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"How New York’s Elite Public Schools Lost Their Black and Hispanic Students"

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Replies to: "How New York’s Elite Public Schools Lost Their Black and Hispanic Students"

  • ProfessorPlum168ProfessorPlum168 3715 replies76 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,791 Senior Member
    There is inequality and racism certainly in this country, especially lately, but from a schooling standpoint I would say by and large every kid can get a good education if they want to. California did it right when when they got rid of race and gender as considerations for the UC and CSU system.
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  • BKSquaredBKSquared 1203 replies4 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,207 Senior Member
    edited June 14
    Inequality and racism unfortunately are a fact of life. Sorry there is no waving of a magic wand to cure that. Responsible people try to deal with inequality and racism through various levers of policy and judicious allocation of resources. What those may be are subject to reasonable debate. What is clear to me, and the point of this thread about the decline of Hispanic and Black students at the test schools, is the divisive use of race to engineer outcomes by politicians as an expedient is part of the problem and not a solution. Changing the makeup of the test schools by fiat to increase racial diversity does nothing to truly solve inequality and racism. The hard work and resources need to be directed at the elementary and middle school levels. But there are no easy votes or PR to snag pursuing that path.
    edited June 14
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  • HannaHanna 14863 replies42 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 14,905 Senior Member
    Really? Silly me, until now, I believed in magic wands.
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  • TooOld4SchoolTooOld4School 3318 replies12 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,330 Senior Member
    There is nothing inherently bad about inequality, because there will always be inequality of outcome. The problem is with inequality of opportunity. Why is it that the public education system is failing to deliver consistently good outcomes for blacks and Hispanics, yet seems to deliver far better outcomes for Asians who attend the same schools? Clearly Asians are exhibiting behaviors that work, even within the corrupt and inefficient public school system, and a lot of it comes down to parents who care, families who are mostly intact, and an emphasis on educational achievement. Why aren't black and Hispanic families emulating that successful behavior ?

    The racism excuse is used far too often and has become a catch-all boogyman to silence anyone who wants change threatening to the power structure.
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  • melvin123melvin123 1526 replies18 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,544 Senior Member
    I can't disagree more about "every kid could get a good education if they want to". How can you learn when you literally have no textbook and the teacher runs out of her budget for copying in October?
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  • sorghumsorghum 3495 replies109 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,604 Senior Member
    It is just not fair to say to poor Asians that they have been studying too hard, and their place must go to someone else who is poor, but didn't do the work.
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  • EconPopEconPop 67 replies2 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 69 Junior Member
    edited June 15
    I'm glad to see that the dancing around the issue has come to an end and that true thoughts are being spoken plainly.

    edited June 15
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  • yearstogoyearstogo 630 replies26 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 656 Member
    There was a study done in our state that showed black kids with high test scores were quite a bit less likely to be placed in advanced classes than their white/Asian classmates and it looks like there are efforts underway to fix this. The bigger issue that no one discusses is that there is very little done in the advanced classes and kids that want to learn are not challenged. NY is lucky to have their elite publics and I hope they remain achievement based.
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  • elodyCOHelodyCOH 368 replies23 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 391 Member
    edited June 15
    The second largest school district in Illinois was forced to change it's gifted education due to a lawsuit. Background is here: https://www.ewa.org/blog-latino-ed-beat/lawsuit-says-illinois-school-district-had-segregated-gifted-program-hispanics

    and here:

    http://www.reflejos.com/en/stories/suburbs/article/14-03-02/una_resolución_final.aspx


    The gifted program in U-46 had been very successful, particularly in the high schools. The segmentation for Spanish speaking gifted students ended after middle school. Initially, the students identified for the gifted program tended to be the top 2-3% of the students in the district based on standarized tests like MAP, CoGAT, and Watson-Glaser. They treated gifted education in a similar way to special education. The theory was that students at the extreme top needed differentiated education to thrive.

    Fast forward to 2019-2020 - they are now going to place students into gifted education based on the school building they attend. The top 10% of students will be identified as "gifted" in each building. There may be wildly different scores between buildings. The program has changed drastically, so much so that they have had to completely retool the high school gifted programs to compensate.

    The district has been changing the criteria over time, so that it's more difficult for Asian and White students to be admitted, and easier for others. The gifted classes are no longer as rigorous, and the acceleration that was previously available has been curtailed.

    The kids who really needed the differentiated education in elementary school no longer get that. I'm not sure that the outcome of the lawsuit really gave anyone anything better. All it did was allow more kids to have "Gifted" put on their academic record. The programs are no longer very different from general education. Test scores, AP pass rates, and college acceptance rates have dropped since all the changes were implemented. I'm not sure the lawsuit really did anything.

    The new program is here: https://www.u-46.org/site/handlers/filedownload.ashx?moduleinstanceid=20665&dataid=29454&FileName=01-16-2019 Press Clippings 1.pdf

    edited June 15
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  • EconPopEconPop 67 replies2 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 69 Junior Member
    edited June 15
    The lawsuit was filed in 2005, and also said that district boundary changes segregated black and Hispanic students into overcrowded classes and that black and Hispanic students didn’t have equal access to gifted programs.
    In Elgin’s case, children who recently had been classified as English proficient were then placed in the separate gifted program for native Spanish speakers.
    These are two very pertinent facts. And they help prove gross malfeasance on behalf of the school board. Or at best, gross ignorance.

    @elodyCOH , your comments suggest that the program had been holistic -- that it was based solely on scores, a meritocracy, those students who did not meet the mark could not be admitted because it would be unfair to the students who worked so hard to "earn" their spot. Further implication is that race/culture/nothing-else was a factor in deciding who does not make the cut, so if fewer minorities make the cut the assumption "should" be that they simply are not smart enough ... they are not working as hard.

    The problem with that entire line of thinking is that it ignores everything that happened in the 8 years preceding the entry test, much less the 80 years of American history, or even 200 years of history. That test does not exist in a vacuum.

    If the school district created boundary lines that segregated k-8 minority students into overcrowded classrooms where it is more difficult for students to learn at a high level, it is disingenuous for the BOE (or its defenders) to claim race is not a factor. Creating boundary lines based on race created a separate and unequal k-8 education system. And creating a "race neutral" admissions pathway into the gifted high school is simply a way to continue a uneven education system built on racist policies that stunt all the k-8 students' education at the overcrowded minority-majority schools.

    This sort of tactic is not new. Variations of its theme go back centuries, and spread across many fronts, one of which is education. If it was not a designed plan based in racism, it was a poorly designed solution to a real and pervasive problem. Either way, it perpetuates a problem.

    On the other topic, classifying students as English Proficient, but then placing them in segregated (but supposedly equal) Spanish-only classrooms is hard to defend. Either the school system erred by claiming the students were English Proficient, or they are practicing racist policies by segregating the Hispanic students even when no valid reason exists.
    edited June 15
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  • roethlisburgerroethlisburger 2675 replies139 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,814 Senior Member
    . It is not always racially motivated or based, but there is a huge disparity in quality of education available across the country, sometimes even within the same school district. There are thousands of schools that are flat out failing their students and if a kid is unlucky enough to be stuck in one of those schools, it is next to impossible to get a good education.

    There may be a huge disparity in education but very little of that has to do with differences in education funding. You have teacher’s unions which make it nearly impossible to fire lazy or inept teachers. You have derelict administrators unwilling to enforce discipline. You have kids coming from homes with negligent parents, where education is not valued.
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  • elodyCOHelodyCOH 368 replies23 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 391 Member
    edited June 15
    @EconPop The district won that part of the lawsuit the finding was they did not discriminate due to race with the boundaries. They did lose because of the separate gifted program for ESL students.
    edited June 15
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  • EconPopEconPop 67 replies2 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 69 Junior Member
    edited June 15
    @elodyCOH @roethlisburger et al,

    Sorry for wading in this deep. I knew better but lost my way. Racism in education is a lot like the big 3 no-nos, and this thread is a little too close to that type of fire.

    Seriously, my apologies. Carry on.
    edited June 15
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  • sorghumsorghum 3495 replies109 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,604 Senior Member
    "English proficient" may not mean good enough for a gifted program.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 76552 replies665 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 77,217 Senior Member
    EconPop wrote:
    If the school district created boundary lines that segregated k-8 minority students into overcrowded classrooms where it is more difficult for students to learn at a high level, it is disingenuous for the BOE (or its defenders) to claim race is not a factor. Creating boundary lines based on race created a separate and unequal k-8 education system.

    Note that NYC has a relatively high level of racial segregation in residential housing by neighborhood, so even just a typical default drawing of boundaries approximating sending K-8 students to the nearest school will result in a high level of racial segregation in K-8 schools.

    Obviously, if opportunities are unequal in different K-8 schools, that is a problem, whether or not the "de facto segregation" is solvable otherwise.
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  • brantlybrantly 3743 replies66 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,809 Senior Member
    @oldmom4896 I know exactly how it works. I just don't think that it has to be SHSAT or bust. Those schools should remain test-only, and additional excellent schools should be brought on board. Also, schools like Bard, Beacon, ElRo, etc are not consolation prizes for students who were gunning for Stuy, Science, or Tech.
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  • oldmom4896oldmom4896 3832 replies285 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 4,117 Senior Member
    @brantly, I know many families for whom the SHSAT schools were the consolation prize. The system is so convoluted and competitive that kids take the SHSAT to make sure they have a placement that is acceptable. For that reason, there are many more humanities-oriented students at Brooklyn Tech than there have been historically--students shut out of their top choices on the "regular" (i.e., non-SHSAT) list.

    (By the way, I always say "Brooklyn Tech" because Staten Island Tech is also on the SHSAT list. I believe it is the largest of the additions to the SHSAT schools with 1313 students.)
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  • EconPopEconPop 67 replies2 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 69 Junior Member
    edited June 16
    Note that NYC has a relatively high level of racial segregation in residential housing by neighborhood, so even just a typical default drawing of boundaries approximating sending K-8 students to the nearest school will result in a high level of racial segregation in K-8 schools.

    Obviously, if opportunities are unequal in different K-8 schools, that is a problem, whether or not the "de facto segregation" is solvable otherwise.
    I appreciate your thoughtfulness about my post. However, I don't want to spend a lot of my time in this thread (in this forum) on this topic. Most people aren't going to think on this deeply enough to change minds on the topic, so it's just going to a lot of preaching to the choir on both sides, and nitpicking about inconsequential and/or misleading facts, statistics, and definitions. Been there, done that, got the tee-shirt, and I'd rather not do it here.

    I'm at CC to try to pick up knowledge for navigating the decision and application process for my son -- threads like this divert me from that goal. It's my fault I started posting in this thread, but I can fix that. I'll keep following this thread because I find some of the responses interesting and illuminating, but posting in this thread (with the intent to correct erroneous thinking) is too much a waste of my time.

    I responded this time just so you wouldn't think I was ignoring your direct message to me.

    Cheers,
    edited June 16
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  • elodyCOHelodyCOH 368 replies23 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 391 Member
    edited June 16
    @sorghum The district wasn't trying to discriminate against the Hispanic population in putting the ESL students into separate gifted classes in elementary and middle school. They did it so that they could allow them acceleration in math and science while giving them extra support in gaining additional English proficiency so that they could move into the mainstream gifted program in high school. There were only a handful of families that filed the suit - and they were ones who did not get into the program.

    The old program worked extremely well. Fast forward to now - most of the acceleration is gone from the program. There is very little differentiation for the kids who were outliers in their classes. The kid who is ready for honors algebra in the 7th grade no longer has that option for the most part. That's the only point I'm making. People "won" this lawsuit, but there were a lot of kids who lost something that was valuable to them, including many poor children of immigrants. Many in the Hispanic community were upset when the district was forced to eliminate that program.
    edited June 16
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