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View Full Version : Diversity at all costs!



nightflight
11-24-2010, 02:36 PM
Across the Chicago region, high school officials say they are making inroads in diversifying their advanced classes, but Evanston is considering the boldest step of all: eliminating an elite honors English course that has traditionally been offered to the highest-achieving incoming freshmen usually white.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/education/ct-met-detracking-20101123,0,6972214.story

Any progressives here want to defend this?

Gingersnap
11-24-2010, 03:11 PM
The proposal to eliminate the honors-only class comes at a time when the Evanston high school has repeatedly failed to meet federal academic standards, requiring a major school overhaul to increase student performance.

The school spends more than $20,000 per student, one of the highest per-pupil expenditures in the state. But while white students have consistently scored high enough on state tests to meet the standards, black and Latino students lag far behind, according to state data.

This isn't racial - it's cultural. My folks demanded that we make Bs or better. That was the low bar at my house. A C was okay on a test but not as an average grade. Most of my cousins had the same setup.

I had some cousins who did not have that standard and they screwed up academically and had to backtrack as adults. They still haven't caught up with all the rest of us in terms of career advancement.

noonwitch
11-24-2010, 03:40 PM
This isn't racial - it's cultural. My folks demanded that we make Bs or better. That was the low bar at my house. A C was okay on a test but not as an average grade. Most of my cousins had the same setup.

I had some cousins who did not have that standard and they screwed up academically and had to backtrack as adults. They still haven't caught up with all the rest of us in terms of career advancement.


That was my parents' standard, too. My Algebra C was a mark of shame. My dad's family had the same standard-all but two of us are college grads, and the two that aren't are gainfully employed and work hard.


I think it's a shame that the school is dumbing down their curriculum. Instead of that, they should be looking at the reasons why black kids aren't getting into their honors' programs and try to address that with the PTA.

What I see in Detroit is parents who had a terrible education and know they did, moving their families to the suburbs thinking that enrolling their kids in a better school system is all they need to do to make it better for the kids. They don't know what to do to help their kids do better, especially at the high school level, because they have no point of reference for it in their own lives. That's what the PTA is for.

Gingersnap
11-24-2010, 04:24 PM
That was my parents' standard, too. My Algebra C was a mark of shame. My dad's family had the same standard-all but two of us are college grads, and the two that aren't are gainfully employed and work hard.


I think it's a shame that the school is dumbing down their curriculum. Instead of that, they should be looking at the reasons why black kids aren't getting into their honors' programs and try to address that with the PTA.

What I see in Detroit is parents who had a terrible education and know they did, moving their families to the suburbs thinking that enrolling their kids in a better school system is all they need to do to make it better for the kids. They don't know what to do to help their kids do better, especially at the high school level, because they have no point of reference for it in their own lives. That's what the PTA is for.

You've got to have something more than the PTA. My folks never joined it and they almost never showed up to parent-teacher conferences. When they did, it meant that a royal kick-ass was in the making.

You need PSAs and other kinds of outreach. Mostly, people need to understand that academic achievement is hard work. It's not particularly fun or interesting. We have to stop pretending that excellent academic success comes by way of rainbows and Skittle-dispensing unicorns.

BadCat
11-24-2010, 05:12 PM
This isn't racial - it's cultural. My folks demanded that we make Bs or better. That was the low bar at my house. A C was okay on a test but not as an average grade. Most of my cousins had the same setup.

I had some cousins who did not have that standard and they screwed up academically and had to backtrack as adults. They still haven't caught up with all the rest of us in terms of career advancement.

My parents would have KILLED me if I got a "C" on anything. My mother always said "never be happy to be average".

I say that now.

SaintLouieWoman
11-24-2010, 09:39 PM
My parents would have KILLED me if I got a "C" on anything. My mother always said "never be happy to be average".

I say that now.

It's weird, my parents never said anything to me. Somehow I always had the desire to achieve. I used to get upset when I'd bring home a report card with straight A's and my mom never said a word.

It's a shame if they drop the honors classes. Students who want to achieve should be given every opportunity, whether black or white. In the name of diversity, what do they achieve by bringing everyone to the same low common denominator?

When I taught for a nannosecond (actually a year and a quarter) the school had the kids divided according to abilities. I was stuck with a D class, as well as an accelerated class. It was much more difficult teaching the D students. They didn't want to learn, and it took a tremendous effort on my part to identify with them and to devise something that would interest them. The other class was a pleasure.

I can't even imagine the A students (or the ones who are in honor classes) having to endure the slower pace and dumbed down teaching. We'll create a nation of illiterates and kids who tune out.

My old school had the traditiona A-F grades, but also had A+, A++, then Honors (H1-H-5). It was a public school, not in a particularly wealthy part of town, but they did such a good job in those accelerated classes that my freshman year at college was boring, just a review.

Gingersnap
11-24-2010, 10:15 PM
The school isn't going to achieve anything with this effort. It's true that grade school kids from poor backgrounds do somewhat better when put in classes with mostly middle class kids but the effect isn't magical. It's just peer pressure. The effect declines when kids get older and self-segregate.

Honors classes are important for college applications but they are kind of erratic. Schools just kind of make up honors classes. AP classes have to follow a set standard and have an objective measurement.

Kids who really need that AP score or who really need to take CLEP tests to get out of wasting time in college will just phone in any performance in a dummy class like this.

SaintLouieWoman
11-24-2010, 10:49 PM
Unless they've been doing a lot of bussing, it makes no sense for Evanston to eliminate their honors classes. Unless things have changed over the years, Evanston was always a very affluent suburb of Chicago. I lived in the Chicago area for a year, and Evanston always was an elite community.

If they eliminate their advanced courses, I suspect the best students will leave their public school system and opt for private schools. This is a lose/lose situation for that school district.

Gingersnap
11-24-2010, 10:56 PM
Evanston High School no longer meets federal academic standards. They believe this will help.

NJCardFan
11-24-2010, 11:25 PM
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/education/ct-met-detracking-20101123,0,6972214.story

Any progressives here want to defend this?

This is so typical of progressive thinking. Instead of encouraging or helping students achieve this level, their solution is to punish the students at this level by making them lag with those who could give a shit about education. This is why I hate progressive so.