In 2007, the Pinellas County, Florida School Board abandoned integration, joining hundreds of US school districts in former Confederacy states that have resegregated
since 2000. The Board justified the vote with bold promises: Schools in poor, black neighborhoods would get more money, more staff, more resources -- none of which happened. This past August, the Tampa Bay Times
published an exposé, revealing how district leaders turned five once-average schools into Failure Factories. [more inside]
For the majority of white people, race is something that happens to other people. Whiteness is a default that needs no name — all deviations must be categorized and given a "race." If race is always something that happens to other people, how are you able to see the part you play in the system?
An essay by Ijeoma Oluo
) for Scenarios USA
. [more inside]
Tomorrow, is the 60th Anniversary
of the Supreme Court's decision
(pdf) in Brown v. Board of Education [more inside]
The most recent story in ProPublica's Living Apart: Examining America's Racial Divide
series is "Segregation Now
," which focuses on the Tuscaloosa, Alabama, city school district "and its fleeting experience with the challenges and virtues of integration." But beyond Tuscaloosa, "almost everywhere in the United States, the gains of integration have been eroded. And nowhere has that been more powerfully and disturbingly true than in the South – once home to both the worst of segregation and the greatest triumphs of integration. Freed from the federal oversight that produced integration, schools districts across the 11 former states of the Confederacy have effectively re-instituted segregation for large numbers of black students, in practical terms if not in law.
" [more inside]
Bill De Blasio blamed the lack of racial diversity in New York City's top high schools, such as Stuyvesant, on the standardized admissions test, and campaigned on ending it
. The New York Times has written pieces reminding of it
. But the parent of a biracial son attending Stuyvesant
has a different argument
: that the problem is not with the test, but with the substandard education system
that dominates much of New York City.
"By having these pathetic SHSAT results publicized year after year, it shines a light on just what an awful job inner city schools are doing educating those students who can’t afford to buy their way out of a broken system, either through private schools or private tutoring centers. If the specialized high schools’ racial balances were “fixed,” we might be tempted to consider the problems they expose 'fixed,' too."
I, Too, Am Harvard.
A photo campaign highlighting the faces and voices of black students at Harvard College. 63 students participated, sharing their experiences with ignorance and racism. "Our voices often go unheard on this campus, our experiences are devalued, our presence is questioned-- this project is our way of speaking back, of claiming this campus, of standing up to say: We are here. This place is ours. We, TOO, are Harvard." [more inside]
[Teach for America's] goals derive, in theory, from laudable—if misguided—impulses. But each, in practice, has demonstrated to be deeply problematic. TFA ... underwrites, intentionally or not, the conservative assumptions of the education reform movement: that teacher’s unions serve as barriers to quality education; that testing is the best way to assess quality education; that educating poor children is best done by institutionalizing them; that meritocracy is an end-in-itself; that social class is an unimportant variable in education reform; that education policy is best made by evading politics proper; and that faith in public school teachers is misplaced.
Teach for America's hidden curriculum
: neo-liberalism, union-busting, and the teacher as cultural tourist. [Via.]
. Two different accounts of bizarro things happening in USA schools. [via]
What's wrong with this teacher's comments?
A Pasadena HS teacher circulated a letter with his complaint that African American students at the school are the reason for bad behavior and low test scores. He's now suspended...rightly? More inside...hoping to keep this civil, too...(thanks to Jim Romenesko)
blacks tend to favor checks.
"African-Americans ... are more likely than other racial groups to favor profiling and stringent airport security checks for Arabs and Arab-Americans in the wake of this month's terrorist attacks, two separate polls indicate."
"The findings by the Gallup Organization and Zogby International were
met with varying degrees of disappointment and disbelief by black activists and intellectuals, who struggled with explanations."
Could it be that income and education are more related to racialist attitudes than race itself?
Boston area school divided
by its namesake... Students and principal call for Agassiz Elementry
to change its name, due to the racist evolutionary theory spun by the 19th century naturalist
. "Reading about Agassiz was so painful I had to step back for a while." [says the student
heralding the renaming effort]. A sample of Louis Agassiz's mindset "I experienced pity
at the sight of this degraded and degenerate race, and their lot inspired compassion in me in thinking that they were really men."
A new namesake has already been found-- Maria Baldwin
, first black principal of the school [and first to preside over an all-white school in the Northeast in 1889].
Should namesakes of public institutions have a "clean" record? Why did it take 126 years to mobilize a renaming effort?
Welcome back, state's rights.
As if Dubya's comments following his "ethnic" Cabinet appointments wasn't enough retrograde logic -- roughly: if blacks and hispanics (would only?) work hard and make the right choices in life -- he's now using language that has been used to mask agendas based on race from before the Civil War
through the fight against integration
. And it looks like that fight ain't over
, if you read "states rights" in today's context to mean the right to spend public funds on getting (primarily) white kids out of (primarily) black schools.