The American Interest
Analysis by Walter Russell Mead & Staff
Federal Government Now Endorses Soft Bigotry of Low Expectations

Classroom

According to Alabama’s new education standards, black students will not be expected to do as well as white ones in public schools. The WSJ reports:

“Beginning this fall, Alabama public schools will be under a new state-created academic accountability system that sets different goals for students in math and reading based on their race, economic status, ability to speak English and disabilities.” Alabama’s Plan 2020 “sets a different standard for students in each of several subgroups — American Indian, Asian/Pacific islander, black, English language learners, Hispanic, multirace, poverty, special education and white.”

In other words, minority students will need to meet lower expectations, while white students (and Asians) will be expected to reach higher proficiency levels.

This practice is not new. In an effort to escape the No Child Left Behind Act’s stringent standards for schools, a number of states applied for a waiver, which would allow states to keep federal funding if their schools met a limited number of benchmarks. Of the 33 states granted a waiver last year, 27 now have different achievement goals for different groups of students. And the Obama administration fully supports this measure, “as long as the low-performing students are required to make greater rates of progress, so that the gap between struggling students and high-achieving students is cut in half over six years.”

The issue of race is clearly still entangling a society that likes to think of itself as post-racial. Ironically, not only are the liberal democrats of the Obama administration not raising red flags when states ask to do this; they are actively supporting racial profiling in schools.

In practical terms, this is setting up a system in which some teachers will think they’ve succeeded as long as the black kids in a class reach a certain low level of proficiency. Meanwhile, they’ll keep pushing the others to do better. This hardly seems like a behavior we want to incentivize, but a teacher trying to do well under these new evaluation standards would be acting rationally to do exactly that. We appear to be recreating the old “separate but equal” education systems within integrated classrooms. Surely color blind standards make more sense.

[Classroom image courtesy of Shutterstock]

Published on July 11, 2013 2:30 pm
  • rheddles

    The headline is perfect. And tragic. This is shameful and a waste of human lives. We are denying these children the best opportunity they will have to escape poverty and ignorance. Not to mention the inherent racism.

    • Corlyss

      How much are we obligated to look away from failure after failure and go on subsidizing the failures? How long are we obliged to keep paying minorities to be a stable of unskilled, ignorant but reliable voters for one or the other party?

      Robert Hooks, an actor of some fame who happens to be black, once remarked, “Blacks will not be truly equal until they are allowed to fail.” There’s a lot of wisdom in that. For 60+ years, we and our good intentions have been getting in the way of nature taking its course.

  • Nick Bidler

    You don’t even need to *try* to create a perpetually-struggling underclass. All you have to do is let people live down to your expectations.

    • Corlyss

      What is society to do when the people in question have no better expectations for themselves?

      • Andrew Allison

        Set expectations for them!

        • Corlyss

          Isn’t that the patronizing racism too, about which minorities complain all the time?

  • Andrew Allison

    George Wallace must be rolling with laughter. Setting lower educational standards for blacks is only marginally different from shutting them out of school altogether. Either way they are robbed of the opportunity to compete with whites.

    • Corlyss

      I would consider them “victims” only if they weren’t so politically active in undermining their own success. They aren’t robbed of opportunities to compete with whites. Many of them self-select out of programs that demand adherence to standards, the deviation from which has material consequences. That’s the whole point behind the serious re-examination of how much Affirmative Action, race-based admission criteria actually help minorities to break into demanding professions. When the minorities keep abandoning science and math courses for poli-sci and black studies and crap like that, they just make the case for terminating all race-based preference programs. They aren’t doing themselves any favors and it’s mostly their own doing, following the leads of 70 and 80 year old veterans of the Civil Rights movement.

      • Andrew Allison

        Let’s agree to differ on this. I think that, like most of us, they “self-select” the easy path. I blame the enablers more than the victims.

        • Corlyss

          It’s a dance made for two, Andrew. Minorities have made a sociology, a pathology, and a bulwark of their victimhood. You have to give them props for making many of us think it was all our fault when we didn’t have anything to do with it. Exonerating them from that is to ignore reality and do both a disservice.

  • Suzyqpie

    The damage done to the black community in the name of help is truly stunning.

    • Beauceron

      Well, it must be said that most of that damage has been done, or greatly assisted by, black community “leaders”. How else can one look at racial preferences in college entrance applications, hiring in the private sector, and in government jobs and contracts? Take the once-vaunted FDNY, for example. Because of low “minority” hiring (minority is in quotes because, in NYC, non-hispanic whites are a minority, so in effect there is no minority here anymore), the courts (pressured by the usual groups) insisted the entrance tests were racist. They had an outside firm that specialized in diversity redesign the tests. Still a racial discrepancy. They went through the process several more times, all with pretty much the same result. In the end they did the only thing a just society that values diversity could do: they made the test so easy thet pretty much anyone can pass it now. Passing the test is now absolutely meaningless and they have no real standards.
      One assumes, perhaps incorrectly, Alabama has done this to avoid the same fate.

  • Anthony

    High quality time-tested standards, WRM, make sense and expecting all public school children to meet them is only logical. “Alabama’s Plan 2020 sets a different standard for students….” I can’t add to previous comments beyond echoing that soft bigotry of low expectations damages more than present generation of students exposed.

  • Pete

    “According to Alabama’s new education standards, black students will not be expected to do as well as white ones in public schools.”

    When you look at group averages, this policy makes eminent sense.

    The alternative, which has been in practiced for quite a while now, unintentionally drags down the academic level potential of white & Asian students as a way of closing the performance gap between them and back and Hispanic children.

    • Andrew Allison

      Not if the same, high, standards are set for everybody.

      • Pete

        If you set the same high standards for everyone, you get an increase the ‘achievement gap.’

        This embarrasses and vexes the ruling elite as it bring up uncomfortable questions, questions the elite do not want the larger society to hear let alone contemplate.

        • Andrew Allison

          The achievement gap exists regardless of race or socioeconomic background. If you are arguing that the ruling elite refuses to recognize this, I’ll agree. My point was that it’s not race-related.

          • Pete

            You been into the politically correct Kool-Aid to much, Brother.

            Whenever the ‘the achievement gap’ is spoken of in sociology or education or politics, it is almost always is defined specifically as the lower of academic performance of blacks and Hispanics to everyone else.

  • Corlyss

    “Federal Government Now Endorses Soft Bigotry of Low Expectations”
    Your observation is about 42 years late. The nanosecond Affirmative Action became enshrined in law, the soft bigotry of low expectations became the norm in government policies. The whole point of Affirmative Action was to waive in people who couldn’t hack the local standards because “the system” was stacked against them. The legal fiction we were all ordered to swallow was that the Affirmative Action beneficiaries were just as skilled and masterful of the material as others, but there was systemic prejudice that prevented them from demonstrating their skill and mastery. It is hogwash. It always was hogwash. It always will be hogwash. But as long as the feds are committed to the legal fiction, the soft bigotry will predominate.

  • ElmerEvans

    Will this include a stamp on their foreheads reading “Dummy”?
    Because that is, in essence, what Alabama is doing.

  • lukelea

    I would call it realism. Treat people as individuals regardless of racial disparities by giving each child an appropriate education based on his or her demonstrated abilities and interests.

    The soft bigotry of low expectations is an evil phrase. It needs to be retired.

    • Mary Elizabeth Sarks

      You are a bigot.

      • Jim__L

        Leaving aside whether there’s any detectable “bigotry” in his post or not, if his prescription to “treat children as individuals regardless of race by giving each student an appropriate education based on his or her demonstrated abilities and interests” is scrupulously followed, that would be a good thing, no?

      • Corlyss

        Are you being as funny as your post sounds?

      • lukelea

        I hope you will withdraw that comment. Otherwise I suggest you are the bigot for calling me one.

        Not only do I think every person should be judged as an individual irrespective of race, but like a good parent I believe the happiness of all our children is equally important irrespective of any differences in ability.

        The problem, as I see it, is that our governing elites don’t see it that way. They seem to believe that everyone should master algebra and get a college education, and for the half of the population that doesn’t to bad for them. It is this lack of caring for the left side of the bell curve — the half of the population that is below average in academic ability — that fosters so much racial strife.

        To see what I mean, see here: http://facingzionwards.blogspot.com/

        In the meantime I hope you will reconsider your slur. You may have meant it to shut down discussion but I regard it as a libelous defamation of character.

      • Notjack

        For what reason? I know Ms. Sarks won’t be hiring a minority contractor for any work and demand to pay them 10% more than a non-minority contractor.

        And I am definitely sure that she wouldn’t go to a Doctor who couldn’t read cursive, or answer her questions in a coherent fashion, no matter what race.

    • Corlyss

      “If racial disparities result it doesn’t follow that teachers are racists.”
      Well, minorities rarely claim the teachers are racists. They argue the racism is inherently systemic. The education system or the course itself is racist.
      I have to disagree with you Luke, about the phrase soft bigotry. I absolutely believe it lies at the heart of all the preferential treatment programs for every minority. Let’s give X a break because you know their education was handicapped by society; let’s not expect too much of Y because for two hundred years they’ve been migrants and come from unstable homelives; let’s pay a 10% premium for goods or services from Z because, you know, they have trouble competing against firms in their field and we need to promote more ownership by Zs.

  • John McCarthy

    I think the policy makes sense. The fact is that over the population African Americans average 85 IQ while european americans have about 100 IQ and asian americans have about 108 IQ. This has been found repeatedly for generations. IQ correlates very highly with academic success.

    Not everyone can learn calculus. Trying to teach someone with below 120 IQ calculus is both frustrating to those unable to learn it as well as an incredible waste of time.

    Allow the slower kids to learn at a slower pace. Expect more from the smart kids. However one is denounced as racist if you notice these facts – and they are facts, not opinion. It may give one a case of the sads to notice this but it is reality.

    • catorenasci

      The IQ numbers you cite are facts, but they also represent averages, and the differences they represent probably are much more important at the high school level than elementary level

      I think it is very important to do two things:

      1. NOT lower expectations for any group, but only for individuals who, in the early years of schooling, demonstrate that they do not have the cognitive ability to keep up.
      2. Make every effort with all kids in the earliest grades to teach the behaviors needed for academic success as well as the academic information as well.

      No one wants to go back to the bad old days of segregation, but even in those bad days there were blacks schools with high standards and black students who excelled, meeting the same standards as whites.

      We need to explore and find the ways to recapture for black students the ways in which those black schools and students were able to do that, even under the appalling conditions they faced.

      • John McCarthy

        I wish they would IQ test each student and then put them in a separate track then see if they are keeping up with what is expected of that track. Alabama is using race and income as proxies for IQ. Each person should be treated as an individual.

        But IQ is such a touchy subject it is illegal in California to IQ test students!

        But do not tell me that the schools are failing african american kids when as a group they just can’t do as well as europeans and asians.

        • Jim__L

          IQ tests are not necessarily reliable. Some kids are just late bloomers, and some kids who show early promise never quite deliver.

          A system based on “interests and demonstrated capabilities” would be best. Someone with a low(er) IQ but a high level of interest in a given subject can achieve more than an indifferent “genius”.

          • catorenasci

            This is correct, but it should not mean that testing is abandoned: we have to have some way of distinguishing the students who can achieve at higher levels and those for whom it’s just not possible.

            What it does mean is that we need to be alert for those who bloom later, and to take into account those who achieve well above expectations.

            It also means that teaching needs to be geared to encouraging children’s natural curiosity and desire to learn. That takes outstanding teachers. Who are, unfortunately, in extremely limited supply. Even in the best public school systems, probably 2/3 to 3/4 of the teachers aren’t outstanding, but marginal to incompetent. Of the remaining 1/3 to 1/4, probably only a small portion of that group are outstanding, and the remainder merely competent, which isn’t really good enough.

            In my 13 years of public schooling, I think I had only 2 outstanding teachers: both in elementary school.

            For my own kids, the best teacher they had in 13 years each was in kindergarten – it was literally all downhill from there, with 2 other excellent teachers in the rest of the process.

    • khm001

      I think the policy makes sense.

      Not everyone can learn calculus.

      These two statements cannot be reconciled. Grades not reflecting reality do not make sense. Giving a passing grade in calculus to a black kid who doesn’t understand calculus, while giving a white kid of similar performance a failing grade, in order to “normalize” achievement in no way changes the fact that the black kid didn’t understand calculus.

  • bpuharic

    Conservatives were in favor of racist quotas when they oppressed blacks, now they’re against them since the shoe’s on the other foot. Funny how that works.

    • khm001

      Conservatives were in favor of racist quotas when they oppressed blacks

      Conservatives didn’t oppress blacks. It was liberal democrats. Slavery, Jim Crow, Bacon Davis, etc. were all liberal democratic policies to keep blacks oppressed. When these policies failed in their purpose, liberal democrats changed tack and created a class of government dependent black culture that finally did what slavery, Jim Crow, and economic warefare didn’t – destroy the black family and keep blacks perpetually impoverished.

      But I guess it’s best not to learn history if you’re a liberal. Otherwise you’d have to come face to face with the fact that everything you think is evil about conservatives is actually true about democrats.

      • bpuharic

        Uh conservatives used to be democrats.Every conservative was in favor of racism. The S Baptist Church…which NO ONE would say was liberal…was formed as a proslavery church. The Catholic Bishops…which NO ONE would say was liberal…was in favor of slavery

        William F Buckley, who NO ONE would say was liberal, was in favor of poll taxes to ‘protect white civilization’. James J Kilpatrick, who NO ONE would say was liberal, was plain about his racism. John Derbyshire, who NO ONE would say was liberal, was fired from “National Review” for racism

        To the right wing. ‘liberal’ means democrat. They’re too uneducated to know that Nixon’s ‘southern strategy’ used racism to win racist Republicans to the GOP.

        You guys have a narrative…AKA a lie…that your own history is that of protecting blacks.

        Paul Ryan who NO ONE would say is liberal, wrote a newsletter containing racist sentiments, and Rand Paul, his son, has an avowed racist on his staff today

        But go ahead. Tell us how all those ‘states rights’ racists were liberals.

        • Flatley

          Paul Ryan is not Ron Paul, silly.

          • bpuharic

            Sorry. All racists look alike. Hard to tell under their sheets.

          • Old Fan

            You do realize it was Al Gore’s father who fought for segregation? Long ago, GW Bush campaigned for a Republican who challenged the ugly racist named Wallace. You have it backwards, buying into a vivid partisan swindle. Even Bill Clinton’s inspirational political mentor, J. William Fulbright was a racist. Bill Clinton interned for J. William Fulbright in 1966-67, when Fulbright was still a segregationist. As President, the ugly Clinton bestowed the Presidential Medal of Freedom on the racist Fulbright.

          • bpuharic

            Hold on…let me find my swooning couch.

            FORSOOTH!! Thou hast me here! Golly…that’s the first time I’ve heard that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

            The fact is the GOP used to be moderate. Today it’s virulently right wing. And the south was RIGHT WING even when it was DEMOCRAT. It was CONSERVATIVE AND RACIST even when it was democrat

            But you go ahead. Tell us how liberal the south was. And try to sell that bridge while you’re at it

            You guys have your cliches and that’s pretty much it.

            LBJ signed BOTH the VRA and the CRA. Who opposed them

            William F Buckley…founder of modern conservatism

            Barry Goldwater, 1964 GOP PRESIDENTIAL candidate

            If it was for the DEMOCRATS blacks wouldn’t have the right to vote because CONSERVATIVES fought against black civil rights.

  • Sammy

    I guess the feds have decided the original three-fifths calculation was right after all!
    Hope N Change

  • Arch

    The old South had “separate but equal.”

    Today we are ushering in “together but inferior.”

  • Jim__L

    Professor, could you write a comparison between the approaches of Booker T Washington and WEB DuBois? I can’t help but think that that’s a debate we should revisit today, now that DuBois’ view has triumphed. It seems to me that if Washington’s view had had the same success in parallel with DuBois’, we wouldn’t be in this mess.

  • http://www.tempeteaparty.org Lee Reynolds

    If the goal is to create and maintain an underclass immediately identifiable by the color of their skin, subjecting the intended victims of this scheme to an inferior education is a great way to start.

    George Wallace must be laughing in his grave right now.

  • bittman

    This approach sounds racist. I can see separating kids into different groups based on IQs and actual achievement in class; however, I understand “political correctness” no longer allows this. The goal of education should be to provide an interesting but challenging education system instead of having schools mainly babysit and brainwash kids with Progressive ideology.

  • peterike

    Since the ever-stubborn “gap” is entirely genetic in origin, educational policy will never have any effect, and lowering of standards for non-Asian minorities is entirely sensible as they are largely incapable of meeting the same standards.

    • bpuharic

      And you know that how?

      • SamuelThomas

        It’s called evolution. Everyone was not created equal by a magic sky wizard. Grow up.

        • bpuharic

          Hmmm…”All men are created equal”…seem to recall reading that somewhere…

          but conservatives think the DoI is s commie document and Jefferson was a red.

          And social darwinism isn’t evolution. Don’t play with words you don’t understand.

          • The Bogeyman

            Men of non-European descent were not considered to be men at the time that was written.

          • bpuharic

            Conservatives have pretty much the same view today.

          • The Bogeyman

            And liberals have turned a huge proportion of the descendants of slaves into little more than pets, completely dependent upon the state for their shelter and sustenance. Which is worse?

          • bpuharic

            So you say. And yet the right has turned the entire middle class into slaves.

            Funny how that works.

          • The Bogeyman

            Can’t argue with you there, anyone who pays income tax is a slave to some extent.

            And those who push for higher taxes are the most responsible. Which happen to be the leftists.

  • Notjack

    Some kids learn through positive reinforcement and some through negative reinforcement.

    The fact that schools can no longer use the latter is the problem.

    As a public reference librarian, I see too many minority kids who are incapable of reading, incapable of filling out an online application (because of the previous point), and an entitlement mentality that literally expects some one else to fill out their application.

  • Notjack

    Giving some one an award for something they did not actually achieve is soul destroying, unless you currently reside at the White House.

    African American job applicant: Of course I can read, I have this HS diploma.

    Interviewer: Ok, read this. (Place NY Time paper in front of applicant.

    AA job applicant: I don’t read Times New Roman font. And what’s more I don’t have too.

  • Notjack

    All you white and Asian kids! We’ll be reducing your grades so we can give the black kids higher grades.

    It is only fair.

  • Boritz

    This is important news because it removes one of the two remaining institutional burdens minorities must shoulder, the other being the requirement to compete in the college classroom within a one-size-fits-all evaluation system. While affirmative action helps level the playing field in the competition for admission to college, once they have gained admission to elite institutions minority students find themselves competing for grades with other students many of whom were admitted with better credentials and preparation. There is ample evidence that this is a factor in the minority drop-out rates at these institutions. EEOC set-asides have long addressed the issue of unfair competition in the work place. With these new evaluation standards Alabama has removed inflexible standards from all education except at the college level.

    Social scientists and other experts who are interested in the state of education will want to follow this Alabama experiment as success here would provide powerful empirical evidence for the efficacy of implementing the same rules at the university level. Flexible evaluation standards in the university, especially elite institutions, would go a long way toward addressing the minority drop out rate and would bring the overall minority experience in higher education into the same realm as the admissions process, the workplace, and now public education.

  • Old Fan

    This is another symbol of political irony. Democrats are mythically deemed as “caring”, yet the stereotype is severely misguided. The various Teacher’s Unions were predictably upset with the introduction of standards, testing, competition via the No Child Left Behind Act. It was obvious the self serving Democratic Partisans exploiting Public Education would reject this effort to stop the enormous failure, thinking only of themselves. Ironically, Obama regretfully crushed a successful voucher system providing less fortunate American Children their only chance at a quality education as well. It is as if Democrats simply want Americans to be ignorant, illiterate, uniformed, uneducated and dependent. This failure has been enabled and encouraged for decades. Again, the youth of America suffer greatly at the hands of the greedy, incompetent, corrupt Democratic Party. Where is the outrage in response to the Chicago Teacher’s Union Leader who pathetically blamed her own massive failure on “racist rich white” people? GW Bush showed again, as he did with the admirable effort to end the AIDS epidemic in Africa, he cared. The Democrats clearly do not.

  • 500_lb_Gorrila

    So, ‘useful idiot’ has now been replaced by ‘useful bigot’.

  • saailer

    Could someone please explain why 14 year old Black kids can not read, write a simple sentence or grasp basic math? Is it due to a fault of the school system or lack of parental discipline? Criteria for answer: do not point at other bad behavior to justify, do not bring up poverty ( I was raised in poverty), no reference to my political feelings and lastly no labels ie..racist…Just answer the question…

  • Jon LeVeille

    That’s a big problem with government education, it isn’t focused on teaching students how to learn, but rather, making sure they receive good marks.

  • Michael Enoch

    This article makes the assumption that it is not appropriate to set lower standards for black students. The actual performance of black students in comparison to whites and asians over many many years and despite all efforts to bring them up to that level says otherwise. I think this is actually a good policy and that it is needlessly cruel to black children to integrate them with whites and then expect them to perform at that level.

  • Right-wing Realist

    This is completely unnatural and will only serve to harm society further down the road.

    Are we going to allow a low I.Q. minority become a surgeon just because we want to make them feel better? Are skilled jobs going to be taken over by unskilled people? This does nothing to help the students and only allows them to get away with not trying as hard as the others, which will undoubtedly create tensions between races (yet again).

    This is just another reason why government is unnatural and only causes harm to societies.

    • bpuharic

      The anarchist right pretends govt harms society.

      Proof? Well…none. And govts are natural. Every society has rules. Just because you’re too ignorant to think doesn’t mean you should expose your ignorance here.

    • Augur Mayson

      This one does, that’s for sure. But anarchy would only work if we weren’t already surrounded by ^__^holes.

  • SamuelThomas

    This is what happens when you put clothes on monkeys and expect them to be civilized.

  • Andrzej Josef

    Yes the enablers, the NEA and AFT.

  • bpuharic

    Aw my heart bleeds for you. We had slavery, Jim Crow, lynching, etc in this country and to the privileged white conservative, the fact blacks argue for equal treatment is an offense.

    You can’t make this stuff up.

  • Tom

    It’s define that way because that’s how the race-baiters want it to be defined. Said definition’s relationship to the actual causes are more unclear.

  • Jim__L

    I have no use for Political Correctness as a rule, but I will defend truly color-blind policy to my utmost ability.

    Whatever correlation there might be between low achievement and race (and evidence points to culture as vastly more important) will be adequately handled if you take each case individually, without bringing race into it at all.

  • bpuharic

    You tell ‘em! Separate but equal, decades of discrimination, etc., had NO effect and the rabid Jim Crow laws were there for the protection of blacks, right?

  • khm001

    No. Setting uniform standards for all to follow and expecting everyone including blacks to attain them is the very opposite of what racism is.

  • Jim__L

    You can break people, giving them expectations they’ll never fulfill. I’ve seen it happen; it’s not pretty.

  • khm001

    bpuharic,

    Your sentiment wouldn’t ring so hollow is slavery didn’t end nearly two hundred years ago and other groups (Irish, Asian) hadn’t faced the same or worse discrimination that blacks did. Oddly, these other groups aren’t dedicated to killing each other with a nearly religious zeal.

    It really rings hollow when black immigrants flourish alongside the self proclaimed perpetual victims of racism. Not to worry, though, it only takes a generation or two of recent black immigrants to descend into the echo chamber of self entitlement and no responsibility mentality that so characterizes the wasteland of American black culture.

  • Fred

    Oh I get it. Lowering of standards that creates incompetents who must by law be hired anyway will undo the affects of all that past discrimination and Jim Crow. And precisely how, pray tell, is that supposed to work? It must be some kind of arcane liberal logic, because common sense tells most of us uninitiated that lowering standards and legally forcing people to hire the resulting incompetents will stigmatize people _as_ incompetents, increase racial tension, and incentivize employers to hire only as many minorities as the law forces them to.

  • richard40

    Oh, so now I get it. The remedy for past discrimination by race is to now discriminate by race, but in another direction, that makes perfect sense, not.

  • Jim__L

    The problem is that imposing the same standard is inappropriate for reasons having nothing to do with race. That’s why this isn’t a solved problem already.

    That, and the fact that “multiculturalism”‘s malignant neglect of the fact that some collections of cultural assets lead to success (by whatever measure), and some don’t.

  • Corlyss

    I hear you, but every time in a public school context minorities are expected to meet a single set of standards, they fall behind (for whatever reason), then the minorities get politically active to plead “disparate impact” as proof that the standards are “racist.”
    I offer up the fate of the Civil Service exam as but one example of this phenomenon. I believe the year I took it was the last year (1968) in which they had test that could be characterized as serving the purpose for which it was intended: i.e., to winnow out the people without the education or skills to fulfill even the most basic requirements for government employment.

  • khm001

    “imposing the same standard is inappropriate”

    This statement doesn’t make any sense. Grades are supposed to reflect reality in an absolute sense. If a white kid needs to pass algebra I and II, geometry, analytic geometry, and trigonometry in order to be considered proficient in high school math, saying that a black kid is proficient in high school math after passing algebra I and II is not appropriate. Saying these two are equivalently proficient is in fact false. Setting up a system in which proficiency depends on something other than actual proficiency is what is inappropriate.

  • Jim__L

    Pardon me. For “standard” in my last post, read “expectations”.

    I am in no way advocating a system where passing a course means something different for one student than another.

    I’m advocating a tracked system, where we expect some students to take some courses, and other students to take other courses, based on their demonstrated interests and aptitudes.

  • bpuharic

    Whites are oppressed? Who knew!

  • Andrew Allison

    You are correct. I phrased my comment poorly, and should have made clear that if public schools fail (as they are clearly doing) to provide adequate primary education for all, they are failing in their duty.

    Of course there are students with special needs, but defining special needs racially is, well, racist. Not only that, but the black students who do have the ability to achieve are being denied the opportunity to do so by this policy.

  • bpuharic

    I’m not talking standards. I’m talking right wing hypocrisy…which for decades relegated blacks to inferior schools and set quotas on school attendance, voting, etc….NOW right wingers are AGAINST quotas

    Despicable history and despicable whitewashing which people like WRM aid and abet

  • TheOperation

    The reason why Black’s don’t do as well as Whites in society is because they aren’t even on the same playing field intelligence wise. This is backed up by over 50 years of IQ testing, thousands of years of history which denotes that Blacks have contributed absolutely nothing to the advancement of the human race. 50+ years of forced racial integration in which Blacks still cannot even touch the performance of Whites in any specific category other than murder, rape and other violent crime statistics. Blacks on average have a smaller less densely packed brain, they also have a structurally more primitive brain. All of the above are FACTS, and are irrefutable.
    Liberals like your self love to believe that Blacks are somehow held down and disadvantaged by something other than genetics, however you are simply wrong.

  • bpuharic

    Number of Irish lynched? 0. Asians? 0

    Only an idiot would claim other groups faced worse discrimination than Jim Crow, lynching, etc.

    That alone discredits your argument and shows the avowed racism of your strain of right wing ideology

  • Fred

    You have an uncanny knack for avoiding the issue, not to mention a deep penchant for ad hominem. And the argument from hypocrisy is a particularly dumb form of ad hominem. If I smoke cigarettes and tell you that you should not do so because it’s unhealthy, I may be a hypocrite, but I am also correct. If a racist says that quotas, double standards, lowered standards, and denial of positions to those more qualified for them in order to achieve “diversity” are bad ideas on pragmatic (including being self-undermining) and moral grounds rather than racial grounds, he may be a hypocrite; he is also correct.

  • lhogan

    I wanted to reply to your misguided opinion about the inferiority of black schools but after reading other comments by you I realize you’re an idiot looking for a fight, so Never mind. Just look up Booker T Washington and tell me about his inferior education please.

  • richard40

    Actually since you leftists favor the teachers union hacks that keep those gov schools crummy, while we favor charter and voucher schools that could give them a real education, who is really at fault for crummy schools.

  • bpuharic

    Since conservatism is a socialist movement designed to protect the power elite, it will use every tool at its disposal to accomplish that, INCLUDING hypocrisy. I’m simply pointing out a fact of your sorry belief system.

    I don’t believe in quotas but I DO believe the right wing has created a culture where blacks were victimized for decades…and NOW they’re feigning horror that GAMBLING is going on here!

  • Pete

    By what you say, Tom, you have accused the entire education establishment and the field of sociology — both of which are liberal to a fault — as being race-baiters.

    Okay. Now your position is clear.

  • bpuharic

    Never heard of the “Brown” decision?

    No surprise…the right is rewriting history to delete any mention of racism at all

  • Tom

    No, actually. I’ve accused them of kowtowing to race-baiters like Al Sharpton and his less strident ilk.

  • Stephen W. Houghton

    Talking about rewriting history it was the left, (the progressive movement) that was behind segregation. Also the progressives were a socialist movement for the power elite.

  • Tom

    And there are conservatives who think this way as well–see John Derbyshire’s nattering about Sun People and Ice People.

  • Pete

    Then we agree.

  • bpuharic

    A lie, of course

    Segregation was a southern cultural value; the south is conservative.

    And the right defends the ‘right’ of Wall Street to buy election.

  • Tom

    I’m going to have to go with bpuharic–sort of. It was Woodrow Wilson–a progressive Democrat through and through–who legitimized segregation, but it was conservatives who implemented it–at least in the South.
    That being said, the constant ranting about the sins of the old conservatives while ignoring the idiocy of the current liberals will help–no one.

  • Tom

    And bpuharic has botched history.
    Again.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rock_Springs_massacre

    “When the rioting ended, at least 28 Chinese miners were dead and 15 were injured.”

  • bpuharic

    The idiocy of modern conservatives is in believing the talk radio hype that racism has been completely vanquished and there are absolutely NO residual effect at all…none…in modern society

    Contemporary conservatism is immune to evidence

  • bpuharic

    It’s the exception that proves the rule. You want to pretend blacks weren’t subject to racism, or that the genocide they faced was a walk in the park?

    Be my guest

  • Tom

    Oh, please. Saying other groups experienced racism as well doesn’t mean that blacks didn’t. And calling what happened to blacks in America “genocide” is laughable.

  • Tom

    And contemporary liberals have manage to drink deep from the draught of bitterness. Quite a heady brew, but it tends to leave a massive hangover.

  • bpuharic

    2 million blacks died and 12 million were enslaved during the US history of slavery

    To the right wing that’s irrelevant. We just ignore it and pretend it didn’t happen. After all, they’re only blacks.

    If you think 2 million dead isn’t genocide that merely makes you right wing.

  • bpuharic

    RIght wingers have turned ignorance into a cardinal virtue

  • Tom

    Definition of genocide: “In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such…”

    Your definition, based on sheer numbers, over the course of two hundred and forty six years, doesn’t fit.
    And if we’re going to talk genocide, seeing as Brazil imported four million slaves and, at the time of abolition, had 1.5 million slaves, while the United States imported 500,000 slaves and had, at the time of abolition, four million slaves, save your ire for the Brazilians.

  • bpuharic

    Anybody who thinks that considering the total value of a human race is slavery and/or death isn’t genocide is a participant in that crime

    Your hairsplitting ignores the fact southern conservatives were participating in racial genocide.

    When you move to Brazil, let me know. This is America and your handwaving support of racism is conservative and despicable, but I repeat myself.

  • Tom

    So, tell me, how do I participate in a crime that ended 150 years ago?
    That’s right, I can’t.
    Saying that a crime isn’t a worse crime doesn’t mean that I don’t think it’s a crime.
    And using the events of 150 years ago to try and prevent people from solving the problems of today is more despicable and damaging than anything I am capable of doing.

  • bpuharic

    Ever hear of Holocaust deniers? You’re just another breed.

    And denying the cultural history of your own beliefs enables you to continue with their reprehensible conseequences

  • Tom

    So, let me make sure that I understand this correctly. My belief that everyone ought to be treated equally regardless of race, and that this is the way to fix the consequences of racism, stems from the racism of my ancestors.
    Got it.
    Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go prove that night is day.

  • Corlyss

    Oh, I think it is exactly race-related. Those very same ruling elites pride themselves on their willingness to make the rest of us go the extra mile to cosset behaviors and failures in a rational world no one would put up with. They don’t have to put up with the consequences of the preferential treatment policies they craft for the rest of us.

  • bpuharic

    What you actually believe is that there are no contemporary issues related to the culture of racism in the US. We can ignore ALL problems related to poor performance of blacks in school because they’re totally related to their own failures.

    The story of white American conservatives…always willing to write off someone else’s history.

  • Tom

    Why, thank you, bpuharic. I’m glad you’ve explained to me what I really and truly believe. I appreciate it as much as you would if I did the same to you.

  • lhogan

    Yes, Smartass. It was a Supreme Court decision that has little to do with this discussion. How old are you? I have to ask because you write like an 18 y/o. I was in High School when segregation of the schools ended and my HS was integrated. I went to school with the first generation of whites and blacks to share the same classroom in many many years. My experience was not one of racial animus or racial hated. There were some students that were way ahead of me. In fact most of them were. I was at the bottom of my class. In spite of the fact that they had been segregated in supposedly an ‘inferior’ school, many of the black kids performed better than many of the white kids. Some didn’t. They all knew each other and had grown up around each other their entire life. They were friends.
    It had little to do with which school system they had gone to. It had more to do with the kind of student they were. Most of the blacks and most of the whites were intelligent hard working kids trying to get an education, go to college and better themselves and their family.

    Oh by the way, I went to HS in the South. Yes the Deep South. I was born in Chicago and saw more racial animus in Chicago then I did in the South.

    You would do well to shut up with the smarty pants immature comments and listen to what others say.

  • bpuharic

    To a right winger, if it didn’t happen to THEM in THEIR lifetime it didn’t happen. Jim Crow? Nope. Lynching? Nope. Separate but equal? Nope…

    No one cares about your REader’s Digest view of history. The fact is these things happened no matter what Rush (PBUH) says. ANd they still have an effect

    You can’t handle it? Too bad

  • Corlyss

    Amen. And yet, like the Palestinians who appear to be too stupid to realize exactly who are their real tormentors (their Arab brethren intent on using them as cannon fodder and political pawns), the blacks repeatedly vote for the authors of this incredible disaster destroying the black family, i.e., their Democratic plantation masters. This state of affairs both puzzles and infuriates many of us who want to see blacks embrace personal responsibility and take control of their destinies like we know they can. It has been done. Others can do it. They don’t HAVE to lie in the squalor at the end of a welfare maintenance scheme.

  • bpuharic

    Funny that whites vote for exactly the same…we vote for Romney et al who are determined to see that we pay for their billions when they gamble and destroy our jobs. The right tells us that if we work hard we’ll get rich..when the US has the lowest social mobility of any western country

    And the right just keeps bleating the same mythology

  • Pete

    True, neither the elite nor their family members suffer from their racist policies of affirmative action. It is the white middle class that does.

    Someday — soon hopefully — middle class’ tolerance for racist quotas will snap.

  • bpuharic

    Of course, people who benefit from AA are

    middle class

    And if the right wing was so worried about the middle class they wouldn’t be waging class warfare against it to benefit the 1%. Check the recent farm bill, passed by the right wing, loaded with lard for the rich

    and with no food stamp funding at all.

    Billions for rich socialism

    zero for the middle class

  • bpuharic

    Funny to watch right white guys whining about how unfairly they’re being treated when they themselves keep voting into office men who are determined to pass socialism for the rich, like the recent farm bill

    The right gives BILLIONS in welfare to the rich then whines about how much the blacks get

  • Pete

    “Of course, people who benefit from AA are middle class”

    That’s an absurd assertion, divorced as it is from reality.

    By the words of affirmative action (quota) proponents, AA is designed essentially to bring blacks (and Hispanics to a lesser degree) INTO the middle class.

    So your argument reduced to saying that once AA has worked its ‘magic,’ those who benefited by it are now in the middle class so AA benefits the middle class.

    Bro, that logic is as twisted as a cork screw.

    And to be clear. AA as it is enforced does zip, zero, nada to help underprivileged whites. If anything, AA hinders them. Fact.

  • bpuharic

    HHmmm…English must not be his native tongue

    Middle class people who got there with the assistance of AA are…middle class. Seems he has a problem understanding that.

    And it does help underprivileged whites…like me. I grew up as an underprivileged white. Many of my classmates were poor blacks who went to my magnet school due to AA. I benefited from having them AS part of the middle class. Not sure why so many right wing whites hate black middle class workers but LOVE rich welfare recipients like Mitt Romney, with his $10M welfare check from the FDIC

  • Pete

    Too bad your ‘magnet’ school did not teach you logic.

    Oh well, keep to your delusions. I’m sure they somehow give you a feeling of superiority, standing up ‘bravely’ as you imagine you do for the black downtrodden.

    But the fact remains: AA is, by its definition and its practice, a racist policy.

    Based on your personal experience, you argue that such racism is good and needed. Okay, that’s your opinion, but understand that it is inherently racist.

  • bpuharic

    Conservatives were rabidly in favor of quotas when they kept blacks out of society. Now they’ve had a come to Jesus moment and are, they say,, ALWAYS against quotas

    except when they’re not

  • lhogan

    You are truly a product of your own imagination aren’t you? And now you claim to know my mind and equate something I said to Rush, as though I listen to or mimic Rush Limbaugh. Your hated toward others and your refusal to consider other opinions is driving you mad.
    I’m using my experience to try to illustrate to you that what you read, what is reported, is not the whole truth. It’s only someones perspective and there are always other experiences and perspectives. Not every black was persecuted. Not every black community was poor. Not every black was a slave.
    Who do you think raised the money and built that pool Fool?
    I’m trying to get you to shut your mouth and open your ears. Not possible I guess.

  • bpuharic

    Denying the influence of slavery on black culture is a version of Holocaust denialism, and those who do so have the same agenda those who deny the Shoah do

  • lhogan

    What did I deny bpuharic?
    See, you are so filled with anger and hate you set up and strawman and then attack him through my posts, never considering what I’ve said, only what your angry imagination conjures up.

    I am not that horrible ‘right-wing’ boogeyman you’re afraid of. As I said, You are truly a product of your own imagination aren’t you?

  • Jim__L

    No worries. Nuance, exceptions, and brevity are hard to combine.

  • bpuharic

    Ah, so the conservative solution is to say ‘my bad….forget all about it…racism has had no effects at all and you’re on your own…fuggedaboudit.”

  • bpuharic

    Since none of those has been shown to produce superior education, keep piling on the myths

  • richard40

    I was actually OK with AA for about 20 yrs, enough for a new generation to come along and replace the old one that benefited from segregation. But its been over 40 yrs now, the entire generation that benefited from segregation is either retired or dead. Time for it to end, and go back to banning racial discrimination, in either direction.

  • bpuharic

    Really? Think racism is dead?

    http://www.theatlanticwire.com/national/2011/04/mississippi-republicans/36455/

    Go ahead. Tell us how tough whites have it.

  • richard40

    Did you read the poll that said more blacks thought other blacks were racist, than thought whites were racist.

  • saailer

    That’s a good one word answer & has a fair % of validity…Thanks for the answer

  • bpuharic

    yeah racists generally say that.

  • Mike Rush

    It IS genetics.. It’s not coincidence, it’s not poverty, and it’s not racism… It IS a failed attempt to impose superior standards on an inferior species.. Failure was destined to happen.

  • saailer

    It is an opinion. People comment on cars having never designed one. And besides, I’ve read your comments and am not impressed by their narcissistic nature. Perhaps dropping the sarcastic name calling would help you appear as more of an adult.

  • bpuharic

    Narcissism? I don’t discuss me or my beliefs. I discuss the lies of the right. It seems you think ‘narcissism’ means ‘disagrees with me’.

    And the right has a long history of distorting science for its own purposes. This is either ignorance or racism

    Your opinion as to which would be narcissistic

  • saailer

    Yipee, Thanks for proving my comment…From your “distorted” view (looking through coke bottle bottoms) All conservatives are this and all liberals are that, which isn’t truth. But you have singled yourself out as a complete idiot; and that is truth. Got to go now. I have to take a bpuharic.

  • bpuharic

    So you’re saying ‘conservative’ is devoid of meaning?

    You’ll not get an argument from me.

  • saailer

    My gosh, the man can’t read…Then again when one is looking through coke-bottle bottoms…..Yawn…

  • bpuharic

    Hmmm….maybe we can force them to wear a yellow star….I think that’s been tried….

    How’d it work out?

  • bpuharic

    OK conservatives.

    Here’s your chance. Everytime a liberal says there’s racism in conservatism you guys have a Fukishima meltdown.

    We now have THIS guy AND “Tom Rush” saying blacks are inferior.

    It’s time to defecate or decommode.

    Betcha all we hear is the sound of crickets…

    Nah…no racism among conservatives…

  • TheOperation

    They are intellectually inferior, yes. This is obvious to anyone who is not bound by liberalistic ideologies. This is obvious to anyone who can form a conclusion based on their observations. No one is holding Africa down, no one held Haiti down. Haiti was handed to the blacks on a bloody but silver platter, a ready made country with an unbelievably strong economy. After only a few years the blacks under their own governance RUINED Haiti and turned it into the disease infested pit it is today. Also keep in mind that this is after billions of the American tax payer money has been spent on three trips there to try and restore Haiti. There are countless other examples which I can easily list off.

  • TheOperation

    You should also understand bpuharic that before Africa was visited by any outsiders they had;
    No alphabet
    No form of written language
    No buildings higher than two stories high.
    No crops or domestication of any animals.
    No form of government.
    No hint of innovation or invention; they hadn’t even invented the wheel yet.
    Europeans( White people) had invented/ had in place all of the above. If Africans were of equal intelligence then they would theoretically have the same intellectual and technological prowess as the Europeans, but that simply isn’t the case, in fact they were developmentally thousands of years behind the Europeans when they were first visited.