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January 17, 2011

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I went to one of those excellent Wake County magnet high schools, and it's really sad to see what's happening.

For America to remain great, just and competative with the remaining industrialized nations in the 21st century, these educational anomalies must be timely addressed and corrected adequately. Majority of these high school dropouts do not go back to finish their high school diploma through the alternative avenues provided by the state governments, such as the GED Program. These dropouts are likely to live below the poverty line throughout their life, may have to fully depend of the government welfare system for life that is funded by the taxpayers, or may likely end up in the prison systems periodically or for a lifetime.

Why is it assumed that nominal diversity makes for a richer learning environment? I would think that excellent teachers and classroom discipline would be a better solution. To that end, it would be better to stop wasting money on smartboards and give that money to teachers, which would encourage them to stay. Also, enabling teachers to have more disciplinary tools at their disposal would encourage them to stay at poorer schools.

could be viewed through the lens of geography and not race. and that would be non-racist. and teach us something about income distribution, belief, attitudes, and be far more nuanced.

and by the way, we need a system that separates the best and brightest and sends them into leadership roles, ala singapore, china, or any other country that is kicking our behind.

maybe you should visit some of the schools in District 75 in NYC where they stick special needs kids on the 5th floor of a general ed school and where simply walking up the steps to get to homeroom can take over two hours. Maybe you should think about flushing out the teachers union that is filled with "i just wanna collect my check and not complain about anything" type of teachers. Maybe you should have metal detectors at all the schools and ban cell phones inside classrooms so kids can't deal drugs in math class or threaten teachers with pipes, guns and gang violence. Maybe NYC teaching fellows some with absolutely ZERO experience in any type of classroom should not be left with autistic childrens whose needs far exceed those of the capabilities of a two year training program. Maybe all these schools should revolt the way MLK did. Stand up, walk out, and not settle for a busted,broken,corrupted system. Maybe, just maybe then an inner city kid will have a chance at learning something other than just how to survive and get to the next grade.

Golly, that couldn't possibly be that blacks tend to live in black neighborhoods, Hispanics tend to live in Hispanic neighborhood, and whites tend to live in white neighborhoods.

Our first try at busing blacks and Hispanics to white schools didn't work. Maybe we should start busing white kids to predominately black and Hispanic schools. That would raise the average I.Q. and income level in those schools and solve the problem in a heartbeat.

I thought you'd like to know that I decided to post your article/blog post on metafilter: http://www.metafilter.com/99595/little-black-boys-and-black-girls-will-be-able-to-join-hands-with-little-white-boys-and-white-girls-as-sisters-and-brothers

Once the comments get flowing, it should be interesting to watch, cheers and thanks for the information, sad/interesting.

Probably more to do with economics and the neighbourhoods groups tend to live in

really more segrated lets think back then 100% of blacks attended all black schools and now thats down to 33% thats a remarkable decrease you can't base an argument solely on statistics because they are easily manipulated as i just showed i used the same statisic she did and used in a good way versus how she used in a negative light

How about we focus on programs that produce results? Three MD school districts tried a math program (Singapore) not supported by the state. After trying for one year, or two, minority children improved dramatically. Rather than back it the state forced the local districts to self-fund. As a result, the districts stopped.

Maybe schools should focus on the basics, and stop being used as a social science project.

I would rather say it is not a race issue. Rather than that, it is a the way of critical thinking that is taught either in white schools and minority's schools. I think in America, teachers are trained to emphasize better its educational potential on white students than black's and latino's. Maybe, it may be due to that white's "are likely more interested" in learning, getting better, or being more competitive than black and latino's. What I think, this is a way to stimulate a kind of belief of superiority at what minorities don't have choice seen their behaviors and rare accomplishment exceptions.
In conclusion, more than "race issue" is a problem of "culture" and the "weak" or "unwilling" of U.S. Government in correcting it.
Given the plurality of US society, the best advice to Obama administration would be to start opening up and democratizing even more the knowledge and encouraging to minority's students to be competitive and have the same opportunities than white and richest classes. Just like that America will keep being the most competitive nation on face to other industrialized countries.

Seems like your comparing class and trying to make it about race, when in reality all races suffer based on class. Poor is poor whether black, white, latino or asian.

It is not worse now than then. Then you had no choice. Now any majority student can go to a school where his race is a minority. Better yet, universities are full of minorities that would have had no chance for a higher education in the fifties. BTW, the president is an educated black man. How do you think that happene, magic beans?

"...those poor students who attended the lowest-poverty schools had significantly better academic outcomes than demographically similar poor students--also living in randomly-assigned Montgomery County public housing--who attended schools that served a greater percentage of poor kids."

If you've ever been in a "high poverty" school, at least one in the inner city (I'm ignorant of high-poverty rural schools), you know that this is effectively a foregone conclusion. Moving a child to a school in which his or her classes are not constantly disrupted by other students, and in which disciplinary enforcement actually takes place, would presumably result in improved outcomes regardless of measures of poverty.

Factors like this aren't even considered in the Schwartz study. Now granted, every study has its weaknesses, but attributing improvement to one characteristic of the intervention (attendance at low-poverty schools - though I note that Schwartz seems to want to attribute some of the effect to living in low-poverty neighborhoods) while ignoring other factors is not strongly justified.

Now, if you just want to see the Montgomery County model copied because you like the idea, then you can just say "this seems to work, who cares why, everyone should do it (and forget the cost)". But if you are interested in improving outcomes for students as efficiently (and hence as sustainably and broadly) as possible, you might not be satisfied with this.

One other thing, though - it would be nice for Schwartz to have assessed any impact on the students who are not in public housing. Were their outcomes impacted positively, negatively, or not at all to the limits of the study?

That's why I also refered to "White and Richest classes". Even though, you're right in part of your argument: "Poor is poor whether black, white, latino or asian." The key issue is that this (I would call) "superiority-thinking-way," remains in American mentality even over the own damned's, and I think is the problem to get over because at the end all are a only nation.

That's why I also refered to "White and Richest classes". Even though, you're right in part of your argument: "Poor is poor whether black, white, latino or asian." The key issue is that this (I would call) "superiority-thinking-way," remains in American mentality even over the own damned's, and I think is the problem to get over because at the end all are a only nation.

Liberals want equality in everything. They want EVERYBODY to be stupid. B/c if ur stupid, they can make you into a victim, which in turn makes you reliant on the federal goverernment. And this makes the liberals feel good about themselves that they have done something in the world.

@Simon Grey

The collapse of that "nominal diversity" has serious implications for funding and teacher quality.

"When another North Carolina school district, Charlotte-Mecklenburg, ended its 30-year busing program in 2000 and reverted back to racially segregated schools, the highest-performing teachers fled schools that became predominantly black and poor."

Note that one outcome of the Montgomery County policy has been a significant increase in drug use in the "high-performing" schools involved (because the demand was there, and now a supply route was there too).

Whether this is an acceptable tradeoff is an interesting question.

Uhm. What about the parents who pay $12,000 per year in property taxes (of which 86% goes towards the school district)? Is it fair that children whos parents only pay $1,000 in property taxes get bussed in and get to take advantage of the greater resources available there?

I agree with that there is increased segregation. This is important. On this note: high quality schools are the answer. Not what the author advocates about just shifting a few children.

Education was suppose to be the great equalizer, but then you have people like Phil, who still want to keep the poor, poor.
Property taxes has always been a poor way to fund schools.

Now public schools are being dismantled one test at a time with the scapegoating of schools and deprofessionalization of teachers.

It's all about creating magnets and charters to further separate the high achieving students and make all public schools warehouses for the poor.

Now public schools are being dismantled one test at a time with the scapegoating of schools and deprofessionalization of teachers.

It's all about creating magnets and charters to further seperate the high acheiving students and make all public schools warehouses for the poor.

MLK would not be happy on his birthday.

Wow. I never said that I wanted to keep the poor in the condition they find themselves. But at the same time I can barely afford the taxes for MY OWN children to go to a good school district, let alone worry about somone elses. Maybe you'd like to pony up and rent some houses out for the less fortunate and contribute to the costs of better education for them?

I agree that funding public schools with property taxes is far from ideal. But until that changes, I'm against it with every fiber of my being.

My wife and I used to live in Trenton, NJ. We saved our money for over five years just to be able to afford a down payment on a house in an area with a better school district. We waited to have children until we could afford to give them the type of education we wanted for them. Maybe some of the poor you speak of should exercise the same discipline and restraint that we did. We're far from rich, and maybe, just maybe, could be considered middle class. We come from humble backgrounds in urban areas with little means. If we managed so can others.

This has nothing to do with keeping poor people down, but has everything to do with fairness, you know, equality?

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the highest-performing teachers fled schools that became predominantly black and poor.


Ask yourself why that is.....

"First, we need to fight poverty and economic inequality broadly. But while we do that, we also need to use every tool at our disposal--meaning both housing and education law and policy--to diversify our existing neighborhoods and schools."

We've spent Trillions attempting just that over the last 50 years....hasn't worked.

I found these numbers a little unbelievable so I did a quick web search on "Children Under 18 Living in Poverty" and got the following link: http://npc.umich.edu/poverty/

In 2008, 21% of children live below the poverty line. 35% of black children and 33% of Hispanic children live below the poverty line. So my question is who are the children that black children are going to school with that would leave them with 59% of the kids being poor? It doesn't seem to me that it would be black or Hispanic children. Unless this is some kind of averages of percentages without proper weighting effect.

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