Tuesday, August 29, 2017

A typical Leftist whine that ignores crucial facts

It's just amazing how an argument from the Left NEVER covers all the relevant facts.  It's only by leaving out half the story that they can justify their complaints.  The undoubtedly correct claim below is that one mainly white Mississippi school offers a better standard of education than a mostly black school not far away.  But why?  The article shows no curiosity about that but any Leftist reader would fill in: Racism!

But is that the reason?  There are in fact quite clear other reasons.  Like money.  The mostly white school is in an affluent mostly white area.  And by way of things like local taxes and parental involvement, affluence filters through to the schools nearby.  Rich people can afford to be generous donors and providing facilities and other help to your kid's school is one of the major ways in which generosity will be expressed.

Another beef (or lack of beef) below is that the black school delivers much poorer educational results.  So what else is new?  The black/white "gap" in average educational achievement is universal in America.  And for many years now Leftist educators have turned themselves inside out trying to remedy it.  But nothing works.  They all refuse to acknowledge that the cause of the gap is the sharply lower average black IQ.  But denying that well-documented fact will not make it go away.  It will just stop blacks getting the sort of education they can use.

And a final beef is that the teachers don't stay long in the black school.  And why would that be?  Would it have to be a response to badly behaved black students?  What teacher who really wanted to teach would want to spend most of the day just trying to get the pupils to sit down and shut up? 

Much of the bad behaviour of the black students undoubtedly  results from them being given educational tasks that are not suitable to them and which they can't do.  So they rebel by behaving badly.  If blacks were given an education appropriate to their needs, abilities and interests, much of that problem could vanish.  But that would be "segregation", of course.  So what do people think they have got now?

And here's the funny bit:  The SPLC thinks a lawsuit can fix those problems!  Typical leftist obtuseness and unwillingness to face the real problems

Two summers ago, Indigo Williams couldn’t have been more thrilled to send her son off for his first day of school.

Her home was zoned into Madison Station elementary school in Madison, Mississippi, an “A” rated school and district where her son JS, then five, quickly dove into Kindergarten with enthusiasm. JS was taking Taekwondo lessons and was served fresh fruits and vegetables in the cafeteria. He had access to tutoring.

But when Williams and her children moved just a few miles away before the start of the following school year, her home was instead zoned to an elementary school in the Jackson, MS school district. She was horrified to see just how dramatic the difference could be.

Now attending Raines Elementary, Williams says Jonathan’s environment “feels more like a jail than a school. Paint is chipping off the walls. They’ve served him expired food in the cafeteria,” she said.

“There are no extracurricular activities available for my son, no art or music class or even afterschool tutoring. There are not enough textbooks for him to take home or even for students to use in the classrooms, and the books that are in the classroom are outdated,” Williams added.

She worries that JS is growing bored with his classwork, and that the school doesn’t have the resources to challenge him or make learning interesting. “I’m afraid he’s falling behind other kids in better schools,” Williams said.

But Williams hasn’t just sat by and watched as her son’s quality of education deteriorated. She – and three other black Mississippi mothers – have put themselves and the Raines Elementary at the centre of a lawsuit that argues the state has reneged on 150 year-old promise to offer a “uniform system of free public schools”.

The lawsuit, filed by Southern Poverty Law Center on behalf of the mothers, is about quality of education, but there is also a broader context reflected in the make-up of the student population in the two schools that JS has attended. The pupils at Raines School pupils are 99% black. The pupils at Madison Station school are 70% white. And in a state where, in the years after Brown v Board, the landmark 1954 US Supreme Court decision that outlawed segregation in schools, public officials in Mississippi considered shutting down public schools all together to avoid integration, race is never far from view.

By virtually any metric you choose, Mississippi has among the worst education systems in the US. In a July study, researchers using a 13-point quality rubric ranked the state 49 out of the 50 states and Washington DC.

Mississippi is also, by both median income and poverty level, the poorest state in the country.

This is no coincidence, of course. Because US public school are almost exclusively funded by state and local tax dollars, the amount of resources any given school has is almost wholly a function of how wealthy the people who live nearby are.

The Madison Station elementary school where JS began his student career is, by car, about 20 minutes north of Raines – but it is a universe apart. Elaborate gated mansions with circular driveways dot the road to the school which passes through expansive stretches of verdant green Mississippi pasture. Near the end of the school day, a fleet of immaculate saffron and black buses pull up to the building.

The environment mirrors the performance. In 2010 Madison Station was a National Blue Ribbon School, a Department of Education designation made to high performing schools. Some 72.6% of students are proficient in reading and 70.5% are proficient in math – well above the state average. In 2013, less than 9% of the school’s teachers were in their first year of teaching.

Down the road at Raines, 20% of teachers are in their first year. Only 11% of students are proficient in reading and just 4% in math.


LGBT Flag At School Just As Divisive As Confederate flag

An online petition exceeding 1,000 electronic signatures as of Friday morning is targeting an LGBT flag at Alabama’s Auburn High School. Students and parents at the school say it is just as offensive to see the “pride” flag flying as it would be to see a Confederate flag, The Observer reports

The change.org petition wants social studies teacher Donna Yeager to remove the symbol of gay rights. Yeager is the coordinator of a “diversity” club at the school.

The students and parents say the flag isn’t planting the seeds of diversity, but of provocation.

“We strongly feel that it creates a hostile and provocative learning environment for students not comfortable to openly supporting the LGBTQ+ community in a public school where students come from diverse political and religious backgrounds,” the petition reads. “Subjecting or explicitly exposing students from diverse political backgrounds to political views differing from theirs can make students uncomfortable and distract them from learning the material assigned to them, preventing them from reaching their full potential,” it continues.

“Furthermore, we believe it is unprofessional and distracting for a teacher to be so openly displaying their political views in an unbiased and socially neutral public setting.”

The petitioners ask why they should be subjected to an LGBT political symbol when other controversial emblems are banned from school spaces.

“Consider the uproar and chaos that would ensue were a teacher to hang for example a Confederate, Christian or Heterosexual Flag in their classroom.”

LGBT advocates haven’t been silent in the wake of the protest. They have launched their own Change.org petition that argues the school is “a healthy environment for our LGBT+ peers,” and accused the flag protesters of being insufficiently inclusive. They also contend that the Confederate flag angle is irrelevant to the issue.

The second petition is currently outgunning the first with just under 7,000 names.

Auburn school system superintendent Karen DeLano said in a statement that the issue is being assessed internally.


167 Year Old California Catholic School Removes Statues of Mary and Jesus to be More Inclusive

Officials at the San Domenico School in California decided recently to remove the Catholic statues and icons in a move to be seen as more inclusive.

The school is celebrating its 167th year.  Officials feared the statues of Jesus and Mary were alienating. MarinIJ reported:

Removal of a number of statues and other smaller Catholic icons from the campus of San Domenico School in San Anselmo has raised concerns among some parents.

In an email to the school’s board of directors, Dominican Sisters of San Rafael and the head of school, Shannon Fitzpatrick objected to the removal of the statues and other steps the school has taken in an effort to make the school more inclusive.

“Articulating an inclusive foundation appears to mean letting go of San Domenico’s 167-year tradition as a Dominican Catholic school and being both afraid and ashamed to celebrate one’s heritage and beliefs,” wrote Fitzpatrick, whose 8-year-old son attends the school.

She added, “In our time here, the word ‘Catholic’ has been removed from the mission statement, sacraments were removed from the curriculum, the lower school curriculum was changed to world religions, the logo and colors were changed to be ‘less Catholic,’ and the uniform was changed to be less Catholic.”

Responding to follow-up questions Monday, Fitzpatrick wrote, “There are other families having the same concerns I do. Many parents feel if the school is heading in a different direction then the San Domenico community should have been notified before the signing of the enrollment for the following year.”


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