Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Perhaps Segregated Schools Are Just Fine

This maven rarely responds to comments that are posted in response to my opinions. I see no purpose in getting involved in debates with those who disagree with me. However, sometimes I need to respond when I think that my views are being misrepresented. In response to my post last Thursday, RPS Strategic Plan, What Is Obviously Missing, Anonymous wrote:

Exactly what are you saying with your comments on race and class? Are you saying that Black kids are not as smart as White kids? Are you saying that schools with a majority Black population are not as good as schools with a majority White population? As long as funding, teaching skills and salaries are the same and special needs are met, what difference does race and class make? So what if a school's population is 100 percent Black? So what if a school's population is 100 percent lower income? Thank goodness you weren't elected! We need to ask what are the real problems in underperforming schools? Is it teachers? Discipline? Outside support? Whatever they may be, we need to address those problems - not race and income.

First let me make it clear. I did not say nor do I believe for a second that African American children are not as intelligent as white children. Nor did I say that majority black schools are not as good as majority white schools.

As to the rest of the comment, Anonymous may be right that it doesn’t matter if schools are 100% black or 100% lower income. Perhaps the Supreme Court of the United States was wrong when it said, “We conclude that, in the field of public education, the doctrine of ‘separate but equal’ has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.” Perhaps people like Thurgood Marshall and Oliver Hill were wasting their time in trying to integrate the nation’s and the Commonwealth’s public schools. Perhaps those who are deeply concerned about the re-segregation of our public schools are worrying for nothing. Perhaps those who predict that a school system with more than 50% of its students receiving free or reduced lunches rarely succeeds are simply wrong. Maybe ethnically or economically public schools are just fine.

1 comment:

Emily Loose said...

I think that reducing the educational issue to simply a race or class problem is irresponsible. Often, children in predominantly poor schools are at risk for a multitude of reasons. Uneducated parents, lack of family support for education, lack of property tax levels needed to support school funding, exposure to higher crime rates and criminal activity. Integrating is not a class or race issue and doesn't truly address the problems. The SCHOOLS need to be addressed, the systems that allow teachers to continue collecting pay even if under-qualified or criminal (thanks teachers unions). Perhaps segregation is irrelevant in light of the varied other issues facing lower income school zones.