Oct 28, 2009

more thoughts on the achievement gap

Of course, by closing the achievement gap, we aren't saying that all students have to score the same, or that we have to hold our brightest students back.

What we are saying is that we have to find a way to make sure that we are not imposing glass ceilings on students. When we look at the data and we see that African American and other minority students score two standard deviations below middle-class Caucasian students, we have to see something other than just bright students scoring well. We have to see a system of ingrained racism. We have to find a solution.

But, that solution also cannot come at the expense of holding bright students back.


  1. So you believe that white teachers are marking as wrong correct answers on black students' tests?

    So you believe that black students sitting next to white students are being made to learn less because of something the teacher or the white students are doing to them?

    Please. You have to be kidding.

    Did you know that black students taught by black teachers do more poorly, on average, than black students taught be white teachers? There is racism, but it isn't from some manufactured continuing oppression. It's from the black class identity, as vicious and dangerous as any lower class identities in countries such as Britain with firmer social caste systems. It's not the white students dragging down the black students. It's the other black students wanting to make sure that no one else breaks caste--that they don't "act white" or turn Oreo. It's not the white teachers keeping down the back students. Black teachers, with their "poor-baby" attitudes and their "here, let's give you an A" charity do a hundred times more harm that the worst bigot who actually teaches the material.

    The low-class black caste even keeps down black IQs. From within a culture, IQ tests measure individual intelligence well. Between cultures, there's a strong indication that it measures how oriented a culture is toward the kind of problem solving that translates into marketable skills today. The IQ gap between black and white students is very real and is not due from test bias, but it's cultural, not genetic. Your average mildly mentally retarded white student is impaired in all areas of life and usually has an identifiable disorder. Your average mildly mentally retarded black student is "only mentally retarded at school"--that is, he is unable to be taught to perform on or near grade level, but he can make decisions for himself and doesn't have obvious impairments to outsiders. If he'd been born into white culture, chances are he'd just be a mediocre mainstreamed student. But his culture has made him stupid even though he was born without any particular impairment. Low-caste black culture rejects academics and success, locking its members into a cycle of failure and poverty.

    The only way out of this cycle is a message of personal responsibility, to be embraced by both students and teachers. "If it is to be, then it is up to me." By looking to "level the playing field," you're already falling into the trap of soft bigotry that will keep further generations of men and women caught in a culture of failure--of deliberately opting out from all that the country offers.

  2. My school system has collected data over the last few years regarding the achievement gap and race. They have identified race to be the main cause for the achievement gap. Poverty, involvement, etc were all ruled out. My system has implemented a program called Goal 6 for each school.

    Goal 6 is designed to close the achievement gap by opening the eyes of teachers to racism in schools. Not to accuse anyone of being a racist, but to simply open educator's eyes to the unknown regarding race and schools. We have been doing this for the past two years and have seen improvements already.


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