Don’t teach to race, teach to needs

Identity politics is failing our kids.

Treating people as members of a racial socio-economic class is Marxist and counter-productive (but we repeat ourselves). Wisconsin’s Department of Public Instruction now lectures white classroom teachers on how to teach black boys. Doesn’t matter if daddy wears a prison I.D. number or a surgical smock like Dr. Ben Carson — black is black to the Woke folk who run public education in America. We excerpt freely from:

Daniel Lennington and Will Flanders of the WI Institute for Law & Liberty

Last week, Wisconsin Superintendent of Public Instruction Jill Underly put out a press release broadly outlining her plans to address Wisconsin’s racial achievement gap. … The release offers a disturbing window into the way the public school establishment sees the achievement gap problem, and the misguided ways in which they plan to solve it.

Underly referred to Wisconsin’s racial achievement gap as “egregious” in her release, and indeed it is. …  On average, African American students scored 47 points lower in math and 39 points lower in English than their white counterparts. But Underly misdiagnoses the cause of this gap, which is almost entirely poverty.

In groundbreaking research released in 2019, scholars at Stanford University … found that concentrations of poverty — not the race of students — was the main driver of achievement differences. This is highlighted in the finding from our research in 2017 that student proficiency in rural school districts which suffer from high poverty is often indistinguishable from that of our urban districts that routinely bear the brunt of scrutiny. …

Underly’s DPI promotes the current fad of “culturally relevant teaching.”… The agency’s strong emphasis on categorizing students first as members of racial groups is exactly the type of “race essentialism” promoted by … Critical Race Theory.  …

The troubling, and likely illegal, results of this type of culturally relevant (or its close cousin, “culturally responsive”) instruction  … is not just about putting books in the library with black faces. It’s about treating students differently based on race: different standards, different discipline models, and different support. As just one example, the Madison Metropolitan School District employs an invidious policy requiring teachers to “[p]rioritize your African American students meeting with you first and more often.” This is the exact type of explicit race discrimination called for by “culturally relevant instruction.”

But the achievement gap, as explained above, is not caused by a student’s “culture,” however DPI defines it (which, more times than not, seems like just a proxy for race). So why teach to the “culture”? We should teach to the individual student. A student’s personality, strengths, weaknesses, and academic needs are so much richer (and frankly more interesting) than DPI’s shorthand use of “culture.” Students are individuals with individual needs. They should be taught as individuals and teachers should aim for individual success. Lumping students into racial groups is not only morally and legally wrong, it won’t work and hasn’t worked.

Read the whole piece here.

When will educrats learn their lesson?

About David Blaska

Madison WI
This entry was posted in Critical Race Theory / Identity politics, Madison schools, Race and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Don’t teach to race, teach to needs

  1. Bill Cleary says:

    While the attached video does not exactly address the lower scores of those children who are black it does show the liberal elite hive mind attitude toward those people it considers less than them.

    When we no longer see the humanity of all of use as sovereign individuals with certain inalienable rights, we no longer have equality.

    The link is here:

    Liked by 1 person

  2. One eye says:

    The truth is both identity politics and poverty politics are failing our kids.

    Poverty is another symptom of poor life choices and more broadly, a shit culture.

    A stable home life typically made possible by a 2 parent household is the key! The rest are all the varied forms of delayed gratification. Look at the Patels of India who came to the USA with nothing and built empires in the hotel business. Skin color and poverty did not get in their way…likely because no one ever told them it would.

    Alas mindset is a very real barrier. Very hard to change once a mind virus takes hold, be it qanon or blaming everything on white supremacy.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Peter anderson says:

    There is so much questionable ideological pronouncements coming out of DPI and MMSD that there is a temptation to reject everything they say, and to embrace everything critics rebut.
    In my experience as someone who volunteers with poor impoverished minority families, that over simplifies the situation.
    So, yes, as your quotes from WILL suggests, poverty is often a better lens to look at the black achievement gap than just race.
    However, that said, even that refinement does not constitute the entire picture, as can be seen by the enormous success of children of impoverished Asian, Indian, Jewish and almost any other immigrant groups. For that reason, it would seem that a better predictor factor than just poverty is family structure and the importance the family attaches to education.
    Also, I have seen from experience that there is value in teaching with culturally appropriate teaching materials, albeit not the other falderal you reference that you say is freighted on top of using culturally diverse materials.
    I teach reading with one boy I mentor who is black, through Spiderman comics, because he, like most other kids, loves Spiderman. In the process, I learned that, recently, Marvel has expanded the Peter Parker character to include two other Spidermen, Miles, who is black, and Stacey, who is a girl. While it may not be the biggest thing in the universe, but I can palpably see how the black Spiderman makes him feel more engaged in the whole super hero thing. Expanding white middle class Dick and Janes to reflect the multiplicity of different experiences people in this country live seems to me to be a good and welcoming thing to do, even if culturally responsive different standards may not be in some cases.
    Let’s not throw the baby out with the wash water.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. One eye says:

    This popped up on twitter today. Rob Henderson has talked about the subject of “luxury beliefs” before. “Defund the police” is a big one and staying single, especially with children,is another one.

    The counterpoint is of course “But but…Murphy Brown”. Yup, Quayle was right.

    Someone from “the community” needs to step up and point out these lies.

    Liked by 1 person

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