Do you think that race is a factor in education in the U.S.

by recovering 70 Replies latest social current

  • GrreatTeacher

    To the extent that minorities are more likely to be of lower socioeconomic status, and that society largely self-sorts itself into neighborhoods based on socioeconomic status, and that public schools are largely funded locally in the US, and that lower funding in more needy schools leads to poorer outcomes, then, yes, maybe...

    A bigger problem is that my students in a (violent) big city come to school less often (high absentee rates), come to school tired (less parental oversight to enforce bedtimes), come to school preoccupied with parents being in jail, come to school with less parental involvement in the education process and parents who sometimes don't care about grades at all, come to school and fight or throw gang signs or do other violent activities that undermine the educational environment.

    None of these things I can change. We call this being " unavailable for learning."

    What I could do was move out of that area and into a nice suburban area and send my child to a school with children who are rarely absent, have parents that enforce bedtimes so students are alert, parents who volunteer in the classrooms, care about grades and make sure their kids are not out on the streets joining gangs, and are most assuredly not in jail. Unsurprisingly, these schools have a better educational environment and higher achievement.

    People self-segregate by socioeconomic status. People tend to live in the nicest neighborhood that they can afford. Public schools are community schools, so they reflect the surrounding community. In fact, great public schools can increase real estate values, self-reinforcing the trend.

    What I wish people knew about teaching is that teachers in good schools work half as hard as teachers in poor schools. I work 10 hour days to try to make up for the conditions I described at the outset. Some students I connect with and they are success stories. I feel good that I've made a difference. But, I can't follow students home, make them do their homework, put them in bed at a reasonable hour and make sure they stay off the streets. I only have these students for 6 hours out of 24. It's no surprise, then, that their achievement is lower! It's frustrating to work twice as hard for lesser results, and this is, in fact, why there is such turnover, especially in lower-performing schools. My district micromanages the exact lessons that teachers use, almost down to the words to say. Achievement is fine with those lessons in relatively prosperous schools, but in poor "bad" schools, those same lessons do not produce the same results. Surprise! It's not the lessons!

  • Simon
    Can you see how segregating of those 5 children out of a diverse class can limit the educational experience of all the children in the school?What of the children who are nonminorities? Can you see how not being exposed can limit their understanding of minority culture and viewpoints? Would not integrated classes allow for better understanding of each other among all pupils?

    The dictionary definition of segregation is to divide or separate. If they were being put into a completely separate class of just those 5 children then yes, that would be divisive. But if it's just grouping them together so they will be happier and less isolated, then no - nothing wrong with it and it's not really segregation. They are still integrated with the rest of the class even though they may be together as a group within that class.

    If a family of 5 board a plane and want to be sat together, do you think that is segregation?

    It doesn't need to be based on race, it could be 5 German-speaking kids - they would probably like to be put within the same class wouldn't you think? The rules for small groups can be different to those for the population as a whole. Stop trying to resurrect race issues for every little thing.

    They are also not props to be provided to the other kids to have some 'minority education experience' with. All that matters to how they are treated is what is best for them, not the other kids. If they were unhappy about it, they could complain. But virtue-signalling celebrities aren't worth paying much attention IMO.

  • MeanMrMustard
    I think we all agree that education is the key to combating poverty and crime.

    It will help. What would help more is an intact family structure.

  • recovering

    Great teacher , I find what you say very interesting. It would seem that poorly educated children grow up to have poorly educated children due to economics. In other words if you do not have education success it is far less likely for your career to afford you the opportunity to get out of deprived neighborhoods. Hence, your children will not get the best education possible. You say they are tired, unprepared, and preoccupied. How do we change this vicious cycle? I am not convinced throwing money at the problem will remedy it. I have some teaching experience, but it was limited to the graduate level with very motivated students. I am curious how you would solve the inequality of the educational experience. You have far more expertise in the education of children.

  • Simon
    It would seem that poorly educated children grow up to have poorly educated children due to economics. In other words if you do not have education success it is far less likely for your career to afford you the opportunity to get out of deprived neighborhoods.

    In the UK the system used to be that kids would take their eleven-plus and, if they were smart, they could get to go to the prestigious grammar schools where they could excel and the state would pay. People were put to the stream they were most suited to.

    A succession of left-wing labor governments ensured this "unfairness" was abolished so that now, everyone is given the same lack of opportunity unless they are rich.

    Was that progress? Doesn't seem like it.

    As long as you have good school options there's no reason that a child of uneducated parents can't receive a great education. Evidence of this are the asian community - many first generation came to the US with nothing and their kids now excel. It comes down to having school choices and the right outlook. Communities that discourage education will struggle to pull themselves up because of it. People don't thrive in those communities, they can only escape from them.

  • GrreatTeacher

    Recovering, I don't know! And that's the frustrating part!

    The only thing that keeps these schools functioning at all is the extra Title I money that provides for some equalizing and stabilizing. It provides breakfast for students. It provides extra staff for things like alternate learning areas for students who are disturbed so they don't affect the rest of the classroom. It provides extra teachers for smaller class sizes so the teacher has more time for personal (read remedial) help for each individual student. It can provide money for things like security cameras for safety. It can provide after school programs for homework help and mentoring. It can buy only what money can buy, which is a lot, but it's not enough!

    If my students could go home to a stable family, with parents not in jail, with dinner and bedtime on a schedule, with a bath every night, with parents reading to them nightly, with help with homework and monitoring of grades, with supervision that doesn't allow for involvement in gangs or neighborhood feuds, and with modeling of problem solving achieved without use of fists or other violence, achievement would shoot straight up!

    Do you also know how many of the parents from my school don't know this recipe for success? Is it our job to teach them? Would they listen? Could they? Or are they too mired in their own problems to be able to respond?

    What they will do is show up for the Halloween parade, even if they won't for parent conferences. They will find money for school pictures, but not for field trips. They will buy the class birthday cupcakes, but not school supplies for their child. Those are their values, those things are worth the time, money and effort to them.

    It's so frustrating!

  • recovering

    I admittedly have trouble relating to the problems of inner city schools. I was raised in a relatively affluent community in a area where schools where top notch. The school system I attended even had it's own broadcast tv station way back in the 70's. My only educational handicap was being the child of Jehovah's witnesses. My own children where raised in a suburban area with good schools. It sounds to me like it is not so much underfunded schools it is distracted , unprepared and unsupported students. I was looking at New York expenditure per pupil. It is the highest in the country. unsurprisingly they scored third in student performance. However the correlation between how much is spent per pupil is not directly correlated with student achievement. Look at Alaska they spend the third highest of any state per pupil. Student achievement in Alaska ranks 4th worst of any state.

  • Simon
    I was raised in a relatively affluent community in a area where schools where top notch.

    Thank god you manage to hide your privilege so well.

    However the correlation between how much is spent per pupil is not a directly correlated with student achievement

    In some cases it's almost inverse, for reasons I pointed out some pages ago. Government spending is no guarantee of positive results for anything from education to healthcare.

  • GrreatTeacher

    Simon, it's worse than communities that don't support education; it's communities that think they support education because they've registered their kid and they get there most of the time. But, they have no idea what supportive parenting is. They think it's okay to put sugar water in bottles, they don't realize that young kids need 10 hours of sleep, they think it's okay to scream at and slap small babies for crying, they see no need for regular bed times, no need for regular baths, no need for a clean unhoarded home so their child doesn't go to school reeking of cat urine, see no need to take a young girl to the doctor who is having yeast infection symptoms, no need to make sure of clean, nonbinding pants, no need to warn their daughter about menstruation before it starts, leaving the shocked girl, teacher, nurse and guidance counselor to deal with her education about that, no need to buy sanitary products because the school will, so their child has to ask to go to the nurse multiple times a day. They see no need to hold good grades up ad an expectation, therefore no need to follow them, no need to teach children to be tidy, hang up coats, put clean clothes in dressers, and organize important papers where they can be eadily reached. They don't know that aftet their child was found bullying another child over social media, that they should take that phone away as consequence. They don't realize that they should keep their kid from running around the neighborhood while gangs were present. And they certainly don't know that after being threatened with violence, the wrong thing to do is to get up in somebody's face and hit them. They don't even know that they should take time to communicate with their children and build a relationship, read to them at bedtime, have their children read to them, help them work on remembering multiplication facts, help them work on school projects.

    Some of them don't even find it important enough to wake up and get their kid to school. Yeah, what do you do about that one? The ten year old then steps up to get hetself and her younger sistet to school while Mommy snoozes on.

    Good lord it's amazing what they don't know. And terrifying.

  • recovering

    Simon you just love to get a nasty comment in. Oh well I guess that is your nature lol

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