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Why Are Black Students Lagging?
New York Times | 11/29/02 | FELICIA R. LEE

Posted on 11/29/2002 11:31:28 PM PST by kattracks


The persistent academic gap between white and black students has touched off difficult and often ugly debates over the question why. Are racist stereotypes to blame? Substandard schools? Cultural attitudes?

This long-running argument may bubble up again next year with the arrival of a book that argues minority communities themselves contribute to student failure.

The book, "Black American Students in an Affluent Suburb: A Study of Academic Disengagement" (Lawrence Erlbaum Associates), is by John U. Ogbu, an anthropology professor at the University of California at Berkeley and a well-known figure in the field of student achievement for more than three decades. Indeed, it was Mr. Ogbu's research that popularized the phrase "acting white" in the mid-1980's to help explain why black students might disdain behaviors associated with high achievement, like speaking standard grammatical English.

Now Mr. Ogbu is back, arguing with renewed fervor that his most recent research shows that African-Americans' own cultural attitudes are a serious problem that is too often neglected.

"No matter how you reform schools, it's not going to solve the problem," he said in an interview. "There are two parts of the problem, society and schools on one hand and the black community on the other hand."

Professor Ogbu's latest conclusions are highlighted in a study of blacks in Shaker Heights, Ohio, an affluent Cleveland suburb whose school district is equally divided between blacks and whites. As in many racially integrated school districts, the black students have lagged behind whites in grade-point averages, test scores and placement in high-level classes. Professor Ogbu was invited by black parents in 1997 to examine the district's 5,000 students to figure out why.

"What amazed me is that these kids who come from homes of doctors and lawyers are not thinking like their parents; they don't know how their parents made it," Professor Ogbu said in an interview. "They are looking at rappers in ghettos as their role models, they are looking at entertainers. The parents work two jobs, three jobs, to give their children everything, but they are not guiding their children."

For example, he said that middle-class black parents in general spent no more time on homework or tracking their children's schooling than poor white parents. And he said that while black students talked in detail about what efforts were needed to get an A and about their desire to achieve, too many nonetheless failed to put forth that effort.

Those kinds of attitudes reflect a long history of adapting to oppression and stymied opportunities, said Professor Ogbu, a Nigerian immigrant who has written that involuntary black immigrants behave like low-status minorities in other societies.

Not surprisingly, he said, the parents were disappointed when he turned the spotlight on them as well as the schools. Peggy Caldwell, a spokeswoman for the Shaker Heights City School District, said that minority families cared deeply about their children's academic achievement and the district was working with education experts to reduce the racial achievement gap. She noted that while Professor Ogbu called most of the black families in the district middle class, 10 to 12 percent live in poverty.

Also not surprisingly, many researchers take issue with some of Professor Ogbu's latest findings.

"When we asked if friends made fun of kids who do well in school, we don't find any racial difference in that," said Ronald F. Ferguson, a senior research associate at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard who analyzed a new study of 40,000 middle and high school students in 15 middle class school districts, including Shaker Heights.

Indeed, the study, which was administered by the Minority Student Achievement Network, an organization that explores ways to close the racial achievement gap, found that African-American and Latino students work as hard and care as much about school as white and Asian students do.

Mr. Ferguson said that while minorities lag behind whites in things like homework completion, it is wrong to infer that they aren't interested in school. "High achievers are more often accused of acting white than low achievers, but it's because the low achievers suspect the high achievers believe they are superior."

"It's things like talking too properly when you're in informal social settings," he continued. "It's hanging around white friends and acting like you don't want to be with your black friends. It's really about behavior patterns and not achievement."

Mr. Ferguson speculated that what Professor Ogbu saw was a clumsy attempt by black students to search for a comfortable racial identity. "What does it mean to be black?" he said. "What does it mean to be white? The community needs to help kids make sense of their own identity."

"I would agree with Ogbu that there are youth cultural patterns and behaviors that are counterproductive for academic success," he went on, mentioning socializing in class and spending too much time watching television. "But when they engage in those behaviors, they are not purposely avoiding academic success."

Other researchers have zeroed in on other culprits, whether inferior schools, lower teacher expectations, impoverished family backgrounds or some combination.

Theories of black intellectual inferiority, too, have popped up from the 1781 publication of Thomas Jefferson's "Notes on the State of Virginia" to "The Bell Curve" in 1994 and beyond. Given that sensitivity and the implications for policies like school desegregation and affirmative action, virtually every aspect of the academic gap has been examined.

Where Professor Ogbu found that some middle class blacks were clueless about their children's academic life, for example, Roslyn Arlin Mickelson, a sociology professor at the University of North Carolina, instead concluded that such parents were often excluded from the informal networks that white parents use for information about courses, gifted programs and testing. "I believe, based on my own research, that the center of gravity lies with the school system," she said.

Claude Steele, a Stanford University psychologist, meanwhile, has hypothesized that black students are responding to the fear of confirming lowered expectations.

And Walter R. Allen, a professor of sociology at the University of California at Los Angeles, said that even when racial minorities and whites attended the same schools, they could have radically different experiences because of tracking and teacher expectations.

Professor Allen is conducting a long-term project on college access for African-American and Latino high school students in California. In his view, black students sometimes underperform because of subtle exchanges with teachers who convey the message that they find the students inferior or frightening. And, he said, minority schools still overwhelmingly lack good teachers and adequate teaching tools.

He also pointed out that comparing the income level of black and white families, as Professor Ogbu did with his Midwestern subjects, can be misleading. Black incomes might be derived from two-career families juggling several jobs compared with a single breadwinner in white households.

Professor Ogbu is no stranger to controversy. His theory of "acting white" has been the subject of intense study since he first wrote about it in the mid-80's with Signithia Fordham, then a graduate student and now a professor of anthropology at the University of Rochester. They studied an inner-city Washington high school where students listed doing well in school among the "white" behaviors they rejected, like visiting the Smithsonian and dancing to lyrics rather than a beat.

The two anthropologists theorized that a long history of discrimination helped foster what is known in sociological lingo as an oppositional peer culture. Not only were students resisting the notion that white behavior was superior to their own, but they also saw no connection between good grades and finding a job.

Many scholars who have disputed those findings rely on a continuing survey of about 17,000 nationally representative students, which is conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics, an arm of the federal government. This self-reported survey shows that black students actually have more favorable attitudes than whites toward education, hard work and effort.

But that has by no means settled the debate. In the February issue of the American Sociological Review, for example, scholars who tackled the subject came to opposite conclusions. One article (by three scholars) said that the government data were not reliable because there was often a gap between what students say and what they do; another article by two others said they found that high-achieving black students were especially popular among their peers.

"It's difficult to determine what's going on," said Vincent J. Roscigno, a professor of sociology at Ohio State University who has studied racial differences in achievement. "`I'm sort of split on Ogbu. It's hard to compare a case analysis to a nationally representative statistical analysis. I do have a hunch that rural white poor kids are doing the same thing as poor black kids. I'm tentative about saying it's race-based."

Indeed, Professor Mickelson of the University of North Carolina found that working class whites as well as middle-class blacks were more apt to believe that doing well in school compromised their identity.

All these years later, Professor Fordham said, she fears that the acting-white idea has been distorted into blaming the victim. She said she wanted to advance the debate by looking at how race itself was a social fiction, rooted not just in skin color but also in behaviors and social status.

"Black kids don't get validation and are seen as trespassing when they exceed academic expectations," Professor Fordham said, echoing her initial research. "The kids turn on it, they sacrifice their spots in gifted and talented classes to belong to a group where they feel good."



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To: superdestroyer
The problem that has been shown over and over again is that black culture, outside of school, is anti-intellectual.

Not at all; "black culture" in and of itself is not anti-education or anti-intellectual. On the contrary, if you examine black culutre in it's purest form, and go back to the pre-1960 timeframe, when you can and will see black cuture in it's pure form, you will find that there is a huge emphasis on education and on intellectual advancement within the culture.

The contemporary problem is two-fold. First, thanks to the race warlords and poverty pimps and liberal enablers, it has become "OK" for blacks to relish within their "victim" status. The be-all, end-all for black America, thanks to the Jesse Jacksons of the world, is to play the victim. Unfortunately, this has spread to education. John McWhorter pointed this out in his book, "Losing the Race."

The second problem is tied, not to "black culture," but to popular culture. Pop culture is force-fed to the masses via television and radio; it's extended by peer pressure and culture. It's popular not to achieve - why? Because you don't see or hear of your favorite television star or favorite musician going that route. When they see blacks on television, they are more likely to watch something like "Fastlane," which glorifies violence and crime, than to turn on the Discovery Channel or PBS.

Now this does not speak for everyone by far. But it does speak for enough that are reflected by the statistical numbers.

In any event, when households are steeped in traditional values, either black or mainstream or both, the offspring of those houses prosper academically.

It also means that the parents are more likely to take an active role in their childrens' education. Even something as simple as checking over their kids' homework and helping them to understand concepts taught at school. When that happens, everyone benefits.

51 posted on 11/30/2002 6:32:03 AM PST by mhking
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To: AllSmiles
You write: Instead, we should find areas of life for which blacks, as a group, are positively adapted.

I don't think we can direct a whole group of people, based on skin color, to seek certain types of work. I think we need to examine what prompts a person to seek a particular career. Perhaps we might find that society (parents, educators, the media) do not shine a bright enough light on those who succeed in non-glamorous jobs. There are role models out there, and we should be helping kids of all races to see what these role models have achieved, and to formulate in their minds a healthy definition of success.

Someone on this thread mentioned Thomas Sowell. His book, A Personal Oddysey, should be required reading for all high scholl freshmen. It is inspirational to see what an intelligent, determined person can achieve against the odds.

However, we need other role models as well, for students who do not have the intellect or drive of a Thomas Sowell. Students need to hear about people who have succeeded in other walks of life, and to understand what they had to go through on the way to success.

52 posted on 11/30/2002 6:32:52 AM PST by Rocky
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To: BurkeCalhounDabney
Who really cares anymore except the people who derive power from taxation or the ability to inspire hate against anything they can lable white.
53 posted on 11/30/2002 6:36:09 AM PST by junta
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To: Tripleplay
Tripleplay, You also may be aware that last week, the Gangsta (C)rapper Jay Z was made "principal for a day" at Detroit Cass Tech High School. Cass Tech is supposed to be the premier HS in Detroit. The alleged real principal of Cass Tech and the "community leadership" apparently had no problem with this "honor" given to the (C)rapper. Coincidentally, the Gangsta (C)rapper Jay Z was in town to promote his latest "album" of Gangsta (C)rap.
54 posted on 11/30/2002 6:40:36 AM PST by RushLake
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To: kattracks
This only matters to those who would base society on groups rather than individual rights.
55 posted on 11/30/2002 6:40:58 AM PST by laredo44
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To: Charles Henrickson
I think you are correct. The Liberals never want to acknowledge the high rate of abandonment of children by their fathers as a problem. Remember, the lesbian community does not want to admit that fathers matter either. If the lesbian studies are correct and fathers don't matter, then we have to look towards other explanations.

One explanation that I have heard tossed about is that the slaves in the U.S. were the weaker tribes in the African gene pool. They were "selected out" to the U.S. by African tribal leaders and the British (as slave traders). Of course, many blacks are highly intelligent which is not inconsistent with that theory. Of course, some highly intelligent tribes that were simply small in size may have been captured and shipped to the U.S.
56 posted on 11/30/2002 6:42:59 AM PST by TonyS6
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To: BurkeCalhounDabney
I agree with you. The "root cause" of this disparity is IQ. That my seem unpalatable to some, but the science is there. It might also be noted that there are other disparities of this sort between other groups. Ashkenazi Jews have a higher IQ than do white gentiles. And, surprise, they have a higher income and higher rates of academic achievement. Noting this fact doesn't mean that I hate white gentiles (I am one), but rather that I can examine the data and reach an obvious conclusion.

The only ways that this disparity will ever be eliminated is:

1) genetic technology evolves so that the human genome can be manipulated.

2) education for white kids is dumbed down to the extent that both black and white kids are equally illiterate.

Manipulation of environment and culture (such as is attempted by the whole web of social welfare programs) will not solve what is essentially a nature based, not social based, phenomenon.

57 posted on 11/30/2002 6:47:11 AM PST by quebecois
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To: superdestroyer
"The problem that has been shown over and over again is that black culture, outside of school, is anti-intellectual."

Yeah that nails it.

Though I like to think the biggest problem for these black kids is their hoodlum friends.

"Just tell your hoodlum friends outside.

You ain't got time to take a ride.

Yakkety Yak.

Don't talk back!"
58 posted on 11/30/2002 7:00:53 AM PST by SBprone
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To: kattracks
Why Are Black Students Lagging?

Because they can? Seriously, when the system rewards failure, look for people, seeking reward, to fail. To me, its that simple.

59 posted on 11/30/2002 7:03:06 AM PST by meyer
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To: superdestroyer
The belief that blacks make great athletes is somewhat of a myth. The number of black college athletes is really no much higher than the proportion of the general population when you consider all sports. In addition, black women are underrepresented in college athletics and the US Olympic athletes.

Think quality, not quantity.

60 posted on 11/30/2002 7:05:52 AM PST by meyer
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To: mhking
Excellent analysis of the problem.

Bump
61 posted on 11/30/2002 7:10:09 AM PST by Fzob
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To: xJones
I did a study once on Korean children, why they do so well academically in the U.S. It's the family. Education is highly valued in Korean tradition, it was the way to get ahead for the entire family.

They then turn around, and perpetuate the rot in the education system by voting for democrats.

62 posted on 11/30/2002 7:14:18 AM PST by Darling Lili
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To: kattracks
Why Are Black Students Lagging?

Probably for the same reason whites lag behind blacks in foot races and other sports. - Tom

63 posted on 11/30/2002 7:19:12 AM PST by Capt. Tom
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To: kattracks
Sociology= The painstaking pursuit of the obvious.
64 posted on 11/30/2002 7:20:07 AM PST by Crawdad
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To: mhking
Did you write that post yourself, or is it from a source?
65 posted on 11/30/2002 7:24:27 AM PST by Darling Lili
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To: mhking; BurkeCalhounDabney
It's popular not to achieve - why? Because you don't see or hear of your favorite television star or favorite musician going that route.

Honestly, I don't see that being isolated to blacks; Pop culture has created a generation of "feel-good slackers" who do as they please.

66 posted on 11/30/2002 7:33:43 AM PST by stainlessbanner
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To: mhking
In any event, when households are steeped in traditional values, either black or mainstream or both, the offspring of those houses prosper academically.

Professor Ogbu was invited by black parents in 1997 to examine the district's 5,000 students to figure out why....For example, he said that middle-class black parents in general spent no more time on homework or tracking their children's schooling than poor white parents. And he said that while black students talked in detail about what efforts were needed to get an A and about their desire to achieve, too many nonetheless failed to put forth that effort....Not surprisingly, he said, the parents were disappointed when he turned the spotlight on them as well as the schools.

As a teacher, I find it amusing that the parents themselves hired Professor Ogbu, presumably to find a scapegoat in the school system for their children's lack of success, but were offended when he found the problem was closer to home.

67 posted on 11/30/2002 7:53:05 AM PST by Amelia
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To: kattracks
Mr. Ferguson doesn't make sense. Low achievers / Minorities are "[just as] interested in school" argues Mr. Ferguson, but they also automatically assume / 'suspect' that the "high achievers believe they are superior." Does Mr. Ferguson bring up anything that shows that high achieving minority students talk "too properly" in informal settings? Does he bring up anything to show that high achieving minority students hang around with white friends more than their black friends?

The answer to all those questions is no. Has this Mr. Ferguson checked to see that these high achieving black kids that supposedly only hang around white friends are not doing so because they've been rejected by their black friends for their high achieving ways? Hell, there are probably teachers who don't hand out graded test papers in class precisely because to do so would make their star pupils' lives a living hell.

Sure ... the white kids call white star pupils "nerds" and "geeks". The black kids call black star pupils "Uncle Toms" and call them "wannabe whites". [sarcasm] This works out pretty much even, right? Black and white nerds suffer equally, right? [/sarcasm] Why won't black kids do it when they see "heroes" like Jesse Jackson, John Conyers, Harry Belafonte, etc. slam Condi Rice, Clarence Thomas, Colin Powell, etc for their success?

Ferguson actually managed to talk himself into a circular argument. If the automatic assumption amongst low achieving minority students is that anyone who is a good student thinks himself superior to them, then it's quite obvious that they would reject him for this crime. The good student soon realizes that the only to fit in (which is incredibly important to school kids) is to not be a good student anymore. Everyone stays in the gutter of low achievement because anyone who tries to pull himself up gets punished by the group.

In the end, this Ferguson guy is simply clutching at straws. If one is interested in school, then it shows in the quality of one's work. This study that Ferguson ran probably just asked the black and Latino students if they "worked hard" and they answerred "yes" as much as white and Asian students did. But then it didn't investigate what "working hard" meant for both groups. It simply reported, and did not observe.

I mean, how is it possible that Ferguson can say that black and Latino students are definitely just as interested in school and work just as hard as whites and Asians ... and then acknowledge that black and Latino students lag behind in "things" like Homework Completion??? If you were interested in school, you would damn well do your homework. It's one of the best ways of measuring one's interest in school.

Ferguson is obviously a Leftie; he actually has the answers in front of him, he's just not gonna let himself admit it because it goes against the victim ideology. All his "identity" bullshit also pisses me off. It's obvious that whatever meaning these black students have come up with regarding being black, it doesn't involve getting As. Why do we need to actually have some meaning of what it is to be black? Isn't that seriously limiting?

68 posted on 11/30/2002 7:57:16 AM PST by MAKnight
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To: Clemenza; rmlew; PARodrig
ping
69 posted on 11/30/2002 8:00:47 AM PST by Cacique
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To: Darling Lili
Did you write that post yourself, or is it from a source?

No, that was all mine...

70 posted on 11/30/2002 8:08:48 AM PST by mhking
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To: stainlessbanner
Honestly, I don't see that being isolated to blacks; Pop culture has created a generation of "feel-good slackers" who do as they please.

A very good point - just take a quick look at MTV (Yes, I know you don't watch it, but it's on your cable or satellite system...go on take a quick look for illustrative purposes). The types of folks they have as VJ's, and the artists that appear, not to mention the kids that show up on drek like "Jackass" and "The Real World" all reenforce that slacker-eduction-don't-mean-jack mindset that we're talking about here.

71 posted on 11/30/2002 8:12:10 AM PST by mhking
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To: mhking
go back to the pre-1960 timeframe, when you can and will see black cuture in it's pure form, you will find that there is a huge emphasis on education and on intellectual advancement within the culture.

Indeed, and consider the Reconstruction period as well. The first things many former slaves did was start schools and try to re-unite their families - two things that fly in the face of much of the current "popular wisdom" of black culture.

72 posted on 11/30/2002 8:13:06 AM PST by Tijeras_Slim
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To: Amelia
As a teacher, I find it amusing that the parents themselves hired Professor Ogbu, presumably to find a scapegoat in the school system for their children's lack of success, but were offended when he found the problem was closer to home.

That's how liberals teach statistics: determine what you want as your outcome, then find someone, anyone, who will support it, no matter how outlandish it sounds.

73 posted on 11/30/2002 8:13:39 AM PST by mhking
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To: ladylib
You have to take an entrance test to get in.

That's why it is successful. Public schools are not allowed to pick-and-choose their students... and they are rarely allowed to get rid of those whose only interest within the building is disruption and indulging their appetites. If school attendance were not compulsory (as is espoused by the Communist Manifesto), schools would then have the power and responsibility to eject those who intentionally destroy the system for everyone.

Keep in mind that those disruptors behave that way primarily because they are rebelling against being forced to do something they have absolutely no interest in doing. That's the typical American attitude, and I don't hold it against them... but I do expect the schools to enforce proper behavior.

74 posted on 11/30/2002 8:21:44 AM PST by Teacher317
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To: BurkeCalhounDabney
If one compiles all the IQ tests, blacks average 15 points less than whites -- as a group. But there are many, many thousands of blacks of superior intellect, just as there are millions of below-average whites.

The reality is that blacks tend to not do well on mental tests. This is not in factual dispute. For example, UC Berkley's Freshman Admission statistics To get enough blacks to admit in 2000, Berkley had to choose from those with SAT scores in the range 990-1210, while white guys had to be in the range 1250-1440 to be considered

75 posted on 11/30/2002 8:26:27 AM PST by SauronOfMordor
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To: RightOnline
I defy anyone to closely examine today's black culture and point out one aspect of it.......just one........that suggests a desire to excel, improve, educate, edify, or prosper beyond thuggism or pro sports

Great point, and I agree 98%, but I think music and dance are two areas where black culture encourages, admires, and rewards excellence... unfortunately, music and dance alone won't make a civilized social construct.

(However, if you rephrase that quote to read, "suggests a desire to excel, improve, educate, edify, or prosper beyond thuggism or entertainment," then I'd be in 100% agreement.)

76 posted on 11/30/2002 8:26:54 AM PST by Teacher317
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To: mhking
Not at all; "black culture" in and of itself is not anti-education or anti-intellectual. On the contrary, if you examine black culture in it's purest form, and go back to the pre-1960 timeframe, when you can and will see black culture in it's pure form, you will find that there is a huge emphasis on education and on intellectual advancement within the culture.

The contemporary problem is two-fold. First, thanks to the race warlords and poverty pimps and liberal enablers, it has become "OK" for blacks to relish within their "victim" status. The be-all, end-all for black America, thanks to the Jesse Jacksons of the world, is to play the victim. Unfortunately, this has spread to education. John McWhorter pointed this out in his book, "Losing the Race."

Culture does change with time. Imagine an American World War II soldier magically transported from 1942 Berkley, California to 2002 Berkley, California. He would be wondering what planet he had landed on. "Black culture" overall has declined just as "white culture" overall has declined since the 1940's. Unfortunately, the decline of black culture has outpaced the decline of white culture because of the race-pimps.

In current "white culture", it is accepted in school that there will be "jocks", "nerds", "stoners", "brains", etc. They may harass each other but no one group claims to represent "whiteness".

As a black Conservative, you not merely harassed. You are demonized by the Jesse Jackson-Harry Belafonte crowd. There is only one "black culture", it is the True Black Culture and that culture is the Victim Culture. Thus, self-sufficiency is frowned upon and failure is not only excused but actually demanded.

I had a black friend in medical residency that I tutored for Boards on a subject she was weak in. She had come from a well-off family with her father being an airline pilot for a major airline. She told me that, in high school, when she went to a white private school, she did fine in school. However, when they moved and she transferred to a school with a large black student body, she experienced the "acting white" attacks from the other black students because of her academic excellence. Peer pressure is a very powerful force in a teenager's life. After a while, she decide to let her schoolwork slide and be accepted as as "black" rather than remain an "Oreo" with a high grade point average.

It is the tragedy of modern American black culture that the popularized ideal of "black culture" is the culture of the most dysfunctional sub-culture that Black America has to offer. It's cool to be the black equivalent of "white trash".

For that, black youth is not to blame. They had no control over what culture surrounded them when they were born.

For that, the race and poverty-pimps and the Liberal media who sign on to their Victimhood agenda are to blame. They have replaced the black culture of Booker T. Washington with black culture of Snoop Doggy Dogg.

77 posted on 11/30/2002 8:36:50 AM PST by Polybius
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To: Teacher317
This is a public school and we also have a science academy in my county that requires an entrance exam. Some of the very good high schools in New York City require entrance exams.

I've always said that school leaving ages should be at 14 or 15, with kids who opt out of school going into apprenticeships, taking full-time jobs, or even taking on-line courses or college courses at junior colleges -- not in a high school setting. If kids want a diploma, let them get a GED and a college education at the same time, like my brother-in-law who dropped out of school at 16 (and drove for the Mob Omigod) and is now the vice president of a pediatric care firm. There is more than one way to skin a cat to get an education in this country; however, the almighty teachers unions don't like it. My opinion on that is if they limit kids' ability to choose what they want, they deserve all the grief they get.
78 posted on 11/30/2002 8:37:50 AM PST by ladylib
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To: Teacher317
This is a public school and we also have a science academy in my county that requires an entrance exam. Some of the very good high schools in New York City require entrance exams.

I've always said that school leaving ages should be at 14 or 15, with kids who opt out of school going into apprenticeships, taking full-time jobs, or even taking on-line courses or college courses at junior colleges -- not in a high school setting. If kids want a diploma, let them get a GED and a college education at the same time, like my brother-in-law who dropped out of school at 16 (and drove for the Mob Omigod) and is now the vice president of a pediatric care firm. There is more than one way to skin a cat to get an education in this country; however, the almighty teachers unions don't like it. My opinion on that is if they limit kids' ability to choose what they want, they deserve all the grief they get.
79 posted on 11/30/2002 8:38:56 AM PST by ladylib
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Comment #80 Removed by Moderator

To: mhking
On the contrary, if you examine black culutre in it's purest form, and go back to the pre-1960 timeframe, when you can and will see black cuture in it's pure form, you will find that there is a huge emphasis on education and on intellectual advancement within the culture.

Unfortunately, you never hear anything today about the black culture which was thriving and vibrant even in the Jim Crow South.

Granted, it did not extend to all black people by any means, but even in the early 1900s, and even in the South, there were blacks who were wealthier and better educated than most whites.

I think it's a tragedy that black children now are not educated about that part of their history - those people who succeeded despite tremendous obstacles - but instead are told that every difficulty is because the world is prejudiced against them.

81 posted on 11/30/2002 8:41:02 AM PST by Amelia
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To: Amelia
I believe a black man invented the traffic light. I also think that a black man developed blood transfusions. If this is the case, are these men's accomplishments being taught to black school children?
82 posted on 11/30/2002 8:53:02 AM PST by ladylib
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To: superdestroyer
Blacks from Africa constantly win major Marathons. NHL? Give me a break. The places where hockey is big, Canada and states that border Canada have very few blacks. How many Southerners are in the NHL? See what I mean. I hate to break it to you, but black people are built differently from white people. Look at boxing for an example.
83 posted on 11/30/2002 9:11:12 AM PST by ItisaReligionofPeace
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To: ladylib
Here we strike the nail on the head. To succeed (regardless of race) you must first put forth effort.

From the article:
And he said that while black students talked in detail about what efforts were needed to get an A and about their desire to achieve, too many nonetheless failed to put forth that effort.

It is applicable to everyone not just black students as is evident by your description on the entrance requirement for this high achievement black school in Jersey City. They want to succeed and put forth effort to ensure they do just that.

Maybe it's just me, but in almost every article I read about failing schools and students who fail to learn I fail to see anyone pointing at the students and asking the questions "do you really care, are you REALLY putting forth enough effort?". While parents, teachers and curriculum all contribute to the learning environment, it is ultimately up to the student to pay attention and retain.

Just my $0.02

84 posted on 11/30/2002 9:14:53 AM PST by cidrasm
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To: Fzob
My personal opinion in this matter is that all to often black students expect to be given decent grades because they exist and show up.

In the movie "Higher Learning", Omar Epps' character demonstrates this attitude perfectly. He expects his black political science professor (Lawrence Fishburne) to give him an easier ride just because he is also black. Fishburne sets him straight in a hurry - but I suspect there are far too few black university professors who think like Fishburne's character.

85 posted on 11/30/2002 9:26:27 AM PST by Mr. Jeeves
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To: mhking
I believe you are right to point to the "victim" identity as a key. Corrollaries of being a victim are:
1. Someone is doing something to hurt you; 2. you are helpless to prevent it, or to improve your lot; 3. as a victim you are entitled to some sort of compensation, for your victim status alone, without having to do anything to earn it; 4. you are allowed to dissipate energy by being angry at the perpetrator as a substitute for achieving efficacy in surmounting obstacles.

Looking at all the finger-pointing in Shaker Heights, it is obvious that the victim posture is still a default condition for explaining away failure.
"It's the teachers--no, it's the parents--no it's the peers--no it's the students attitudes---"

Put it all together and you have--the community as a whole, which would rather pin blame on each other than look at themselves, hiring "education experts" to help them avoid the hard work of creating a community of shared traditional values.

But Shaker Heights is an oasis of leftwing crackpots, so traditional values are taboo. They will just talk this to death, pat themselves on the back and move on, and the Black kids will continue to come up short.

And the oh so concerned Hysterics-on-the-Heights have no one to blame but themselves. All the idiot sociologists in academe can't change that one iota.
86 posted on 11/30/2002 9:51:40 AM PST by hinckley buzzard
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To: ladylib
If this is the case, are these men's accomplishments being taught to black school children?

Well, sure they are. During Black History Month.

Of course, there's also the implicit message that these men aren't generally honored for their achievements, and we don't normally hear about them, because of our racist society - so what's the use?

When I teach about George Washington Carver, I like to "compare and contrast" the obstacles he faced in his achievements, and how he overcame them, with the advantages my students now have. Sometimes, some of them seem to "get it".

87 posted on 11/30/2002 10:16:29 AM PST by Amelia
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To: Fzob
the old "poverty" ruse.
sigh.
I was one of two children raised by a single mother and lived below the poverty line for my first ten years. My mother worked as many as three part-time jobs at a clip while supporting us and sending herself through first college and then medical school. Nonetheless, she still MADE the time needed to instill discipline in us and help us to learn the essential skills required in this society: linguistics, math, logic, reading skills, methods of study, prioritization, and diligence.
Though I do not expect all poor people to do as well as she did, nor all to turn out as well as both I and my sister did, I cannot accept the standard excuse of poverty = poor educational/academic performance.
88 posted on 11/30/2002 11:51:13 AM PST by demosthenes the elder
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To: superdestroyer
White/Asian children can easily outdistance black children because, on average, their parents spend more time, money, and effort giving their children a life experience that includes intellectual activites.

For that matter, Asian students pull ahead of whites because Asian family culture tends to be even more aggressively focused on education than whites'. Not that I think this is bad, of course.

89 posted on 11/30/2002 12:13:46 PM PST by valkyrieanne
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To: Teacher317
All these problems connect to the fact of compulsion, in the funding of and, more importantly, attendance of government schools.

How pathetic that a republic with citizens supposedly fit for self rule accept compulsion schooling.

90 posted on 11/30/2002 1:00:48 PM PST by secretagent
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To: kattracks
Those kinds of attitudes reflect a long history of adapting to oppression and stymied opportunities

As long as the external forces are held blame, nothing will change.

91 posted on 11/30/2002 1:14:54 PM PST by Old Professer
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To: superdestroyer
Care to still argue that it is all genetics? All genetics is "local."
92 posted on 11/30/2002 1:19:46 PM PST by Old Professer
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To: Clara Lou
We owe a lot of this attitude to Lyndon Johnson ...

At least you found a white male to shoulder the blame.

93 posted on 11/30/2002 1:22:34 PM PST by Doe Eyes
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To: kattracks
Was it 30 years ago that Daniel Patrick Moynahan recommended that the problem of black under-performance be treated with "benign neglect?"
Of course he was exscoriated for saying the unsayable at the time. But isn't that, what in effect, the best and brightest, most well intentioned members of white america have done?
After pouring how many trillions of dollars down every conceivable program of social uplift, and seeing very little, if any result, in terms of closing the black white gulf, they have decided to quietly give up on the problem.
They have moved away from racial engagement; both physically and mentally.
And who can blame them? Why waste your time and treasure on an intractable problem. Life's too short.
94 posted on 11/30/2002 1:40:14 PM PST by ricpic
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To: demosthenes the elder
Please don't take this personally but you're blowing smoke out of your ass.

Go dig up “Elmtowns Youth”. It's out there.

95 posted on 11/30/2002 1:59:13 PM PST by johnny7
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To: johnny7
you're blowing smoke out of your....

I don't know why you would say that. I lived a very similar childhood. Except there were 5 siblings in my house. It's a pretty common story so why you think its BS is a mystery to me. Did someone pee in your Cheerios today?

96 posted on 11/30/2002 2:12:55 PM PST by Fzob
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To: kattracks
What makes this guy's study very plausible is the fact that he studied rich blacks along side rich whites. That alone cuts out the reasons we usually hear as to why black students do inferior work to white.

Take this on for size. He infered that the blacks who did not do well in this school system did not do their homework. All kids, no matter the skin color, are going to do better than kids who don't do their homework.

I think this guy is spot on. It's high time we stopped blaming the problem on money or lack of money. With all that the moola we have poured into education for the last 30 or so years we should be seeing at least 50 national merit scholars coming out of each and every high school in the entire country.

97 posted on 11/30/2002 2:14:22 PM PST by Slyfox
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Comment #98 Removed by Moderator

To: Fzob
I never replied to you... why is it that you don't make sense?

Why do you mention peeing?

99 posted on 11/30/2002 2:36:45 PM PST by johnny7
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To: collectingdust
If U.S. whites have an average IQ of 100, and U.S. blacks have an average IQ of 85 (one standard deviation less,) then one half of U.S. whites will have at least average intelligence, whereas only one sixth of U.S. blacks will. About one sixth of U.S. whites will have fairly high intelligence (IQ of 115 or higher,) but only one out of 20 U.S. blacks will. About one out of 20 U.S. whites will have quite high intelligence (IQ of 130 or higher,) whereas well below 1% of U.S. blacks will.
100 posted on 11/30/2002 2:45:32 PM PST by aristeides
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