Achievement Gap In Mpls Schools
I know this link probably won't work, unless you have a Star Tribune account, so my apolologies but it's: http://www.startribune.com/562/v-print/story/1034098
The story is based on the recent comments made by City Council Member Don Samuels. He said North High School should be burned down for poorly educating black males. Samuels is a firm believer in vouchering, moving kids from one district to another, and more funding. The author John Cook (assistant principal at Robbinsdale High) does not think vouchers will work because the issues go way beyond schools and deal directly with social impacts; "[The gap] is not just an educational problem. Rather, it is a biproduct of America's socio-economic, cultural, family and racial crises...If kids could attend the school of their choice there would still be an achievement gap...There would still be an achievement gap due to America's unresolved issues of race and class." (John Cook, from the article, March 5).
We talk alot in class about the laws and institutions that foster racism and discrimination. I think this is an interesting article because it examines the gray area--where laws and funding, even good in intention, will not help. The article really deals with the intersections between race and class. In this case, there are issues beyond the school itself at play; income, family structure, violence, discrimination outside of the school, and other things that plague the inner-city that all aid in continuing the gap. In this case the answer is not as obvious and must be dealt with in peices, thru the community, thru law and thru the school. Also, the article touched on the fact that even if the stakes were evened, there would still be an "expectation" that black males are not as capable and less would be done to encourage their learning. Here is another example of the less obvious racism we talked about in class. It is hard in this day and age to pin point inequalities like these, because the laws SEEM rather fair, but when you look closer there are so many other issues going into the mix, that these problems really must be taken on by everyone rather than the schools alone.