Wednesday, August 22, 2012
If I were a Klansman, wanting to sabotage black education, I couldn't find better allies than education establishment liberals and officials in the Obama administration, especially Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, who in March 2010 announced that his department was "going to reinvigorate civil rights enforcement."America had just elected a black man as President. What lurking vestige of racism was there that needed eradication? MacDonald answers at the beginning of her article:
[T]he Departments of Education and Justice have launched a campaign against disproportionate minority discipline rates, which show up in virtually every school district with significant numbers of black and Hispanic students. The possibility that students' behavior, not educators' racism, drives those rates lies outside the Obama administration's conceptual universe. But the country will pay a high price for the feds' blindness, as the cascade of red tape and lawsuits emanating from Washington will depress student achievement and enrich advocates and attorneys for years to come. [bold added]Williams relays the following from MacDonald: "between September 2011 and February 2012, 25 times more black Chicago students than white students were arrested at school, mostly for battery." Arrests at school for battery? I am not as old as Williams, and my Catholic school probably hadn't slipped as far as the public ones, but I recall classmates getting smacked by the nuns for far less. Williams sees a connection, although he understates it, "Educators might not see classroom comportment as a priority. "
Williams ends by shaming a great many civil rights figures by name:
Some of today's black political leaders are around my age, 76, such as Reps. Maxine Waters, Charles Rangel, John Conyers, former Virginia Gov. Douglas Wilder, Jesse Jackson and many others. Ask them what their parents would have done had they cursed, assaulted a teacher or engaged in disruptive behavior that's become routine in far too many schools. Would their parents have accepted the grossly disrespectful public behavior that includes foul language and racial epithets? Their silence and support of the status quo represent a betrayal of epic proportions to the blood, sweat and tears of our ancestors in their struggle to make today's education opportunities available.Setting aside the fact that not having a nationwide, government-run educational system at all would at the least spare us from having such massive error enforced as a standard, Williams is right: So long as there exists such a system, we should at least make some meager attempt to use it for its alleged purpose. Discipline and even proper etiquette are vital components of education, and its absence undermines the others.