Skip to comments.Sowell: Will Dunbar Rise Again?
Posted on 04/29/2014 9:46:16 AM PDT by jazusamo
Dunbar High School in Washington is becoming a controversial issue again and the controversy that is beginning to develop has implications for American education well beyond the District of Columbia.
There has not been much controversy about Dunbar High School for a long time. Since sometime in the late 1950s, it has been just one more ghetto school with an abysmal academic record and that has been too common to be controversial.
What is different about the history of Dunbar is that, from its founding in 1870 as the first public high school in the country for black students, until the mid 1950s, it was an outstanding academic success.
As far back as 1899, when tests were given in Washington's four academic high schools at that time, the black high school scored higher than two of the three white high schools. That was the M Street School that was renamed Dunbar High School in 1916.
Today, more than a hundred years later, it would be considered Utopian to even set such a goal, much less expect it to happen. In 1954, the Supreme Court declared that separate schools were inherently unequal, no doubt in ignorance of Dunbar, which was within walking distance of the site of that sweeping pronouncement.
The test results in 1899 were no isolated fluke. Over the next several decades, four-fifths of Dunbar graduates went on to college far more than for either black or white high school graduates in the country at large during that era.
Most went to inexpensive local colleges but, among those who went on to Ivy League and other elite colleges, a significant number graduated Phi Beta Kappa. At one time, Dunbar graduates could get into Dartmouth or Harvard without having to take an entrance exam.
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Thanks for the post.
Walter Williams has made the point that most of what passes for “black culture” is actually the old southern plantation culture. Attitudes towards academic achievement and “acting white” are similar amongst “crackers” and “ghetto” groups.
A mind is a terrible thing to waste, the government is all about wasting minds.
Absolutely...Getting unions out of the school systems nationwide would be a good start to turning that around.
As long as blacks keep voting for democrats nothing will change. Black “leaders” have no other interest in blacks than their vote for graft and democrats.
That was Sowell - Black Rednecks and White Liberals. Very good and informative read.
I don’t think it was so much the southern plantation culture; it was the poor southern free whites, living in the highlands and descended from the lowland Scot-Irish immigrants.
James Webb said the same thing in “Born Fighting”.
IMHO, ‘black culture’ is merely urban tribalism, with a good deal of emphasis on clan/tribe conflict & violence.
When one’s group has a significant percentage of members with IQ scores of 81 or lower, delayed gratification is a hard sell.