Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Report - DIVIDED WE FAIL: Segregation and Inequality in the Southland's Schools

‘educator’ comments in the Times  in response to Arne Duncan’s 3/22 LA Speech at 7:38 AM March 23, 2011 |

While Duncan and Deasy continue to attack teachers as being the stumbling block to an improved educational system, others are presenting compelling data that indicates how LAUSD and other areas in the southland have been affected by changing demographics. 

The report Divided We Fail: Segregation and Inequality in the Southland's Schools from Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles of the University of California, Los Angeles  (below) shows that our schools have slowing but surely become more and more segregated with the resulting inequities of resources.   Is this the fault of the teachers?  

Unfortunately, the policies being foisted on public schools by Duncan will do nothing to address these problems but actually make them worse by privatizing schools through charters and vouchers.  What kind of society are we headed for if we continually isolate those in need and then starve them of the few resources that are left?   This does NOT happen in other industrialized countries.   As Al Roker said in response to his special on Child Hunger last week, one in four of our children are living in poverty, and 17 million suffer from food insecurity.   We are sounding more and more like a third world country.  Merit pay, high stakes testing, destroying unions, etc., will not solve these problems. 

Dr. Gary Orfield, Co-Director, Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles at UCLA  concludes his introduction to the report (which appeared in edited form in the Huffington Post) thus:

I urge readers to set aside their assumptions and presuppositions as they read the stark statistics in this report by two young scholars. These statistics show the scale and the hard realities of the racial transformation and resegregation across Southern California. They show the relationship between those trends and opportunity for students. They show that we are isolating and giving inferior education to the groups that will dominate our region’s future.

In race relations, people tend to ignore many signs of inequality as long as possible, until a crisis or a social movement or large community failure makes it explosively apparent. Often it is too late by then for a good solution.

People then ask, “Why didn’t anyone tell us?”

These reports are telling you now.

Divided We Fail: Segregation and Inequality in the Southland's Schools

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