Monday, November 20, 2006

No Child Left Behind

This double posting is courtesy of the article that I just read:
No Child Left Behind

I found this article particularly disturbing. Especially because I know that people may come to the conclusion that Black students are inferior to Asian and White students based on sheer numbers. That is a misconception that it has taken many years to disprove. There was a time at the turn of the twentieth century where we were thought to have smaller brains. I suppose those who are looking for justifications based on numbers surely have ammunition if they incorrectly analyze the data.

I have many friends that are educators and they will back me up when I say that No Child Left Behind is flawed in it's logic. While the legislation's goal is to decrease the achievement gaps between whites and minorities based on tougher standards it is not taking into account why minorities are doing poorer on standardized exams. This blog isn't about making excuses. I would love it if ten years from now we could put W. on a pedestal (for one thing at least, LOL) and say that he took the first of many steps to address such issues. I'm not sure I'm confident that will be the case.

Instead I would like to ask to see numbers based on socio-economic level instead of on race. I would venture to say that minorities that are at similar socioeconomic levels with their white counterparts do as well in school. It's all about opportunities.

In the past fifty years we've seen Brown vs. Board of Education, Topeka Kansas (1954) strike down separate-but-equal institutions. We are in a country that some experts say is more segregated now than it has ever been. Has the quality of education improved? Not at all. Integration was supposed to bring about opportunities.

Why do you W. think that you can solve problems that we have been unable to resolve in 50 years in ten?

You want to see minorities do better in school? Then pump more money into their school systems. Even in New York we needed lawsuits to see City children get their money's worth. The children from the suburbs upstate were disproportionately rewarded with state funds while those in the city that really needed it weren't privy to it. There was speculation for years, but someone unveiled it. People like Mayor Bloomberg and Eliot Spitzer fought for the money. Now we'll see what that 1 billion dollars can do for us. Why were the children doing better upstate? They had more resources, of course.

If you are amongst the group that think minority students are inferior I'd like to invite you to A. Philip Randolph High School. It's nationally recognized. It's a public school. Over 94% of the students go on to college. It's an engineering/medical high school in Harlem. Students are recruited by every major college in the country. The standards are so high that we were told to apply to schools where our averages might be lower than the recommended guidelines. Because we went to Randolph of course. Because we had went to Randolph.

Show them the money and I'll show you results!

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