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robertogreco : mariokoran   5

'No School in the Country Has Ever Done it'
[See also:
“Latino School Segregation: The Big Education Problem That No One Is Talking About”
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/latino-school-segregation_561d70a5e4b050c6c4a34118 ]

"Mario Koran: Based on your research, what impact does neighborhood schooling tend to have on school districts’ integration efforts?

Gary Orfield: When you have neighborhood schools in a city that has unequal and segregated neighborhoods, Latino and black kids end up in schools that are segregated by race and poverty and sometimes by language, and tend to perform much worse.

And white and Asian kids tend to end up in middle-class schools with a majority of middle-class kids, and more experienced teachers and stronger curriculum, higher level of competition. So it just perpetuates the inequality.

If we had fair neighborhoods, it would be OK. But we don’t. It’s why we did the desegregation efforts in the first place.

Now, if you have a choice plan that doesn’t have basic civil rights requirements attached to it, it can make segregation worse. We did a book called “Educational Delusions?” about choice plans that can make things worse, and how you can make them better.

Basically, a fair choice plan has a certain number of elements, and it expands opportunity and integration. And those include free transportation. They include good choices. They include fair parent information and a fair method of selecting the kids, and active recruitment of the kids from all parts of the community.

Free transportation is essential. Otherwise you’re just giving choice on the basis of social class.

The book included case studies of numerous places, including some places that have figured out modern ways to integrate, including Louisville and Berkeley.

(Note: Under the current system, if San Diego Unified parents want to send their kids to a school outside their neighborhood, they can submit a choice application. But offers are limited to available space, and in most cases transportation falls on parents.)

Mario Koran: What city in the country do you think has figured it out the best?

Gary Orfield: Well, Berkeley’s worth looking at. Louisville. There are regional magnet schools in Connecticut that we’ve worked with quite a lot.

Nobody’s got the whole thing together because basically there has been no pressure to do anything about this since the Reagan years.

Mario Koran: Why is that? What’s been the biggest stumbling blocks holding school districts back?

Gary Orfield: The biggest stumbling block, in many ways, was the United States Supreme Court, which has had an anti-civil rights majority now for over a quarter-century and has dismantled most of the desegregation plans in the country.

The former chief justice who was appointed by Ronald Reagan, William Rehnquist, was opposed the [Brown v. Board of Education] decision as a clerk in the Supreme Court during the Brown case. He never voted for a school desegregation case ever.

The Supreme Court has pushed us backward in this area. It’s no accident that we’re where we are now. California used to have requirements that went beyond the federal requirements. There was a prop passed, called Prop. 1 in the 1980s, that weakened California’s desegregation requirements.

The major funding source for desegregation was eliminated in Ronald Reagan’s first budget.

Mario Koran: What was the funding source?

Gary Orfield: It was called the Emergency School Aid Act. It was the federal desegregation assistance money. It had hundreds of millions of dollars. It was all voluntary, and school districts loved it. It funded the creation of a lot of magnet schools in the country.

Mario Koran: I’ve noticed that we all tend to say that we like and value diversity, but when it comes to actually integrating schools, it can sort of feel uncomfortable, right?

Gary Orfield: It is uncomfortable! There’s no comfortable way to get out of a racial catastrophe. But it works. And people appreciate it when it’s done well.

Desegregation done the right way is a win-win. It’s not taking something from somebody and giving it to somebody else. It’s expanding the opportunity and preparation of everybody. It’s not a miracle. It’s not a cure-all. It’s just a whole lot better than segregation.

We did surveys of the parents and students at Louisville that are in the book, and they’ve had desegregation in almost all their schools, city and suburb now for 45 years. And they voted to keep it. And when the Supreme Court knocked down their old plan, they came up with a new one to keep it.

I don’t know if you read our Resegregating California study, but California is the worst place in the country for Latino students in terms of isolation by ethnicity and they are in extremely impoverished schools on average.

Mario Koran: That’s interesting, because now we have a problem with segregating Latinos, but it’s a new challenge because Latinos make up the largest subgroup in California. So how does that change the integration dynamic?

Gary Orfield: It means that we have a much more complex reality. Most of the black students in California are now in schools which on average have twice as many Latinos as blacks. So black students are actually isolated within the schools of another disadvantaged minority group – or a majority group – with Latinos becoming majority group. So it’s more complicated.

We have four major races in California. If you combine the African-Americans and Latinos and compare them with the whites and Asians, they are different worlds of educational opportunity. Whites and Asians are 10 times as likely to be in the top quintile of high schools in California.

Mario Koran: In your mind, what’s the single strongest piece of evidence that we can point to to say that integration works?

Gary Orfield: For the Supreme Court Parents Involved decision, we did a summary of a half-century of research on school desegregation. And did a brief that was signed by 553 researchers from all over the United States, and basically what the research shows – and the research was checked by a group of about 120 of the leading scholars in the United States – basically that if you go to an integrated school, you get a better set of opportunities, you get connected with different networks, you have a better chance of graduating, you have a better chance of going to college, you have a better chance of completing college, you have a better chance of being employed in a diverse labor force as an adult, you’re more likely to live and work in a diverse setting.

The test scores results are significant, but they are not the major result. The major results are life chances.

Including – what nobody talks about – for the white students, who are now a small minority in Southern California. They learn how to function effectively in a diverse setting, which they badly need, because they’re going to be a smaller and smaller minority in the future of Southern California. They’re less than a quarter of the students between Los Angeles and the border.

You can’t really learn how to function very effectively in a diverse, multiracial culture in segregated neighborhoods, with segregated schools.

Again, desegregation is not a miracle. There are no miracles. You know educational research. Every time somebody claims one you have to dig into the data because it’s almost always funny.

And neighborhood schools, most school districts went that way 20 years ago, 25 years ago when the federal desegregation orders were eliminated. They went toward neighborhood schools and unfair choice plans.

Both of those produce self-perpetuating inequalities for black and Latino students.

You can’t get ready for UC in a school that doesn’t have good college preparation courses taught at the appropriate level, in classes with students who are ready to learn something.

Mario Koran: What constitutes a good choice plan?

Gary Orfield: The basic argument is we knew how not to do choice a long time ago. Fifty years ago. And we learned lessons in the 1970s about how to do magnet schools the right way. And then when the courts stopped looking, we forgot all of those things. And the result of that is schools are becoming more and more unequal.

We just did a study in Buffalo, N.Y. in response to a civil rights complaint to the Office of Civil Rights about the unfairness of the choice plan there.

We found that in a place that used to have one of the best magnet school plans in the country and was highly integrated, has changed. The system has declined, the quality has declined, but the unfairness has just mushroomed. The very best schools get very few students from the segregated neighborhoods.

Right now there’s a major controversy between the Office of Civil Rights and the Buffalo school board, whether they’re going to implement all of the recommendations they made on how to correct this. If you look at the recommendations, you can see the kinds of things that need to be paid attention to.

Mario Koran: So it doesn’t sound like you’re convinced about neighborhood schools …

Gary Orfield: I can’t tell you how many hundreds of places I’ve been to or that have sent to me a beautiful glossy plan that says, “We know how to make segregated schools equal.” It’s usually called “The Plan for Excellence,“ or “The Intense Focus Plan” or something. It’s a different name in every town.

Everybody says they know how to do it. Everybody says they know how to make segregated schools equal. No school district in the country has ever done it, to the best of my knowledge.

Now I’ve been asking for people to tell me one example, and nobody has been able to come up with that example. Even the people who testify against integration all over the county. Just tell me one place where segregation has worked.

You can’t find any. You can find individual schools where they score very well on certain standardized tests, but that’s rare and it often doesn’t last. But you can’t find schools … [more]
sandiego  sdusd  mariokoran  2015  schools  education  neighborhoodschools  segregation  race  ethnicity  california  history  civilrights  desegregation  diversity  schoolchoice  magnetschools  inequality  emergencyschoolaidact  ronaldreagan  williamrehnquist  scotus  berkeley  louisville  resegregation  garyorfield  buffalo  supremecourt  us  connecticut 
november 2015 by robertogreco
A Guide to Grounding Helicopter Parents
"Considering things like school websites, where parents can track grades, are schools actually enabling helicopter parents – and hurting students’ chances to be independent?

Because Lythcott-Haim’s book inspired Anna’s question, I thought she’d be a great person to field it. Some of her responses have been edited for length.

Lythcott-Haims: School leaders and teachers are in a really tough spot these days, particularly in communities where parents are used to doing a lot of hand-holding for their children and exerting influence. Still, I agree with Anna that yes, in many ways they’ve become enablers of overparenting behaviors and are inhibiting opportunities for kids to develop independence – such as the example of the principal setting the independence bar for his middle-schoolers absurdly low.

Middle-schoolers can handle things far more challenging than packing their own backpack. Take registration – reviewing the forms, signing them and turning them in. Middle-schoolers can handle that, and they probably should, particularly if we want them to be capable of handling it when they’re in high school, or college.

When my eldest began middle school, I caved to the overparenting mindset by filling out the forms and going to registration with him, which meant standing in long lines with hundreds of other parents doing the same. (The lines were so long, in part, because an excessive number of people were there instead of just the new middle-schoolers). When my second child was starting middle school two years later, I’d learned my lesson. She filled out the forms, asked me and her dad for signatures as needed and went off to registration by herself. The point is, life is full of bureaucracy and our kids have to learn to navigate it.

In terms of counteracting overparenting instead of enabling it, I’ve seen progress at the level of the individual teacher (who, for example, might announce at Back to School Night that parental involvement in homework is absolutely not allowed and a child’s grade will be docked a few points if there’s evidence of any such thing). But in my view, the bolder step would be adopting a school-wide and even district-wide philosophy that proclaims that part of getting an education is taking responsibility and being accountable for one’s own actions, and that as a result, parents doing things kids should be able to do for themselves is highly discouraged and might even be penalized (e.g. completing homework and projects, bringing homework and lunch to school, talking with teachers about the course material and concerns over grades).

MK: How do “parent portals” or school websites factor into over-parenting?

Lythcott-Haims: Parents obsessively checking the school website/portal isn’t good for the teacher, child or parent. Yes, the portal can deliver information quickly when we need it. The question we must ask ourselves as parents is, how frequently do we really need that information? Like the ability to track our children via GPS at all moments, just because the technology is there doesn’t mean we should use it all the time. …

Obsessively checking up on our kids’ performance means we then end up talking with our kids about their academic performance on a weekly or even daily basis – which sends a rather insidious message that their worth and value to us is based on grades – instead of what they’re learning and enjoying about school. Instead of building a relationship of trust with our kids where we’d expect them to inform us when they are struggling or need help, it erodes trust, raises anxiety and makes our kids feel that every single homework assignment or quiz is a “make or break” moment for their entire future.

As for me, I refuse to look at the online portal. I’m fine with a quarterly report. I expect my kids to update me as needed, and if they don’t, and it turns out there’s a greater consequence such as failing a class, I accept that that’s a part of childhood and something we’ll just have to work through when that time comes. To me, the developmental benefits to my kids that come from having greater autonomy, privacy and personal responsibility are more important than whatever short-term “win” I could achieve by trying to fix every micro-moment of imperfection."
parenting  helicopterparents  helicopterparenting  2015  mariokoran  children  schools  education  autonomy  independence  julielythcott-haims  responsibility  privacy 
september 2015 by robertogreco
San Diego Unified Uses Facial Recognition Software
"So does this mean that in addition to SDPD cops using the technology on people it suspects of crimes, San Diego Unified, which has its own police force, is using the software too? Turns out, that’s exactly what it means."
sandiego  schools  facialrecognition  2015  software  lawenforcement  sdusd  education  mariokoran 
august 2015 by robertogreco

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