Resegregation in Delaware Charter Schools Charges ACLU

The legacy and efficacy of Brown versus Board of Education is definitely at risk with the resurgence of segregated public schools. The threat is heightened with charter schools now following suit in creating resegregation. Resegregation enhances the borders of race and class. The borders systemically become boundaries both physically and in society’s psyche.

In this post, Matthew Albright, of The (Wilmington, Del.) News Journal reported that American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU, and Community Legal Aid Society filed a complaint with the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights against the Delaware State Department of Education and the Red Clay School District, which approve all of the charter schools for discriminating against students with disabilities and minorities; and consequently creating resegregation. The resegregation is apparent because the charter schools, especially those in Wilmington, are either low performing and mostly populated by minority students, or mostly populated by white affluent students. The admission requirements into the charter schools such as “high exam scores, parent essays, mandatory parental involvement and required fees and uniforms” exclude minority students from low-income families from applying to the affluent charter schools.

The groups are advocating that new charter schools should not be approved until a desegregation plan has been put in practice. They also advocate the use of lotteries for admission into charter schools, ensuring that all charter schools are free, ensuring that public school class sizes are not larger than those in charter schools, and ensuring the provision of more funds for schools with low-income and minority students.

The executive director of Delaware’s ACLU, Kathleen MacRae, stated, “The power of choice should be with the student and the family, not with the charter school. We can no longer allow the competition for a desk in a high-performing charter school to come between neighbors and friends or exclude students of color and students with special needs.”

 

 

Chicago Principal’s Principled Courage

In an interview with EduShyster, Troy LaRaviere, a Chicago Public School’s principal at Blaine Elementary School and a leader of the Administrators Alliance for Proven Policy and Legislation in Education, AAPPLE, discussed his aversion to the current climate of education reform in Chicago and in the United States. He indicated that most school administrators choose not to publicly share their truths about the impact of mandated education reform because of fear of consequences. Principal LaRaviere who needs to be commended for his courageous stance said the following to EduShyster:

I was at an event recently and someone asked *why are principals afraid to speak out?* One of my colleagues responded that *It’s not that we’re afraid; we’re just being strategic about how we move forward.* I’d never really thought about it this way before, and it hit me that the difference between being fearful and being *strategic* is meaningless because, if you’re scared, you avoid telling the truth because you’re afraid of the consequences. But if you’re being strategic, you fail to tell the truth because you’re trying to avoid the consequences. However you define it, fear or strategy, you’re not speaking your truth because you know there will be consequences from the governmental bureaucracy in charge of the public schools. There is no place for such a fear of government in a constitutional democracy.  That is part of why I tell my truth; the primary reason is to stand up for students, but a secondary reason is to test our democracy—to be an example of an ordinary citizen that believes that the First Amendment is both powerful and real.  It is a meaningful expression of my own patriotism.”

In order to encourage other school administrators to use their voices, Principal LaRaviere told EduShyster:

“Tell your truth. If you don’t want to say what you know is right for fear that you’ll be fired by your government, which is who we work for, then go to your eighth grade social studies classrooms where they’re studying the Constitution and tell them that it’s all a lie. Tell your students that the First Amendment is an ideal, but we don’t have it. If you’re not willing to say that to your eighth grade students, than tell your truth. It’s as simple as that. Just tell your truth.”

 

 

 

 

Single Sex Education: A Solution For Low Achieving Inner-City Public Schools?

Single sex-education in public kindergarten through twelfth grade schools is a fairly new concept. During the past decade, there has been a remarkable increased interest in offering single-sex education in the United States K-12 public schools. The increase in single-sex education could be partly attributed to the May 2002 former President Bush’s proposal to spend $385 million from the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001’s allocation to create separate schools for boys and girls. The Bush administration’s proposal appeared to be in conflict with the 1972’s Title IX regulation 34 CFR106.34 which mandates that schools receiving federal funds shall not create programs and activities on the basis of sex except in cases of few contact sports, sex-education classes, remedial or affirmative action (Bronski, 2002). The appearance of the stated conflict reduced the surge to create single-sex education schools and classes as school districts across the nation cautiously awaited clarification from the Bush administration. The clarification came when the U.S. Department of Education issued final regulations that make it legal to educate boys and girls separately under certain conditions effective November 24, 2006.
The regulations are the U.S. Department of Education’s interpretation of the 1972’s Title IX regulation 34 CFR106.34 federal statute. The Education Department also emphasized that single-sex education is completely voluntary for districts and schools. Stephanie J. Monroe, the Education Department’s assistant secretary for civil rights, stated in a conference call with reporters in November 2006, “This is not a federal mandate. This is an option that can be helpful to some students.” Single-sex education is designed to offer parents more choices in public education (Davis, 2006).
One of the reasons for the rise of these schools and classes is the belief that single-sex education will bring about substantial changes in the academic performance of under-performing public schools which are mostly located in the American inner cities. Proponents of single-sex education believe that high dropout rates and discipline problems stemming from interaction between boys and girls will be reduced in single-sex classrooms and schools, thereby leaving room for higher student achievement. Some schools that have experienced success at varying degrees with single-sex education are spread across several cities in the United States such as Boynton Beach, Florida, Columbus, Ohio, Memphis, Tennessee, and Seattle, Washington.
This paper analyzed the historical background, policies, regulations, practices, challenges and successes of single-sex education in the United States K-12 public schools. The effects of single-sex education on student achievement, with emphasis on under achieving inner-city public schools were focused on. The academic research suggests positive educational benefits of single-sex schooling for girls (if not affluent), at-risk students, and African-American and Hispanic students (regardless of sex). Further, white males either benefit slightly or at worst realize a neutral outcome.

Does Multicultural Education Improve Students’ Racial Attitudes? Implications for Closing the Achievement Gap

The effects of multicultural education on the racial attitudes of students in prekindergarten through twelfth grade are examined in this meta-analysis. Multicultural education was operationalized for this study as programs and curricula dealing with racial and cultural diversity. The effect sizes of curricular intervention and reinforcement dimensions of multicultural education in suburban and urban settings among age groups 3-8 and 9-16 were compared to see the relative effectiveness of multicultural education on students’ racial attitudes. The mean effect size of 0.488 from a total of 60 effect sizes calculated using 30 studies shows that exposure to multicultural education led to a reduction in students’ racial attitudes. However, the mean effect size of 0.645 from curricular intervention studies was higher than the mean effect size of the reinforcement studies at 0.08, indicating that the curricular intervention dimension of multicultural education was more effective in reducing students’ racial attitudes. Multicultural education was more effective in reducing racial attitudes in urban areas with a mean effect size of 0.72, than in suburban areas with a mean effect size of 0.587. Multicultural education was also more effective in reducing racial attitudes among the 9-16 age group with a mean effect size of 0.751, than among the 3-8 age group with a mean effect size of 0.208. Implications for research and for practice with emphasis on closing the achievement gap that exists among the various student subgroups primarily in under achieving inner-city public schools are discussed.

Intangible Heritage of Standard English Learners The “Invisible” Subgroup in the United States of America? Implications for Closing the Achievement Gap