Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Field trip for black students sparks controversy at Ann Arbor elementary school
annarbor.com ^ | May 3, 2010 | David Jesse

Posted on 05/03/2010 9:41:52 PM PDT by FenwickBabbitt

An Ann Arbor elementary school principal used a letter home to parents tonight to defend a field trip for black students as part of his school’s efforts to close the achievement gap between white and black students.

Dicken Elementary School Principal Mike Madison wrote the letter to parents following several days of controversy at the school after a field trip last week in which black students got to hear a rocket scientist.

“In hindsight, this field trip could have been approached and arranged in a better way," Madison wrote. "But as I reflect upon the look of excitement, enthusiasm and energy that I saw in these children’s eyes as they stood in the presence of a renowned African American rocket scientist in a very successful position, it gave the kids an opportunity to see this type of achievement is possible for even them.

“It was not a wasted venture for I know one day they might want to aspire to be the first astronaut or scientist standing on the Planet Mars.

“I also think it’s important that you know that I have talked to the children who did not go on the field trip, and I think they have a better understanding of the purpose of the AA Lunch Bunch now, as I hope you do. I’m sorry if any kids were upset by the field trip or my discussion afterwards with them, and I have let them know that.

“The intent of our field trip was not to segregate or exclude students as has been reported, but rather to address the societal issues, roadblocks and challenges that our African American children will face as they pursue a successful academic education here in our community.”

A handful of parents have complained to district administrators about the trip, the group and Madison. More than a half-dozen parents contacted AnnArbor.com to raise the complaints, but none would agree to talk on the record, citing concerns of reprisals to their children by Madison.

While there’s no clear agreement between the two sides about exactly what happened, most of the controversy centers on a field trip taken last week by the Lunch Bunch for African American boys and girls to hear a black rocket engineer talk.

District spokeswoman Liz Margolis said after the trip was over, those who went returned to their fifth-grade class and were greeted by boos by those who didn’t go on the trip. Margolis said Madison, who is black, heard the boos, and went to talk to the class. She said he and the class had a “discussion” about race issues.

“He wasn’t yelling at them. He was very passionate about it,” Margolis said.

Parents have complained he was yelling at the class and belittled a Muslim girl who said she also had experienced racism and discrimination.

The program itself began earlier this year after the school received its latest achievement results. Margolis said the Lunch Bunch came from the school’s School Improvement Team and is tied to that team’s goals. She said several other schools in the district have similar programs targeting specific subgroups of students who are at risk.

According to meeting minutes, Madison introduced the club to the PTO in February as part of the school and district’s equity work.

Parent Vicki Haviland, who is white and has three children at Dicken, said she is supportive of the overall program. Haviland is the secretary of the Dicken PTO and has filed papers for the open school board seat.

“I think the African-American Lunch Bunch is totally in line with the district’s equity work,” she said. “I think the field trip was a fine idea.”

She said she hopes the school and the district would “do a better job in talking about (race in education). Clearly there are people who don’t feel heard about it.”


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; US: Michigan
KEYWORDS: ann; annarbor; arbor; arth; blacks; blackstudents; children; education; michigan; racism; schools; segregation
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-57 next last
Education news from ultra-leftie, majority white Ann Arbor.
1 posted on 05/03/2010 9:41:53 PM PDT by FenwickBabbitt
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: FenwickBabbitt
... but none would agree to talk on the record, citing concerns of reprisals to their children by Madison.

Intimidation, or fear of intimidation, is a powerful tool in education.

2 posted on 05/03/2010 9:44:30 PM PDT by mlocher (USA is a sovereign nation)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: FenwickBabbitt

Reading, Writing and Math!

It’s criminal when they do not just teach these children the basics of what they will need to survive. I don’t care what color they are.

Homeschooled ours and our youngest is graduating H.S and starting college a year early. In the top 10% of the SAT’s. Like she said, “Not that hard to do Dad”.

Not that hard because it’s being dumbed down more and more. (Her words)


3 posted on 05/03/2010 9:53:05 PM PDT by liberty or death
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: FenwickBabbitt

Unbelievable. So he’s saying kids can’t succeed unless they “see someone like me”?. BS, I was a teacher. This is liberal, Bill Ayers, PC crap.


4 posted on 05/03/2010 9:54:33 PM PDT by machogirl (First they came for my tagline.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: FenwickBabbitt

Can you imagine what would be said if they had done this for a group of white kids?


5 posted on 05/03/2010 9:57:53 PM PDT by KittyKares (.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: FenwickBabbitt; mlocher; liberty or death

Kurt Vonnegut must be relishing this story in his grave. His satire (Harrison Bergeron) is proving so prophetic.

http://www.tnellen.com/cybereng/harrison.html


6 posted on 05/03/2010 9:58:54 PM PDT by aquila48
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: FenwickBabbitt

A note to the professors whose children no doubt go to that school...DIVERSITY IS GREAT...until your kid is the victim of it. Then it kinda sucks, doesn’t it.

Come on professors - stand up and be counted. Minority kids were given preference this time...what the hell do you think your law school (and, no doubt, every other department) does? Come on guys...if you bitch about your kids getting shafted, how about the very smart kids that went to high school in Bloomfield Hills and got rejected, so that some unqualified kid from Pontiac could be admitted to the university (just to drop out, once enough diversity photos had been taken) - how about it?


7 posted on 05/03/2010 10:00:47 PM PDT by BobL
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: FenwickBabbitt

Justifying discrimination as a means to reparate 2 1/2 century old discrimination.

This guy is absolutely tone deaf. If this letter to Parents is his starting point, then how does any parent find a way to resolve this short of withdrawing their children from this school?? This guy is a Public employee, and he is obviously blindly clueless to that fact, because he has probably been allowed to get away with this kind of thinking for far too long. Too many people listen to guys like this and blindly accept them as experts on how best to teach their children.

I’ll be he pulls down well over $100 Grand a year in taxpayer financed salary too...

Textbook case for home schooling.


8 posted on 05/03/2010 10:04:14 PM PDT by Bean Counter (We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office -- Aesop)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: FenwickBabbitt

This so-called education professional should be immediately fired.


9 posted on 05/03/2010 10:05:37 PM PDT by Psycho_Bunny (The Quran and Mein Kampf: if you've read one you've read them both.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: FenwickBabbitt

Does this principal not see the benefit in having ALL students listen to a rocket scientist who is also a member of a minority? I would think that the white students would have learned something, as well. But by separating the students, he only created more division.


10 posted on 05/03/2010 10:06:15 PM PDT by TNdandelion
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BobL

Frankly, Bob, I doubt that most U of M Marxists...um, professors would oppose what this man did, even if it did happen to their children. I think a lot of them would use it as a teaching lesson on why Affirmative Action is necessary (because blacks are kept down so far that they need a special hand up, blah, blah, blah). This sort of thing just springs from the same mindset as Affirmative Action, i.e. that it’s OK to discriminate, just so long as it is against the right groups of people.


11 posted on 05/03/2010 10:10:19 PM PDT by FenwickBabbitt
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: FenwickBabbitt
...they stood in the presence of a renowned African American rocket scientist in a very successful position...

Loopy Louie Hayes?

The Old Negro Space Program

12 posted on 05/03/2010 10:23:45 PM PDT by rogue yam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: FenwickBabbitt

Where did the Honky Lunch Bunch go on their last field trip? Is there a special racial group for each lunch bunch and each trip? Are they assigned specific tables when they’re not on field trips? Segregation, it’s baaaack!


13 posted on 05/03/2010 10:25:15 PM PDT by bgill (how could a young man born here in Kenya, who is not even a native American, become the POTUS)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: FenwickBabbitt

I hear you, but even Marxists have a way of getting their backs up, when it’s THEIR KIDS being burned. They may be on their quest to destroy the evils of capitalism, but they also want to be sure that their kids don’t leach off of them when they grow up.

But who knows...it’s even possible that the parents are simply blue-collar...although no one would bother caring what that bunch thought.


14 posted on 05/03/2010 10:29:11 PM PDT by BobL
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

Comment #15 Removed by Moderator

To: FenwickBabbitt

“ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL, BUT SOME ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS” comes to mind.


16 posted on 05/03/2010 10:32:39 PM PDT by stilloftyhenight
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: bgill

Should have done lunch at State Pen, Cell Block 7, lots of AA “Rocket Scientists” there.

Perhaps some of the class could be “Scared Straight”.


17 posted on 05/03/2010 10:32:58 PM PDT by outhousepatrol
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: FenwickBabbitt
"The intent of our field trip was not to segregate or exclude students as has been reported, but rather to address the societal issues, roadblocks and challenges that our African American children will face as they pursue a successful academic education here in our community.”

I cannot imagine that black kids in Ann Arbor face a single roadblock or challenge in their pursuing education. If anything, I suspect they face quite the opposite.

18 posted on 05/03/2010 10:33:41 PM PDT by freespirited (There are a lot of bad Republicans but there are no good Democrats.--Ann Coulter)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: mlocher
Intimidation, or fear of intimidation, is a powerful tool in education.

Successful liberalism

19 posted on 05/03/2010 11:05:44 PM PDT by GeronL (http://libertyfic.proboards.com << Get your science fiction and fiction test marketed)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: TNdandelion

“Does this principal not see the benefit in having ALL students listen to a rocket scientist who is also a member of a minority? I would think that the white students would have learned something, as well. But by separating the students, he only created more division.”

We have a Bingo at Post #18.


20 posted on 05/03/2010 11:12:06 PM PDT by truth_seeker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: FenwickBabbitt

Realize that the field trip is sort of wasted time (kids not on-task with reading, writing, math while traveling around town).

So, the kids who didn’t go on the field trip were getting better instruction, at least as it pertains to any upcoming standardized testing.

If I were a parent of a minority child who went on the trip, I would want to know what my child missed/what the other kids back at the school were learning in their lessons that day so that I could go over that material myself with my kids.


21 posted on 05/03/2010 11:13:17 PM PDT by JulienBenda ("Don't you just LOVE the Emperor's new clothes?!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: FenwickBabbitt

I don’t understand the problem. They were just celebrating ‘Take Your African-American to Work’ day.


22 posted on 05/03/2010 11:21:15 PM PDT by VeniVidiVici (Everyone needs valid ID except illegal aliens and the President - only in America)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: FenwickBabbitt

Unbelievable! A field trip for black kids only??????


23 posted on 05/03/2010 11:24:26 PM PDT by Persevero (If man evolved from monkeys and apes, why do we still have monkeys and apes?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: FenwickBabbitt

It’s amazing how much time is wasted in the classroom on crap like this. I agree with an earlier post that what these kids and all kids need is quality instruction. It’s not going to do these kids any good to finally get to college and not be able to complete the necessary work because they wasted their valuable learning time on a field trip. I see this all the time as a substitute teacher. Some days I add up the time we spend on legitimate lessons and a lot of the time it’s less than 2 hours (remember I’m following the teacher’s lessons, not my own.) Kids who are homeschooled really don’t miss a lot.


24 posted on 05/03/2010 11:44:05 PM PDT by snowflake2428
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Understated

Ultra leftie Ann Arbor?!! ack! I hope you keep educating those twins!


25 posted on 05/04/2010 12:52:10 AM PDT by Shimmer1 (Power of love)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: mlocher

one lawsuit....that’s all I ask.....do we have any courageous patriots who will stand up for their children and the constitution?


26 posted on 05/04/2010 1:40:33 AM PDT by cherry
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: TNdandelion
well exactly.....the benefit would also be greater for the black students...seeing an educated black person be respected by other races, not just their own....

I can't believe people are taking this lying down....Americans are growing more pathetic as time goes on...

27 posted on 05/04/2010 1:42:42 AM PDT by cherry
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: cherry

I guess Obama being on television every day doesn’t count.


28 posted on 05/04/2010 3:38:16 AM PDT by nolongerademocrat ("Before you ask G-d for something, first thank G-d for what you already have." B'rachot 30b)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: FenwickBabbitt

““The intent of our field trip was not to segregate or exclude students as has been reported”
Let’s see. You exclude whites and segregate the kids, but exclusion and segregation wasn’t your intent.
I’d say you are a lying sack of excrement.
The principal is black, and like many, if not most, blacks he is racist.


29 posted on 05/04/2010 3:41:12 AM PDT by Scotsman will be Free (11C - Indirect fire, infantry - High angle hell - We will bring you, FIRE)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: FenwickBabbitt
So white children would not have benefited from hearing the success story of this black scientist?

What they don't seem to understand is conservatives do not care about the color of a persons skin, we care about how a person uses their God given (not government given) talents to succeed.

30 posted on 05/04/2010 3:42:20 AM PDT by mware (F-R-E-E, that spells free, Free Republic.com baby.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: rogue yam

LOL! Well played. That video was just an instant classic.


31 posted on 05/04/2010 3:44:46 AM PDT by FreedomPoster (No Representation without Taxation!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: FenwickBabbitt

close public schools


32 posted on 05/04/2010 3:51:02 AM PDT by rrrod
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: rogue yam

!Hilarious.


33 posted on 05/04/2010 4:08:03 AM PDT by cajungirl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: bgill

State representatives in Michigan could stop everything like this with the passage of just one well written law. Its up to the people of Michigan to make them do it. It CAN be done.


34 posted on 05/04/2010 4:54:47 AM PDT by tyrem1166 (Colonial typeface/font)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: FenwickBabbitt
I wonder what percentage of black heritage was required in order to qualify for the trip?

50% - Would Obama have qualified?

35%?

17%?

35 posted on 05/04/2010 4:58:25 AM PDT by norwaypinesavage (Galileo: In science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of one individual)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: machogirl

They have made teaching secondary to social engineering.


36 posted on 05/04/2010 5:01:21 AM PDT by lonestar (Better Obama picks his nose than our pockets!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: snowflake2428
I see this all the time as a substitute teacher. Some days I add up the time we spend on legitimate lessons and a lot of the time it’s less than 2 hours (remember I’m following the teacher’s lessons, not my own.)

Don't you just love the teacher who thinks you're too dumb to teach her class so makes it a movie day?

37 posted on 05/04/2010 6:26:52 AM PDT by bgill (how could a young man born here in Kenya, who is not even a native American, become the POTUS)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: FenwickBabbitt

diversity..except when seperate but equal is better.


38 posted on 05/04/2010 6:28:27 AM PDT by stylin19a (Never buy a putter until you first get a chance to throw it)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Scotsman will be Free
"The principal is black, and like many, if not most, blacks he is racist.

And his tone:

"it gave the kids an opportunity to see this type of achievement is possible for even them. "

Do you think he could be more condescending?
39 posted on 05/04/2010 6:34:13 AM PDT by shibumi (Pablo (the Wily One) signed up for the "Hippo Attack" ping list!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: lonestar

Sadly, this school is a microcosm of American Public Schools.


40 posted on 05/04/2010 12:08:07 PM PDT by machogirl (First they came for my tagline.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: FenwickBabbitt

Actually, Ann Arbor isn’t “majority white” - technically, it’s a very mixed-culture community, due in large part to the number of people from a lot of different cultures who work at or attend the University of Michigan. Although the majority of the white folks who live there are the typical granola-crunching, tree-hugging liberals that infest many large “college towns.”

I live in Macomb County, where there are also a number of different ethnic groups, all of which are represented in the public schools. Black children in many of our school districts - in part, we believe, because of the variety - seem to be more focused on getting a good education and doing their best.

That attitude comes from the parents at home - and it’s supported by the schools; not the other way around. It’s only in places like Detroit, Pontiac, Ann Arbor, and other areas where the leftist-liberal agenda is tied to money coming in from out of the district or the state that there is such a focused effort to perpetuate the black entitlement mentality.


41 posted on 05/05/2010 7:23:14 AM PDT by lawyerchik1 ("Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom." - Benjamin Franklin)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: lawyerchik1

Well, Wikipedia lists Ann Arbor as 75% white. So, yes, it is correct to say that it is majority white. Only around 8% of the population there is black. The largest group of minorities are Asians. I’ve spent a lot of time in Ann Arbor, and believe me, it is *very* white compared to a lot of places I’ve lived in and visited before. I guess one’s perceptions of these sorts of things are relative to one’s own previous experiences.


42 posted on 05/06/2010 12:36:49 AM PDT by FenwickBabbitt
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 41 | View Replies]

To: FenwickBabbitt

The comments are the source’s web site are interesting. Yes, there are people defending racial discrimination.

How. Sad.


43 posted on 05/06/2010 12:51:50 AM PDT by Nickname (2012 - Yes You're Canned!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: FenwickBabbitt

We need to spend billions integrating schools, we need to do all we can to foster diversity because, like you know, diversity is our strength.

Then, once everyone is together in one big group hug, we can pick out the black kids and send them off by themselves on a field trip.


44 posted on 05/06/2010 12:57:46 AM PDT by Brugmansian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: FenwickBabbitt
“The intent of our field trip was not to segregate or exclude students as has been reported...
Correction:

“The intent of our field trip was not to segregate or exclude students as has been reported,  even though that's what we specifically did...

45 posted on 05/06/2010 1:21:02 AM PDT by Bob
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: FenwickBabbitt
Sending an “affirmative action” message early in life. On both sides, the kids know that the black kids received special treatment. Thus, the booing when the kids returned from the field trip. The school is reinforcing the division between races, the resentment among white kids and the sense of entitlement among the black kids. And as the black kids have time to process this experience in the days and months to come, they will likely have a growing sense of resentment that the teachers and principal thought they needed special treatment, and a sense of alienation from the white kids because of mutual suspicion between the groups.

The liberals are setting the black kids up (at least the majority of them) with the idea that they don't need to try as hard, because they are entitled to special treatment. They are training the white kids to doubt that any black person has earned the right to his position, either in school or in career.

If such policies are practiced widely, any of the black kids who excel in academics or in their chosen career will have this cloud hanging over them until they achieve wide recognition for their abilities and accomplishments, usually late in life.

Typical liberal problem. It's not whether the program works, it's whether your heart was in the right place. If you were trying to do good (by the liberal creed), it doesn't matter whether your efforts were beneficial or deleterious. It's the thought that counts.

Here's a thought: Wouldn't it have been beneficial to the white kids to hear the black scientist talk? Wouldn't they have learned something about science? Wouldn't it do them as much good as it did for the black kids to see a successful black professional? Wouldn't it have been good for both white and black kids to see all of the students treated equally?

46 posted on 05/06/2010 2:24:50 AM PDT by Rocky (REPEAL IT!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: tyrem1166

We have a bunch of gutless state legislators in Michigan from both parties, so don’t hold your breath. They’ll huff, they’ll puff, then they’ll go sit themselves down. They have better things to do like raise taxes and suck up to public employee unions—both parties.


47 posted on 05/06/2010 2:42:59 AM PDT by RushLake (Liberalism/Progressivism--Domestic terrorism financed by your tax dollars.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: stylin19a

>>>diversity..except when seperate but equal is better.<<<

This is even worse than “seperate but equal”. If the non-black kids had their own, equivalent field trip, that would be separate but equal.

This is seperate and unequal.


48 posted on 05/06/2010 2:25:01 PM PDT by Above My Pay Grade
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: FenwickBabbitt
Par for the course.

The principal is in direct violation of the Michigan law against discrimination, but we all know these laws (just like "hate crime" laws) go only one way.

By the way......

the Obamas get to go on taxpayer funded "field trips."


49 posted on 05/06/2010 3:17:06 PM PDT by SkyPilot
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Above My Pay Grade

great observations.
thanks


50 posted on 05/06/2010 3:31:02 PM PDT by stylin19a (Never buy a putter until you first get a chance to throw it)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 48 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-57 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson