Portland's "hip-hop high school"

With the economy booming and a huge surplus of government cash, politicians are looking for ways to spend some of that cash.  “Let’s see”, thought the government bureaucrat, “we’ve already got plenty of funding for cancer research, aid to the homeless, the renovation of infrastructure and prisons…  I know!  We’ll start a hip-hop high school in Portland!”
How much money?  According to The Oregonian, we’re talking about $500,000 in the form of federal grants:

REAL Prep Charter Academy, more than three years in the making, is scheduled to open Monday in Portland’s Pearl District to serve students in grades nine through 12. The school’s designers have spent $500,000 in federal grants to get the school and its curriculum up and running.

Why is it important to have a hip-hop high school?

The school is the brainchild of Erica Jayasuriya, mother of a multiracial son who wanted to attend a compelling, culturally relevant high school. She is backed by a board of directors chaired by Juan McGruder, a photographer and musician.
The plan, approved by the Portland School Board, was to create a school where students could find their voices and culture honored; learn skills from and get credit for hands-on work with artists and recording industry professionals; and where core academic lessons would be laced with hip-hop themes.

The Oregonian makes it sound like black culture is otherwise not honored – which strikes me as rather odd when I look at the front page of the issue of The Oregonian, where this story takes a prominent place.  There are five major stories on that front page (Sept. 9, 2011):  One about President Obama, with a large photo of him (with two white politicians in the background), one is about Portland’s corrupt parking manager (a black man, whose photo is shown), another features two Hispanics and a black woman who had saved a little (white) girl’s life (good for them), another is about a fossil discovered in South Africa and then there’s our story (at the very top, right next to Obama).  Of the five stories, four of them involve blacks – three of them in positive ways.  As for sheer space on the front page, about 70% of it is dedicated to showing blacks in a positive light.  How can this same Oregonian then claim that blacks need to “find their voices”?  They already have their voices – in the pages of The Oregonian.
Do white high school students have a voice as whites?  That was a rhetorical question; of course they don’t – that would be “racist”.  Where are the high schools that are based on classical music?  Would any charter school, whose aim was to cater specifically to white students, have a chance at receiving a federal grant?  That’s another rhetorical question; let us not forget that this same federal government is perfectly okay with “black pride” and “Hispanic pride” but considers “white pride” to be “offensive” and “immoral”.
In the end, the hip-hop high school failed to open this year.  This is all well and good – but I want my $500,000 back!

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8 Responses to Portland's "hip-hop high school"

  1. I’m only surprised the grant was – pardon the expression – so niggling, and that the place hasn’t opened (yet). There’s always next year. Got to confess tho…the original CD version of Jagged Edge/Run DMC’s “Let’s Get Married” just knocks me out.

  2. fromage says:

    A complete win-win. As urban youth flock to Hip Hop High the white kids in surrounding schools will finally be able to receive an education free of the constant distractions from violent, low IQ youth. The HHH curriculum should also go a long way in closing the achievement gap because if there’s one thing these little urban go-getters excel at it’s sitting around listening to rap music.
    I’d love to see a chain of these from coast to coast. (just not in my neighborhood)
    chuckle chuckle

  3. Cas says:

    After reviewing your analyses and the Charter School’s intended curriculum, I think your comments are misleading. The school’s currclium focused on developing and directing youth interest for vocations where under representation exist among blacks and people of color. Where currently less than 2 percent of jobs and managerial positions are represented by people of color. The term Hip Hop simply is a catchy phrase of attracting youth. The REAL focus was on actual skills needed for positions from the Arts to Engineering for the entertaiment market sector. So let’s ask the real question: how can we creatively encourage academic preperation for jobs in the 21st century. I commended her efforts to stem the drop out rate among American high schoolers. The real tragedy is that the leadership help needed to refine her vision seemed to be lacking.

    • a.n.animus says:

      I’m guessing this is a troll, or a White guy mocking Black stupidity by using awful spelling and grammar, but on the off chance that this is serious…
      Blacks are not underrepresented in managerial positions or in engineering. Blacks, on average, don’t possess the IQ and future time orientation required in those careers. There are exceptions. I’ve met some. It is not the case that there are few Black engineers because of poverty or malign intent by Whites. A smart, well behaved Black person can write their own ticket in the current USA, and gets much more help than a White person would.
      The real tragedy is that so much effort goes into the educational equivalent of making a silk purse from a sow’s ear. There is a lot more underused potential amongst poor Whites than poor Blacks.
      Blacks would be better served in schools run like prisons, where large Black males could administer rough punishment to miscreants. They’d also be better served with church going families. They benefit more from these on account of their behavioral traits. Yes, some small fraction of Blacks would benefit from being educated like a White, and vice versa, but the groups are so different on average in behavioral traits that different educational methods, and segregation, make a lot of sense.

    • jewamongyou says:

      I never made any analysis of their curriculum; I only pointed out that this school was intended to serve specifically black kids – who you call “youth”. I second what animus and countenance said. Segregation is the best solution – so I also second what fromage said.

  4. countenance says:

    Consider which high IQ white students won’t benefit from this $500,000 spent on this hip hop waste of money. Now consider the future innovations and inventions and breakthroughs that won’t happen because we are so misallocating public resources. It’s called opportunity cost.

  5. ducesblackshirt says:

    Heather MacDonald has written quite a bit about these schools and they are every bit the joke most readers of this blog would think they are.

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