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Thread: An amusing situation dealing with racism:

  1. #1

    Default An amusing situation dealing with racism:

    In Richland Parish, Louisiana, Rayville Elementary School was graded as a failing school per the state's grading rubric for school quality. This policy specifies that students can leave their geographically-defined district in order to enroll in a better school nearby; I had the same option when I was in school, but I remained at my high school.

    An interesting scenario has cropped up here, however: per desegregation laws established in the 1960s, white students are not allowed to leave a school if transferring would cause the school to be considered "All Negro." This, in effect, has backfired. White students at this failing school are now being discriminated against; their race means that they are not allowed to leave this failing school.

    Link to a school letter with this notification.

    I find this situation very amusing in context, even though the implications for these students is quite serious.

    EDIT: Adding my two cents. I think this situation is going to be resolved quickly, considering it's a constitutional issue involving discrimination against a minority, but I don't think this is in any way hate-based. I think the school is simply following the legal precedent and giving parents very easy grounds to charge the school, which is how a case like this would have to be argued.
    Last edited by justhere; 01-Aug-2012 at 03:33.

  2. #2

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    Shouldn't they, like, fix that school? Seems more efficient that just shuffling kids around.

    Never understood why there seems to be such a wild variation of school quality within really small geographic areas in the US. I know that where I was at academically all the high schools where pretty much identical with the exception that the bigger school population wise had more course selection (that seems sensible, though). I know my school did have a stronger music program than the norm, but that's mostly because we had an absolutely amazing music teacher that fought tooth and nail for it. But overall pretty much every school has roughly the same quality of education. Not sure why it would be any different down in the States...

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Near
    Shouldn't they, like, fix that school? Seems more efficient that just shuffling kids around.
    Well, yes, they should. That's what programs like Teach for America, budget incentives, and changing the administration is for. It's doable, my school had a failing score the year before I started. When I left, my school was in the 80s, which wasn't a good score, but wasn't exactly miserable. Schools that consistently fail occasionally face being shut down.



    Quote Originally Posted by Near
    Never understood why there seems to be such a wild variation of school quality within really small geographic areas in the US.
    Taxes and local culture values on education. You have rich areas and poor areas. My school relies almost entirely on state and federal funding, with almost nothing coming from local taxes. The better-off neighborhoods can usually find ways to scoot around a geographic barrier to send their children to a better funded school, if that school isn't already in their geographic area. Some schools don't have a chance to begin with; poor towns with...shady economies that pay absolutely nothing in taxes, and have a low population, don't have much sway with educational funding, nor does the very culture of that town particularly care.

    There can be very subtle differences with educational qualities that artificially lower some performance scores. Until my Junior year, my high school had to account for both its students scores as well as the local redirectional center. So my school's average was very negatively impacted with just that. Then there's wide-ranging differences between classes and attitudes. If you were determined, you could take almost exclusively honors and dual enrollment classes at my school.

    Despite sharing the same building, the school could take on an entirely different tone just by you being in a class that genuinely cared. My school went all the way up to Calculus, which, while low among the competitive scales for the United States in geneeral, gave us a chance, not that I made it to Calculus.

    Now we have to think about the lower classes, the kids who barely stayed in school and graduated with low GPAs or didn't have the capability to handle a high-level class. I saw my fair share of each; I opted into some votech classes in order to learn some practical courses during high school since I was becoming very frustrated with sitting in a stuffy classroom for eight hours a day. I took drafting and welding, classes that enriched me and really opened my eyes to things I had never encountered before. At the same time, it was a bit disappointing to see my teachers in those classes have to deal with some students who were, frankly, ghetto. (A side note: Yes, let's put the kid from the ghetto near a welding machine that does 100F to 6,500F in under a seond.)



    Quote Originally Posted by Near
    I know my school did have a stronger music program than the norm, but that's mostly because we had an absolutely amazing music teacher that fought tooth and nail for it.
    Teaching really doesn't get the respect it deserves here, and lower budget schools often can't afford great teachers. Teach for America, which sends teaching graduates from high-tier universities (I had a teacher from Yale, and we used to have a Physics teacher who graduated MIT.) to low-opportunity schools, is supposed to help, but these teachers usually have no experience. Part of the reason why I got out of Physics was because it was a TFA teacher in her first semester, ever, teaching. That's when I begged my counselor to put me in Welding. Never regretted that decision.



    Quote Originally Posted by Near
    But overall pretty much every school has roughly the same quality of education. Not sure why it would be any different down in the States.
    Now we get to one other point: attitude. This is a great place to test a sample, with the large number of teenagers. Simply ask how many went to a shitty high school. I'm willing to bet rather few of them think very highly of their school, no matter where they're from. Everybody has horror stories. We had cops at my school in RIOT GEAR during the 90s. I had a bunch of stuff stolen from me, and I remember students dumping red paint in my Spanish teacher's fish tank.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Near View Post
    Shouldn't they, like, fix that school? Seems more efficient that just shuffling kids around.

    Never understood why there seems to be such a wild variation of school quality within really small geographic areas in the US. I know that where I was at academically all the high schools where pretty much identical with the exception that the bigger school population wise had more course selection (that seems sensible, though). I know my school did have a stronger music program than the norm, but that's mostly because we had an absolutely amazing music teacher that fought tooth and nail for it. But overall pretty much every school has roughly the same quality of education. Not sure why it would be any different down in the States...
    The US education system has its good points... but many more bad points.
    Such as firing teachers of the month or year.

    Teacher of the Month educator gets pink slipped | Video | news10.net

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by justhere View Post
    Taxes and local culture values on education. You have rich areas and poor areas. My school relies almost entirely on state and federal funding, with almost nothing coming from local taxes. The better-off neighborhoods can usually find ways to scoot around a geographic barrier to send their children to a better funded school, if that school isn't already in their geographic area. Some schools don't have a chance to begin with; poor towns with...shady economies that pay absolutely nothing in taxes, and have a low population, don't have much sway with educational funding, nor does the very culture of that town particularly care.
    Wait, hold on a second. Schools in poorer neighborhoods have a smaller budget? What the fuck? Isn't that, like, the complete opposite of what it logically should be?

    (I should probably point out that where I'm from school funding is all provincial and is split between districts on a need based basis. The only local funding are fundraisers and sponsorships that help fund certain extracurricular).

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Near View Post
    Wait, hold on a second. Schools in poorer neighborhoods have a smaller budget? What the fuck? Isn't that, like, the complete opposite of what it logically should be?
    For canada, likely.. for the US of Standardized testing matters above all else. yes its 'logical."

    Two of the newest high schools in north stock and north east stockton are freaking amazing just from the outside and they were bulit along side 250,000+ dollar homes. honestly This one made me think it was a freaking new mall and/or multiplex.

    Cesar Chavez High School (Stockton, California) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Near View Post
    Wait, hold on a second. Schools in poorer neighborhoods have a smaller budget? What the fuck? Isn't that, like, the complete opposite of what it logically should be?

    (I should probably point out that where I'm from school funding is all provincial and is split between districts on a need based basis. The only local funding are fundraisers and sponsorships that help fund certain extracurricular).
    Here it's some state funding, some federal, and some local - Hence the budget votes. Yes - the people in the district whether or not they have kids going to the school can vote on the budget passing or failing. And logically, or should I say sterotypically, the poorer (bad) neighborhoods wouldn't be helped by having better funding. If a kid is going to join a gang by 6th grade, they're going to join irregardless of the school. Welcome to the US, where once again it's different from the rest of the world.
    Last edited by Tezzeh; 01-Aug-2012 at 16:42. Reason: Damn double-post bug >.>

  8. #8

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    ...wth is that funding model? Nobody ever said "hey, it's batshit insane that the most at risk kids have the least amount of resources available to them"?

    No wonder people in the US say education is broken...

  9. #9

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    Not to mention expensive, illogical, and geared towards moving the highest number of high-scoring students through the longest curriculum sustainable. In trying to get some help with learning issues, it took me nearly a year to get ANYTHING started . . . and then I was kicked out because my grades weren't high enough. To recap, I asked for help, didn't get, and was punished for not succeeding without it.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Near View Post
    Wait, hold on a second. Schools in poorer neighborhoods have a smaller budget? What the fuck? Isn't that, like, the complete opposite of what it logically should be?
    Not true everywhere. The City of Chicago consistently spends more per student than many much better performing suburban districts. Yes, it takes money to run a decent program, but throwing more money at a bad program doesn't fix it. Chicago being Chicago, throwing more money at them gets you more of what they're good at: Corruption, cronyism and featherbedding.

    Small, poor district somewhere in the swamps of Louisiana? Not sure what to suggest there. Preventing students who want to learn from leaving doesn't seem like the answer. As for money, before consenting to anté up, I guess I'd want a detailed plan of what it is they need along with explanations of how that's going to improve performance. The plan needs to be from them, not sent down from on high. You have to have buy-in, or it will never fly, no matter how much money you throw at them.

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