"Promising signs"

Carla Randall, of The Oregonian, tells us that there are “promising signs of progress for our high schools”.   In line with the leftist elite’s  fixation on “people of color”, Randall tells us:

Too many students are bored, and too many feel like nobody cares.
Too many of the students who feel this way are students of color. They are voting with their feet, dropping out of Portland’s high schools at dramatically higher rates than their white peers. (Latino students graduate at half the rate of white students. African-Americans fare only slightly better.)
The good news is that we are taking steps to improve graduation rates and close this achievement gap. The better news is that the changes we are pursuing across all PPS high schools this year have already delivered promising results in schools where they have been tested.

Well it’s about time!  It’s about time somebody actually did something about that pesky gap!  Except that back in early 2010, they were also trying to “achieve diversity” and  “close the gap”:

At the meeting, board members also raised concerns and questions about how to achieve socioeconomic diversity, boundary changes and the transfer policy. Most of those issues won’t be explicitly addressed until the next stage of the process.
Parents who attended tonight’s meeting encouraged the school board to more clearly connect the high school redesign goals to increasing academic achievement and narrowing the achievement gap.

Oh wait, what’s this?  Even in 2009 they were “doing something” to close the gap:

The stubborn gap in academic achievement in Oregon between Hispanic students and their white classmates used to be somewhat of a mystery. Not any more.
The main causes of this gap are well-diagnosed. So are at least some of the solutions, plus the areas desperately needing further research.
Hispanic students learn at the same pace as their white peers, according to a new studyconducted by EcoNorthwest for the Chalkboard Project, an Oregon-based education nonprofit. The trouble is, Hispanic students start out behind in the early grades and typically don’t catch up.
The reasons? Hispanic students are more than twice as likely to come from low-income homes.

What a novel idea!  The gap is due to – POVERTY.  It’s amazing what a few million dollars and years of research can come up with.
But even in 2008, there was success in “closing the gap“:

When the Portland Schools Foundation hired Connie Van Brunt as Executive Director, it was with the understanding that she was a highly skilled educational reform advocate and practitioner with a proven track record of closing the achievement gap. We continue to believe that today.

Well, waddaya know!  There was progress in 2007 as well, as Portland struggled to meet the “No Child Left Behind” requirements (applicable also to pre-high schools students).  We read:

The 44 schools, which get federal funds because they have a significant number of low-income students, had been ordered to give their students free tutoring or transfers to higher-performing schools due to repeat poor performance.
But, based on their 2007 reading and math scores, 10 of them, including Harold Oliver Intermediate School in the Centennial district of Southeast Portland, met every performance target for a second straight year and were freed from the federal troubled schools list.

In 2006 Oregon as a whole had also made “significant progress” in closing the gap:

SALEM — State Schools Superintendent Susan Castillo today named the Oregon public schools that have made significant progress in closing the achievement gap. The announcement was made today at a press conference at Aloha Park Elementary School in the Beaverton School District.
Each school named for the award has demonstrated progress in student achievement in math and reading and showed improvement in student achievement for minority and/or low income students. The schools will be recognized at a banquet on April 28th. This is the second year that Castillo has recognized schools for the Celebrating School Success Awards, and each recipient will receive a $2000 grant.
“These schools prove that it can be done — students can overcome poverty, cultural differences, and other challenges and succeed,” Castillo said. “My goal has been to highlight examples of what is being accomplished in our public schools and send a very important message to all of Oregon about helping all children achieve.”
“I wanted to find a school in each area of the state that could serve as an example for how we can close the achievement gap and ensure that every student has success in school,” Castillo said.

In 2005, under the heading “Closing the Achievement Gap – 2005”, we find:

Stretching from one end of Oregon to the other, the 2005 recipients of the Celebrating Student Success awards all face enormous challenges. And each has a unique formula for success.
Yet despite their differences, these remarkable schools share an unshakable conviction that, given a thoughtful and rigorous plan of action and a dedicated staff of educators to carry it out, all children, regardless of their color or ethnicity or their family incomes, can excel.
They don’t just believe that it’s true – they prove it, day in and day out.

Back in 2002, there were already programs underway to “close the gap“:

In 2002, Shannon joined Stand for Children as the Portland Director in Portland, Oregon. Under her leadership the chapter grew to over 1,000 members, still the largest Stand Chapter in the country, and led a number of successful campaigns including electing 4 reform-minded school board members to the Portland Public School Board, passing the Portland Children’s Investment Fund, a 5 year levy that generates $25 million for early childhood education programs, mentoring, child abuse prevention and laid the groundwork for teaching effectiveness reforms that will help close the achievement gap in Portland Public Schools.

The same was true in 2001:

Portland Public Schools received a National Science Foundation Urban Systemic Program grant in 2001. The goals of the grant were to raise achievement for all students in mathematics and science and close achievement gaps.

If even half of past claims were true, then the gap would have been gone by now.  Obviously, it is not.  It has been said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.  This is exactly what the proponents of “diversity” have been doing.  Aside from coming to terms with genetic differences between the races, those people would do well to change their attitude completely in order to affect whatever improvements can be made within the environmental realm.
Randall tells us:

… Franklin has eliminated the achievement gap in graduation rates. Last year, students of color graduated at the same rate as white students, a rare feat among U.S. high schools. These results are not the product of favorable socioeconomic factors. Franklin’s student population is similar to the school-district average in income. Its student population is similarly diverse.
Franklin has pioneered efforts to link struggling students to mentors at school, building relationships that help students feel connected. At the same time, Principal Shay James and her teachers have not sacrificed academic excellence. Teachers set the bar high. They encourage students — especially students of color — to take advanced placement courses (bold mine)…

Clearly, teachers have been focusing on “students of color” at the expense of white students in order to achieve equal results.  You can bet your bottom dollar that no studies were done in order to ascertain whether white students have suffered, academically, due to such policies.
Ominously, and with a smiling face, Randall tells us:

We are also focused on what happens in the classroom. This fall, PPS teachers will receive better feedback under a new evaluation process developed with the Portland Association of Teachers. Better feedback means more effective and responsive teaching. That means improved learning for students.
The Roosevelt High School campus pioneered this new way of evaluating teachers last year. Roosevelt saw double-digit gains in math and reading, and higher graduation rates.

In other words, teachers are forced to neglect white students in order to advance “students of color”.  It is fairly obvious what this “new way of evaluating teachers” entails.
The way to optimize the education of NAMS is not to coddle them or stress the importance of their own special cultures and heritage.  On the contrary, it is to coddle white students, encourage white culture (according to whatever positive meaning this may have in each locale) and put truly successful students (of whatever race – and most of them will be white or Asian) on a pedestal.  Along with strict discipline (which will, of course, disproportionately effect NAMS), we would achieve the desired result:  Black and Hispanic children will want to be more like white and Asian children.  They will give up their saggy pants, rap music and gutter language.  They will try to be “white” and this will allow them to reach their fullest potential.

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13 Responses to "Promising signs"

  1. Larry says:

    Closing the Achievement Gap 2070: The stubborn gap in academic achievement in Oregon between students of color and their white classmate continues………

  2. Kids who are bored with highschool should be sent to trade schools so that they an be taught to be useful in some way to society.

  3. People truly and honestly believe that all people of all colors are born equal. This has been brainwashed into people’s brains for 50 years, and scientific research to the contrary is being repressed.
    Read not just one but all the articles under the category
    Race & Intelligence
    for a detailed discussion about race and iq.
    Even a Nobel Prize winner destroys his career for saying the truth
    Racial differences in intelligence: James Watson, Nobel Prize winning geneticist persecuted for scientific truth

  4. To continue the issue: Watson correctly said that starting from false premises we will not arrive at the correct solution.
    It is sad that there are inborn differences in intelligence that can not be repaired by any amount of remedial learning and education. One can just give children the best learning environment and then let them move at their own pace and capacity.

  5. Georgia Resident says:

    God forbid that public high schools should lose their least intelligent, most disruptive (and downright dangerous) students!

  6. countenance says:

    It’s like Groundhog Day. Just write the story once and then leave a space open for the year.
    Related news, a bit old:

    • eugenicist says:

      “Groundhog day” is apt, though with Groundhog Day you have two discreet options. With this story, it’s always the same: first paragraph is about “gains have been made,” second part about “sad legacy of the achievement gap,” third part about “new methods being used have had impressive results,” fourth part reminds us that “there is still much work to be done.”
      I would use Memorial Day or Veteran’s Day for an analogy. Spend one day per year pretending to care about something, then spend the rest of the year doing nothing to honor it.

  7. Kiwiguy says:

    I’ve left a couple of comments there:
    ***If Franklin can raise its graduation rates — and eliminate the achievement gap — all of our schools can. ***
    1. What about the achievement gap between East Asian students and other students?
    2. Talk of eliminating the achievement gap shows you have the wrong focus. The focus should be on maximising individual student potential.
    3. The reality, is that average group differences are partially genetic. They are a result of human genetic diversity over the past 50,000 years. Rather than focus on group equality focus on individual performance.
    [second comment]
    Another point is that this emphasis on equal group outcomes, is likely to lead to the kind of cheating that occurred in Atlanta, or simply lowering standards so everyone passes. It’s like trying to get equal outcomes in the NBA – crazy and ignores human biodiversity.

  8. Unamused says:

    Nice investigation JAY — should I say CAY…

  9. Kiwiguy says:

    Nice comments over there JAY 🙂 Hopefully Ms Randall takes the time to read the feedback.

  10. Wise Sephard says:

    Omigod ! It’s deja vu all over again! Here in Philly, we had a black female superintendent ferociously dedicated to “closing the achievement gap” between white and black students, and, by golly, she DID it! The unlikeliest schools suddenly shot way, WAY up in standardized math and reading tests. Barry Obama sang the supe’s praises on national TV whilst the principals of these miracle schools were rewarded with lucrative jobs at District headquarters for six figure salaries. And THEN… (yep, you guessed it)… the house of cards ‘fall down go boom!’ when the biggest academic fraud-and-cheating scandal in city history was uncovered. Seems the kids’ wrong answers were all mysteriously erased and correct answers bubbled in after the tests were over. But not to worry. A full investigation is now being conducted, and I have every confidence that we will finally discover the culprits who are responsible for embarrassing our noble African-American administrators and students: ELVES!

  11. destructure says:

    Actually, there is some success being made in closing the gap. It’s called, “If no child gets ahead then no child is left behind.” The schools have completely given up trying to promote excellence. All they care about is “closing the gap”. So they’ve dumbed the work down until any embecile can do it. That’s a helluva a way to close the gap — just stop teaching the top half of the class.
    A recent article on 24/7 Wall St shows one of the ways states have been “improving” has been to simply lower the state’s standards. So in essence, states have been lowering their standards for what constitutes “Proficiency” so they can categorize more students as proficient.
    One can check this against the national standards for proficiency in the following pdf from the US Dept of Education’s Institute of Educational Statistics. See Figures 2-5 on pages 12-15. Some states “Proficiency” standards are even below “Basic” for the NAEP.
    The government fouls up everything it gets its hands on. Education, Social Security, Medicare and now Universal Healthcare. The government’s job is neither excellence nor efficiency. The government’s main job is politics. There is only one thing the government does well — the military. And that’s because it outsources everything to private contractors.

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