Achievement gaps and affirmitive inaction

Speed Gibson has a three part series on the status quo’s repeated failure to improve on racial disparity in Minnesota schools and then he offers alternative ideas. Here’s a section from part one:

The Robbinsdale Area Schools, like so many surrounding districts, has seen enrollments fall and diversity rise.  Fewer students mean less revenue, putting pressure on class sizes and the relatively fixed costs of facilities.  Meanwhile, more diverse student populations require more specialization that also contends for those decreasing revenues.  Trouble is, that specialization, even when revenue was abundant, has not prevented disturbing, rising differences in results.  I speak of course of achievement gaps and graduation rates, Minnesota oddly scoring high in average results and wide in the disparity of those results.

At its November 9, 2009 Work Session, the District 281 heard reports from Board Clerk Helen Bassett and Tyrize Cox, newly appointed Program Director for Integration and Equity.  This included a report from Bassett on her trip to the Pacific Education Group (PEG) Summit for Courageous Conversation.  Before continuing, let me note that PEG has run into some controversy as The Activist Next Door has been chronicling.  Several Board members touched on this last night, apparently uncomfortable with following PEG’s programs too closely, as they should be.  PEG won’t blow up like ACORN did,  but their abrasive approach including some reverse racism could still prove embarrassing and counter-productive later.

Read Part One, Part Two and Part Three and join in on the discussion over there.

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