Friday, January 15, 2021

Wealth And Income Are Markers Of Behavior

... as are grades and test scores.

The Story

Suzy and Taniqua are in the 4th grade together at Lumumba-ANTIFA-Zapata-Intifada* Elementary School (LAZIES) in San Diego.

Suzy's mommy makes her read for 20 minutes every day, above and beyond her normal schoolwork. Suzy's mommy or daddy go to every back-to-school night, orientation night and never miss a parent-teacher conference. Her parents check her homework most nights and demand to see every test she gets back from the teacher. If she does poorly, there are consequences. Suzy's no braniac, but she does pretty well. Her average grade is a B+.

Taniqua's parents, true to the pattern observed by Dr. Ogbu in the Shaker Heights school system, do not make her read. They rarely go to meetings at school, and they don't check her homework or her tests. Taniqua's no dummy, but she does poorly. Her average grade is a C-.

The school board that oversees LAZIES observes these same results almost everywhere across the district. Their conclusion? Racism. Lots and lots of racism. Systemic racism which comes from a culture of white supremacy and patriarchalism**.

Wasting no time, the school board and administration teams from across the district swing into action! From now on, Taniqua won't have to turn in her homework or behave in class.

Academic grades will now focus on mastery of the material, not a yearly average, which board members say penalizes students who get a slow start, or who struggle at points throughout the year.

Another big change, teachers can no longer consider non-material factors when grading. Things like turning work in on time and classroom behavior will now instead count towards a student's citizenship grade, not their academic grade.

The students will also be given anti-racism training***. Suzy will be told that the reason Taniqua isn't doing well is that Suzy is full of hate. 

And Then What?

Kids are highly sensitive to unfairness directed at them. Yesterday, Suzy may have cheated her little brother, Billy, out of the last homosexual Oreo in the bag, but if she gets jobbed by mommy today when splitting the McDonald's fries with that little rat, Billy, she's going to let everyone know.

Just how long is Suzy going to take the blame for Taniqua's poor performance before she's seething with resentment?

Our daughter went to Catholic school until 8th grade and then transferred to a public high school. There, she met her first illiterate children and first encountered wildly inappropriate behavior in the classroom. It blew her little mind. She had the causes dialed in within a month, if not earlier.

Going back to our hypothetical Suzy, what will she think of the education industry after they scream at her for a year or two? 

To all the conservatives filled with rage over our public schools going full Julius Streicher, I say chill out. These things will take care of themselves.

Spend some time with the fishes over at ManateeCam. It's, like, totally Zen, man.

* - At my alma mater, UCSD, Third College was originally supposed to be called Lumumba-Zapata College. Yes, my college experience was like that.

** - Good Lord, "patriarchalism" is a word. I typed it in as a comical, pretend word and the darned thing is in the browser's dictionary! What a country!

*** - San Diego is insane, but Seattle is completely, frothing-at-the-mouth, howling-at-the-moon mad. Dig this list of racial resources on the Seattle Public Schools website. It is a stone-cold lock that their physics and biology resources lists are shorter.

Learn: Antiracism Resources

Seattle Public Schools' teacher librarians share titles for students in support of Black Lives Matter

  • Look, Listen and Learn TV: An early learning educational public access program showcasing Black and Indigenous people and people of color learning, teaching, and exploring.
  • Anti-Racist Resources from the Greater Good 
  • Dismantling Anti-Black Bias in Democratic Workplaces: A Toolkit 
  • Teaching Tolerance: Teaching About Race, Racism and Police Violence 
  • Anti-Racism Resources for White People 
  • Black Lives Matter at School Resources 
  • Teaching Tolerance: Let’s Talk Discussing Race, Racism and Other Difficult Topics with Students 
  • Seattle Public Libraries Race and Social Justice books for kids K-5 
  • New York Times An Antiracist Reading List 
  • Pretty Good: Your Kids Aren't Too Young to Talk About Race: Resource Roundup 
  • Anti-Defamation League: lessons, table talks, and books:
  • Anti-Defamation League: Table Talk George Floyd, Racism, and Law Enforcement 
  • Anti-Defamation League: Middle School Level lessons 
  • Race Conscious: 100 Race Conscious Things You Can Say to Your Child – Conversation Starters 
  • NPR: How White Parents Can Talk About Race 
  • Seattle Times: How to Teach Your Children About Racism in America: A resource for understanding the George Floyd protests 


IlĂ­on said...

=="To all the conservatives filled with rage over our public schools going full Julius Streicher, I say chill out. These things will take care of themselves."==

The most probable way that "These things will take care of themselves" is that as they grow up, Suzy comes more and more to blame *Taniqua* for the struggle sessions to which she was unjustly subjected, and Taniqua comes more and more to blame *Suzy* for her failure of a life.

And, that is, after all, the intended outcome.

Anonymous said...

Slightly off topic as this is related to antiracism but not schools.

I work for a company were the top management went all in on the BLM and antiracism ideology last year. For a while they were talking about Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. They may have dropped the Equity part by now. It sounded suspicious at the time.

We have a Chief Officer of Talent and Diversity. She sent an MLK-day related email today. It had a link to an article about Martin Luther King writing the Letter from Birmingham Jail, encouragement to do volunteer work on MLK day and related links and finally a link to the D&I internal site -- their abbreviation not mine.

This seems like so much BS. As far as I can tell, most of the staff at the U.S. HQ are white -- especially in sales and marketing. We have a large contingent of people of color among the technical staff but they're not the right kind -- they are Indians. A lot of the management heirarchy up to an including the CITO are Indian. There is also a company office in India with a large offshoring staff. It's like a full-employment-for-Indians policy. The company is in the top 20 for Visa sponsorship in the city -- punching well above its weight compared to the consulting companies packing the list.

The CEO committed last year to hiring blacks to some small percentage of management jobs -- i.e. jobs where they can't do any damage. I believe Microsoft and others did something similar. How is that going to work out if there isn't a sufficient supply of the correctly hued talent? Will starting salaries rise to attract more?

Anonymous said...

Slightly more on topic by the same anon.

The community college I attended decades ago sends me news letters for some reason. A recent edition had a story about a black man who now works at Linked In.

The story said that when he was in high school he thought he would go to college to study graphic design and play basketball. Unfortunately for him, when he graduated from high school his reading ability was at the third grade level due to undiagnosed dyslexia. Consequently he couldn't go to college as expected.

The rest of the story is about how he got help from the community college, learned to read, etc, etc. He eventually got a college degree from a university in the same town.

The obvious question is: how was his disability not caught and corrected in twelve years of schooling.

One Brow said...

KT Cat,

Here's what I read:
In his new book, "Black American Students in an Affluent Suburb: A Study of Academic Disengagement," researcher John Ogbu concluded that, unlike many white parents, many black parents do not stress homework, attend teacher conferences or encourage advanced placement classes.

Ogbu also blamed mistrust of schools by blacks, discrimination, lower teacher expectations of black students and a lack of black role models who have excelled academically.

Part of the issue is that Taniqua is *already* being held to lower standards and is subject to discrimination.

Also, I didn't see any consideration for the number of hours the parents needed to work. Black people need to work harder to have the same earning as white people, because of the way systemic racism affects how others see their work.