Making the numbers work
Race-based ‘disparate impact’ hurts all students — and teachers
slightly abridged and adapted from Heather Mac Donald of the Manhattan Institute
The Obama administration held that the only possible reason why blacks are disciplined in school more than whites is teacher and administrator bias. Never mind that teaching is the most “woke” profession in the country after social work. And so school districts left disruptive students in the classroom rather than remove them. The results were predictable: chaos and less learning than ever.
Earlier this year (2018), a cellphone video captured a classroom assault emblematic of the post-disciplinary era.
A physics teacher in Texas had confiscated a student’s smartphone. “Give me my f - - king phone,” the teen yelled, towering over the teacher sitting frozen behind his desk, grinning nervously, the very image of submission.
Then the student violently shoved the teacher in the face. Still impassive, the teacher pushed the phone across the desk back to the student, who grabbed it with a self-righteous shrug and strode away. The school principal explained that it “was just a bad day the student was having,” and commended the teacher’s response.
At Milwaukee South Division high school last year
Making the numbers work
Heather Mac Donald continues:
Disparate-impact analysis holds that if a facially neutral policy negatively affects blacks and Hispanics at a higher rate than it does whites and Asians, it is discriminatory. Noticing the behavioral differences that lead to those disparate effects is forbidden.
In schools, disparate-impact analysis results in the conclusion that racially neutral rules must nevertheless contain bias, since black students nationally are suspended at nearly three times the rate of white students.
In 2014, the Obama administration relied on this method to announce that schools that suspended or expelled black students at higher rates than white students were violating anti-discrimination laws.
… Nationwide, schools with the highest minority populations report the highest number of disciplinary infractions. Schools that are 50% minority or more experience weekly gang activity at nearly 10 times the rate of schools where minorities constituted 5 to 20% of the population, according to the 2018 “Indicators of School Crime and Safety” report produced by the US Justice and Education Departments.
Who gets hurt? Students in most need of discipline
Excusing insubordination and aggression in the name of racial equity isn’t a civil rights accomplishment. The third-party victims of such behavior are themselves disproportionately minority.
But the alleged beneficiary of a racial double standard in conduct is also a victim. Schools are usually the last chance to civilize children if their family has failed to do so.
They accomplish that civilizing mission through the application of a color-blind behavioral code, neutrally enforced, that communicates to students that their behavioral choices have consequences.
A student who perceives that his race is an excuse for bad conduct will be handicapped for life.
What have we been saying?
• Madison Schools’ goal is not safety, it’s making the racial disparity numbers work
• Chaos at Sherman M.S. started with race shaming
• Feds to stop encouraging racial disciplinary quotas
Blaska’s Bottom Line: Student discipline that allows everyone succeed is why David Blaska is running for Madison School Board.