Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Black privilege

The Leftist article excerpted below gives a good account of an educational fraud but draws perverse lessons from it. 

When a small black school churned out fraudulent credentials and documentation for their students, even Ivy league institutions fell for it and admitted the students concerned. 

How come?  The students were black and under the manic "all men are equal" doctrine that consumes the Left, the universities had a desperate need for black faces on campus.  So they turned a blind eye to any shortcomings in the student or his documentation.  Black privilege was at work.  You cannot challenge black claims and you must not suspect any intellectual deficit in a black. So the misrepresented blacks were simply waved through on the color of their skin.

The interesting question, therefore, is did the students come unstuck in doing university courses for which they were not prepared?  One would expect so but once again black privilege is at work. Incompetent black students can also be waved through university courses.  And there is no doubt that that was done or the scam  would have come unstuck in one year

The Leftist galoot below thinks that the scam reveals the wrongness of university selection criteria.  What it does reveal is that no system is proof against Leftist fraud and folly

Until two weeks ago, T. M. Landry College Preparatory School was the most enigmatic school in America. Small and with minimal resources, this private school was known for one thing: placing an extraordinary number of black, low-income students in America’s most elite colleges and universities. Almost everything else about it was mysterious.

The school’s founders and namesakes, the married couple Tracey and Michael Landry, had promoted it via a series of viral videos. In each of the videos, a young student, usually black, waits in suspense, surrounded by classmates, to find out if he or she has been admitted to a top college—Princeton, Dartmouth, Yale, among others. Invariably, the student gets a happy answer, and the entire room erupts in raucous celebration.

T. M. Landry is in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, a high-poverty town of fewer than 10,000. The school’s graduates are overwhelmingly black, poor, or both—a socioeconomic segment that, due to pervasive discrimination, is notoriously underrepresented in higher ed. Statistically speaking, when a poor black student is admitted to a Harvard or a Yale, it’s a minor miracle. The odds of an institution sending graduate after graduate to the Ivy League and similar schools are infinitesimal. Watching T. M. Landry’s viral videos was akin to watching lightning strike the same spot not twice, but over and over again. Had the Landrys cracked the educational code?

At the end of November, in a blockbuster story, The New York Times solved part of the puzzle. The Landrys’ school seems to have been a fraud all along—faking transcripts, forcing students to lie on college applications, and staging rehearsed lessons for curious media and other visitors. According to the Times, an atmosphere of abuse and submission helped maintain the deception, with Michael Landry lording over his flock of children like a tyrant. In the Times story, Landry admitted to helping children with college applications while denying any fraud. The school did not respond to requests for comment for this story.

Still, a mystery remains. Even taking the alleged fakery into account, how did T. M. Landry seem to fool so many of America’s most prestigious universities for years?

The key to the alleged T. M. Landry scam can’t be the quality of the deception, because it was far from airtight. If anything, the story the school told about itself should have sparked immediate skepticism.

This isn’t hindsight speaking; I know from experience. I first encountered the school's viral videos last spring, and as a researcher on race and education, I felt compelled to learn more. What I found immediately raised my suspicions. Outside the videos themselves, the school offered little coherent explanation of how its students managed to win the collegiate lottery so often.

Many aspects of the school were unorthodox. Tuition was modest for a private school, and paid monthly, with students seemingly able to start and stop at any time from kindergarten to 12th grade in an unusual rolling-admissions format. While the Landrys were reliably vague about their instructional methods, the hints they dropped —no homework, no textbooks, and minimal parental involvement—didn’t conform with any successful teaching model I’d ever heard of. Nor did the couple have any prior teaching experience to suggest they should be capable of working educational wonders. Press coverage openly discussed T. M. Landry's apparent dearth of courses, classrooms, and structured teaching—even while celebrating students’ sophisticated subject-matter specialties and high GPAs. Certain inconsistencies, such as how a school without defined courses could have GPAs, were never explained.

Frankly, none of the pieces fit together. Still, whatever T. M. Landry was up to, the colleges and universities were fine with it, and presumably the admissions officers were doing their due diligence.

Except it now appears they didn’t.

American higher education is a hierarchy, and the schools at the top wield vast influence, both in academia and in the wider world. Whether they admit it or not, universities like Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Princeton, and Columbia are gatekeepers for the social, political, and economic elite. The T. M. Landry revelations should constitute an extraordinary crisis for these schools. They challenge these institutions’ role as gatekeepers—and perhaps even the need for the hierarchy itself.

How could T. M. Landry allegedly deceive so many? The colleges and universities that admitted the school’s grads aren’t saying publicly. When reached for this story, a number of top-tier institutions only provided brief statements expressing their concern about the situation. In a typical response, Yale stated that it “takes all allegations of fraudulent application materials seriously,” and “when applicable … pursues all cases where potentially misrepresentative application information is brought to our attention.” Princeton emphasized that it was “concerned for the affected students and their families,” and “remain[ed] committed to attracting and supporting talented students, including students from groups that have been underrepresented in higher education.”

Admirably, Wellesley College stated its specific and unequivocal support for its Landry graduates, describing them as “thriving and engaged members of the community.” However, none of the institutions contacted—which also included Harvard, Columbia, Stanford, Brown, Dartmouth, Wesleyan, and Syracuse—would offer any public explanation for how they might have gotten tricked in the first place.

But at least in general terms, it’s possible to sketch out the source of the breakdown. Like a lot of scams, the alleged T. M. Landry admissions ploy wasn’t convincing because it was hard to detect, but because it offered something that a lot of people wanted to believe. Their viral videos told a story of black children magically beating the odds, drawing millions of viewers. The school played into this narrative, appending hashtags like “#blackexcellence” and “#blacksuccess” to its videos. The faked transcripts told the same story, one that higher education found irresistible.

When it comes to admitting students from underprivileged backgrounds, colleges and universities are facing cross-cutting currents. To start with, most highly selective schools remain committed to promoting racially and economically diverse student bodies. This commitment is sincere, at least to the extent that, all else equal, these institutions would be delighted to admit lower-income students of color who have overcome great hardships.

But this is where the T. M. Landry accusations begin to look truly destabilizing, because now its miracles appear to be fictions. Many of its graduates were, by all accounts, hard-working and dedicated, but otherwise merely mortal. And yet, they did not implode the moment they breathed the rarified air of the Ivy League. Some struggled or dropped out, but a number of Landry students—particularly those who had spent more time in traditional schools—simply continued to advance.

More HERE 

Congress should banish college savings

The Leftist article below outlines real problems in college affordability but more government money is their moronic solution.  No awareness is shown that many costs could be cut or that credentialism has got out of hand

The new Congress will have the opportunity to do something meaningful to make college more affordable. It should stop asking families to save for college.

The expectation that students and their families will have squirreled away tens of thousands of dollars for a college education no longer makes sense in a world of high college costs and deep racial and income inequality.

Student debt has catapulted past $1.5 trillion. A whopping third of women in college have their own kids to support. A substantial number of college students are going hungry.

All that student debt isn’t even buying college success — or a fair shot for those who need it. Low-income students are four times less likely to earn a bachelor’s degree than their wealthier peers. While 55 percent of whites between the ages of 25 and 34 have at least an associate degree, only just over a third of blacks and less than three in 10 Latino adults have any degree.

Congress will be working next year on the long-overdue reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. The chances of a bill getting through both the Democratic House and the Republican Senate are uncertain, but this is also the moment for leaders to advance novel ideas for investing in America’s future that will take hold in the 2020 election cycle and beyond.

The blueprint for jettisoning college savings is in Beyond Tuition, a broad vision for a more equitable, higher quality higher education system that the Center for American Progress released in 2018. In exchange for new federal and state funding, colleges would sign performance contracts with government entities, committing to specific benchmarks to improve performance and close equity gaps.

Beyond Tuition envisions a world where no one forces students to take out loans, where colleges stop expecting low-income and middle class families to sock away money they don’t have, and where colleges ask only for a reasonable slice of a family’s current income.

Students whose families make less than 150 percent of the federal poverty level — just under $38,000 for a family of four — would pay nothing for an in-state college, while middle-class families would pay no more than 10 percent of their income. Upper income families would be expected to pay no more than 20 percent of their income. Students who chose private, nonprofit colleges or out-of-state publics would have a slightly higher contribution, but the same guarantee of affordability.

Crucially, when we talk about covering the cost of college, we mean not just academic expenses like tuition or books, but also living costs including food, housing, and transportation.

Families that have the means to save for college would still find it in their interest to do so, because they wouldn’t have to tighten the proverbial family belt by up to 20 percent while their student was enrolled. But yesterday’s bedrock assumptions about paying for college are simply unfair to today’s students, half of whom don’t get family help for paying for college. Four in 10 Americans can’t come up with $400 for an emergency. And people of color don’t have the savings of white Americans. For example, the median wealth of black households is one-tenth that of white households.

Our proposal would cost the federal government about $60 billion a year. That’s a tiny sliver of last year’s multi-trillion-dollar tax cuts, and an investment in the potential of all Americans that would pay off in a more prosperous, just society.

Yet if that price tag ends up being too high for the new Congress, this proposal could still provide a framework to approach financial aid policy differently. Instead of thinking about what aid to offer a low-income student– a Pell grant, for example – we should be thinking about what that student’s family can reasonably afford, and how to fill in the rest.


Public school teachers do not love their profession

The 2018 election was marked in many corners as the “Year of the Teacher.” Record numbers of educators ran for—and some were elected to—local, state and national office.

Teachers also stormed statehouses from Arizona to West Virginia to demand better pay in what was known as the “Red for Ed” movement.

Why were so many teachers motivated to leave the classroom and get political on a scale never before seen?

According to EdChoice’s recent Schooling in America survey, a large proportion of public school educators around the country would not recommend their profession—specifically, teaching in public schools—to other colleagues or friends.

We polled 777 current public school teachers and asked whether they were favorable to the profession based on a Net Promoter Score (NPS)  question. The results were stunning: Nearly three-fourths of teachers in our survey would not promote or recommend teaching in public schools based on the NPS rubric.

In fact, only 26 percent clearly would be “promoters,” with 32 percent considered “passives” and 42 percent considered as “detractors” of the profession. In previous surveys, we have reported significantly higher percentages of promoters among active-duty military servicemembers and state legislators. Furthermore, teachers with 10 or more years of experience were more likely to be detractors than teachers with three or fewer years under their belt. Based on results, professional morale appears to go down the longer someone teaches.

Teachers are our most important educational resource. They shoulder the brunt of expectations and mandates placed on them by federal, state and local governments; by superintendents, school boards and principals; and, perhaps most frustratingly, by parents. Balancing these different forces—from testing requirements to government standards, from principals to parents—places a tremendous challenge for teachers, competing for time and attention when we would much rather they be focused on students’ needs.

This clearly has led to some trust issues for teachers with some of the groups imposing these policies, rules, and expectations. In our survey, majorities of teachers say they trust their students (52 percent) and principals (57 percent) most, but less than half say they trust their teachers’ union leadership (46 percent), superintendent (41 percent), or even their students’ parents (36 percent). Teachers place even less trust in elected officials and government agencies, such as the school board (35 percent), state department of education (28 percent), or the federal department of education (25 percent).

Proximity to stakeholders appears to matter, and teachers start by looking locally when they want to address the issues making them dissatisfied with their profession.

That may be why public school teachers in the survey also said that they hold their local school districts most responsible for the recent spate of strikes and walkouts earlier this year. Dissatisfied with pay or other working conditions, they first look to who is signing their paychecks. In the most recent EdNext poll, we see plenty of increased support among teachers, parents, and the general public for increasing teacher pay.  It should be an imperative for local education leaders to play a more prominent role in addressing teachers’ concerns and frustrations.

The Schooling in America survey also shows that public school teachers appear to agree with parents and the public in that they want to keep matters as local as possible when it comes to accountability. Rather than imposition from the federal government, the local level, or even the state level, are better at providing proper oversight.

As a corollary—and far from surprising—more than half of teachers think too much time is spent on standardized testing.

When we launched this survey at an event in Washington, panelist George Parker, a 30-year D.C. public school teacher and a former president of the Washington Teachers’ Union, said he wasn’t surprised that public school teachers were feeling put-upon. He said teachers aren’t feeling empowered, decisions are being made for them, and they feel like they are being used as a scapegoat for the failures of school systems.

Parker is right. Teachers are in an intensive profession that requires significant emotional investment, content knowledge, classroom management, among other attributes – all in the hopes of educating our children. Public district school teachers alone are responsible for more than 80 percent of all school-age children in the United States. We should do all that we can to focus their energy in the classroom and boost their morale for the profession, which at its best is a vocation. Boosting their pay, reducing administrative rules and burdens and localizing accountability are all ways to begin addressing their concerns.


1 comment:

Board Result said...

Proximity to stakeholders appears to matter, and teachers start by looking locally when they want to address the issues making them dissatisfied with their profession.

PEC 8th Class Date Sheet 2019