Tag Archives: Plessy v. Ferguson

The REAL civil rights issue is not ‘hands up,’ but equitable education funding

19 Mar

Plessy v. Ferguson http://www.streetlaw.org/en/landmark/cases/plessy_v_ferguson established the principle of “separate but equal” in race issues. Brown v. Board of Education http://www.streetlaw.org/en/landmark/cases/brown_v_board_of_education which overturned the principle of “separate but equal.” would not have been necessary, but for Plessy. See also, the history of Brown v. Board of Education http://americanhistory.si.edu/brown/resources/two.html

If one believes that all children, regardless of that child’s status have a right to a good basic education and that society must fund and implement policies, which support this principle. Then, one must discuss the issue of equity in education. Because of the segregation, which resulted after Plessy, most folks focus their analysis of Brown almost solely on race. The issue of equity was just as important. The equity issue was explained in terms of unequal resources and unequal access to education.

People tend to cluster in neighborhoods based upon class as much as race. Good teachers tend to gravitate toward neighborhoods where they are paid well and students come from families who mirror their personal backgrounds and values. Good teachers make a difference in a child’s life. One of the difficulties in busing to achieve equity in education is that neighborhoods tend to be segregated by class as well as race. People often make sacrifices to move into neighborhoods they perceive mirror their values. That is why there must be good schools in all segments of the city and there must be good schools in all parts of this state. A good education should not depend upon one’s class or status.

The lawyers in Brown were told that lawsuits were futile and that the legislatures would address the issue of segregation eventually when the public was ready. Meanwhile, several generations of African Americans waited for people to come around and say the Constitution applied to us as well. Generations of African Americans suffered in inferior schools. This state cannot sacrifice the lives of children by not addressing the issue of equity in school funding in a timely manner.

Sabra Bireda wrote in the Center for American Progress, Funding Education Equitably

The old axiom that the rich get richer certainly plays out in the American classroom—often to the detriment of achieving academic success. Data on intradistrict funding inequities in many large school districts confirm

what most would guess—high-poverty schools actually receive less money per pupil than more affluent schools.1 These funding inequities have real repercussions for the quality of education offered at high-poverty schools and a district’s ability to overcome the achievement gap between groups of students defined by family income or ethnicity.

The source of these funding inequities is not a deliberate scheme designed to steer more state and local funds to affluent schools. Rather it is often the result of an accumulation of higher-paid, more senior teachers working in low-poverty schools. High-poverty schools typically employ less-experienced, lower-paid teachers, thereby drawing down less of the district’s funds. The imbalance in funding created by this situation can total hundreds of thousands of dollars school by school.2 Archaic budgeting practices that track positions instead of actual school expenditures only serve to reinforce this inequity.   https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/education/report/2011/03/28/9310/funding-education-equitably/

Bireda’s findings are supported by a U.S. Department of Education (Education Department) report.

In the report, Comparability of State and Local Expenditures Among Schools Within Districts: A Report From the Study of School-Level Expenditures, the Education Department finds:

For the study, Education Department researchers analyzed new school-level spending and teacher salary data submitted by more than 13,000 school districts as required by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009. This school level expenditure data was made available for the first time ever in this data collection.

Using the data from the ARRA collection, Department staff analyzed the impact and feasibility of making this change to Title I comparability. That policy brief finds that:

Fixing the comparability provision is feasible. As many as 28 percent of Title I districts would be out of compliance with reformed comparability provisions. But compliance for those districts is not as costly as some might think—fixing it would cost only 1 percent to 4 percent of their total school-level expenditures on average.

Fixing the comparability provision would have a large impact. The benefit to low-spending Title I schools would be significant, as their expenditures would increase by 4 percent to 15 percent. And the low-spending schools that would benefit have much higher poverty rates than other schools in their districts.                                                                                                                                             http://www2.ed.gov/rschstat/eval/title-i/school-level-expenditures/school-level-expenditures.pdf

Emma Brown reported in the Washington Post article, In 23 states, richer school districts get more local funding than poorer districts, about the continuing inequity.

According to Brown:

But in 23 states, state and local governments are together spending less per pupil in the poorest school districts than they are in the most affluent school districts, according to federal data from fiscal year 2012, the most recent figures available.

In some states the differences are stark. In Pennsylvania, per-pupil spending in the poorest school districts is 33 percent lower than per-pupil spending in the wealthiest school districts. In Vermont, the differential is 18 percent; in Missouri, 17 percent.

Nationwide, states and localities are spending an average of 15 percent less per pupil in the poorest school districts (where average spending is $9,270 per child) than they are in the most affluent (where average spending is $10,721 per child).

“What it says very clearly is that we have, in many places, school systems that are separate and unequal,” Education Secretary Arne Duncan said in an interview. “Money by itself is never the only answer, but giving kids who start out already behind in life, giving them less resources is unconscionable, and it’s far too common….”

See how spending differs between the nation’s poorest and most affluent school districts.                          http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/local/wp/2015/03/12/in-23-states-richer-school-districts-get-more-local-funding-than-poorer-districts/#graphic

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/local/wp/2015/03/12/in-23-states-richer-school-districts-get-more-local-funding-than-poorer-districts/

The next huge case, like Brown, will be about equity in education funding. It may not come this year or the next year. It, like Brown, may come several years after a Plessy. It will come. Equity in education funding is the civil rights issue of this century.

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Southern Education Foundation report: Juvenile justice education programs do more harm than good

17 Apr

Plessy v. Ferguson established the principle of “separate but equal” in race issues. Brown v. Board of Education which overturned the principle of “separate but equal.” would not have been necessary, but for Plessy. See also, the history of Brown v. Board of Education

If one believes that all children, regardless of that child’s status have a right to a good basic education and that society must fund and implement policies, which support this principle. Then, one must discuss the issue of equity in education. Because of the segregation, which resulted after Plessy, most folks focus their analysis of Brown almost solely on race. The issue of equity was just as important. The equity issue was explained in terms of unequal resources and unequal access to education.

Alyssa Morones reported in the Education Week article, Juvenile-Justice System Not Meeting Educational Needs, Report Says:

Many of the teenagers who enter the juvenile-justice system with anger problems, learning disabilities, and academic challenges receive little or no special help for those issues, and consequently fall further behind in school, a report released Thursday concludes.
“Way too many kids enter the juvenile-justice system, they don’t do particularly well from an education standpoint while they’re there, and way too few kids make successful transitions out,” said Kent McGuire, the president and CEO of the Atlanta-based Southern Education Foundation, which produced the report, “Just Learning: The Imperative to Transform Juvenile Justice Systems Into Effective Educational Systems.”
The report characterizes the problems plaguing the juvenile-justice system as “systemic.” It found a lack of timely, accurate assessments of the needs of students entering the system, little coordination between learning and teaching during a student’s stay, and inconsistency in curricula. Many of the teaching methods were also inappropriate, outdated, or inadequate, and little or no educational technology was used.
“We need to help find ways to create structures and dramatically change how schools and principals and teachers [in the juvenile-justice system] are held accountable,” said David Domenici, the executive director of the Center for Educational Excellence in Alternative Settings, in Washington.
“We have kids who have not done well in school, but, more or less, they have to come every day. They’re a captive audience,” he said. “We can transform their perspective on school. But the reality is, education has been forgotten [in juvenile-justice systems].”
On any given day, 70,000 students are in custody in juvenile-justice systems across the country. Nearly two-thirds of those young people are either African-American or Hispanic, and an even higher percentage are male. Those systems, though, may be doing more educational harm than good, according to the report. http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2014/04/17/29justice.h33.html

Here is the press release from the Southern Education Foundation:

Juvenile Justice Education Programs in the United States and Across the South Do More Harm Than Good
ATLANTA-April 17, 2014-With awareness growing that schools are disciplining and suspending minority students at alarming rates, a report released today by the Southern Education Foundation (SEF) provides powerful evidence that young people placed in the juvenile justice system-predominately minority males incarcerated for minor offenses-are receiving a substandard education.

The report-Just Learning: The Imperative to Transform Juvenile Justice Systems into Effective Educational Systems-argues that education for the 70,000 students in custody on any given day is setting them even further back in their ability to turn their lives around.

Drawing upon the most recently available data from the nation’s largest database on teaching and learning in juvenile justice systems, the report finds that the quality of the learning programs for incarcerated youth have had “little positive, enduring impact on the educational achievement of most children and youth in state custody.”

In 2009, for example, most “longer-term” students (those enrolled for 90 days or more) whose progress was documented failed to make any significant improvement in learning and academic achievement. Incarcerated youth in smaller facilities closer to their local communities actually made less progress than students enrolled in state systems. That was particularly true in the 15 Southern states, where the proportion of students enrolled in local facilities increased from 21 percent of all incarcerated students in 2007 to almost 60 percent in 2011. Part of the problem, the report says, is that the programs, which serve youth with serious learning and emotional problems, provide young people with limited supports.

Taken as a whole, the report found that effects of juvenile justice programs are “profound and crippling,” and set young people back when they should be turning lives around, according to the report.

An ‘Invisible Population’
“We conducted this study to get a clear look at what happens to a truly invisible population,” says Steve Suitts, vice president of the Southern Education Foundation and author of the study. “The juvenile justice education programs that serve hundreds of thousands of students are characterized by low expectations, inadequate supports to address student needs, and ineffective instruction and technology. Students come out of the juvenile justice system in worse shape than when they entered, struggling to return to school or get their lives back on track.”

While some studies show that as many as 70 to 80 percent of young people released from residential correctional facilities will return to jail after two or three years, Just Learning notes that this is not inevitable. “Because effective education in the juvenile justice system helps to reduce recidivism and the number of youth who are in need of custody in the future, it can reduce the need and cost of future placement in juvenile justice facilities,” the report says.

Savings from Reducing Recidivism
According to the report, juvenile justice programs that help prevent young people from becoming re-offenders could save society about $3.9 million per youth.

“The institutionalization of hundreds of thousands of young people is a detriment to their future and to society’s interests,” says Kent McGuire, president of the Southern Education Foundation. “It is up to states to ensure that students in custody leave with the skills that can help them be independent and self-sustaining.”

Emulating Effective Models
The report says that education in juvenile justice programs can be successful. It cites programs-such as the Maya Angelou Academy in Washington, D.C.-that use teaching and learning approaches that have proven to be effective for many high-risk students and in the general population. The report also highlights research on an innovative educational program in Chicago demonstrating that cognitive behavior therapy resulted in a 44 percent reduction in violent crime arrests among participants during the program, as well as gains in schooling, measured by days in attendance, GPA, and school persistence.

Recommendations
To ensure that youth leaving the juvenile justice system have the skills and education they need to reenter school, find jobs, and become productive members of society, the report urges that states:
* Re-organize programs so that they are designed and operated to advance the teaching and learning of students.
* Set and apply the same educational standards that exist for all students in a state to the schools and educational programs in the juvenile justice system.
* Establish effective and timely methods of testing and reporting on the educational status and progress of every child and youth in the juvenile justice system.
* Develop and implement an individual educational plan and learning strategy-including special education, developmental services, academic motivation and persistence, and meta-cognition-to guide the instruction and services of every student in the juvenile justice system.
* Establish systems of coordination and cooperation to provide a seamless transition of students from and back into public schools.
* Create and maintain data systems to measure institutional and system-wide educational progress and identify areas in need of improvement.

Read the summary and the full report.
Just Learning: Executive Summary http://www.southerneducation.org/cmspages/getfile.aspx?guid=7c8e630f-aa97-4e9c-846e-a3b564b8a655

Just Learning:The Imperative to Transform Juvenile Justice System Into Effective Educational Systems http://www.southerneducation.org/cmspages/getfile.aspx?guid=b80f7aad-405d-4eed-a966-8d7a4a12f5be

Kids Count Data Center has statistics about the number of children in detention centers.

According to the report, Youth residing in juvenile detention and correctional facilities:
Location Data Type 2001 2003 2006 2007 2010
United States Number 104,219 96,531 92,721 86,814 70,792

Rate 335 306 295 278 225
INDICATOR CONTEXT
COLLAPSE
A change is underway in out nation’s approach to dealing with young people who get in trouble with the law. Although the United States still leads the industrialized world in the rate at which it locks up young people, the youth confinement rate in the US is rapidly declining.
Read Reducing Youth Incarceration in the United States to learn more.
http://datacenter.kidscount.org/data/tables/42-youth-residing-in-juvenile-detention-and-correctional-

facilities#detailed/1/any/false/133,18,17,14,12/any/319,320

Although, the number of children in detention was declining as of the date of this report, these children must have their needs addressed and the Southern Education Foundation report indicates that that is not happening.

Related:
3rd world America: Many young people headed for life on the dole https://drwilda.com/2012/09/21/3rd-world-america-many-young-people-headed-for-life-on-the-dole/

The Civil Rights Project report: Segregation in education https://drwilda.com/2012/09/19/the-civil-rights-project-report-segregation-in-education/

Study: Poverty affects education attainment https://drwilda.com/2012/08/29/study-poverty-affects-education-attainment/

Center for American Progress report: Disparity in education spending for education of children of color https://drwilda.com/2012/08/22/center-for-american-progress-report-disparity-in-education-spending-for-education-of-children-of-color/

Education funding lawsuits against states on the rise https://drwilda.com/2012/01/25/education-funding-lawsuits-against-states-on-the-rise/

3rd world America: The link between poverty and education https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/11/20/3rd-world-america-the-link-between-poverty-and-education/

Race, class, and education in America https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/11/07/race-class-and-education-in-america/
Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART© http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews © http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda © https://drwilda.com/

U.S. Department of Education report: Still unequal after Brown

3 Apr

Plessy v. Ferguson established the principle of “separate but equal” in race issues. Brown v. Board of Education which overturned the principle of “separate but equal.” would not have been necessary, but for Plessy. See also, the history of Brown v. Board of Education

If one believes that all children, regardless of that child’s status have a right to a good basic education and that society must fund and implement policies, which support this principle. Then, one must discuss the issue of equity in education. Because of the segregation, which resulted after Plessy, most folks focus their analysis of Brown almost solely on race. The issue of equity was just as important. The equity issue was explained in terms of unequal resources and unequal access to education.

People tend to cluster in neighborhoods based upon class as much as race. Good teachers tend to gravitate toward neighborhoods where they are paid well and students come from families who mirror their personal backgrounds and values. Good teachers make a difference in a child’s life. One of the difficulties in busing to achieve equity in education is that neighborhoods tend to be segregated by class as well as race. People often make sacrifices to move into neighborhoods they perceive mirror their values. That is why there must be good schools in all segments of the city and there must be good schools in all parts of this state. A good education should not depend upon one’s class or status.
Moi knows that the lawyers in Brown were told that lawsuits were futile and that the legislatures would address the issue of segregation eventually when the public was ready. Meanwhile, several generations of African Americans waited for people to come around and say the Constitution applied to us as well. Generations of African Americans suffered in inferior schools. This state cannot sacrifice the lives of children by not addressing the issue of equity in school funding in a timely manner.

The next huge case, like Brown, will be about equity in education funding. It may not come this year or the next year. It, like Brown, may come several years after a Plessy. It will come. Equity in education funding is the civil rights issue of this century.

Kimberly Hefling of AP reported in the article, Five things to know about today’s report on unequal education:
Here are five things to know about the department’s findings:

ACCESS TO ADVANCED CLASSES:
STEM is the buzzword in education these days. Education in the fields of science, technology and engineering and math is considered critical for students to succeed in the global marketplace. Yet the department found that there was a “significant lack of access” to core classes like algebra, geometry, biology, and chemistry for many students. That lack of access was particularly striking when it came to minorities….
EXPERIENCED TEACHERS:
Quality teachers can play a key role in student performance.
Minority students are more likely to attend schools with a higher concentration of first-year teachers than white students. And while most teachers are certified, nearly half a million students nationally attend schools where nearly two-thirds or fewer of teachers meet all state certification and licensing requirements. Black and Latino students are more likely than white students to attend these schools.
There’s also a teacher salary gap of more than $5,000 between high schools with the highest and lowest black and Latino students enrollments, according to the data….
DISCIPLINE:
The Obama administration issued guidance earlier this year encouraging schools to abandon what it described as overly zealous discipline policies that send students to court instead of the principal’s office, the so-called “schools-to-prisons pipeline.” But even before the announcement, school districts had been adjusting policies that disproportionately affected minority students. The civil rights data released Friday from the 2011-2012 school year show the disparities begin among even the youngest of school kids. Black children represent about 18 percent of children in preschool programs in schools, but they make up almost half of the preschoolers who are suspended more than once. Six percent of the nation’s districts with preschools reported suspending at least one preschool child.
Overall, the data show that black students of all ages are suspended and expelled at a rate that’s three times higher than that of white children. Even as boys receive more than two-thirds of suspensions, black girls are suspended at higher rates than girls of any other race or most boys. More than half of students involved in school-related arrests or referred to law enforcement were Hispanic or black.
SECLUSION AND RESTRAINT:
“Seclusion and restraint” is a term used to describe when students are strapped down or physically restrained in schools. The data show students with disabilities represent about 12 percent of the student population, but about 60 percent of students placed in seclusion or involuntary confinement and three quarters of students restrained at school. While black students make up about one in five of students with disabilities, more than one-third of the students who are restrained at school are black. Overall, the data show that more than 37,000 students were placed in seclusion, and 4,000 students with disabilities were held in place by a mechanical restraint….
PRESCHOOL:
The Obama administration views access to preschool as a civil rights issue. It says 40 percent of school districts do not offer preschool programs. Their numbers don’t include private programs or some other types of publicly funded early childhood programs outside of school systems. Obama has sought a “preschool for all” program with the goal of providing universal preschool to America’s 4-year-old that would use funding from a hike in tobacco taxes. http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/five-things-know-todays-report-unequal-education/

See, School Data Finds Pattern of Inequality Along Racial Lines http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/21/us/school-data-finds-pattern-of-inequality-along-racial-lines.html?_r=0

Here is the press release from the Education Department:

Expansive Survey of America’s Public Schools Reveals Troubling Racial Disparities
Lack of Access to Pre-School, Greater Suspensions Cited
MARCH 21, 2014
Contact:
Press Office, (202) 401-1576, press@ed.gov
The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) released today the first comprehensive look at civil rights data from every public school in the country in nearly 15 years.
The Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) from the 2011-12 school year was announced by U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder at J.O. Wilson Elementary School in Washington, D.C.
This is the first time since 2000 that the Department has compiled data from all 97,000 of the nation’s public schools and its 16,500 school districts—representing 49 million students. And for the first time ever, state-, district- and school-level information is accessible to the public in a searchable online database at crdc.ed.gov.
“This data collection shines a clear, unbiased light on places that are delivering on the promise of an equal education for every child and places where the largest gaps remain. In all, it is clear that the United States has a great distance to go to meet our goal of providing opportunities for every student to succeed,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said. “As the President’s education budget reflects in every element—from preschool funds to Pell Grants to Title I to special education funds—this administration is committed to ensuring equity of opportunity for all.”
“This critical report shows that racial disparities in school discipline policies are not only well-documented among older students, but actually begin during preschool,” said Attorney General Eric Holder. “Every data point represents a life impacted and a future potentially diverted or derailed. This Administration is moving aggressively to disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline in order to ensure that all of our young people have equal educational opportunities.”
The federal government has collected civil rights data about schools since 1968, but the Obama Administration revamped the CRDC to include key information on preschool student and school discipline tactics. The data measures whether all students have equal educational opportunity and provides critical information to the Department on enforcing federal civil rights laws.
CRDC data helps inform policy and regulatory work by the federal government. For example, the Departments of Education and Justice recently released guidelines to school districts on zero-tolerance policies and discipline tactics, a powerful example of the federal government using data to take action to bolster outcomes and reduce disparities for minority students.
The data released today reveals particular concern around discipline for our nation’s young men and boys of color, who are disproportionately affected by suspensions and zero-tolerance policies in schools. Suspended students are less likely to graduate on time and more likely to be suspended again. They are also more likely to repeat a grade, drop out, and become involved in the juvenile justice system.
The 2011-2012 release shows that access to preschool programs is not a reality for much of the country. In addition, students of color are suspended more often than white students, and black and Latino students are significantly more likely to have teachers with less experience who aren’t paid as much as their colleagues in other schools.
The 2011-12 school year was the first time the CRDC collected data on preschool discipline and the first year that all public schools reported data separately for Native-Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders. As a result, the CRDC shows that racial disparities in discipline begin in the early years of schooling: Native-Hawaiian/Pacific Islander kindergarten students are held back a year at nearly twice the rate of white kindergarten students.
“This rich information allows us to identify gaps and cases of discrimination to partner with states and districts to ensure equal access to educational opportunities,” said Catherine E. Lhamon, assistant secretary for civil rights. “From Native American tribal nations to inner city barrios, all of our children deserve a high quality education.”
Among the key findings:
• Access to preschool. About 40% of public school districts do not offer preschool, and where it is available, it is mostly part-day only. Of the school districts that operate public preschool programs, barely half are available to all students within the district.
• Suspension of preschool children. Black students represent 18% of preschool enrollment but 42% of students suspended once, and 48% of the students suspended more than once.
• Access to advanced courses. Eighty-one percent (81%) of Asian-American high school students and 71% of white high school students attend high schools where the full range of math and science courses are offered (Algebra I, geometry, Algebra II, calculus, biology, chemistry, physics). However, less than half of American Indian and Native-Alaskan high school students have access to the full range of math and science courses in their high school. Black students (57%), Latino students (67%), students with disabilities (63%), and English language learner students (65%) also have less access to the full range of courses.
• Access to college counselors. Nationwide, one in five high schools lacks a school counselor; in Florida and Minnesota, more than two in five students lack access to a school counselor.
• Retention of English learners in high school. English learners make up 5% of high school enrollment but 11% of high school students held back each year.
As CRDC data indicates the opportunity gap among Americans hurts life-transforming opportunities for children that strengthen and build a thriving middle class. To address these issues, as part of his budget request, President Obama proposed a new initiative called Race to the Top-Equity and Opportunity (RTT-Opportunity), which would create incentives for states and school districts to drive comprehensive change in how states and districts identify and close opportunity and achievement gaps. Grantees would enhance data systems to sharpen the focus on the greatest disparities and invest in strong teachers and leaders in high-need schools.
State-, district- and school-level data may be viewed at the CRDC website at crdc.ed.gov. For more information on the work of the Office for Civil Rights, click here.
The question which this society has to answer is how to provide a good education for ALL despite their race or social class.

Related:

3rd world America: Many young people headed for life on the dole
https://drwilda.com/2012/09/21/3rd-world-america-many-young-people-headed-for-life-on-the-dole/

The Civil Rights Project report: Segregation in education
https://drwilda.com/2012/09/19/the-civil-rights-project-report-segregation-in-education/

Study: Poverty affects education attainment
https://drwilda.com/2012/08/29/study-poverty-affects-education-attainment/

Center for American Progress report: Disparity in education spending for education of children of color
https://drwilda.com/2012/08/22/center-for-american-progress-report-disparity-in-education-spending-for-education-of-children-of-color/

Education funding lawsuits against states on the rise
https://drwilda.com/2012/01/25/education-funding-lawsuits-against-states-on-the-rise/

3rd world America: The link between poverty and education
https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/11/20/3rd-world-america-the-link-between-poverty-and-education/

Race, class, and education in America
https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/11/07/race-class-and-education-in-america/

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews © http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda © https://drwilda.com/

Courts are becoming the mechanism to force states to fund education

29 Jan

Moi wrote about education funding in Education funding lawsuits against states on the rise:

Moi has often said in posts at the blog that the next great civil rights struggle will involve access for ALL children to a good basic education. Sabra Bireda has written a report from the Center for American Progress, Funding Education Equitably https://drwilda.com/2012/01/25/education-funding-lawsuits-against-states-on-the-rise/

Andrew Usifusa writes in the Education Week article, State Finance Lawsuits Roil K-12 Funding Landscape about several lawsuits:

As state budgets slowly recover from several years of economic contraction and stagnation, significant court battles continue to play a related yet distinct role in K-12 policy, even in states where the highest courts have already delivered rulings on the subject.

This year, meanwhile, marks the 40th anniversary of a U.S. Supreme Court decision that was a turning point for the role of property taxes in financing school districts and that continues to complicate fiscal decisions for state policymakers. The 5-4 ruling, in San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez, held that the state did not have to justify the higher quality of education for wealthier districts that might result from their local property taxes.

In a 2008 article for the Virginia Law ReviewRequires Adobe Acrobat Reader, Judge Jeffrey Sutton of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, based in Cincinnati, wrote: “For better, for worse, or for more of the same, the majority in Rodriguez tolerated the continuation of a funding system that allowed serious disparities in the quality of the education a child received based solely on the wealth of the community in which his parents happened to live or could afford to live….”

Since the 1970s, lawsuits filed in 45 states have challenged the constitutionality of school finance systems, according to the National Education Access Network, a research group that tracks lawsuits related to education finance and equity based at Teachers College, Columbia University.

DOCKET UPDATE

School funding lawsuits continue to bedevil several states still recovering from the economic downturn that began in 2007. The suits are at various stages, and concerns about the courts’ role in education finance have emerged.

Arizona
On Jan. 15, the Arizona Court of Appeals said that lawmakers were wrong to deny school funding increases to account for inflation. The court ruled that legislators did not follow a ballot measure approved by voters in 2000 that mandated K-12 funding increases for inflation.

Texas
A District Court judge is presiding over what began as four separate cases brought by hundreds of districts against the state after the legislature cut $5.4 billion from K-12 aid during its 2011 session. Districts allege that the structure of the current system creates inequalities between school systems based on wealth, and that the state has not provided the “efficient system” of public education as mandated by the state constitution.

Kansas
State Republican lawmakers indicated that they are considering changes to the state’s constitution in order to strengthen the state legislature’s power over K-12 finance and limit the state supreme court’s oversight. The move could be a significant counterpoint to a U.S. District Court ruling Jan. 11 that the state’s funding system is unconstitutional.

Colorado
Lawmakers and others are waiting for the state supreme court to rule in the Lobato v. State of Colorado case that could mandate an increase in K-12 spending by the state by anywhere between $2 billion to $4 billion annually.

Washington
Less than a year after the state supreme court ruled in McCleary v. State of Washington that the state’s K-12 funding system was constitutionally inadequate and needed to be fixed, the state’s chief justice claimed lawmakers had not done nearly enough to remedy the problem. The impact of satisfying McCleary on the court’s terms could cost the state an additional $1.4 billion in the 2013-15 budget cycle.

SOURCE: Education Week http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2013/01/23/18finance.h32.html?tkn=LWRFqQKKDXpkxTdC%2F7veHMLh%2BNzLreVfu2%2F5&cmp=clp-edweek&intc=es

 

Moi wrote in  The next great civil rights struggle: Disparity in education funding: Plessy v. Ferguson established the principle of “separate but equal” in race issues. Brown v.Board of Education which overturned the principle of “separate but equal.” would not have been necessary, but for Plessy.See also, the history of Brown v. Board of Education

If one believes that all children, regardless of that child’s status have a right to a good basic education and that society must fund and implement policies, which support this principle. Then, one must discuss the issue of equity in education. Because of the segregation, which resulted after Plessy, most folks focus their analysis of Brown almost solely on race. The issue of equity was just as important. The equity issue was explained in terms of unequal resources and unequal access to education.

People tend to cluster in neighborhoods based upon class as much as race. Good teachers tend to gravitate toward neighborhoods where they are paid well and students come from families who mirror their personal backgrounds and values. Good teachers make a difference in a child’s life. One of the difficulties in busing to achieve equity in education is that neighborhoods tend to be segregated by class as well as race. People often make sacrifices to move into neighborhoods they perceive mirror their values. That is why there must be good schools in all segments of the city and there must be good schools in all parts of this state. A good education should not depend upon one’s class or status.

I know that the lawyers in Brown were told that lawsuits were futile and that the legislatures would address the issue of segregation eventually when the public was ready. Meanwhile, several generations of African Americans waited for people to come around and say the Constitution applied to us as well. Generations of African Americans suffered in inferior schools. This state cannot sacrifice the lives of children by not addressing the issue of equity in school funding in a timely manner.

The next huge case, like Brown, will be about equity in education funding. It may not come this year or the next year. It, like Brown, may come several years after a Plessy. It will come. Equity in education funding is the civil rights issue of this century. https://drwilda.com/2011/12/02/the-next-great-civil-rights-struggle-disparity-in-education-funding/

Where information leads to Hope. ©                 Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©                          http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©                                                http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©                                                                                    https://drwilda.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The education opportunity divide: Parents face jail for wanting a better life for their child

10 Dec

Here’s today’s COMMENT FROM AN OLD FART: Moi wrote about the importance of parenting in Not P.C., but it is true, parents and parenting matter:

Many “progressives” want to put forth the idea that families don’t matter, particularly in low-income communities of color. It is a different story in middle and upper income “progressive” families as they “helicopter parent “their children. There are some awesome single-parent households, but moi is going all “OLD FART” on you and saying that children need two active, engaged,and involved parents to thrive. http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/2012/10/24/not-p-c-but-it-is-true-parents-and-parenting-matter/  The fact that two parents care very much about the well-being of the child means that they might face felony charges for caring too much.

Rosa Duarte of WFMZ69 News is reporting Parents face felony charges for sending daughter outside their district:

A Philadelphia couple is facing felony charges after allegedly lying about where they lived in order to send their daughter to a school outside their district.

Hamlet and Olesia Garcia were charged in August of this year with “theft of services”, a 3rd degree felony punishable by up to 7 years in prison, by the Lower Moreland School District in Montgomery County.

The Garcias are accused of sending their daughter to the district even though they didn’t pay property taxes, according to the District Attorney’s office. The couple cost tax payers $10,752.81.

Thursday, civil rights activists along with lawmakers held a press conference saying the laws and the ways Pennsylvania public schools are funded are unfair.

The District Attorney should go after real criminals and not put parents in prison facing up to seven years and be registered as felons because they allegedly stole a quality education,” said former California State Senator Gloria Romero.

Romero introduced the nation’s first ‘Parent trigger’ law in 2008, which allows parents of a failing school district to vote on a method to restructure the school, mostly by transforming it into a charter school….

According to Bethlehem Area School Superintendent, Joseph Roy, stories like the Garcias’ are a symptom of a much bigger matter.

This issue of inequities and funding has been going on for years and there have been different efforts to try to adjust it but never to full satisfaction,” said Roy.

As for a solution, those involved like the Garcias’ attorney Thomas Kenny said it’s up to legislators, “I would very much like the laws in the commonwealth to change and I hope today is the start of that process happening,” he said.

One suggestion is to just have the state contribute more to public education, take the burden off the local taxpayers, another is to create more regional districts so you have a balance of wealthy areas and poorer areas in areas where they’re divided,” said Roy….http://www.wfmz.com/news/news-regional-southeasternpa/Parents-face-felony-charges-for-sending-daughter-outside-their-district/-/121434/17688040/-/ek6n7/-/index.html

The Garcias’ case is the beginning of many because education equity is the next great civil rights struggle.

Moi wrote inThe next great civil rights struggle: Disparity in education funding:

Plessy v. Ferguson established the principle of “separate but equal” in race issues. Brown v.Board of Education which overturned the principle of “separate but equal.” would not have been necessary, but for Plessy. See also, the history of Brown v. Board of Education

If one believes that all children, regardless of that child’s status have a right to a good basic education and that society must fund and implement policies, which support this principle. Then, one must discuss the issue of equity in education. Because of the segregation, which resulted after Plessy, most folks focus their analysis of Brown almost solely on race. The issue of equity was just as important. The equity issue was explained in terms of unequal resources and unequal access to education.

People tend to cluster in neighborhoods based upon class as much as race. Good teachers tend to gravitate toward neighborhoods where they are paid well and students come from families who mirror their personal backgrounds and values. Good teachers make a difference in a child’s life. One of the difficulties in busing to achieve equity in education is that neighborhoods tend to be segregated by class as well as race. People often make sacrifices to move into neighborhoods they perceive mirror their values. That is why there must be good schools in all segments of the city and there must be good schools in all parts of this state. A good education should not depend upon one’s class or status.

I know that the lawyers in Brown were told that lawsuits were futile and that the legislatures would address the issue of segregation eventually when the public was ready. Meanwhile, several generations of African Americans waited for people to come around and say the Constitution applied to us as well. Generations of African Americans suffered in inferior schools. This state cannot sacrifice the lives of children by not addressing the issue of equity in school funding in a timely manner.

The next huge case, like Brown, will be about equity in education funding. It may not come this year or the next year. It, like Brown, may come several years after a Plessy. It will come. Equity in education funding is the civil rights issue of this century. https://drwilda.com/2011/12/02/the-next-great-civil-rights-struggle-disparity-in-education-funding/

Where information leads to Hope. ©                   Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©                             http://drwilaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©                                                  http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©                                                                                        https://drwilda.com/

 

SACNAS scientists argue the superiority of diversity when discussing Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin (Case No. 11-345)

4 Nov

Moi attended the SACNAS 2012 National Meeting in Seattle. Among the events on her calendar was a discussion with SACNAS board members about why diversity is important and the potential impact of Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin (Case No. 11-345), which is currently before the U.S. Supreme Court. Moi met with:

Lee Bitsoi, (Navajo) EdD SACNAS Secretary,      Bioethics at Harvard

SACNAS Board Members:

Luis Echegoyen, (Cuban) PhD Chemistry,           University of Texas at El Paso

Juan Meza, PhD                                               Dean of Natural Sciences,

                                                                       Professor of Applied Math,                                                                                  UC at Merced

Gabriel Montano,PhD                                        Nanotechnology/Membrane                                                                        Biochemistry                                                                        Los Alamos National Laboratory

Not only do these gentlemen do research and attend conferences in addition to teaching and other activities, they see their roles as MENTORS to those who will attempt to fill their shoes. See, Review of 2012 SACNAS National Meeting in Seattle http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/2012/10/20/review-of-2012-sacnas-national-meeting-in-seattle/

Before discussing the SACNAS board members argument in favor of the superiority of diversity, a discussion of affirmative action is necessary.

Plessy v. Ferguson established the principle of “separate but equal” in race issues. Brown v.Board of Education which overturned the principle of “separate but equal.” would not have been necessary, but for Plessy. See also, the history of Brown v. Board of Education

If one believes that all children, regardless of that child’s status have a right to a good basic education and that society must fund and implement policies, which support this principle. Then, one must discuss the issue of equity in education. Because of the segregation, which resulted after Plessy, most folks focus their analysis of Brown almost solely on race. The issue of equity was just as important. The equity issue was explained in terms of unequal resources and unequal access to education.

People tend to cluster in neighborhoods based upon class as much as race. Good teachers tend to gravitate toward neighborhoods where they are paid well and students come from families who mirror their personal backgrounds and values. Good teachers make a difference in a child’s life. One of the difficulties in busing to achieve equity in education is that neighborhoods tend to be segregated by class as well as race. People often make sacrifices to move into neighborhoods they perceive mirror their values. That is why there must be good schools in all segments of the city and there must be good schools in all parts of this state. A good education should not depend upon one’s class or status.

The lawyers in Brown were told that lawsuits were futile and that the legislatures would address the issue of segregation eventually when the public was ready. Meanwhile, several generations of African Americans waited for people to come around and say the Constitution applied to us as well. Generations of African Americans suffered in inferior schools. This state cannot sacrifice the lives of children by not addressing the issue of equity in school funding in a timely manner.

The next huge case, like Brown, will be about equity in education funding. It may not come this year or the next year. It, like Brown, may come several years after a Plessy. It will come. Equity in education funding is the civil rights issue of this century. https://drwilda.com/2011/12/02/the-next-great-civil-rights-struggle-disparity-in-education-funding/ U.S. Supreme Court watchers are awaiting the decision in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin (Case No. 11-345).

Mark Walsh reported in the Education Week article, Affirmative Action Case Up for Airing at High Court:

The future of affirmative action in education—not just for colleges but potentially for K-12 schools as well—may be on the line when the U.S. Supreme Court takes up a race-conscious admissions plan from the University of Texas next month.

That seems apparent to the scores of education groups that have lined up behind the university with friend-of-the-court briefs calling on the justices to uphold the plan and continue to recognize the need for racial diversity in the nation’s schools and classrooms.

Long identified as essential to the missions of many postsecondary institutions and school districts in the United States, diversity has emerged as central to our nation’s overarching goals associated with educational excellence,” says a joint brief by the College Board, the National School Boards Association, and several other K-12 groups and others that deal with college admissions.

In an interview, Francisco M. Negrón Jr., the general counsel of the NSBA and a co-author of the brief, emphasized the stakes in the scope of the issues posed in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin (Case No. 11-345), which is set for arguments Oct. 10.

This is predominantly a higher ed. case, but our interests in K-12 diversity are not dissimilar to the interests of higher education,” he said.

Student Abigail Fisher challenged the University of Texas at Austin on admissions.

The Fisher case is one of the biggest of the court’s new term, and for now is the only education case on the docket.

It involves Abigail Fisher, a white applicant who was denied admission to the University of Texas at Austin in 2008 under the university’s “holistic review” program. That program may take race into account for the quarter of places in UT-Austin’s entering freshman class not filled by the Texas law that guarantees admission to high school students who finish in the top 10 percent of their graduating classes.

Lawyers for Ms. Fisher say that but for the consideration of race, she would have been admitted. They say that the Texas program should be struck down under the 14th Amendment’s equal-protection clause because it fails the requirement for a narrowly tailored race-conscious program set forth in the Supreme Court’s 2003 decision in Grutter v. Bollinger. That 5-4 decision involved the University of Michigan law school, and the majority opinion by then-Justice Sandra Day O’Connor expressed a desire for all use of affirmative action in education to end within 25 years….  http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2012/09/28/06scotus.h32.html?tkn=XUOFyffLI8gEbWxzrz2Nk2RMFlvQXv3nnePW&cmp=clp-edweek

The theory of “affirmative action” has evolved over time.

According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:

Affirmative action” means positive steps taken to increase the representation of women and minorities in areas of employment, education, and business from which they have been historically excluded. When those steps involve preferential selection—selection on the basis of race, gender, or ethnicity—affirmative action generates intense controversy.

The development, defense, and contestation of preferential affirmative action has proceeded along two paths. One has been legal and administrative as courts, legislatures, and executive departments of government have made and applied rules requiring affirmative action. The other has been the path of public debate, where the practice of preferential treatment has spawned a vast literature, pro and con. Often enough, the two paths have failed to make adequate contact, with the public quarrels not always very securely anchored in any existing legal basis or practice.

The ebb and flow of public controversy over affirmative action can be pictured as two spikes on a line, the first spike representing a period of passionate debate that began around 1972 and tapered off after 1980, and the second indicating a resurgence of debate in the 1990s leading up to the Supreme Court’s decision in the summer of 2003 upholding certain kinds of affirmative action. The first spike encompassed controversy about gender and racial preferences alike. This is because in the beginning affirmative action was as much about the factory, the firehouse, and the corporate suite as about the university campus. The second spike represents a quarrel about race and ethnicity. This is because the burning issue at the turn of the twentieth-first century is about college admissions.[1] In admissions to selective colleges, women need no boost; African-Americans and Hispanics do.[2] http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/affirmative-action/

Stanford provides a good analysis of the theory.

In the effort to produce diverse campuses many colleges use a “holistic” admissions policy. Scott Jaschik writes in the Inside Higher Education article, ‘Holistic’ Controversy:

The University of California at Los Angeles uses a “holistic” approach to undergraduate admissions. Each applicant is reviewed not only for test scores and grades, but for low socioeconomic status, a disadvantaged background and evidence of the ability to overcome challenges (among other qualities). Holistic admissions (used by many leading colleges and universities, some of which also consider a candidate’s race and ethnicity) is designed to evaluate each applicant as more than just a set of numbers.

Proponents of holistic admissions say that it evens the playing field for those who didn’t go to the best high schools or couldn’t afford enriching summer travel or SAT tutors. And because holistic admissions avoids automatic cutoff or admission scores for students from any group, proponents hope it can help diversify student bodies without running afoul of court rulings or attracting lawsuits. http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/10/31/debate-over-admissions-and-race-ucla

Many educators have long recognized that the impact of social class affects both education achievement and life chances after completion of education. There are two impacts from diversity, one is to broaden the life experience of the privileged and to raise the expectations of the disadvantaged. Social class matters in not only other societies, but this one as well.

A few years back, the New York Times did a series about social class in America. That series is still relevant. Janny Scott and David Leonhardt’s overview, Shadowy Lines That Still Divide describes the challenges faced by schools trying to overcome the disparity in education. The complete series can be found at Social Class

Moi’s discussion with Drs. Bitsoi, Echegoyen, Meza, and Montano really was a discussion framed by the scientific method. Keep in mind the good doctors are all scientists. Their argument for a “holistic” approach in college admissions is the role of diversity in scientific inquiry and their argument that diversity in scientific teams produces better results. To a man, they argue that diversity and excellence are not mutually exclusive, but highly compatible. In fact, they argue, that diversity produces excellence of result. They used examples of the impact of the SACNAS method of mentoring young scientists who were selected for mentoring using a “holistic” appraisal of their qualifications. With mentoring and support these young scientists blossomed. The bottom line is that in order for this society to find the answers to problems which vex society, there must be a diverse set of skills and minds to problem-solve.

The question which this society has to answer is how to provide a good education for ALL despite their race or social class. The SACNAS scientists fully support a “holistic” approach approach to college admissions.

Related:

Is there a ‘model minority’ ??                                               https://drwilda.com/2012/06/23/is-there-a-model-minority/

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART © http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©                               http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©                                                                                  https://drwilda.com/

U.S. Supreme Court to decide the affirmative action case, Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin (Case No. 11-345)

30 Sep

In The next great civil rights struggle: Disparity in education funding, moi said:

Plessy v. Ferguson established the principle of “separate but equal” in race issues. Brown v.Board of Education which overturned the principle of “separate but equal.” would not have been necessary, but for Plessy. See also, the history of Brown v. Board of Education

If one believes that all children, regardless of that child’s status have a right to a good basic education and that society must fund and implement policies, which support this principle. Then, one must discuss the issue of equity in education. Because of the segregation, which resulted after Plessy, most folks focus their analysis of Brown almost solely on race. The issue of equity was just as important. The equity issue was explained in terms of unequal resources and unequal access to education.

People tend to cluster in neighborhoods based upon class as much as race. Good teachers tend to gravitate toward neighborhoods where they are paid well and students come from families who mirror their personal backgrounds and values. Good teachers make a difference in a child’s life. One of the difficulties in busing to achieve equity in education is that neighborhoods tend to be segregated by class as well as race. People often make sacrifices to move into neighborhoods they perceive mirror their values. That is why there must be good schools in all segments of the city and there must be good schools in all parts of this state. A good education should not depend upon one’s class or status.

I know that the lawyers in Brown were told that lawsuits were futile and that the legislatures would address the issue of segregation eventually when the public was ready. Meanwhile, several generations of African Americans waited for people to come around and say the Constitution applied to us as well. Generations of African Americans suffered in inferior schools. This state cannot sacrifice the lives of children by not addressing the issue of equity in school funding in a timely manner.

The next huge case, like Brown, will be about equity in education funding. It may not come this year or the next year. It, like Brown, may come several years after a Plessy. It will come. Equity in education funding is the civil rights issue of this century. https://drwilda.com/2011/12/02/the-next-great-civil-rights-struggle-disparity-in-education-funding/ U.S. Supreme Court watchers are awaiting the decision in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin (Case No. 11-345).

Mark Walsh is reporting in the Education Week article, Affirmative Action Case Up for Airing at High Court:

The future of affirmative action in education—not just for colleges but potentially for K-12 schools as well—may be on the line when the U.S. Supreme Court takes up a race-conscious admissions plan from the University of Texas next month.

That seems apparent to the scores of education groups that have lined up behind the university with friend-of-the-court briefs calling on the justices to uphold the plan and continue to recognize the need for racial diversity in the nation’s schools and classrooms.

Long identified as essential to the missions of many postsecondary institutions and school districts in the United States, diversity has emerged as central to our nation’s overarching goals associated with educational excellence,” says a joint brief by the College Board, the National School Boards Association, and several other K-12 groups and others that deal with college admissions.

In an interview, Francisco M. Negrón Jr., the general counsel of the NSBA and a co-author of the brief, emphasized the stakes in the scope of the issues posed in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin (Case No. 11-345), which is set for arguments Oct. 10.

This is predominantly a higher ed. case, but our interests in K-12 diversity are not dissimilar to the interests of higher education,” he said.

Student Abigail Fisher challenged the University of Texas at Austin on admissions.

The Fisher case is one of the biggest of the court’s new term, and for now is the only education case on the docket.

It involves Abigail Fisher, a white applicant who was denied admission to the University of Texas at Austin in 2008 under the university’s “holistic review” program. That program may take race into account for the quarter of places in UT-Austin’s entering freshman class not filled by the Texas law that guarantees admission to high school students who finish in the top 10 percent of their graduating classes.

Lawyers for Ms. Fisher say that but for the consideration of race, she would have been admitted. They say that the Texas program should be struck down under the 14th Amendment’s equal-protection clause because it fails the requirement for a narrowly tailored race-conscious program set forth in the Supreme Court’s 2003 decision in Grutter v. Bollinger. That 5-4 decision involved the University of Michigan law school, and the majority opinion by then-Justice Sandra Day O’Connor expressed a desire for all use of affirmative action in education to end within 25 years.

Friends of the Court

If Supreme Court cases were decided by the sheer weight of friend-of-the-court briefs, the University of Texas at Austin would easily prevail in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, a case involving its race-conscious admissions plan. More than 70 such briefs have been filed before the U.S. Supreme Court on the university’s side, while 17 amicus briefs were filed on student Abigail Fisher’s side. Among the highlights:

From briefs on behalf of Abigail Fisher:

Current and former federal civil rights officials [most of whom served in Republican administrations]:
“The University [of Texas at Austin] is already a remarkably racially diverse institution and has just enrolled its first majority-minority class, thanks almost entirely to the impact of its race-neutral Ten Percent Plan. It is precisely this type of institution that has benefited from, and should continue to benefit the most from, implementing race-neutral alternatives.”

Asian American Legal Foundation:
“In the name of racial diversity, racial preferences in college admissions programs in general, and at the University of Texas at Austin in particular, discriminate against Asian-American applicants by deeming them overrepresented relative to their demographics in the population and thus less worthy of admission than applicants of underrepresented races.”

Pacific Legal Foundation, Center for Equal Opportunity, and other groups:
“So long as universities are allowed to weigh race, there will be an irresistible tendency to do so mechanically and with an eye toward achieving a predetermined racial mix. If such discrimination is banned, schools will instead consider an applicant’s life circumstances and perspectives on an individual basis, which is what ‘individualized consideration’ should mean anyway.”

From briefs on behalf of the University of Texas at Austin:

U.S. Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr.:
“The nation’s interests in a range of areas—including military readiness, national security, public health, federal law enforcement, global competitiveness, and education—will be more readily achieved if the pathways to professional success are visibly open to all segments of American society.”

Teach For America:
“History and research show that students from all backgrounds are best served when their classrooms and schools are led by a diverse staff of teachers and principals. Yet without a diverse pipeline of graduates from the nation’s leading colleges and universities, our schools will struggle to recruit the heterogeneous cadre of leaders they badly need.”

The College Board, the National School Boards Association, and other education groups:
“In the elementary and secondary setting, … diversity not only contributes to the achievement of students, it also contributes positively to the development of citizenship traits, transmission of cultural norms, and growth of interpersonal and social skills that students will need to be productive and thriving citizens of a democratic nation.”

SOURCE: Education Week

Opponents of race considerations would be happy to speed up that end point.

The mood of the country concerning racial issues has changed over the last 10 years,” said Edward Blum, the founder of a Washington nonprofit group, the Project on Fair Representation, that is behind Ms. Fisher’s case. “To argue today that children of successful minority parents need affirmative action to be admitted to elite colleges and universities just seems to ring hollow.”

Ms. Fisher, who graduated this year from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, is not giving interviews.

Friends of the Court

If Supreme Court cases were decided by the sheer weight of friend-of-the-court briefs, the University of Texas at Austin would easily prevail in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, a case involving its race-conscious admissions plan. More than 70 such briefs have been filed before the U.S. Supreme Court on the university’s side, while 17 amicus briefs were filed on student Abigail Fisher’s side. Among the highlights:

From briefs on behalf of Abigail Fisher:

Current and former federal civil rights officials [most of whom served in Republican administrations]:
“The University [of Texas at Austin] is already a remarkably racially diverse institution and has just enrolled its first majority-minority class, thanks almost entirely to the impact of its race-neutral Ten Percent Plan. It is precisely this type of institution that has benefited from, and should continue to benefit the most from, implementing race-neutral alternatives.”

Asian American Legal Foundation:
“In the name of racial diversity, racial preferences in college admissions programs in general, and at the University of Texas at Austin in particular, discriminate against Asian-American applicants by deeming them overrepresented relative to their demographics in the population and thus less worthy of admission than applicants of underrepresented races.”

Pacific Legal Foundation, Center for Equal Opportunity, and other groups:
“So long as universities are allowed to weigh race, there will be an irresistible tendency to do so mechanically and with an eye toward achieving a predetermined racial mix. If such discrimination is banned, schools will instead consider an applicant’s life circumstances and perspectives on an individual basis, which is what ‘individualized consideration’ should mean anyway.”

From briefs on behalf of the University of Texas at Austin:

U.S. Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr.:
“The nation’s interests in a range of areas—including military readiness, national security, public health, federal law enforcement, global competitiveness, and education—will be more readily achieved if the pathways to professional success are visibly open to all segments of American society.”

Teach For America:
“History and research show that students from all backgrounds are best served when their classrooms and schools are led by a diverse staff of teachers and principals. Yet without a diverse pipeline of graduates from the nation’s leading colleges and universities, our schools will struggle to recruit the heterogeneous cadre of leaders they badly need.”

The College Board, the National School Boards Association, and other education groups:
“In the elementary and secondary setting, … diversity not only contributes to the achievement of students, it also contributes positively to the development of citizenship traits, transmission of cultural norms, and growth of interpersonal and social skills that students will need to be productive and thriving citizens of a democratic nation.”

SOURCE: Education Week   http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2012/09/28/06scotus.h32.html?tkn=XUOFyffLI8gEbWxzrz2Nk2RMFlvQXv3nnePW&cmp=clp-edweek

The theory of “affirmative action” has evolved over time.

According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:

Affirmative action” means positive steps taken to increase the representation of women and minorities in areas of employment, education, and business from which they have been historically excluded. When those steps involve preferential selection—selection on the basis of race, gender, or ethnicity—affirmative action generates intense controversy.

The development, defense, and contestation of preferential affirmative action has proceeded along two paths. One has been legal and administrative as courts, legislatures, and executive departments of government have made and applied rules requiring affirmative action. The other has been the path of public debate, where the practice of preferential treatment has spawned a vast literature, pro and con. Often enough, the two paths have failed to make adequate contact, with the public quarrels not always very securely anchored in any existing legal basis or practice.

The ebb and flow of public controversy over affirmative action can be pictured as two spikes on a line, the first spike representing a period of passionate debate that began around 1972 and tapered off after 1980, and the second indicating a resurgence of debate in the 1990s leading up to the Supreme Court’s decision in the summer of 2003 upholding certain kinds of affirmative action. The first spike encompassed controversy about gender and racial preferences alike. This is because in the beginning affirmative action was as much about the factory, the firehouse, and the corporate suite as about the university campus. The second spike represents a quarrel about race and ethnicity. This is because the burning issue at the turn of the twentieth-first century is about college admissions.[1] In admissions to selective colleges, women need no boost; African-Americans and Hispanics do.[2] http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/affirmative-action/

Stanford provides a good analysis of the theory.

Many educators have long recognized that the impact of social class affects both education achievement and life chances after completion of education. There are two impacts from diversity, one is to broaden the life experience of the privileged and to raise the expectations of the disadvantaged. Social class matters in not only other societies, but this one as well.

A few years back, the New York Times did a series about social class in America. That series is still relevant. Janny Scott and David Leonhardt’s overview, Shadowy Lines That Still Divide describes the challenges faced by schools trying to overcome the disparity in education. The complete series can be found at Social Class

The question which this society has to answer is how to provide a good education for ALL despite, their race or social class.

Related:

3rd world America: Many young people headed for life on the dole https://drwilda.com/2012/09/21/3rd-world-america-many-young-people-headed-for-life-on-the-dole/

The Civil Rights Project report: Segregation in education https://drwilda.com/2012/09/19/the-civil-rights-project-report-segregation-in-education/

Study: Poverty affects education attainment https://drwilda.com/2012/08/29/study-poverty-affects-education-attainment/

Center for American Progress report: Disparity in education spending for education of children of color                     https://drwilda.com/2012/08/22/center-for-american-progress-report-disparity-in-education-spending-for-education-of-children-of-color/

Education funding lawsuits against states on the rise https://drwilda.com/2012/01/25/education-funding-lawsuits-against-states-on-the-rise/

3rd world America: The link between poverty and education https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/11/20/3rd-world-america-the-link-between-poverty-and-education/

Race, class, and education in America                 https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/11/07/race-class-and-education-in-america/

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