Integrating by affluence

Some school districts are trying to achieve economic diversity in school assignments, reports USA Today. Instead of looking at race, they try to balance enrollment by family income, often using eligibility for a free federal lunch as the criteria.

The trend has been fueled by court rulings that limit race-based student assignment and research that suggests all children learn better when they’re in classrooms with more well-to-do peers.

Middle-class parents aren’t keen on having their children bused to low-income neighborhoods, regardless of the race or ethnicity of the poor.

About Joanne

Comments

  1. Walter E. Wallis says:

    Why not just take what they get and teach them?

  2. mike from oregon says:

    In this liberal, tree-hugging state of mine to declare that you don’t want your kids bused to a low-income neighborhood counts as racist. It’s not, of course, it’s just that you want your child to have the best education possible and you’d rather the kid didn’t have to spend an extra hour or two each day getting to and from school. In my liberal dominated area, makes no difference, you just must be a racist.

    Wonder why I’m looking forward to moving?

  3. Walter E. Wallis wrote:

    Why not just take what they get and teach them?

    Because that’s not the purpose of the public education system. That’s just its stated purpose. Mike’s edging up on one of the purposes of the public education system and it isn’t education.

    Mike, the reason your kids have to be dragged around the countryside is to validate the anti-racism credentials of people who had the misfortune to be born too late to take part in the Civil Rights era or they could have been involved but it was just awfully inconvenient.

    So they do the next, best thing.

    They hunt down and expose every last vestige of racism, even if it exists nowhere but their owned fevered imaginations, and take whatever actions are within their power regardless of the consequences to anyone but themselves.

  4. Many of our inner cities are segregated as a matter of de facto segregation, and not de jure segregation. That being said, perhaps we need to take a lesson from the education received by Blacks before integration. Many of the United State’s best and brightest Black Americans came from segregated schools, Thurgood Marshall and MLK, to name two. While I am in no way endorsing Jim Crow, ( I am Black, BTW), there was something that occured in those segregated schools that integration has not come even close to achieving for Black youth: a strong sense of racial pride, and the high level of importance placed on high academic achievement. Those Black teachers demanded the best, and got the best, for they would accept nothing less, and would praise the kids when they deserved it, and would kick their butts when they messed up or acted up.That doesn’t happen anymore. The segregated schools were also an extension of the Black home, and mimicked the mores and folkways of the Black home. My parents, who grew up in the South and were educated in segregated schools, speak very proudly of their education,and of the academic and social training they received.

  5. superdestroyer says:

    I keep wondering when some enterprising young reporter will investigate who actually gets put on the bus for “the social good” and who gets the benefit of staying the local school.

    My guess is that the children of school board members, school administrators, or teachers are never assigned to a school in a “bad” neighborhood in order to achieve diverstiy.

    I would also speculate that many of those assigned outisde of their neighbhorhood are either newcomers to the area or the poorest segment or any particular neighborhood.

    Many politicians may want to establish their “anti-racism” credentials but they never use their own children to establish those credentials.

  6. This was already done in China during the Cultural Revolution. If a kid got a rich person designation, not because the child was rich but because the parents were, then he had to make much higher test scores to get accepted into various schools. The reasoning was that the poor didn’t have the same opportunities to study and learn and this was “social” justice.

  7. Well of course they’re not segregated as a matter of law. Brown v. Topeka jerked the legal rug out from under that practice in 1954 and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 drove the last nails in the coffin of de jure segregation. Legal segregation isn’t the issue. It’s the extent to which race can be noticed for any purpose by a governmental entity.

    The Forced Bussing Redux crowd, inasmuch as they don’t have a lick of evidence to point to to support their favorable view of de jure racial balance policies, obviously can’t favor those policies because of the evidence of their value to society and/or education. Therefor the reason for vigorously supporting and defending the policies lies elsewhere.

    Miss Profe wrote:

    Many of the United State’s best and brightest Black Americans came from segregated schools, Thurgood Marshall and MLK, to name two.

    It’s not like there were many racially-integrated high schools in the era that Thurgood Marshall and Martin Luther King Jr. went to high school so they could hardly have come from anywhere else. And while there were certainly some excellent black high schools, Dr. Thomas Sowell writes about one such, I don’t know of any information that suggests that was the rule.

    While I am in no way endorsing Jim Crow, ( I am Black, BTW), there was something that occurred in those segregated schools that integration has not come even close to achieving for Black youth: a strong sense of racial pride, and the high level of importance placed on high academic achievement.

    Nice job of mixing disparate ideas for purposes of muddling them and yes, you are endorsing Jim Crow laws. A strong sense of racial pride is the necessary precursor to Jim Crow laws since it sets the stage for the false dichotomy upon which race-based law is built. Be as proud as you want about the color of your skin or the country grandma and grandpa ran from but let’s be clear that once that pride goes beyond wearing silly hats and getting loaded once a year the notion that “all men are created equal” starts to erode.

    The importance placed on academic achievement is clearly not a function of pride in racial identity. Otherwise being a skinhead would be evidence of intelligence rather then the opposite. If anything, academic achievement is rather more likely to be a function of pride in academic achievement. After all, being born in a certain place, or from a certain set of parents is hardly an achievement and taking pride in such is equating a roll of the dice with an accomplishment.

    Those Black teachers demanded the best, and got the best, for they would accept nothing less, and would praise the kids when they deserved it, and would kick their butts when they messed up or acted up.

    While that’s all certainly true the focus is artificially narrow.

    The black principal also demanded the best and had a swift, sure response to anything less whether it was a student who wasn’t doing what they should be or a teacher. And the parents, having made the decision to enroll their kids in the toughest school in town, weren’t likely to roll over for a teacher or a principal who didn’t share their goals. There being effectively nowhere else to send their kids if a good education was what they were after, I’d be pretty surprised if those parents would sit still to be saddled by a dud of a teacher or principal who met the requirements of the board of education but not theirs.

  8. Allan, If you want to disagree with me, fine. Just don’t disparage who I am. BTW: My grandparents remained in the South- their entire lives.

    The point that I was trying to make by using the example of segregated schools is that instead of shuffling children around, just teach who is in the school, and make educational experience the best it can be for the children who are there.

  9. We started out homeschooling our son in a low income neighborhood but it gentrified around us. The problem with bulk education in a low-income environment is that many of the students don’t value education, and there is nothing more detrimental to learning than that.

  10. wayne martin says:

    > Fourth-grade students, regardless of wealth, scored higher on
    > national math tests in 2005 in schools where poverty rates
    > were low, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

    There are several predictor variables that need to be carried as a group: parents’ education, parents’ income, “teacher quality”, cost-per-student in order to get a sense that testable results show high correlation to each of these variables. So much so, that it’s difficult to make sine-qua-non kinds of claims about educational performance using only one variable.

    > School districts in San Francisco and Cambridge, Mass.,
    > which employed race to diversify schools, now use poverty
    > as one of several factors. Other cities, such as Burlington, Vt.,
    > that assign students to neighborhood schools, are exploring
    > the idea as well.

    That will certainly made the claim that high performing local schools increase the value of homes located near those schools. Paying a “premium” for your home, only to have your child sent to a low performing school because of your income levels is probably going to raise the ire of a lot of middle class folks.

    > Some black leaders say a wealth-based system ignores the racial
    > discrimination and inequality remaining from decades of segregation.

    Time to get some new “black leaders”. This kind of rhetoric brings nothing to the table.

    > “Being poor is still not the same experience as being poor and
    > black in this country. Poor white people are not isolated in
    > poverty. Poor white people can blend in,” he said. “When black
    > and brown people are isolated in poverty, they’re outside the
    > mainstream of opportunity.”

    Hmm .. most of the people who live “in poverty” in the US are white (or not Black). Communities in the Rust Belt, that have seen their early 20th Century industrial base exit because of rapacious Labor Unions are mostly White. Living in some backwater Rust Belt town isn’t isolation? Again, time for some new Black leaders who can deal with the changing economics and issues of a globalizing world.

  11. Miss Profe wrote:

    Allan, If you want to disagree with me, fine. Just don’t disparage who I am. BTW: My grandparents remained in the South- their entire lives.

    I reread my entire post and, other then disagreeing with you, forceful to be sure but this is a sensitive issue with me, I don’t believe I disparaged you. You could quote the passage you found to be a personal disparagement as a means of clarification.

    The point that I was trying to make by using the example of segregated schools is that instead of shuffling children around, just teach who is in the school, and make educational experience the best it can be for the children who are there.

    Oh, I understand that but the demand ignores the sensibilities that supporters use to justify forced busing and the realities that mitigate against educational excellence.

    The lousy education quite a few black kids get isn’t occurring by accident although there’s no calculation involved either. There are a set of circumstances that make any other outcome unlikely – not impossible but difficult to initiate and impossible to propagate – and a failure to understand those circumstances means that all the good intentions and hard work in the world will be for nothing.

    Forced busing, racial balance, affirmative action and the diversity meme are among those circumstances. They all sap the resources of the system and the beneficial effects while loudly trumpeted are without proof or demonstration. The educational benefits are assumed and their failure to show considered unimportant. Education is secondary to racial politics in these situations which means that if education suffers, there are more important considerations. We can “just educate” the kids but only after racial politics considerations are satisfied.

    It’s my feeling that one of the reasons that the real education alternatives finally starting to hit their stride have such a hold on the imaginations of blacks in America (80% of black Americans between 20 and 35 years of age support education alternatives) is because of the realization that no one is going worry about their children’s welfare as much as their own parents and anything that forces parents to relinquish control over their children’s lives is guilty of child endangerment until proven innocent. The public education system does just that and the realization that the public education system has abrogated its duty to those children is causing a withdrawal of public trust, particularly among black parents.

  12. wayne martin says:

    > .. that supporters use to justify forced busing
    > and the realities that mitigate against
    > educational excellence.

    This opens the door to the fact that the Court System has been involved in this matter of failed education delivery for Black children. The Courts agreed with the supporters of these ideas, or came up with these ideas on their own. There is no feedback loop in the Court system that monitors the results of Court-order actions. True, with enough money, the matter might be re-considered by the Court, but the possibility of failure as a result of a Court-ordered solution is rare. A reformation of the education system in the US would want to find a way to avoid the Courts in order to deal with education failure for subgroups.