Searching for equity in all the wrong places

In response to the story about Berkeley High cutting extra science labs in the name of equity, Linda Seebach points out that the high school houses six component schools that let students “make different academic choices.”

Overall, more than 3,300 students are enrolled, ranging from the children of Berkeley faculty to low-income, minority students.

Enrollment this school year is 14 percent Latino, 26 percent African-American, 34 percent white, 16 percent in a category the district calls multi-ethnic, and approximately 8 percent in a variety of Asian groups.

A majority of students — and most whites — enroll in the academic program; the international school also is popular with whites. By contrast, “the Community Partnerships Academy, has 51 percent African-Americans and only 7 percent whites. Another, the School for Social Justice and Ecology, is 44 percent African-American and 20 percent white.”

These choices play out in the science classes as well. The AP science classes are only 10 percent African-American and 53 percent white, while the science classes without additional lab time almost exactly reverse the proportions, with 51 percent African-American and 9 percent white.

The small schools are separate and unequal in academic preparation. I wonder if the Social Justice and Community students understand that.

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  1. I wonder if the Social Justice and Community students understand that.

    I think it’s very likely they chose those schools because they weren’t as much academic load.

  2. Social justice and community isn’t interested in education, it’s about group grievances and political action. Think ACORN

  3. “We want to offer quality instruction, and this has a track record. Putting it into something we know nothing about is like taking money for blue chip stocks and buying lottery tickets”

    And buying lottery tickets is a cultural marker.


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