Monday, May 22, 2006

Principal's Demotion Roils Freedom High

Principal's Demotion Roils Freedom High - Washington Post

A Lesson in Arrogance - Washington Post

Do not be surprised if school districts and teacher’s unions begin providing and negotiating for ‘foot in mouth’ insurance in their roles as educators. As the performance pressure increase against persistent racial disparities around programs like No Child Left Behind (NCLB), as well as Advanced Placement (AP) curriculums, there will be a greater need for increased protection.

The bottom line is that educators have no explanation, along with any feeling of control, with respect to the performance of their students. They are educating as they were taught, but to dismal results for too many. Inasmuch as they are frustrated and clueless, they are bound to default to the historical racist context. It is inevitable and not completely their own fault.

The brightest minds in education have yet to connect the dots as to why Asian kids outperform Whites, who in turn outperform Blacks and Hispanics in predictable amounts. In the mean time, ‘best guess’ racism will continue to grow, as people, including educators, simply try to protect themselves and those they care about from becoming collateral damage in the thrashing that ensues.

While we are beginning to focus attention on discretionary behaviors that drive performance, our understanding of the modern influence of evolution dating back hundreds, and even thousands, of years, has a long way to go before it will ultimately shed its light on the subject. Even so, how societies developed, through the ages, is showing significant promise in explaining behaviors that we hold onto and, at times, let go, in the name of self-advancement.

Racism will be with us for a long time to come, and there will never be a good excuse for it, but understanding where it comes from is crucial to combating it in all its forms, be it malicious or born of ignorance.

James C. Collier


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