School dropouts and outrage (or lack thereof)

I’m in New York for a summit organized by The Maynard Institute and the Committee of Concerned Journalists about the nation’s dropout crisis. (My editor couldn’t go, so I graciously agreed to step in.)

“Where is the outrage?” the moderator, CCJ Director Mark Carter, kept asking the journalists.

Carter wondered whether we thought readers might care more about the largely uneducated populace if the problem was linked to broader issues connected to it, such as America’s global competitiveness, the regional economy, taxes, or crime.

Do you sense that the public is, in fact, outraged about Oakland’s dropout rate (about 28 percent, according to the latest state report, and higher by other measures), or that they’ve come to expect such statistics from urban school districts?

Or is the bigger question the quality of high schools in general, and how they are preparing all students?

Katy Murphy

Education reporter for the Oakland Tribune. Contact me at kmurphy@bayareanewsgroup.com.

  • harlemmoon

    There appears to be a lack of outrage on just about every major issue (save for abusing animals. See Michael Vick).
    I suspect that as we continue to be wrapped in our tiny, enclosed worlds( thanks to the computer age, Ipods, etc), the less we are part of the larger, collective communities. What goes on outside our doors (or earphones) matters little as we swim ever deeper into the deep end of solitude and anonymity.

    I suppose that one can also make the superficial argument that the press can shoulder a bit of the blame, too. Rarely are stories today reported with the appropriate context and depth. People won’t care unless they can connect the dots explaining why they should care. For example, we’re bombarded today with stories out of Iran, where there is a major election. The news hook is that violence is plaguing the election, but I haven’t read (or seen) the report yet that explains why the violence is occurring, and why Americans need to pay strict attention.

  • west oakland neighbor

    There is plenty of outrage – it’s just not easily accessible to you. Just because people don’t comment on blogs in hordes, doesn’t mean they aren’t talking to their neighbors and participating in community organizations and churches and synagogues and park benches. Oakland’s “outrage” has long been in these places – very frustrating for newcomers and journalists without access to or understanding of these historical networks who only look for them in new media.

  • Katy Murphy

    Great points, Harlemmoon and West Oakland Neighbor.

    If you were a newspaper editor or reporter, how would you go about connecting the dots in a way that would help more people understand why this issue matters?

  • Mama_g

    I’m sorry, but I don’t see the “outrage” or whatever you’d like to call it. Not in Oakland, nor in the district where I teach high school English (an East Bay district near Oakland).
    Nationally, the drop-out average is 30%. Our drop-out rate isn’t the only issue, though. Children are promoted on without meeting requirements of the current grade and are failed by the system. We have literacy issues as well as creative issues, critical thinking gaps, and math weaknesses. We are creating a class of people who will like be unable to compete in any kind of job market going forward, especially not a global market.
    Furthermore, the push to send kids to college is a disservice to the children who do not want to go to college, or are not ready for it when they graduate. Why not rebuild our voc-tech (vocational technology) programs? Why not give them respect instead of whittling away at them? The greening of our construction industry could use people trained in these emerging tools and materials. Why aren’t more and “outraged” parents and community members — because schools aren’t just the kids, they are the parents, the businesses, the churches, the neighbors — pushing for these classes to be supported, too?
    Perhaps there is less in the media because reporting on schools is tedious. It’s easy to demonize the unions, the kids, the parents, the politicians, the teachers … those make for great stories. When the truth is, education is far more complicated and broken than we’d like to admit and certainly than people seem to want to read about, much less write about, and do something about.

  • oak261


    Its interesting to ask yourself what we should expect. Clearly some at the Maynard Summit expect 100%, or thereabouts, and then maybe everyone off to college. (Personally, I think too many kids are going to college.)

    But in reality, high school completion rates in the US are similar to Canada and Great Britain (70-75%). Sweden, surprisingly, is less than 80%. The really high percentages (above 90%) are found in Germany, Austria and a few other countries.

    See the data at:

    I think these numbers are approximately ok, but if others know otherwise, pipe up.

    Also, I’m not saying we should set our bar according to what happens in Great Britain. But the facts should provoke some thought about what other first world countries do, and how they attempt to prepare young people who aren’t headed to college. They’re probably not cramming algebra down in 8th grade based on wishful thinking.

    Meanwhile, there never was a golden era when we educated a high percentage of the population in this country through high school. At the beginning of the 20th century, the high school completion rate was about 10%. By the 40s it was around 50%. It continued to climb and then leveled out in the 70s.

    What gets me is the clash of the historical facts against, say, the new A-G requirement announced by OUSD last week. Do they think that’s going to help the dropouts remain in school? Nope. Unfortunately, this will not help prepare the lower third of the distribution for productive lives in society. When I think about it, it seems to be an almost abusive and demeaning policy.

    Mama_g in post #4 above is right to suggest a substantial voc tech offering at high schools that prepares a young adult for employment the day she or he leaves high school.

  • Katy Murphy

    One of the things that came up at yesterday’s summit on dropouts was that many high school GRADUATES are ill-prepared for the workforce, the military, etc. If that’s the case, maybe it’s just as important to look at the skills students are developing (or not developing) in high school than at how many leave with a diploma.

    What do you think?

  • Jim Mordecai

    Oak 261:

    I got to believe that if you had shown up at the Board’s teaching and learning committee and argued as well as you do in your post the Board sub-committee would have had second thoughts on passing the A-G graduation requirement.

    But, the Board at both the committee level and at the full School Board level would have to have voted for passage of the A-G graduation requirement no matter what logic told them.

    The reason they would be so pressured is that the vote has been defined as a civil rights vote. To raise the standard is an action that promises greater numbers of students of color will be eligible to attend college and university.

    That was the argument of the representative from Ed Trust West. Unlikely a Board member would be so foolish to stand on the wrong side of the divide that was seen as in opposition to closing the racial achievement gap.

    Pedro A. Noguera and Jean Yonemura Wing in their book about racial achievement and Berkeley High School, Unfinished Business: Closing the racial achievement gap in our schools argue in effect that the harm to students left behind by higher standards is not as important as raising standards because so many students of color are left out anyhow.

    What I see as happening is this is classic class warfare with the middle and upper classes dictating what it takes to graduate. However, many of those students that will not make the steeper grade, and will not graduate, will be less educated voters. That the electorate is less educated is not of concern to Ed Trust West focused on initiatives to close the racial achievement gap but normally blind to class divisions.

    Perhaps, the day will come when there are so many voters that have not graduated that the right to vote will be a graduation requirement.

    Jim Mordecai

  • Nextset

    Katy: There is no outrage because it is expected that the black (and brown) kids who dropout are on course to prison and an early grave. Nobody of any consequence wants to fight them and their families to get different results.

    And that is just what is thought of these kids from first grade on.

    Which is why the bathrooms aren’t cleaned, the school’s aren’t secured, the materials are stale, the teachers are mistreated – and all the other things we notice in the lower class schools.

    Comtrast that with the Piedmont primary, middle and High Schools. (Or any of the colleges) There the kids are valued as future physicians, lawyers and captains of industry (and mothers of the same).

    How and if we change this I can’t say. People who are born unwanted and unplanned from lower class bio-parents just don’t rate. Too Bad, So Sad.

    I do believe it is the job of the public school systems to make something out of nothing people. Since before the 1900s that was done – starting on the east coast. Somewhere along the line the public schools got into pacification and out of education. It is now more important that the lower class feel good about themselves than have something to feel good about.

    Brave New World

  • Mama_g

    >>Katy: There is no outrage because it is expected that the black (and brown) kids who dropout are on course to prison and an early grave. Nobody of any consequence wants to fight them and their families to get different results.

    I think Nextset oversimplifies the issue. It’s not just about black and brown kids anymore. Class plays a huge role in all of this as Jim Mordecai mentions.

    The way we fund schools is also problematic, but as long as the funding doesn’t affect your school, why should you be upset? California schools are funded by their local tax base. Low income area? Low funds for the schools.

    Also, when Nextset says we are writing off a portion of our kids, I bristle, but I can’t disagree. I would not say it’s teachers who write them off (but certainly some teachers fall in that camp), but we, as a society, do. I get asked about my “bad” kids all the time. What is a bad kid? Once labeled, a student can’t shake that label and for some, the label is what teachers, parents, people see.

    The so-called exit exam does not tell us whether kids are prepared to enter any kind of work force. Often, they aren’t. How does one apply for a job? How do you show initiative? Those kinds of things are not just the schools’ responsibility, again I point to the community. Where are the parents and business people at the middle and high school level? Absent. At a time when children need adults as role models, too often, the role models are absent. Don’t just blame the schools at this point, parents and community members who choose NOT to participate in the lives of young people are responsible.

    Katy, I’m not sure if your conference looked at this or not, but why don’t you see how many students (percentages) per incoming class at CSUs have to take remedial English and/or math. Classes they must pay for, but do not get college credit for. Also, why not also look at college-bound numbers for schools. There was an argument presented by a teacher at my school that a couple of the counselors were overwhelming guiding kids to community college instead of a four-year school. I bet Cal High, Piedmont, and Miramonte do not have that problem.

    My rambling point is that there are many spokes on the education wheel that are out of true. It is easy to lay blame on a group or two, when, really, it is, as I said earlier, far more complicated than that. And, the system will not change until people say enough and allow some experiments to happen. (For example, small schools or learning communities can keep kids in school. I know that ours did. Maybe they didn’t get 4.0s, but they stopped cutting and started turning in homework.)

    Also, funding is an issue. My school does not have money for new literature texts. The majority of the texts we’ve purchased as a department have been purchased by PTSA grants. Our computers are out of date and our tech people’s times have been cut due to the budget. We can not preparing our students well if we don’t have the tools. Furthermore, whether we like it or not, not all schools should be funded the same because not all students needs are the same. Lower income kids need some additional support whereas the upper income kids are getting loads of additional support — tutors, private lessons, camps. Those are advantages that are purely economic.

    (By the way, Piedmont parents fund many additional programs in the district to keep those programs in place. They do because they can, but not all want to continue to do so. No, I don’t teach in PUSD.)

  • ElemParent

    From the elementary school perspective, it is clear to me that if middle class parents invested in and actually sent their kids to their neighborhood schools –already high performing or not — rather than seeking to segregate them in schools in the hills of Oakland, we could have many more good elementary schools surrounded by involved, supportive communities.

    The seeds of drop out rates start in kindergarten. It’s pretty hard to feel self-confident and ready to learn when you get the feeling that everyone’s trying to run away from you, to get to the hills and the suburbs.

    Stop working the Options process to “get out” — get in there, in your neighborhood school, roll up your sleeves and make that school better for all the kids.

    We have to stop running away. No one else is going to solve this problem — we have to solve it, one child and one school at a time.

  • http://perimeterprimate.blogspot.com Sharon

    And speaking of Piedmont, this morning’s Trib had a LA Times article about the parcel taxes being passed in communities all over CA to cover education costs. It reported that Piedmont just approved the highest one in the state. Residents will now supplement education funding at more than $2000 per parcel (Measures B & E).

    My first thought is that there must be more parcels in Piedmont as there are students enrolled in Piedmont Unified. This would make for a very hefty supplement to the funding PUSD receives from the state.

  • cranky teacher

    I think some folks are missing the forest for the trees on the A-G requirement thing. The idea is not necessarily that every kid will go to UC and get a liberal arts education. The idea is:

    a. They’ll have more options and choices when they are 18 years old, rather than finding out that choices they/others made for them at 14 sealed their fate.

    b. Helps keep focus on core academics rather than just babystitting kids for four years.

    I’m for a return to voc-ed courses, if they are really preparing kids for actual jobs. However, when you see seniors floating through with their final year with one or two academic classes and getting a degree with a 2.0 g.p.a. it does make you question if the bar might be currently be set too low.

    To my mind, for every kid who fails high school because it is too hard, there is another who fails out because it is too mindless. Many dropouts are intelligent but troubled, and they need stimulation and challenge.

  • cranky teacher

    Re: Oak261’s stats.

    Comparisons to Europe are depressing. Anybody who has lived there knows that class divisions there are still more hardened and accepted in a way that at least the mythos of America is supposed to combat. Certainly in England, your fate is pretty cast by age 13. Is that what we want?

    Supposed to be a different experiment going on over on this side of the pond.

  • Nextset

    Cranky: Europe is full of “Europeans”. We can’t compare out underclass with theirs.

    And it’s beginning to look like “your fate is pretty cast by 13″ here, except it’s cast at birth.

    If our public school system was as robust as CA’s was in the first half of the 20th Century I think we would not be having this conversation. Our new public schools refuse to flunk students, to transfer students out of normal schools to continuation schools, or to maintain academic schools within urban school districts (Except San Francisco).

    We need to change this. We still can.

  • cranky teacher

    My point was that pointing to Europe as a model has problems, not that upward mobility in the U.S. is all it’s cracked up to be.

  • D


    I work for an employer in Oakland. I often interview graduates and drop outs for jobs. We ask them to complete come in with a list of references and either a resume or a hand written list of employers with dates, phone numbers, contact names, etc. We ask if we can mail or email them the list of things they will need.

    We want them to fill out the application while they are in our office using the data they brought with them. This is simply a test of following instructions and being able to read a request and supply the information requested.

    We have two simple tests: Make change for three transactions and write three sentences about themselves. We ask for these simple tests because the skills will be used daily on the job.

    The last set of applicants (the majority were graduates) asked if the computer would tell them how much change to give. They simply could not do the task.

    The sentences often did not start with a capital letter and end with a period. I had ’cause, ok, and at least one gross misspelling on every applicant’s paper in at least one place.

    The kind of change I am talking about is: Someone hands you a check for $50.75 and they want to pay their loan payment of $42.85, how much change would they receive.

    The sentences could be as simple as: My name is Brittany. This will be my first job. I will arrive every day on time.

    That’s it. They just couldn’t do it. We use the Oakland Tribune for advertising, so we get our applicants locally. I’ve had the Mayor’s office call and ask why I don’t give these young people a chance.

    Oh, and I have applicants arrive for an interview in low cut jeans, midriff bearing tops, “Hottie” written on the t-shirt, cell phones ringing and being answered during the interview and gum chewing. Most of these items are just plain old common sense or lack thereof.

    I have to say that when I did take a chance on an Oakland young person she called in needing to take time off over 4 days a month to handle family issues such as: her 13 year old brother who was arrested for riding around in a stolen car; her 17 year old brother who was going to child protective services because his mom hit him again; her young nephew who was being taken away from his mother because she did not routinely give him his insulin; her father’s car accident; her mother’s doctor appointment. She was fired for absenteeism and truly could not understand how it could happen to her even though she was verbally counseled, counseled in writing, and put on probation prior to being fired.

    She said that her school gave her warning but didn’t really follow through so she expected we would do the same. She has since had a baby who is in subsidized day care while she attends parenting classes. She does have a job and moved out of Oakland.

    It’s a really frustrating situation because the people applying feel ENTITLED to a job if they graduated high school and they simply have very little to offer.

  • Katy Murphy

    I’m sorry for the delay in moderating some of these comments! It normally doesn’t take this long, but I was traveling for most of the day.

  • oak261

    Cranky Teacher: Did you look at the stats? See Figure 1 on page 10. Stare at it for a minute. As far as I can tell, they represent the facts for a significant fraction of the affluent western world. Whether or not you like Europe, I’m curious to know what would you would find to be a realistic and satisfactory national high school completion rate in the US, then? Though stratified, other countries arguably do a better job of making a productive place in society for those not on the academic track.

    Katy (your post #6): I wonder if graduates might be unprepared for the military and general workforce in part because of the taboo on trades training in high school (and voc ed) and tracking since approximately the 80’s and early 90’s. Other countries aren’t so bothered by it.

  • Nextset

    D: Your post is an example of how OUSD carefully teaches indicipline to it’s black and brown students so they will be unemployable and have a miserable life.

    It starts with making sure than they have never learned to walk silently, single file into a classroom and take their assigned seats. It continues with an entire school career of never using Sir or Ma’am or any kind of formal address when talking to superiors. Jus in case somebody still might want to give them a job, OUSD keeops them from learning standard english or being able to count. The making of excuses is practiced daily along with reinforcement of same – accepting of the slightest excuse to mitigate failure after failure to accomplish the most menial task. Fashion nonsense is carefully taught along with immodesty and non-pride in one’s appearance.

    By 18 you have the finished product, an unemployable person. OUSD is very proud of their products, they are “wonderful” don’t you know. It takes all that money to turn out such a wretched student.

    Brave New World.

  • Nextset

    Way too many typos… I was up till after 1am in a meeting. It shows… Sorry all.

  • harlemmoon

    D, your post was riveting. I wish I could say that your words come as some sort of surprise, but they do not.
    It is quite the sad day when a high school graduate cannot navigate simple tasks, assume minor responsibilities or speak basic English.
    Even more sad is that the city’s supposed educators, those entrusted with teaching our youth, city leaders, community activists have yet to figure out that we have failed our children – miserably. And will continue to do so until we exert the will to do better by them.

  • Katy Murphy

    Though loath to censor comments, I have deleted one about black students that in my opinion crossed the line (and then some) into hate speech.

    RSS subscribers might have received it in their inboxes.

  • Nextset

    Harlemmoon: The city’s supposed educators haven’t failed, they’ve accomplished exactly what they set out to do.

    They never intended to educate the ghetto.

    What we are seeing is not an accident. The plan of the OUSD elites (“administrator/educators”) is to produce unemployable, dependent people who will have a harsh life, and to get paid handsomely in the process.

    Follow my logic. Dirty bathrooms, mistreated workers, shabby conditions and supplies, Indiscipline and disorder, unsafe conditions… does any of this look like the children were valued?

    You see more tender loving care of the inmates in California’s Sexually Violent Predator program at Coalinga (check the website!). Compare the spotless bathrooms and public spaces, (very) well paid staff, lack of assaults and safety problems, college classes, and probably better food in their restaurant & dining rooms.

    Some people are more equal than others in this Brave New World. Sometimes the pats on the back do hold you back.

  • Nextset

    I wonder what the gist of #22 was…. Katy doesn’t often have to act.

    Are there people who think the problems are a black thing as opposed to OUSD not taking back control? The segregated black school systems – such as Dunbar in 1940’s Washington DC ( see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunbar_High_School_(Washington,_D.C. )and other such schools whose teachers I met and read about (they’re all dead now) never had the problems of the contemporary black schools. Interesting how things went downhill after desegregation.

    Anyway, from the demographics I read of we won’t have the blacks to kick around much longer. Their ratio is going to be falling. And I don’t believe it matters what the demographics are if OUSD still doesn’t get control of whatever students are on hand and run the programs in a way that promotes real education and accomplishment. OUSD can keep things just as messy with the new Hispanic/Mexican majority if the schools continue on this course.

  • Nextset


    Here’s the correct link to the article on Dunbar High School.

  • harlemmoon

    Nextset, what you’re implying sounds awfully close to a conspiracy to continue the devastating oppression of black and brown peoples.
    That educators intentionally have set out to do precisely the opposite of their mission, is quite the claim.
    I do, however, agree that to look at OUSD is to see a stark, shameful example of devalued children and staff.

  • Nextset

    Harlemmoon: Your post reminds me of an issue in law school class where the concept of conspiracy was covered. Do we require conspirators to actually meet and sign a formal contract regarding their goal, or is it enough that people who never met each other merely act in concert?

    There is no other reasonable conclusion here that the urban school educrats are embarked on a course of action that will block educational and socioeconomical progress for the minority students – and the courts have signed off on it also (ie the inane “free speech” rulings supporting indiscipline such as the T Shirts and dress issues). The end result is a public school for the proletariat unlike any private school for the ruling classes. A failure factory.

    No I don’t belive this is just an accident. These grown adults know what has always worked before (conditions used at Dunbar, etc) and they have run to the other side of the boat.

    Is this oppression of blacks? Hell no. It’s just giving the colored folks what they want. It’s giving them the rope. It’s pacification. If you care about someone you are willing to tell them no, to make them unhappy for their own good. One cartoon put it this way: “Hurt them with love…” Funny how life works sometime.

    And the educrats see this dropout syndrome as “They dropped out” not that “We ran them out of the schools”. If you create a school program calculated to match the student (ie they are expected to be able to do the work) and the program is meaningful and has perceived value you are not going to have all these dropouts.

    Trying to teach algebra 2 to people with IQs of 80 doesn’t qualify. Ditto lab sciences, much of history and all the college prep work. The lower IQs think in concrete terms and need concrete coursework. Abstract work must be optional and tied to current needs. Physicality and working with hands must be emphasized. You are not going to have the higher dropout rates for the proles with such a program. You can still work in the discipline (such as is seen in a football program) and basic reading and math. Some of the students can start more advanced work once they have the confidence of qualifying with the basics. Meanwhile the college bound are doing their work at another campus and you keep the two groups apart except for activities where they can have common ground in order to delay class conflicts until maturity sets in.

    All this went out the window with integration where these matters became a racial issue. The fantasy that all men were created equal led to the forced combining of the prole programs with the academic programs with the academics telling everyone that their way is the only way. The proles have been in free fall ever since. You add in the open borders (the immigrant groups all have higher avg IQs than our blacks) and the destruction of manufacturing and blue collar jobs in the USA and you have: this mess. And the Brave New World.

    The Bell Curve and related research is important to illuminate the existance of the groups of concrete vs abstract intellects (of all races) and their frequencies in the populations. No Child Left Behind is created to demonstrate this also – it’s the biggest racial data collection scheme in history. Sooner or later the Educrats are going to have to deal with the stats and change the distructive policy we live under.

  • Nextset

    On the concept of training the groups at different campuses, compare the conditions and coursework at the service academies such as West Point and the Air Force Academy at Colorado to Boot Camp for enlisted men/women. In both cases the entering class are largely 18 or 19 year olds. But the new recruits have been tested and separated by cognitive skill levels – IQ’s actually. What would happen if you tried to send typical enlisted men to the academy? Now what would happen if you tried to run a boot camp like a service academy? Are the enlisted men being cheated or are the academy cadets being privileged? No to both. Is the different racial mix in these places a problem? Or is it just the way the chips fell?

  • oak261

    Re your post 24, 25: The link to Dunbar was very interesting. Do you agree that Dunbar and other selective high schools boast terrific academic and life outcomes for their alum, because they were/are selective? I would include Lowell, Michele Obama’s high school in Chicago, and the president’s high school in Hawaii in the discussion.

    Charters can do the same, if they are selective about who enrolls, or who they keep.

    OUSD cannot reasonably expect to reverse the exodus of 1/3 of all 9th grade age kids to private schools and thru the tunnel if the mantra is a naive “one size fits all so we can’t be accused of being unfair” policy. It is not in the interest of the kids, not in the interest of the nation in the global competition. Some say that the high achievers will do well and take care of themselves. They will, but at the expense of a viable public education system for everyone. OUSD and CDE will have to get over their hangups about tracking, for example, in order to challenge students in all subject areas before they see their first AP exam in 10th grade.

  • Sara

    Until the middle schools stop passing kids on to high school who still don’t know their multiplication tables up to 12, can’t read at least at 7th grade level, and who have GPAs below 2.0, parents who can afford it and whose kids have been paying attention in school, will continue to send their kids to private schools. I am in that situation and would love to have a school like Lowell. I know that almost all my friends who scrimp and save to send their kids to private high schools would send their children to an academically oriented high school that requires an entrance exam and requires their students to follow the rules.
    But that is not going to happen in Oakland because it is perceived as elitist and white, just as tracking was.
    Just think if a child had a cell phone out in class and without exception his/her parent had to come to school to claim it, and the second time the child had to attend Saturday school where he would do academics all day or face the consequences of being suspended or kicked out. Kids will tell you they can’t be kept in your class after school because they have to take the bus home. Well, if their parents had to come get them because they had broken a rule, maybe they would stop breaking the rules. Schools have got to stop worrying about the students’ “self-esteem” and take control back from the kids.

  • Nextset

    My take on what we are talking about is that the current masters of the public school system have very carefully decided to crash the schools. They do not intend to do well by their students. They do not really think the lower class is teachable anyway – they never did. The true mission of the urban public schools is to provide fat payroll for certain people (not the teachers) and pacify the lower classes and any middle class wanna-bes who stick around – long enough to get rid of them. If too many of them stick around and become annoying it’s really easy to get the truancy and drop out rates up (like imposing college prep requirements).

    You are presumed to intend the logical results of your actions. The way the urban public schools are run, for example OUSD, are intended to produce the results they do. The plan is to produce unemployable, untrained, uneducated and relatively unhousebroken “workers” for the cities.

    The Mission of the Charters and the Private Schools is a different one. This can be seen in even the smaller aspects of how they operate.

    And the education pinnacle you have the Service Academies and their feeder schools. Look at the way they operate, now look what is expected of their students (upon graduation and in their working careers). And I bet the bathrooms are cleaner also.

    Nothing is going to change until we have people in charge who think the Black, Brown or whatever kids (who are just about the only students left in the urban schools) have some value to society. And I’m not looking for that to happen in my lifetime because of the Brave New World thing. The US is openly splitting into a Caste society with sharply reduced social mobility. That is not an accident of public policy and was predicted over 20 years ago.

    As part of that we refuse to establish English as the official language – actually we flood the country with 3rd worlders then get enough accomodations for them to avoid assimilation. That really helps delineate Caste. The children of the 3rd worlders are kept in their place by language and ditto for the urban blacks. Just for reinforcement we set up different deportment norms including that little bit about lying all the time as a coping mechanism. That takes care of occupational segregation and much more. Between language and deportment even similar IQs must live segregated lives down through the generations.

    Any intercourse between the Castes becomes so risky it’s avoided altogether (figuratively & literally). An even stronger segregation system than 100 years ago.. just as strong as Calcutta.

    And it’s all engendered by the public schools post “The Great Society” legislation and court decisions.

    Brave New World.