Images of Schooling In America...... What might these pictures say?

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Indigo.... here you go.....

Poverty comprises the “600 pound gorilla” that most affects American education today (Berliner, 2005). The concentration of poverty in a school is a major factor associated with student academic achievement.

In fact, according to Krantzler et al (1997), the “relationship between school poverty concentrations and school academic achievement averages is stronger than the relationship between individual family poverty and individual student achievement.”

Poverty is strongly correlated with race and ethnicity. Consequently, African-American and Hispanics are greatly overrepresented in the groups that suffer severe poverty in urban areas (Berliner, 2005).

hope that helps with the poverty/race split.....

Indigo.... hope this finds you well....

Not sure what your issue is concerning race and poverty.

I have no problem if you need to seperate them in your mind.... we certainly have an issue with kids in poverty no matter what color.

I spend time in many urban school districts and race is such a factor that is is very difficult not to see....

Regardless.... wondering what you think about re-districting schools and using SES as the major factor?

Wonder why no one is mentioning this as a possibility?

Here is NJ...there is a movement to regionalize school distrcits...whats happening where you are?

be well... mike
OK Indigo..... some highlights.... i am not really pushing the race issue.... it is pretty apparent in our inner cities.

Some highlights of what i have posted over the last few day........

Indigo.... besides your opinion, which is of value, if you would like to post some facts or research to point toward
it would be helpful for me to look at and learn...........

What the best and wisest parent wants for his own child, that must be the
community want for all of its children. Any other ideal for our schools is
narrow and unlovely; acted upon, it destroys our democracy.
—John Dewey, educational philosopher, The School and Society, 1907

31% of all students in the United States are concentrated in 1.5% of urban schools with total per person revenues that are only 89% of the average total pupil revenue.

Children living in urban areas are much more likely to be living in poverty than children in other types of communities. In 1990, 20% of children nationwide were living in poverty. However, 30% of children living in urban areas lived in poverty, compared with only 13% of those in suburbs and 22% of those living in rural areas (Krantzler et al, 1997). A school in which more than 40% of the students qualify for reduced-price lunches or free lunch is considered a school with a high concentration of poverty.

Approximately, 40% of urban students attend schools with high poverty concentrations. This is a large number compared to the 10% of suburban students and 25% of rural students who attend such schools (Reyes et al, 2004).

Poverty is strongly correlated with race and ethnicity. Consequently, African-American and Hispanics are greatly overrepresented in the groups that suffer severe poverty in urban areas (Berliner, 2005).

In 1999, 17% of Americans age 5 to 24 were from families which the primary language spoken was not English. Sixty-five percent of these students’ families speak Spanish (Slavin, 2005). Due to the large Hispanic population, urban public schools have higher proportions of students with limited-English proficiency. According to Krantzler et al (1997), in 1993-94, compared to the national average urban schools had two times the proportion of students with limited-English proficiency. Students who process limited mastery of English cost more to educate.

At the beginning of the twenty-first century," according to Gary Orfield and his colleagues at the Civil Rights Project at Harvard University, "American public schools are now 12 years into the process of continuous resegregation.

The desegregation of black students, which increased continuously from the 1950s to the late 1980s, has receded to levels not seen in three decades."

The proportion of black students in majority-white schools stands at "a level lower than in any year since 1968."

The four most segregated states for black students, according to a recent study by the Civil Rights Project, are New York, Michigan, Illinois and California. In New York, only one black student in seven goes to a predominantly white school.
In Chicago, by the academic year 2002-2003, 87 percent of public-school enrollment was black or Hispanic; less than 10 percent of children in the schools were white. In Washington, D.C., 94 percent of children were black or Hispanic; less than 5 percent were white. In St. Louis, 82 percent of the student population were black or Hispanic; in Philadelphia and Cleveland, 79 percent; in Los Angeles, 84 percent, in Detroit, 96 percent; in Baltimore, 89 percent. In New York City, nearly three quarters of the students were black or Hispanic.

be well... mike
Hey Indigo.......

Thanks... that is an interesting link..........

I will do some digging into your question.... but if you look at the SAT results.....

one of the most studied tests in history you will see that even among the poor the scores are different.

I am not saying there is overt racism involved.... however..... there are some very compeling evidence that racisim as well as classism is involved......particularily when we use any for of "mental measurement".

Check some of this out.... and hey... i am enjoying our discussion

be well... mike
Indigo.... what the files indicate is the SAT/ACT...the most studied standardized test ever...

and how it breaks down by both income and race...........

Our school level state tests.... at least here in grades 3-8 and grade 11 follow the same
pattern,,,,,, by income and by race.

We are making some very high stakes decisions that effect kids lives on the results of tests that
really have a very hidden history that is not positive.

Check this out......

Maybe... we should study history as well as our current focus on math and science :)
Check this out:

We are living in interesting times...... mike
I'm going to try to jump into this. As a hispanic, not throwing the race issue off of course, I was raised in what would be thought a middle class household. I believe that to use the race issue as a determining factor is irrelevant. Poverty of and in itself also isn't the only determining factor so far as student success. I think that what seperates them all is the early intervention and experiences that students have in their formative years. This impacts their success and their foundations that they bring to a school experience. You guys throw a lot of statistics of this that and the other. Bottom line for me and the kids that I teach is whether or not they have the experiences that they need to be successful. Our kids of today and especially the urban children have less chances to do what was considered normal in other times. They are basically shutins. Where they live does not always provide them with opportunities to be just a kid. They have to concern them selves with the neighborhood dynamics of violence, extortion, gangs and many of the other social evils. We can talk about how to correct this with either money or some other type of social reforms,but basically if the basic needs are not being met then they won't be successful academically, socially or economically. Most of our inner city children are children being raised by children. In most suburbia the households are families based on some sort of economic security and parents that are mature. I don't have the statiscts to support any of this other than what I have seen and experienced. Our present student population is very mobile. We have first graders who have already been in up to 4 schools in their short academic experience. Its difficult to have any fundamental foundations set with that much moving around. the inequity from school to school is also a factor. The focus of the schools has had a shift as I've seen it in my 25 year odd years of teaching. We have gone from teaching students so that they can become productive to students who can pass a test so that the school, district, state and nation look good compared to other nations. Unlike other nations we teach every child.That would be from those that come from an academically sound foundation to those that have very little ground to stand on. They are all expected to make the same gains and the same accomplishments yet they don't come from an even playing field. Teachers are placed in the postion of guaranteeing that all students will be successful, yet little is taken in consideration as to how this can be accomplished. Just do it. We have students that are successful test takers and can 'pass' the test, but if you were to ask them basic questions about geography, mathematics or simple reasoning they are lost. Well enough of my rambling thanks for the opportunity to join this discussion and hope it does have some credence.
I don't know if it can be leveled either. What I would like to see more is that there is a potential for a student to level it individually for hiim/herself in a way that makes it possible for him to be successful. It is impossible to make it fair for everyone. Its the nature of the beast. Having said that I do believe that opportunity makes it more level. We have cut out those opportunities that would make it more level and give students options that make it more level. We have budget cuts that cut out the arts, be it music drama or drawing. We don't have as many fieldtrips because there isn't the money to bus students to these events. Students with a more stable economic background have the opportunity to take advantage of the venues provided by cities and other groups. I know in my city, the city provides a variety of free events available to the public. Yet the students who would best benefit from them aren't always aware of them or believe that they may not be their cup of tea due to a lack of exposure in the school setting. I believe anything given is not appreciated as much as those things that one works for. Our kids don't ask much. We just don't listen or can't hear what they need. Just a thought.
A very powerful divide! A divide that focuses on the idea of using property taxes to manage the life and quality of our public schools has failed.

"Because Pennsylvania refuses to adequately fund education, local districts rely upon their number one source of funds – property tax. The wealthier the district, the more funds they generate for schools. More important though, the wealthier the District, the less each individual homeowner is taxed since each homeowner can generate more taxes." (Gym 2008).

Gym, H. (2008). Why It Matters: property taxes and school funding. Retrieved April 6, 2009, from

Don...Elena and indigo.... hope this finds everyone well and thanks....

Elena... you raise some issues not mentioned yet.... english as a second language.... the mobility rate of kids and their families as well as "experiences" over and above reading, writing, and math. Budgets that get cut.... and the issue of how we fund public schooling.... is in court in many of our states.

Don... ties into your concerns which are very valid nationally as well as locally. Property wealth and how in impacts school funding has never really been solved nationally or in many of our states.

Along those lines we seem to have narrowed the mission and purpose of what "public schooling"
is or could be.

They have narrowed the purpose of public schooling to preparation for ecconomic gain and a meritocracy based off of test scores. Make no mistake about it.... there will be winners and losers in this model of education and we can guess who they will be. The close link between testing and schooling will lead us toward very predictable results for many kids.

For all the rhetoric about the fairness of these kind of tests anyone who seriously studies these tests clearly see the results they lead to. In a broad social sense, these tests perpetuate the very inequalities that proponents of these instruments claim to eliminate.

They are a powerful servant of the privileged.

As Lani Guinier has written, “What has happened is that the testocracy has been manipulated to reproduce and credentialize the already existing social hierarchy.”

Please do not mistake me for defending the current system... we can and must do better in all our schools.... but toward what purpose.

The other purposes of public education could include:

1. To provide universal access to free education
2. To guarantee equal opportunities for all children
3. To unify a diverse population
4. To prepare people for citizenship in a democratic society
5. To prepare people to become economically self-sufficient
6. To improve social conditions

Wonder.... what we may be able to do about this?

be well... mike

Hi All... hope this finds you well!

Playing a bit with attempting to understand what is going on in school reform and why it seems we have picked top down control to manage school reform.
I do not think there is anyone here who is content with the state of our schools today.

The key question.... whether we are talking about STANDARDS in our STATES or who runs our schools.... in my mind is......

Education Secretary Arne Duncan's pledge to put more big-city mayors in charge of their school districts would exclude democratic forms of school governance and let big businesses decide the fate of public schools.

From:The Corporatization of Public Education by Andy Kroll

Before an audience of big-city mayors and school superintendents in late March, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan offered an early - and troubling - indication of his vision for the future of public K-12 education in the United States.

Duncan told audience members at the Mayors' National Forum on Education in Washington, DC, that more mayors need to take control of low-performing, urban school districts, and that he was prepared to do whatever it takes to shift leadership of urban districts from school boards to City Halls. "I'll come to your cities. I'll meet with your editorial boards. I'll talk with your business communities," Duncan said. "I will be there."

Right now, seven major cities have complete mayoral control over their public school systems, including Washington, DC; New York, and Chicago, where Duncan spent eight years as the CEO of the Chicago Public Schools system working under Mayor Richard Daley. These districts under mayoral control, Duncan explained, are more stable and benefit from stronger leadership. "Part of the reason urban education has struggled historically is you haven't had that leadership from the top," Duncan said. "Where you've seen real progress in the sense of innovation, guess what the common denominator is? Mayoral control."

This is a move..far away from any local control and democracy.

What do you think.... would this fly in our towns outside of our urban area's?

Is this the future direction of creating
"21st century schools"?

be well... mike



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