New graduation rates, huge disparities

Pittsburg High School graduation, 2009. Bay Area News Group file photo by DAN ROSENSTRAUCH

About 71 percent of California’s high school students graduated “on time” in 2008, after four years — 3.7 percentage points below the national average, according to a set of sobering numbers brought to you by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics. (Page 5)

If you break the California numbers down by ethnicity, the disparities leap off the page: 57 percent of black students in the Class of 2008 graduated on time, compared to 61 percent of Latino students, 91 percent of Asian students and 80 percent of white students. (Page 7)

The state’s black students left school early at the highest rate: 9 percent dropped out in 2007-08, compared to 6 percent of Latino students, 2 percent of Asian students, and 3 percent of white students that year. (Page 15)

Five-year trends: California’s on-time high school graduation rate dropped about 5 percentage points between 2003 and 2008; it took a huge dive between 2005 and 2006, the year the high school exit exam requirement took effect, and has inched up since. (Page 9) The dropout rate, 5 percent for all high school students in 2008,  increased from 3.2 percent in 2003, though it declined slightly from 2007. (Page 17)

Did any of these figures come as a surprise?

Katy Murphy

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

  • Nextset

    I think the figures are cooked to some extent. The black numbers look suspiciously high and too close to the Hispanic numbers. The white numbers look too low and too far below the Asian numbers (especially with the CA large Hmong & other populations counted as Asians but tending to fail in verbal skills. This state is now far away from just SF Chinese & Japanese as the “asians”. I find these numbers very suspect. Certain Asians are now a large part of underclass and prison class population in CA, unheard of in 1960. Also, where are the decline to state or not listed ethnicity numbers?

    One of the ways the numbers are cooked is to mix Hispanics into the white numbers (often done in crime stats also). This tends to drop the white numbers while throwing off the Hispanic numbers also.

    Also who is counted in these numbers? If you leave school – drop out – are you not being counted at all? Do these numbers reflect the students who vanished from school say at 10th or 11th grade? Or who don’t go to school? Or do these numbers reflect only those who in class at the end of 12th grade. Depending on this, the numbers are not a true representation of what happened to all the CA 18 year olds in the year in question.

    I’d like to see stats covering all CA residents age 18 in a given year. What percentage finished high school (thus “on time”) and what percentage by race didn’t graduate. And have the public schools watered down the graduation requirements over time – in other words, do they really flunk anybody anymore?

    The exit exam was imposed to prevent the public schools from “graduating” morons. But that test is watered down also – supposedly set to a national average reading ability average of 8th grade. A high School Diploma today means little to nothing as far as the student’s ability to write a letter, read with comprehension, and have a working knowledge of Civics. There are some stats about the flunk rate on the exit exam that indicate there is a specific racial ratio there also. Asians high, then whites, hispanics and then blacks as the worst performing racial group.

    There are reasons these groups have the different profiles – These “Gaps”. The gaps are not going to go away in our lifetime, some of them are physical. But the government can and does do things to widen these gaps and keep them going. Government Diseugenics policies for example which have been increasing since the mid 1960s. Government schools stifle potential with indicipline.

    So I wonder who has been counted here and who hasn’t – does this include public and private schools or just the publics?

    As to what this all means – If the black students are (to this degree) not college material and not high school material either, what are the public schools to do to get them ready for military, industry, or higher education?? Are we at the point where we need to have “black” schools with programs suited to their needs for economic survival with or without a high school diploma in the mix?

    That’s a rhetorical question. We already have segregated schools, what are those schools accomplishing?

  • Tired Teacher

    I work in a rural Watsonville elem school with 98% Hispanic population and we were just labeled “failing” by the state. Obviously there are money problems for both the populace and district but there are money problems everywhere. What I’d like to know is what exactly are the Asian cultures doing with their preschool-aged kids that preps them so much better academically than the kids I see all day long? They must be onto something. Any Asians out there who would like to describe their childhood home-learning environment? I am just a curious 33-year old white male educator who went to Cal and has always wondered why there were so many Asians there, seriously. Good for cultures that stress education. Unfortunately, American culture at large seems to be headed in the opposite direction. I’m gonna go back into industry…

  • Nextset

    Tired teacher: You might want to compare your groups for age of onset & expressions of puberty – Asians are at one extreme there also (this may be a huge factor in secondary academic performance). The diets are different. the hormone baselines are different. The body types are different. The eugenics & family groupings are different. The group physical differences go on and on. How much this plays into temperment and IQ is open to some debate. What is not debatable are the group averages. How much of this is being manipulated by government policy (ie Welfare, Family Law, Education and other policy) is also relevant. It seems pretty clear to me that thanks to state meddling, the “gap” is being forced wider by state diseugenic policy. Policy has a different effect on Blacks than Jews (for instance). When policy is written in Sacramento and Washington it is based on the fantasy that all people are equal – which they most certainly are not. We wrote our welfare policy in 1965, our divorce on demand policy, our drug policies and all others on the assumption that all our residents are Scandinavians or something and would behave as they did (the welfare debates of the 1960s were influenced by social policy in Sweden, as if our blacks were Swedes). Bingo, we moved our black bastardy rate from less than 20% to 80% in short order. Policy produces different results with the different groups.

    Funny, the Jewish bastardy rate didn’t move in lockstep. Their percentage of Congressional seats moved though..

    People are different. You can screw over one group with legislation that on it’s face is race neutral. For example, move the DMV passing test score just a few points (or start using timed test machines) and watch what happens to driver’s licenses of the different groups. Ditto High School exit exams. Add a few extra rules here and there. Wipe out Driver’s Licenses for unpaid child support – that’s race neutral, right? How about Prop 17?? How could letting the insurance industry make continuity discounts portable not be race neutral?

    Much of the problems we have created with these “Gaps” since 1960 are the direct result of “Good Intentions” in legislation coupled with the All People Are Equal mantra. And we are still doing it.

    What should all the various schools do with the specific populations they are dealt to educate? I think mission one is keep everybody out of prison and able to make a living. The rest such as football and college prep comes after. In fact I see Los Angeles and Oakland Unified Schools doing everything but putting up Travel Posters around the classrooms of the various state prisons (San Quentin by moonlight??).

    My critics here believe I am too up front about these racial issues when they only want to talk “education”. Well, public education is ALL about race and ethnicity. Every aspect of operations of the states schools affects the groups differently and when you insist that we are all the same, you make it possible for all these disasters to occur.

    We shouldn’t make things worse. We should do things and change things to get more of the public school students into industry/occupations (not college, that’s for a relatively small group), military (that’s going to be a growth industry soon) and Higher Ed suitable to their aptitude and potential (2 yr tech schools with internships).

    To do this requires sorting and matching of students with appropriate programs. And jack booted discipline, they can slacken up after they can support themselves.

    Right now the charters including the corporate, cult, political party, gang affiliated & union affiliated charters have better prospects of doing this than the urban schools such as LAUSD and OUSD. So these bad districts just have to go (unless they change fast).

    So I think the public school teachers will be looking for new jobs in this Great Depression II. A decision has been made at the national level to do away with the urban school districts and to replace them with Charters. That decision was part of NCLB. It’s one of the unstated ones. What they are doing is getting rid of the “integrated” segregated schools and replacing them with the segregated “integrated” Charters.

    And Congress will pretend it was an accident.

  • Nextset

    As to Rural Hispanics in CA – They tend to have little use or regard for education. They have their reasons. It’s their choice. Viva la choice.

    There is a limit to the ability of one society to impose their values on another (in a free country). In this case, White society telling Mexican Indians what to do. They do what they want. That’s true of the other groups also. You will probably not have to argue with an (east) Indian family about getting their kid educated. Check out Milpitas.

    I’m thinking maybe public school should be optional after puberty. Application only. Must wear uniforms. limited seating. That kind of thing. It’d be nicer for the teachers. The money saved would be freed for other things. While you are at it eliminate Medi-Cal and AFDC also. Save more money.

    And maybe we should ban self serve gas pumps like OR does. And have a huge tax credit for hiring household help.

    Pipe dreams I suppose, but huge change is coming in the event of a hyperinflation. The government can only hide the deterioration in the economy for so long.

  • Fancy_Nancy

    “The white numbers look too low and too far below the Asian numbers…This state is now far away from just SF Chinese & Japanese as the “asians”. I find these numbers very suspect…”

    Diversity includes white kids, disabled kids, and kids other than black and hispanic…

    Thank you Nextset…

  • Nextset

    I glanced at the table – it does refer to public school grads not public and private. Right there the racial numbers are skewed. The higher functioning students – in the urban areas at least – are in the private and church schools. The dull students are in the public schools (Los Angeles Unified for example). In LA this can be very extreme – the Jewish students for example who are counted as “white” but have a IQ average one standard deviation above white are very much not in LA Unified. No wonder the numbers looked odd.

    So the numbers are not at all representative of all California students. They are pretty worthless in that context. They only give a glimpse of the sinking ship that is public education in CA.

    Again on my comment about education policy never being race neutral. The bright idea of requiring algebra for graduation is a knife to the throat for the black graduation numbers. Is that class so important to one’s existance as a high school “graduate” that we are to deny the diploma because a boy or girl can’t won’t complete it? If so, that is a departure from the 20th Century. I fail to see the merit of this policy.

    Yes you need algebra for college. Very few blacks/hispanics will ever get a college degree and that’s fine with (most of) them, they don’t want it. You do not need a college degree to exist as a citizen in this country, nor should you. It is wrong to impose college prep as a graduation requirement for high school. Doing so screws the proletariat for no other reason than malice. This malicious policy is purely a creature of the rad-libs.

    Government Policy has a lot to do with these gaps.

  • Nextset

    Fancy_Nancy: Don’t understand your point.

    In Ca our ethnics are primarily (reported under) 4 groups. Beyond that we have a lot of subgroups. The subgroups can differ wildly from their general group (ie “Jews” classed as “Whites”, but competing with Asians in certain group averages). The “disabled” can be anybody for any reason including retardation.

    What does this has to do with “diversity”? The US Congress has been flooding CA and the USA with every possible 3rd worlder in large numbers for various reasons I dissaprove of, at ruinous costs to our own proletariat. The sub groups stats are typically not reported or broken out – there is not stat for how the Nigerians are doing as opposed to the Ethiopians, they are mixed into the “black” scores but they profile completely different.

    The overwhelming bulk of the urban public students are Black and Hispanic and they constitute a runaway majority of our criminals/degenerates/prison inmates, destitutes and premature deaths. For that reason I believe our public school systems should have programs in place to mitigate this. If that means we should have expressly segregated school programs instead of the merely obviously segregated schools, let’s do it.

    Actually, this is already being done with the Charters which are devouring the public school budgets and take their clientele and their societal functions.

    I contend that the warping of historical racial graduation rates are caused by rad-lib manipulation of the public schools (since ’65) to the great detriment of blacks and browns. They impose “education” calculated to wreck social mobility for the blacks specifically – all the while claiming to be “helping them” or giving them what they want. This includes not teaching English, Deportment or life skills as well as increasing grad requirements beyond that reasonably required.

    It’s all part of the Brave New World engineered by Washington, while they claim they have no idea how this happened.

  • http://www.movingforwardeducation.com Lacy Asbill

    Dropout data is only meaningful when you get what the study is actually measuring. Often, grad rates are calculated based on numbers of enrolled 12th graders who make it to graduation; this fails to capture the bulk of the dropout issue–ninth, tenth, and eleventh graders who leave school. I wonder how these state figures compare to OUSD statistics. I’ve found it difficult to find up-to-date OUSD dropout figures. Does anyone have recent data to share?

  • CarolineSF

    I’m not going there with much of your commentary, Nextset, but I want to disagree with one thing. I actually agree that there are forces “increasing grad requirements beyond that reasonably required” — for everybody, whether college-bound or not.

    But I think that comes from the anti-public-education right, as a weapon to show that public schools are failing and ultimately eliminate them. They have the power and the wealth to turn their views into policy, unlike the left-radicals you envision. They’re deliberately setting the public schools up for failure.

  • Jenna

    @CarolineSF – are you saying that students of color or English Language Learners cannot achieve the standards for graduation, are you saying that the educational paradigm in place today will not support the increased standards for graduation or are you saying that it is simply too much to ask of a high school graduate to be able to pass a test of knowledge at the 10th grade level as we define 10th grade today?

    I do not understand.

    I believe that we are failing English Language Learners by making them take classes that offer no credit during the day so they will never earn enough credits for graduation.

    I also believe that we may have to look at keeping students in school for a much longer day when they will go home to an empty house, no food, violence, drugs, forced labor (working in the fields, doing the work of adults without a permit or pay) and students who have shown that they need additional help to achieve educations.

    I do not believe the standards are out of reach. I do believe that right now the vast majority of students in our high schools cannot leave school and qualify for any type of work that would support them. Perhaps the jobs pay too little, or perhaps they are not qualified educationally or socially for jobs that pay more. By socially I mean showing up to work every scheduled day on time, dressed appropriately learning more skills as they advance in the job (not one year of experience 5 times but 5 years of experience at the end of five years).

  • Katy Murphy

    Lacy: The graduation rate calculation used in this data set is different. It’s based on the size of the entering freshman class and compares that to the number of students who have graduated four years later. (Those who are really interested can find the methodology on Page 1 of the report.)

    California now tracks individual students, rather than using enrollment numbers to estimate dropout/graduation rates, but it’s still working out some kinks. I reported on the latest district and school estimates from the California Department of Education in May 2008 (http://bit.ly/bxpfhn).

    I don’t believe the 2008-09 data has come out yet. Blame it on the furloughs!

  • Nextset

    Good article here entitled “The Future of America’s Working Class”.


    Jenna: When the state decided to impose the graduation test there was a controversy of how high to set the bar. Numbers were run to calculate how many students of which races would flunk for each “level” the exit exam might be set at. The first proposal was to use 10th grade literacy levels. It was calculated that a majority of the black students would not pass (regardless of the rates of the other ethnics). That was politically unacceptable. As a political compromise the pass level was set at an 8th grade level. This whole problem is nothing new, it has happened throughout the use of psychometric testing. It somes up in the context of death penalty legislation (who is too dumb to execute, and what is the cutoff score to use) and a number of other areas where the government sets cutoffs for various goodies or sanctions (driver’s licenses, occupational licenses).

    So to answer your question, yes “the educational paradigm in place today will not support the increased standards for graduation” and “it is simply too much to ask of a high school graduate to be able to pass a test of knowledge at the 10th grade level as we define 10th grade today”. The “Gap” between the urban blacks and the national averages are too great to (politically) require urban blacks to score at these levels to have a high school diploma.

    And why should we? Throughout the first half of the 20th century people of all ethnics assimilated into society and raised a family without testing out at a national average score for 10th grade, or 9th grade. I agree it’s nice to score higher and it’s nice to pursue education while you work as an adult or with adults. But you do not need to in order to function and even to do well. (It helps to work hard & not be a druggie/drunk and have too many kids too early, etc.)

    I am not unsympathetic to the notion that children should be confined during daylight hours and forced to work at something whether they like it or not. I agree we should offer hours of confinement or supervision from 8am to 5pm or more.

    Something your post reminded me of: During depressions & economic crashes you will see a LOT of prostitution going on, a field where young people often have a tactical advantage over older adults. Especially true in a hyperinflation where many people realize they are sitting on their most valuable asset.

    People will manages somehow. It’s up to the public school system to equip the prole children to support themselves and fast. They will stay in school and not drop out if the classwork and programs are relevant. The shocking thing about those dropout rates is that the public schools have made themselves so wasteful and useless to these students they walked away from them. You cannot run around always assuming people had no rational reason for the decisions they made for themselves. The students saw no value – or correctly realize they would flunk anyway and started their career in the street early.

    The Schools would do much better to teach accounting/bookkeeping than “literature”. Everybody needs to know how to count money. The students would stay if the courses were something they knew they needed.

  • Jenna

    @Nextset – earlier this century we could afford a lower education level because we produced steel, autos, air conditioners, heaters, carpet, textiles and other items in America that we now buy from China, Japan and other countries. There were jobs for people with a 9th or 10th grade education.

    But now it’s different. We are a country that uses information exchange for our primary labor – microchips, technology, cable, cell phones, computer code. A 9th or 10th grade education is simply not enough. We will have some jobs for “blue collar” but if I run a company I want the person with the most skills and intellectual power for my money.

    As far as literature goes, I think that instead of reading novels our students should read the classics Iliad and Odyssey for example, to analyze the meaning and what makes them a classic. I don’t think “bookkeeping” is viable. I know many companies that employee up to 200 people that keep their books on Excel and have hourly back ups. The old bookkeeping is gone.

  • Nextset

    Jenna: Your point does not assimilate low functioning people into college educated workforces. They (dulls) are not competitive or destined to compete with that workforce. The USA proletariat are destined for service jobs or for prison or an early grave. The job of the public schools is to avert the prison/early grave.

    Only a relatively small number of brights in the LA Unified school population – and I mean all the kids that could have started 9th grade not just the ones the schools haven’t run off by 11th grade – are suitable for college.

    The run of the mill LA Unified kids are possibles for some kind of service and technical work. That doesn’t take college or college prep.

    I believe the LA Unified is not doing much to get these kids ready for the occupations they are able to nail down. Too many of them are drifting to welfare (which I hope will be abolished), narcotics, unemployability and prostitution/drug dealing.

    And if the are going to be hookers they should be better ones.

    I think it’s great if a public school student wants to go into higher ed and gets the prerequisites to do so. If they don’t, the schools need to offer a program for occupational placement. Yes, I believe people have the right to opt out of college prep. Public schools should offer a military or vocational program and the students should be put to the choice annually after 6th grade for which track or campus they want to apply for. And I see no reason to impose a CA statewide HS grad requirement of Algebra that did not exist for most of the 20th Century. It’s nice if you have it. You are not a unfit citizen without it. It is Optional.

    You would not see such a drop rate, people could transfer if things are not working out for them, or they can’t obey the program rules and requirements.

    This is what Charters are offering today and they are taking the public school district’s budget money with the kids in order to deliver it.

    So it’s fine for you to say what you think the kiddies should do. I say let them vote with their feet and I really hope the public schools change their bad ways and start to offer these programs in time to save themselves from closure.

    We do not need a Black drop rate of 51% for the public school kids. The rate is that low because the public school programs are not seen as viable or desirable by the black students who leave, ditto the rest of the ethnics. For all the money we are squandering in these schools they can operate a desirable and workable program for ghetto blacks. It won’t be college prep, but it won’t feed to San Quentin either. It may feed to Motel Maiding, or construction, or bus driving, a hundred other services and technical fields or anything from time to time that gets a life.

    Understand, it takes an IQ of 100 to have a reasonable chance of finishing high school currently. You have a huge population of under IQ 85, perhaps half or more of the public school black students. What have you done for them? Imposed an algebra requirement? Helped them with college applications?? Told them they are nothing without a 4 year degree? Why do you think nearly 50% of the black public school students have fled by “graduation day”?

    I hear you about the Brave New World requiring college degrees and training to get a “job”, now go find other jobs for the left side of the bell curve. Those jobs are out there, they are all being taken by the imported workers Congress is flooding the states with and thier children. They don’t have college degrees either and they don’t even speak the english as their first language. So I don’t buy that there are no service jobs. Paco and Josefina are finding them.

  • Ms C

    @ Nextset:

    I’m a bit shocked that in your explanation as to why Asians do well, you mention physical characteristics but do not consider the dramatic cultural differences. It is unfortunate that educators working in diverse communities seem to have such ignorance about the communities which they work within. What can we do about changing that?

    There are a few theories I have about Asian’s academic success:
    – strong family-oriented lifestyle. Divorce and family separation are looked down upon in Asian societies. Also, multi-generational living situations are often expected. China, for example, does not have the social security crisis that we have because the younger generation is expected to take care of the older generation.
    – the recent immigrant mentality. Many Asian students come from families of recent immigrants whose parents often come here specifically so their children can have a chance at a better future. Hence, the families value education very highly.
    – excellent math curriculum in the home country. Most Asian countries, especially East Asian countries, have a strong math curriculum which results in their students consistently outperforming U.S. students on international math tests. Even if children are born in the United States, parents are able to help their children with math homework more effectively that parents of other nationalities who may not have had an upbringing which gave them a strong math foundation.

  • Nextset

    Ms C.: You must get “shocked” often.

    You assume IQ and cognitive differences are cultural. That is part of rad-lib doctrine. There is evidence these differences are physical and that the physical differences over time express themselves in the behavior. Some people look for a combination of the two factors. Physical differences are both congenital and acquired by nutrituion and other external factors.

    For example in the upcoming war between North and South Korea, the North is probably not taking seriously the height, weight, IQ and other differences the formerly similar North & South populations now have and believe it’s just going to be a replay of the 1950s. Since then the Southern population has been westernized in diet and lifestyles while the North still live on rice and each other.

    Back to the thread. When we talk of USA public school students by race and the cognitive testing and skills – pay attention to the average onset of puberty and the physical (group) differences. The differences are huge. Yes there are cultural differences but even those – family formation, reproduction habits and norms – trauma rates, risk aversion and death rates of children – can be said (and are said) to tie into the puberty & other physical issues. Raw Cognitive power is tied into nutrition and physical brain development.

    The Asians are not similar to the blacks which in turn are different from the Hispanics and the Whites. 4 different groups physically – we see this in the Olympics with different races with advantage in certain sports.

    The point of the above is that no amount of “teaching” will turn a large group of Negroes into Asians and vice versa. And Asians will always in large groups best Whites at certain things and not others. You cannot teach around this – Not in large groups, and never when you teach to integrated groups because the teaching efforts have different effect with the different groups which extend the “Gap”.

    All this is obvious to anyone operating at college level research & observation skills. Yet it is forbidden truth to the libs.

    Tying teacher pay to racial statistics is a wrong and going to do a lot of harm as teachers try to play the system.

  • MarcV

    Racial gaps, of course, aren’t the only achievement gaps manifesting themselves in our schools. I have been mortified by widening gap between males and females. What’s happening to our boys? http://ow.ly/1Vbhc

  • Nextset

    MarcV: To the extent that our schools are trying to make boys not be boys anymore there is a big problem.

    The sexes are different physically and like all the other physical differences, that leads to dramatic diferences in behavior. Boys more aggressive and protective, girls more manipulative and accomodating. Both tendencies can get them and others around them into trouble if not moderated and socialized. In both cases the person can be crippled by not learning to control and use their abilities.

    Rad-Libs tend to want to control everyone, they are natural facists. They throw a fit when boys are boys and want them to be forced into feminized versions of themselves. As far as what Rad-libs are doing to the girls, the floor is open. Rad-lib dogma is not just that all are equal & some are more equal then others, but if all people don’t toe the party line they will be punished big time.

    Look at Helen Thomas… ex liberal darling. Run out of the lib nest without even a good-by lunch.

  • Nextset

    The link referred to data that women were getting more degrees. I don’t think that is so significant. To a large extent their degrees are pretty worthless compared to the activity of the men, their siblings.

    Women in the professions still make less than men and rightfully so when you examine their career paths. Women as a group tend to avoid the career committment and risk taking the men as a group do. That’s biology at work.

    Women as a group in most workplaces divide their loyalties between family and work in a way men don’t. So the men as expected promote better, make more money, and have higher responsibility at work. It is the difference between the sexes. As always we are talking about group differences not individual differences. Some readers can’t seem to get that.

    Having said the above it’s clear that in this Brave New World women are making more money and working in more responsible positions than each previous generation. Same is true about Blacks and other minority groups. But the group averages are as true as ever. They are not likely to change as long as the physicality that underlies the differences remain.

    What I think we are seeing is that the old Gaps may come roaring back as the Brave New World unfolds with less and less social/economic mobility as the USA turns to socialism and away from capitalism. We are seeing government elimination of the middle class, and a regimented society consisting of haves and have-nots. In a Caste society you are not going to have people not being what they were born to be (as often).

  • J.R.

    Were you not capable of learning that the humans of this world are composed of so much more than liberal or conservative dogma? These silly shallow man-made concepts barely scratch the surface of the human condition. These are great concepts if you aspire to be led around like sheep. I have little use for them because I find massive fault in both ideologies(or idiotologies if you will).

  • Cranky Teacher

    Nextset on this thread: 10 posts (50% of total) and 3,595 words.

    Five-word summary: I believe in biological determinism.

  • Nextset

    JR: Biology is important when we speak of groups and group behavior. Individually is not the same. A good school and a good teacher can change the world for one student at a time. I have seen that happen, and biographies are full of stories from Helen Keller on about what one teacher can do with one student and a free hand.

    So you are right – and maybe wrong if you expect large groups of students to not move towards the profiled behavior. Large districts like OUSD and Los Angeles Unified need to work with house odds, doing what they can to help their students generally to avoid bad results that are far too common for those schools.

    Cranky; I can say it faster, yes.

    It often takes more detail to get the point across.

    I’m frustrated. There are shootings every night. I see photos in the news in the morning sometime. Otis and Latifah again… There was a killing at Sacramento just now. Another “honor student” dead at 18 at his HS graduation party, dreads and all. And after all that work…

    Sometimes I wonder if changes in the public schooling will ever reduce these problems. I think it can. At least I hope so.

    Brave New World.

  • Frida

    Dear NextSet:

    Have you listened to yourself lately? Here are a few of your more recent quotes:

    – “As to Rural Hispanics in CA – They tend to have little use or regard for education”

    – “Only a relatively small number of brights in the LA Unified school population – are suitable for college.”

    – “I believe the LA Unified is not doing much to get these kids ready for the occupations they are able to nail down. Too many of them are drifting to welfare (which I hope will be abolished), narcotics, unemployability and prostitution/drug dealing. And if they are going to be hookers they should be better ones.”

    – “Understand, it takes an IQ of 100 to have a reasonable chance of finishing high school currently. You have a huge population of under IQ 85, perhaps half or more of the public school black students.”

    Do you really believe that black students have lower IQs than other students? That kids from the inner city can’t go to college because they’re not smart enough? That “if they’re going to be hookers, they should be better ones??” EXCUSE ME?

    For your information, the definition of racism is: “the belief that there are characteristics, abilities, or qualities specific to each race.” You do many things on this post, but the one thing you never fail to do is to spout racism in various forms. I’m tired of it.

    The point isn’t that we are all the same. Of course we’re not. The point is to treat everyone with respect – black, brown, white, whatever, everyone. Not to assume that certain races are worse (or better, for that matter) at anything than others are. Of course there are trends and patterns. Of course. But statements like the ones you are making here, in this public forum, are quite offensive and inappropriate.

  • Pepe

    Cue assumption about Frida being offended frequently, lecture about biological differences, and respect as a rad/lib conspiracy…

  • J.R.

    There are so many different dynamics involved, I hardly know where to start. Perspective is one, Modeling by parents is another, Discipline is one, and solid loving,secure unchanging home life is possibly most important of all. Perspective is something kids get earlier than we give them credit for, they compare themselves to their peers on the basis of:
    1. Parents(one, or two or none)child’s self worth may be tied to this in varying degrees.

    2. House, homelife and wealth( or lack of same)Kids as a group have never been so materialistic as they are these days. These electronic devices facilitate shallow and or false social relationships. While strangely enough kids who do not have these things feel like they are missing out. Bottom line children who feel more secure and loved are more apt to excel and flourish(fact, but there are exceptions).

    3. The human mind is no different(between races) on a fundamental physical level, but the answer lies in treating the mind as though it were a standard computer(you only get out of it what you put in it). Kids cannot be forced to learn but they must be receptive to learning in order to learn progressively and abundantly(these traits are instilled by example by parents or relatives).Kids that are not raised to be receptive(whom you call dullards)will surely sink to the bottom unless family wealth prevents that(we have all seen evidence of that).

  • Nextset

    Frida: What I find offensive is the public schools running off half the black students while having the nerve to impose new graduation requirements such as algebra.

    As far as those quotations – which ones do you not understand? I don’t think you are hearing anything that is exactly new data. You think they aren’t true? You think they have no basis in fact?

    I take the position that the failure of the urban public schools currently – that was not such a problem during my childhood – has a lot to do with political correctness. And the results of all this is lack of care and services to the group that needs it.

    JR: Homelife is not the point. Urban Schools are expected to take what shows up and make the best of it. It’s not an excuse to say the failure to thrive is because of what goes on after the kiddies leave school. The world has seen a lot of goofy families, poor people and desperate times. The Irish in the early 20th Century, The Oakies post 1930s, the WWII fatherless families. These social problem issues do not explain the failure factories that are the urban school districts.

    And none of the contemporary USA problems match the UK’s poverty and social problems of the 1950s (ie the percentage of the urban population that were endentulous and without bathrooms in the homes, etc). Our literacy problems with all our creature comforts and self esteem are worse than before.

    The problem is the public schools are no longer trying to produce results in terms of literacy & employability of the proletariat kids. But they are quite good in filling them with fantasies of “their rights”.

    Speaking of that, here’s an interesting article about what happens to the proles now when they start moving about in the Brave New World – traffic tickets and the snowball effect:


    I cannot stress how much driver’s licensing problems harm the quality of life of blacks and browns I see. “Normal” people just can’t grasp the magnitude of what happens to these people.

  • Nextset

    A very wealthy woman (private jet wealthy) called me awhile ago. An employee was stranded at night when her car was taken by the police. The girl’s boyfriend/live in lover/BabyDaddy was picking her up at Jr College at night in her car. He (of course) had a suspended license – a fact the girl knew. The car was pulled over by police as she was about to enter it. Car impounded, he was cited and not booked in the jail (busy night), they both were left out in inclement weather in the dark. The caller was outraged. I seem to remember there was a baby in a car seat they had to carry.

    I tried to be nice about it. What was the beef? They did him a favor by not booking him in the county jail which is far away in another city. No, protocol doesn’t let police give the girl her car. It gets towed. Big towing and storage bill. Boy eventually gets 10 days in jail 1st time or 30 days in jail if 2nd time – he was driving on a suspension for DUI he hadn’t bothered to clear. I know people under that suspension for 7+ years now – they refuse to go to DUI school and pay a reissue fee or clear the DUI fines, etc It’s too much trouble and they always just keep driving anyway. The girls will let them drive anyway because it’s convenient until they get caught. Then they’re looking for sympathy.

    These “kids” run all aspects of their lives this way because they were indulged silly during their formative years. At least she had car insurance so they dodged the $1600 fine if no insurance. I see that constantly.

    I know I’m posting alot here but this is my huge beef with the schools as it pertains to the dropout rates and “The Gap”. I know we have OUSD kids who go to Stanford and have a great life. But the typical black kid leaves that school district a mess. I don’t believe half of the blacks run through OUSD graduate as it is. While I believe we have a problem with the bad students I also believe the schools could have done much better by them by knocking off the college prep nonsense for those students who are not college material (they will tell you – listen to them) and training the left side of the bell curve to take care of themselves and their family and clan and to get a military, technical or service career like the non-college immigrants. If you stop taking care of things the trouble snowballs; your health, your money, your criminal cases, all of it.

    This didn’t happen in the mid 20th Century. Our laws then were more supportive of the proletariat. Now we seem to want to destroy them and their schools. Something has changed in our attitude towards these people. We have this political correctness to try to keep us from saying unwanted truths, but our society crushes these people unabated at the same time.

  • Cranky Teacher

    Here’s a different kind of determinism, NS:

    The larger society and economy shape the schools far more than the schools shape the larger society and economy.

  • J.R.

    There is one particular factor that you are missing that is relevant to child discipline. The ambulance chasing lawyers have gamed the system. Schools used to have corporal punishment discipline when I was a child in the 60’s in the east bay. That no longer happens for fear of lawsuits. Kids are in the malls and running wild and their parents will not discipline them because:

    a)too much bother, and it’s no big deal


    b)no physical punishment for fear of C.P.S. and charges of child abuse(thanks lawyers) BTW did anyone realize that the majority politicians are and were lawyers.

    My point is, as far as the majority of lawyers go, its not about right or wrong, its all about three things:

    1.MONEY & FAME



  • Nextset

    Cranky: I agree that the larger society and it’s economy shape the schools. I am unhappy that the schools are shaping the black students to be downmarket while at the same time new immigrants from the same schools are able to rise. I believe – rightly or wrongly – that the black students are relatively happy, more so than the immigrants. It’s that happiness that is going to kill them. I’m afraid the public schools are worried more about the black students being “happy” than about their future in this Brave New World. Above all the schools don’t want the black students protesting or demonstrating.

    I’d prefer to stock the schools with staff who’d enjoy taking the kids on. Don’t know where you’d find such people now. Returning military, perhaps, not the education majors.

    As far as the lawyers go, it’s time we pulled their teeth. Roll back all the great society legislation. Even that isn’t enough with incumbent and future rad-lib Supreme Court members who contend all the fantasy rights are somehow written in the Federal Constitution. Thus a gang of 5 sits as a super congress writing unassailable new legislation whenever the mood hits (Miranda warning, anyone?). This is why the confirmation hearings are so overwrought, these appointees believe they can do anything they want personally.

    Back to the thread. Perhaps people will agree that the black drop rate for the public schools represent a huge waste and disconnect between free public schooling and the behavior and needs of low class blacks. Do we all agree the schools need to harmonize their programs with these people so that the free “education” grades 1-12 is not wasted for this segment of the population? As we see with the Adult Ed cuts, once you age out, the “free” education is gone. It would be best to more effectively manage the black population and their assimilation into USA society, than we are doing now. The whites are taking care of themselves.

    Raising the graduation academic requirements is not going to help. Delivering voc ed within standard 20th Century general requirements is more appropriate.

    This morning I saw a young black girl remanded for her very first prison term. She wore a track suit, and was smiling and waving at family and friends. It was for stealing from her employer. She looks maybe 22 (going on 16). The money was spent on boys and fast food. There was no hope of not getting caught, she really didn’t worry about that. I feel these “kids” I’m seeing in court are remarkably immature and silly. They are just not stressed enough in the schools, they are not being matured enough, they are just spoiled. But they are bright enough to have so much more for themselves.

    I can’t see the black kids educated by my grandparent’s generation (many of them were teachers and administrators in black public schools) in this situation. By the time their teachers and schools, WWI and WWII vets largely, got through with them they were just better people than this. And they didn’t get caught so easily if they were doing wrong either. Babied students turn out like this.

  • J.R.

    I think you are on to something, but you neglect to see that these school problems that you speak of are symptoms of a major problem of this culture that crosses racial and economic lines(the difference being that if a child parents have wealth these problems can be either dealt with or buried).American culture and family life are coming apart at the seams in large measure because ” the almighty dollar” is the be all and end all for happiness and success and drives this “ME,ME,ME” culture that we live in.