Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Duncan Claims Education Is Civil Rights Issue, But Promotes De Facto Segregation, Other Harms, Through Education Policy

The NY Times runs a story today that says black students, particularly boys, receive harsher discipline in public schools, than students of other backgrounds:

Black students, especially boys, face much harsher discipline in public schools than other students, according to new data from the Department of Education.

Although black students made up only 18 percent of those enrolled in the schools sampled, they accounted for 35 percent of those suspended once, 46 percent of those suspended more than once and 39 percent of all expulsions, according to the Civil Rights Data Collection’s 2009-10 statistics from 72,000 schools in 7,000 districts, serving about 85 percent of the nation’s students. The data covered students from kindergarten age through high school.

One in five black boys and more than one in 10 black girls received an out-of-school suspension. Over all, black students were three and a half times as likely to be suspended or expelled than their white peers.

Then the Times offers the obligatory boilerplate quote from the cliche-meister at the USDOE:

“Education is the civil rights of our generation,” said Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, in a telephone briefing with reporters on Monday. “The undeniable truth is that the everyday education experience for too many students of color violates the principle of equity at the heart of the American promise.”

Do you mean like segregated schools, Secretary Duncan? You know, like all those charter schools you promote?

Or schools where white teachers drill students of color on how to behave or toss them out of school?

Or schools where white teachers do nothing but teach to the test so that students do not learn critical thinking skills?

Or promoting policies that target black educators for firing?

Because if those are the things you mean by your boilerplate quote that “The undeniable truth is that the everyday education experience for too many students of color violates the principle of equity at the heart of the American promise," then look no further than at yourself and your boss, President Obama, as the prime culprit for this at the federal level.

Ironic that the first black president promotes policies that are re-segregating schools and diminishing the kinds of educational experiences and critical thinking skills so desperately needed by young people in a time of social and economic change like we have today.

But that's exactly what President Obama is doing, through his education policies.

And the damage from these policies is horrific.

As Glenn Ford of Black Agenda Radio put it:

Educational policy in the Obama era isn’t about education at all. It’s about replacing skilled, experienced teachers with rootless temps better suited to serve in the privatized holding tanks they wish to turn public schools in poor neighborhoods into, for a population on its way to low wage jobs and prisons.

So Secretary of Education Privatization Arne Duncan can bemoan how public education is harming students of color and offer platitudes about civil rights all he wants.

The fact of the matter is, he and his boss are at the vanguard of the destruction.

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