) continue to appear on the college's web site, long after a Washington Post column cited available evidence to make a compelling case that the allegations against Pessin were politically motivated lies.

More absurdly, Bergeron promised to "review our social media policies to ensure they include appropriate advisory language about respectful expression," even as her administration continues to allow the school's student newspaper to host libels against Pessin alongside anti-Semitic rants. As if public condemnation of Pessin weren't enough, the administration continues to display statements from scores of academic departments, school officials, student associations, and other college affiliates, denouncing Pessin on the official Connecticut College website. As of this writing, no other issue or speech is similarly scrutinized or condemned on the school's official web site.

At the same public forum last March, Bergeron also promised to update the school's "protocol for bias incidents so that those who come forward under these circumstances are well served by the process."

Too bad her lofty commitments proved empty after the bias incidents against Jewish students at the school last December, when Conn Students in Solidarity with Palestine ("CSSP") placed posters around campus bashing Birthright, a program that helps young people travel to Israel. The CSSP posters call the program a form of "settler colonialism" and demonize Israel.

As Phyllis Chesler reported, the administration's spinelessly neutral response was to "recognize CSSP's right to share its perspective [and] the right of members of the community to express their disagreement with the posters' characterization of the Birthright program."

Anti-Israel sentiment is therefore welcome on bulletin boards throughout Connecticut College's campus, regardless of whether it is true. But the "poor judgment" Andrew Pessin showed in a Facebook post merits his absence from campus for at least a year, especially in comparison with "the valor of the students" who refused to accept his apology and his immediate clarification that he was speaking only about the Hamas terrorists in Gaza.

It gets much worse. In her article attacking Pessin last March, Lamiya Khandakeradmits that she was Pessin's student but "never felt victimized in class," even as she claims in the same op-ed to "feel unsafe" because of a barely noticed Facebook post published eight months earlier. This led to protests, petitions and, finally, to Pessin's leave of absence, which continues today.

If Bergeron wants to review school policies to be sure people behave appropriately, she should start by reviewing Connecticut College's honor code. Khandaker's actions seem to violate several provisions.

She failed to "respect...the dignity of" Professor Pessin by publicly attributing repugnant views to him that he doesn't actually hold; and her actions, which viciously libeled Pessin, were neither "thoughtful" nor "ethical."

Nevertheless, Khandaker was apparently never sanctioned for defaming a faculty member or violating the school's honor system, and was allowed to keep her position as the student government chair of "equity and diversity" at Connecticut College.

Khandaker kept that position even though she reportedly scoffed at anti-Semitismand called for Israel's destruction on her Facebook page.

It's an elected position, school spokeswoman Pamela Serfes said last fall, and the administration "does not select or pre-qualify candidates, nor would it seek to remove duly elected office holders with whom it may disagree."

Would the same be true if a white student publicly dismissed concerns about racism and called for the destruction of a black-majority state?

Connecticut College did not respond.

Why not? Probably because the Connecticut College administration had doubled down on its support for anti-Semites and anti-Israel haters, by granting Khandaker the "Scholar Activist Award" last spring. They must understand how insane that looks because they also refused to comment about or even confirm giving her that award.

To recap, not only did the Connecticut College administration participate in the character assassination of a professor who did nothing more than criticize Hamas, it rewarded those behind the campaign to silence their school's only openly pro-Israel professor. Then, when CSSP spread its vitriol in anti-Israel posters with no effective voice on campus to counter their hateful propaganda, the administration issued a spinelessly neutral statement while students were on break.

Meanwhile, the school refuses to apologize to Pessin, who is still not on campus.

At worst, Pessin made one statement that was subject to interpretation. He insists he never meant what Khandaker thinks, and neither she nor the faculty who piled on Pessin have come up with anything else on his record to merit the hysterical response.

Pino, on the other hand, is still teaching at Kent State and receives far more support from his school's newspaper. Taxpayer-funded Kent State has given Pino many teaching awards over the years, unlike Pessin, who has never received any award in his decade of teaching at Connecticut College (student ratings of Pessin's teaching average 4.2 out of 5; Pino's rating is 2.7). There was no campus-wide talk where Pino was condemned in front of the community and the media. A statement by President Beverly Warren seems primarily intended to reassure the community that there is no related terrorism or security threat.

In a 2014 video experiment, Ami Horowitz captured the bafflingly different campus attitudes towards Israel versus ISIS. Things have clearly gotten worse since then. If George Orwell were observing academia, he would remark that "All speech is equal, but anti-Israel speech is more equal than others."

As Hamilton Foundation president Christian Whiton notes, "Diversity to college administrators means a Benetton ad - an obsession with race and ethnicity - not true diversity of thought." Indeed, the worldview promoted by the tyranny of political correctness breeds a new generation of radicals friendly to Islamist regimes, values, and trends, and hostile to the U.S., Israel, and Western values in general.

This is the morally bankrupt climate in which America's future is being educated. We're in trouble.


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