The Teacher's Desk

Sharing The Passion. Sharpening The Tools. Promoting Life Long Learning.

You’ve Been Had! (Racial Inequality Report)

This week Motoko Rich wrote a  piece for the New York Times entitled School Data Finds Pattern of Inequalities Among Racial Lines.  In it he shared the Department of Educations Comprehensive report from its Office for Civil Rights.  My purpose for this week’s post is not to discuss the findings.  Honestly, none of this information is new and should not come as a shock to any of us. The achievement gap and racial disparities has been par for the course in America’s” Equal Opportunity for All” age.

The comments provided by our “leaders in education ” trouble me the most .   Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said in a statement ,“In all, it is clear that the United States has a great distance to go to meet our goal of providing opportunities for every student to succeed,”.  This reporachievement gapt gave us some uncomfortable facts but his statement is so soothing isn’t it? It implies that our efforts just aren’t working.  While  on the other end of the spectrum you have Timothy Daly, president of the New Teacher Project, his commentary as it relates to teacher quality disparities was simply amazing, according to the New York Times , he says Folks who cannot teach effectively should not be working with low-income or African-American kids, period,” he said, adding that the problem was difficult to resolve because individual districts are allowed to make decisions on how to assign teachers to schools. He indoctrinates the naive by making you believe that nothing can be done about the hiring practices of districts, teacher assignments, and salaries.

Every year there are new initiatives, programs, symposiums, and books published that offer strategies and shares data of what works. The truth it is more profitable to allow all things to continue as they always have.  This is the normative order.  According to  Phillip Schlechty , ” the norms define the rules , roles, and relationships that govern behavior, and they also contain the beliefs, values, myths, lore patterns of preference and traditions that make up the culture of schools.”(2007)  My friends the problems of racial disparity are systemic and until preachments (the way things should be ) and practices become aligned we can expect 15 years from now a much worse report.   Have we forgotten A Nation at Risk report of 1983?

If you believe that issues of achievement and racial disparity in American education just can’t be fixed and nothing will work ;then my friend el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz ‘s (Malcom X) words were left here just for you “,You been had, you been took, you been hoodwinked, bamboozled, led astray, run amok .” Unless you and I stand up , speak up , and show up for our children things will continue as they always have.  We will continue to have a bone thrown out to us so that we can shake our fist and say I knew it, and they will always have a way to quell the outrage and continue business as normal. Office for Civil Rights


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