FOH: PA High School Defends Segregating Students By Race & Gender To Boost Academic Results
WTF? Is this some kind of joke? Oh so because the great pimp MLK Jr was wrong about assimilation integration (which if I had been alive at that time I could’ve told you that) and how positive it would be, now you want to take a step further (or should I say a step 40 years backwards) and separate the children not only by race but by gender? Aren’t children gay enough at this point?Especially these young men. They’re running around gender confused and the young women are organically confused, they don’t know if they’re real or plastic. So you’re gonna put a bunch of barbies in a room, a bunch of snookies in a room, a bunch of skinny jeans wearing males in a room and a bunch of aspiring rappers (to clarify, I’m speaking of the white students) in a room?… And this is supposed to be progressive? I mean, I guess but what about the long term repercussions this will have on their perspectuve on race relations in the “real world” once this high school lab rat project is over? Bill Jimenez…man F*ck outta here.
A Lancaster, Pa., high school is under fire for implementing a new program that has created separate homerooms for black juniors.
In December, McCaskey East High School assigned its 275 11th-graders to 19 homerooms led by teacher-mentors. The black students were separated by gender and placed in three homerooms led by black teachers. The other students were similarly assigned to teachers with whom they’d had a prior relationship. All students were allowed to choose a different mentor or to opt out of the program altogether.
“We saw the need for mentoring of all our students,” McCaskey East Principal Bill Jimenez told AOL News.
But news of the program has caused concern that the school is practicing a form of segregation –- an issue that was central to the outlawing of a Mexican-American studies programin Arizona earlier this month.
“The intent of mentoring at McCaskey High School is to build strong teacher and student relations, not separate students by race,” the Lancaster School District said in a statement. “The high school is disappointed by the negative perception and focus on single racial composition programming.”
The program was proposed by a McCaskey East instructional coach, Angela Tilghman, who wanted to improve the academic performance of the school’s black students. Last year, they fared poorly on Pennsylvania standardized exams, with only 30 percent of black students scoring a proficient or advanced grade in reading, while 60 percent of white students and 42 percent of all students achieved those levels.
Tilghmandeveloped the program after reading studies that suggested black students performed better when grouped by gender with other black students and a black mentor. Some of the work she cited was done by Alfred Tatum of the University of Illinois, who studies literacy in African-American males. His work has shown that placing groups of people in “literacy collaboratives,” groups that are center on a common characteristic, removes other distractions.
“In this environment, you can pay attention to which identity is actually important,” Tatum told AOL News. But he also warns, “It’s not a panacea to isolate them in these cultural pods if they’re not well thought out.”
Pedro Noguera, a professor of educational sociology at New York University, told CNN that while the goal of the McCaskey program is sound, it might miss its mark.
“Sometimes when we separate students in this way we inadvertently reinforce stereotypes and may in fact stigmatize children by suggesting that there is something wrong with them and that therefore they need extra help,” he said.
Noguera added that the students need not be separated by race. None of the other students at McCaskey are separated along racial lines, according to LancasterOnline, which first reported the story.
But Tilghman, who mentors the all-female, black homeroom, disagrees. A graduate of McCaskey East High School herself, she says she would like to have had the same type of mentoring when she was a student.
“I think there are content-specific issues that relate to specific racial groups,” she told AOL News. “When you have common background, you have common ground.”
McCaskey East isn’t the only school recently scrutinized for implementing race-based practices.
Earlier this month, Willow Elementary Schoolin Glendora, Calif., took heat after segregating black and white second-graders on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The black children were forced to run laps without water, while the white children had recess. The next day, the white children were supposed to be the ones doing the running, but an outcry from parents after the first day ended the exercise altogether.
In August, a Mississippi school abandoned a 30-year-old system of determining which students could run for student government based on race. Each year, the student government positions were traded between black and white students. The school district said the policy was a throwback to desegregation and an attempt to ensure that minorities were represented in the school government.