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Mom in Va. who lived through Cultural Revolution addresses school board regarding Critical Race Theory


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4 hours ago, Condessa said:

root causes

= structural racism.  That's what we're talking about.  I've been gone all day but others have posted many links supporting these "vague generalized claims." It's shocking to me that a grown person in this day and age would characterize this information in this way.  

Don't take critical thinking about systemic racism personally.  It's not about you, it's about us.

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I see a version of this controversy played out every time my school district does some redistricting.  It turns into a lot of angry white parents fighting hard to maintain the status quo.  It doesn't occur to any of them that their kids can learn something by being part of a more diverse student body.  They don't care because right now they are ahead of the pack and they want their kids to be ahead of the pack.  They got through school without having to learn anything at all about systemic racism and they don't want their child's time "wasted" with it.  They REALLY prefer that any future oppressors they are raising remain as ignorant as possible and let the minority students continue to carry the burden.  They don't want to teach their kids about it and they don't want the school teaching them either.  They really think it's better that someone else's child has to fight harder for equity every day of their life than it is for their child to endure a moment of discomfort. 

How do we even get to the place where we can have good, productive conversations about racial oppression if every fledgling attempt is shot down? You have to start somewhere, even IF that somewhere is a Science class.  There IS a problem with minority representation in science careers so the discussion IS on topic.  

They trot out the SAME tactics every time.  My personal favorites are when they pretend that the outcome they want is really the best for the minority students, or when they find one black parent to take their side and make sure that person is in every photo, or argue "we're already diverse!  Look at our Asian population!" It's like these grown men and women are on a high school debate team and they will use ANY argument to win.

 

 

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10 hours ago, Sneezyone said:

The bigotry of low expectations isn’t confined to or even primarily shared by CRT advocates. I can only assume people saying that have never been subject to it because it is a view equally prevalent on the right for different reasons. I saw it in Arkansas. I saw it in Seattle. It’s everywhere.

Some of us are old enough to have had math teachers say, out loud, to their students, that girls shouldn't take higher math.  And most girls didn't, and I know at least one mathy girl who got up and walked out of Calculus class (permanently) because of this kind of crap.

Just one example of the bigotry of low expectations that I'm sure many of us have experienced.

I agree it isn't limited to one political persuasion.  It's not political at all.  If only it were as superficial as most political rhetoric.

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8 hours ago, Frances said:

And hopefully they will change the policy going forward to use weighted GPAs. It’s hard to imagine why they would not want the student with the highest GPA who took the hardest classes to be valedictorian. Although as a former valedictorian, I think doing away with the whole designation makes more sense. If they want to do honors, just designate GPA cut-offs and group students that way, as many colleges do.

While I can understand to some degree the white parents wanting the handbook policy followed, did they not stop and think about what they were fundamentally asking for and what message they were sending? To make their children, who took easier classes, be given the honors over students who took more challenging classes? And the parent who said they had been actively tracking this since middle school? Please, get a life and let your child live theirs.

I don't have an opinion on how __dictorians should be selected, but I do think it should be consistent with the rules provided to the students.  If the school wants to make a change, it should be done in a way that doesn't strip honors from kids who were following the rules all along.

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8 hours ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

You used the term "Jewish community" twice and represented it as a concern of all Jewish people. 

Finding gotcha links online doesn't indicate that you're actually listening to people. 

I agree that no minority or majority group in the USA is monolithic.  However, you are picking on the use of a collective term to discount the fact that a lot of people in several minority communities did have serious concerns.  And trying to discredit and essentially silence a poster you don't agree with.

It would be enough to observe that the pp's info represents some, but not all, of the "Jewish community."

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1 hour ago, SKL said:

I agree that no minority or majority group in the USA is monolithic.  However, you are picking on the use of a collective term to discount the fact that a lot of people in several minority communities did have serious concerns.  And trying to discredit and essentially silence a poster you don't agree with.

It would be enough to observe that the pp's info represents some, but not all, of the "Jewish community."

How do you know it's a "lot of people?" I asked the same question yesterday when you claimed that some of the loudest opponents of CRT were people of color. 

 

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6 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

How do you know it's a "lot of people?" I asked the same question yesterday when you claimed that some of the loudest opponents of CRT were people of color.

I've seen a number of reports from different locations as well as the information in this thread.

I don't know why you insist on minimizing the concerns to the point where, according to you, it's only ignorant racists and insane people who care about this issue.

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24 minutes ago, SKL said:

I've seen a number of reports from different locations as well as the information in this thread.

I don't know why you insist on minimizing the concerns to the point where, according to you, it's only ignorant racists and insane people who care about this issue.

Did I write the bolded? No, I didn't. In fact, a few pages back I wrote that I wasn't sure about CRT myself. 

There is nothing on this thread to support your claim that many members of historically persecuted groups oppose CRT. 

This is why I objected to the "Jewish community" thing. I knew that it would cause people to assume that it represented more than it actually did. 

 

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4 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

Did I write the bolded? No, I didn't. In fact, a few pages back I wrote that I wasn't sure about CRT myself. 

There is nothing on this thread to support your claim that many members of historically persecuted groups oppose CRT. 

This is why I objected to the "Jewish community" thing. I knew that it would cause people to assume that it represented more than it actually did. 

 

While I’m not claiming it’s some perfectly unbiased article and I haven’t bothered to search for others on the issue, The NY Times article I posted about division among Souther Baptists gives examples of the opposite. Whites leaders and pastors opposing CRT and black pastors and leaders upset about that opposition.

I’m still not clear from this thread about how many feel in general about CRT outside of schools. At least some seem to want to acknowledge structural racism exists as long as we don’t call it that or use CRT or label any policies or laws or people or institutions as racist. It’s all a bit confusing to me. I do think it’s very unfortunate that the term CRT as has been co-opted and used as part of a disinformation and cultural war campaign. But I have no trouble also believing some schools are doing a terrible job of implementing programs around it and I honestly don’t have much faith most could do it effectively. If that were the case, all schools would be using research proven best practices for teaching reading. And they most definitely aren’t.

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16 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

This is why I objected to the "Jewish community" thing. I knew that it would cause people to assume that it represented more than it actually did. 

 

Actually I think most if not all of the readers here are aware that the Jewish community is not monolithic, and would have applied that knowledge in reading Plum's post.

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1 hour ago, Frances said:

While I’m not claiming it’s some perfectly unbiased article and I haven’t bothered to search for others on the issue, The NY Times article I posted about division among Souther Baptists gives examples of the opposite. Whites leaders and pastors opposing CRT and black pastors and leaders upset about that opposition.

I’m still not clear from this thread about how many feel in general about CRT outside of schools. At least some seem to want to acknowledge structural racism exists as long as we don’t call it that or use CRT or label any policies or laws or people or institutions as racist. It’s all a bit confusing to me. I do think it’s very unfortunate that the term CRT as has been co-opted and used as part of a disinformation and cultural war campaign. But I have no trouble also believing some schools are doing a terrible job of implementing programs around it and I honestly don’t have much faith most could do it effectively. If that were the case, all schools would be using research proven best practices for teaching reading. And they most definitely aren’t.

Well, the abject failures re reading lead me to give more credence to the concerns about abject failures re teaching racial justice. 

CRT is a tertiary level way of theorizing about the world. The academy is an appropriate place for people to engage in complex theory making about the world. CRT is a valuable lens to study, discuss and write about issues of race. I don't think about it as being very different to some forms of feminist theory. 

Structural racism exists. Just as other inequities have been coded into systems and institutions. 

No, I don't think it is solved by asking K-8ers to primarily conceptualize themselves and others in terms of a hierarchy of intersecting identities.

And actually, it would not surprise me to learn that this very contemporary way of foregrounding identities isn't really at the heart of CRT.

I worry that raising a consciousness of White identity in children may be counterproductive. 

I think there are likely valid criticisms of programs currently being taught. 

And I don't currently trust my side of politics ATM to be honest. I really don't. This is to do with experience in another social arena.

So I'm not prepared to take it as read that if 'my' side is in favour, it's gotta be good. My side has been in favour of some dodgy things, lately. The left only has itself to blame when I'm not waving my pom poms, frankly. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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22 minutes ago, Melissa Louise said:

Well, the abject failures re reading lead me to give more credence to the concerns about abject failures re teaching racial justice. 

CRT is a tertiary level way of theorizing about the world. The academy is an appropriate place for people to engage in complex theory making about the world. CRT is a valuable lens to study, discuss and write about issues of race. I don't think about it as being very different to some forms of feminist theory. 

Structural racism exists. Just as other inequities have been coded into systems and institutions. 

No, I don't think it is solved by asking K-8ers to primarily conceptualize themselves and others in terms of a hierarchy of intersecting identities.

And actually, it would not surprise me to learn that this very contemporary way of foregrounding identities isn't really at the heart of CRT.

I worry that raising a consciousness of White identity in children may be counterproductive. 

I think there are likely valid criticisms of programs currently being taught. 

And I don't currently trust my side of politics ATM to be honest. I really don't. This is to do with experience in another social arena.

So I'm not prepared to take it as read that if 'my' side is in favour, it's gotta be good. My side has been in favour of some dodgy things, lately. The left only has itself to blame when I'm not waving my pom poms, frankly. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m still learning and haven’t made up my mind about any of it yet. It’s been an interesting and at times confusing thread for me.

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53 minutes ago, Frances said:

I’m still learning and haven’t made up my mind about any of it yet. It’s been an interesting and at times confusing thread for me.

I'm not smart enough to properly delineate my thoughts but this article is pretty close to my position (I think, in so far as I understand it).

https://harvardpolitics.com/privilege-leftist-critique-left/

 

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1 hour ago, Melissa Louise said:

No, I don't think it is solved by asking K-8ers to primarily conceptualize themselves and others in terms of a hierarchy of intersecting identities.

And actually, it would not surprise me to learn that this very contemporary way of foregrounding identities isn't really at the heart of CRT.

I agree.  My sense is that, as a poster upthread said, the teachers don't have time to figure out how to dig into this.  This should not be an excuse to a) ignore the problem or b) do a terrible or damaging job.  I want to believe that teachers and school districts hold the goal of reducing bigotry and ultimately structural racism through new approaches across the curriculum.  Clumsy, heavy-handed, demonizing - not helpful.  Children need joyful and straightforward.  And there is joy in anti-racism!  I also think the young kids being taught this right now will be some crackerjack thinkers and do-ers in the future. 

When I taught a group of 5, 6, and 7th graders US History, one of my main goals for this age was to avoid defaulting to White. What I mean by that is making sure that when the class talked about "what was happening when" we asked "who" also - when the Lowell girls were striking, were they White?  All races? When women wore certain types of dresses, was it all women? Enslaved women?  Then just kept going or else got more involved if a student engaged with it.  Without spending much time on it, I wanted these kids to remember, when they got to higher level history learning in the future, to question the default assumption of Whiteness in historical thinking.  Was this a worth-while pedagogical theory?  I don't know, but I do know that my own dd who was in the class now "questions the narrative" with both ease and grace.

 

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1 hour ago, Harpymom said:

I agree.  My sense is that, as a poster upthread said, the teachers don't have time to figure out how to dig into this.  This should not be an excuse to a) ignore the problem or b) do a terrible or damaging job.  I want to believe that teachers and school districts hold the goal of reducing bigotry and ultimately structural racism through new approaches across the curriculum.  Clumsy, heavy-handed, demonizing - not helpful.  Children need joyful and straightforward.  And there is joy in anti-racism!  I also think the young kids being taught this right now will be some crackerjack thinkers and do-ers in the future. 

When I taught a group of 5, 6, and 7th graders US History, one of my main goals for this age was to avoid defaulting to White. What I mean by that is making sure that when the class talked about "what was happening when" we asked "who" also - when the Lowell girls were striking, were they White?  All races? When women wore certain types of dresses, was it all women? Enslaved women?  Then just kept going or else got more involved if a student engaged with it.  Without spending much time on it, I wanted these kids to remember, when they got to higher level history learning in the future, to question the default assumption of Whiteness in historical thinking.  Was this a worth-while pedagogical theory?  I don't know, but I do know that my own dd who was in the class now "questions the narrative" with both ease and grace.

 

This is the way I approached history with my kids too. In addition to ‘who’ is telling the story/in the story, we asked what perspectives may be missing and whether we could find books or bits of info written from those perspectives. That naturally led to why we could or couldn’t find that info. If we could find other perspectives, we read them and discussed whether, how and why they were different. It wasn’t that hard. It’s what launched DS into historical graphic novels, biographies and autobiographies. He loves them. My oldest still doesn’t like to read much but knows enough to run through these questions, almost reflexively.

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18 hours ago, Condessa said:

Commercial banking, real estate and lending were racist, and that suppressed the development of generational wealth in minority communities.  But is it racist now?  Are these industries still placing roadblocks to minorities?  

Where I am, yes.
All non-white people? No.  Disproportionately? Yes.
We saw it in and leading up to 2008 and its aftermath, and it’s continued to be seen in the current boom, with black and brown people being steered toward a specific community within a split school district. (There is comparable real estate on the “good” side of the district and in safer communities.)
It’s actually been going on here since the 90s, with agents and developers seeking out lower income, urban families.

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8 hours ago, SKL said:

Some of us are old enough to have had math teachers say, out loud, to their students, that girls shouldn't take higher math.  And most girls didn't, and I know at least one mathy girl who got up and walked out of Calculus class (permanently) because of this kind of crap.

Just one example of the bigotry of low expectations that I'm sure many of us have experienced.

I agree it isn't limited to one political persuasion.  It's not political at all.  If only it were as superficial as most political rhetoric.

In college, I had an undergrad professor say on the first day of class that he expected the athletes (read football players) in the class to fail. Not to mention the fact that my dad was a prominent college football player. It was extremely uncomfortable and I still feel bad that I wasn’t bold enough to speak my mind...yet.

In high school, I was practically interrogated about my French placement b/c the school didn’t offer higher level languages at the time. I had to interview with the Dept.  dean at the U of A before the school district would approve me for enrollment.

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18 hours ago, Danae said:

And why is it that black families are less likely to have a biological father in the home?  Might historical patterns of racial disparities in policing and sentencing have a lot to do with it?  You can’t say it’s not racism because it correlates with this other thing without asking how the other thing is affected by racism.

The Welfare system's "man in the house" rule certainly played a part in setting up this family dynamic.

https://ifstudies.org/blog/family-breakdown-and-americas-welfare-system

 From 1890 to 1950, black women had a higher marriage rate than white women. And in 1950, just 9% of black children lived without their father. By 1960, the black marriage rate had declined but remained close to the white marriage rate. In other words, despite open racism and widespread poverty, strong black families used to be the norm.

But by the mid-1980s, black fatherlessness skyrocketed. Today, only 44% of black children have a father in the home. In unison, the rate of black out-of-wedlock births went from 24.5% in 1964 to 70.7% by 1994, roughly where it stands today.

One contributor to family breakdown, which soon spread to the poor and working-class white family, may have been welfare expansion. Cash welfare in meager form existed since 1935,4 and some welfare expansion took place during the Kennedy administration. But under Johnson’s Great Society, which began in 1964, benefits became substantially more generous and came under greater control of the federal government. 

In the words of Harvard’s Paul Peterson, “some programs actively discouraged marriage,” because “welfare assistance went to mothers so long as no male was boarding in the household… Marriage to an employed male, even one earning the minimum wage, placed at risk a mother’s economic well-being.” Infamous “man in the house” rules meant that welfare workers would randomly appear in homes to check and see if the mother was accurately reporting her family-status. 

The benefits available were extremely generous. According to Peterson, it was “estimated that in 1975 a household head would have to earn $20,000 a year to have more resources than what could be obtained from Great Society programs.” In today’s dollars, that’s over $90,000 per year in earnings. 

I was raised by a single mother during this time period who worked as an LPN and never made more than $13k/yr. Under these rules we qualified but never received a penny of welfare/free lunch/food stamps or any other government assistance. My mom has already passed away, but I do wonder if she was ever offered any of this assistance as a single white mom. I sure never heard any mention of it. 

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6 hours ago, Melissa Louise said:

Well, the abject failures re reading lead me to give more credence to the concerns about abject failures re teaching racial justice. 

CRT is a tertiary level way of theorizing about the world. The academy is an appropriate place for people to engage in complex theory making about the world. CRT is a valuable lens to study, discuss and write about issues of race. I don't think about it as being very different to some forms of feminist theory. 

Structural racism exists. Just as other inequities have been coded into systems and institutions. 

No, I don't think it is solved by asking K-8ers to primarily conceptualize themselves and others in terms of a hierarchy of intersecting identities.

And actually, it would not surprise me to learn that this very contemporary way of foregrounding identities isn't really at the heart of CRT.

I worry that raising a consciousness of White identity in children may be counterproductive. 

I think there are likely valid criticisms of programs currently being taught. 

And I don't currently trust my side of politics ATM to be honest. I really don't. This is to do with experience in another social arena.

So I'm not prepared to take it as read that if 'my' side is in favour, it's gotta be good. My side has been in favour of some dodgy things, lately. The left only has itself to blame when I'm not waving my pom poms, frankly. 

This is a sticking point tho. It's not a point of consensus or safe assumption in the US. The idea that racism is a historical issue and not an ongoing one is evidenced in this thread of thoughtful people. They do not recognize that structural racism exists or is an ongoing problem. If you move out from this forum to the general public, you have a better sense of how big a challenge this is. We are not operating with the same set of facts.

For example, current research has shown that even as welfare regulations reduced marriage rates in the black community, the active role unmarried parents play in their children's lives is actually higher among unmarried black men than unwed white men. Basically, married and cohabitating parents are roughly the same between black and white people. https://www.pewresearch.org/social-trends/2018/04/25/the-changing-profile-of-unmarried-parents/

Similarly, the decline in marriage cannot JUST be attributed to welfare policies. Benefits that one must REQUEST, not be offered. That kind of discussion requires more nuance.

https://www.brookings.edu/research/an-analysis-of-out-of-wedlock-births-in-the-united-states/

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15 hours ago, Sneezyone said:

The ‘rhetorical leap’ is there because many, not all, of the people expressing ‘concerns’ do not want race or structural racism or any consideration of privilege to be part of public education. Full stop. They disingenuously use ‘concerns’ about specific incidents to advance that cause—not the cause of reform, or modification, or improvement, but blissful ignorance. Those concerns are selected by provocateurs and broadly disseminated through a web of like-minded media outlets, bloggers and drone social media accounts. It is a very effective way to disguise both the intent of the amplifiers and the scope/breadth of any problem.

I don’t believe I’ve seen any citations of proof or studies supporting this, and I’m not convinced by my personal experience that it is true.

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14 hours ago, Sneezyone said:

I appreciate you’re doing that, seriously. That hasn’t been my experience with most teachers at all, most recently with DD this semester.
 

There are teachers who deliberately make up their own Americanized names for students vs. learning their true name when it’s offered and pronounced, not because they’re asked to come up with a diminutive/alternative (sometimes the student or parent will ask for one) but because it’s easier for the teacher. Teachers who see a kid struggling and presume there’s some family issue/no parental involvement vs. a specific learning challenge. We have lawsuits from teachers who don’t want to be forced to call students by their preferred names, teachers who are so upset by the prospect of thinking through the very things you described who are rallying to the anti-CRT cause. It’s all become of a piece, part of a larger campaign to lead the unexamined life. Teaching is hard. We ask a lot, often too much, administratively but this kind of stuff is to my mind the MOST important part. A lot of academic disparities are driven not just by wealth and language acquisition but by the unexamined ‘little’ things that happen everyday.

It’s awful when teachers won’t pronounce kids’ names right.  Very very presumptuous.  

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14 hours ago, Sneezyone said:

A few things...

- increase the entrance and/or exit requirements for prospective teachers. Elementary teacher education programs have some of the lowest barriers to entry.

- increase the content knowledge demands of teacher education programs. A lot of them focus on banners and poster projects and  infantilize their students in the process (in an effort to help them ‘be’ the students they will be teaching). 

- improve teacher education and professional development with more collaborative consideration/discussion of case studies—less lecturing, more puzzling and in-class demonstrations/critiques.

- ensuring teachers spend time in a variety of learning environments before receiving full tenure so they can work with and get to know lots of different types of kids/families.

- encourage more team teaching. I think teams of teachers can better assess students and themselves. DD hasn’t connected with a single teacher in high school. None of them ‘know’ her.

- commensurate with these increased intellectual and professional development demands, increase the pay.

 

A lot of the critiques I see come down to people isolated in their classrooms with the best of intentions (maybe) and the worst judgment b/c their content knowledge is so weak. DHs cousin became a charter teacher after basically flunking out of the Navy as an enlisted RP. For those who don’t know, it’s a ‘religious person’, about the least demanding field you can find. As far as I know, he’s still a pathetic jerk and still teaching elementary kids.

An excellent point regarding ‘content knowledge’.

I think to some extent this goes back to whether teachers are typically/exclusively the ‘best and brightest’ of a group.  When my grandmother was a teacher, around 1910, teaching was the highest occupation that a woman could aspire to, and there were high standards of knowledge, conduct, and skill involved as requirements for it.  People generally did not try to become teachers unless they were already viewed as very capable and to some extent superior.

Once women started to get opportunities to move into fields that had been reserved only for men, then teaching was a field that competed with other fields for candidates, and that reduce the pool enough to reduce the quality of the average applicant.

There are absolutely still outstanding teachers, but now there are also some poorly qualified ones as well.  

I think that teachers’ colleges tend to assume content knowledge and teach pedagogy, which is no longer reasonable.  

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9 minutes ago, Carol in Cal. said:

I don’t believe I’ve seen any citations of proof or studies supporting this, and I’m not convinced by my personal experience that it is true.

There is not a single report of objections to CRT that proposes or supports an alternative. It's difficult to prove a negative but such is the conclusion I've come to based on the blanket bans espoused by American conservative movements/leaders. The demonization of CRT by partisans is really too new to have definitive studies of that nature.

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re Structures and Systems: All in the Past, or Ongoing Today?

22 hours ago, Condessa said:

...Commercial banking, real estate and lending were racist, and that suppressed the development of generational wealth in minority communities.  But is it racist now?  Are these industries still placing roadblocks to minorities?  

Voting access had racial roadblocks placed for many years, but does it now?  A certain position makes claims about ID requirements and policies against handing out water in line as racist policies, but the only way that holds up is if you honestly believe minorities are less capable of acquiring an ID or bringing their own water.  Are there any actual racist roadblocks to voting access now?  

In education practices, the most common form of racist practice seems to be of the lessened expectation type (which is actually pushed by some proponents of CRT, such as in this math educator course promoted by the OR department of education https://equitablemath.org/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery that says making kids do independent work and show their work in math class are symptomatic of white supremacy).  In higher education, actual concrete policies at many schools favor most minorities while impeding Asian students with an actual racist policy.  Are there policies or practices in place in our country actually seeking to impede other minorities’ educational progress?

 We cannot logically assume that anytime there are disparate outcomes between races, it must be caused by racism.  Correlation does not indicate causation.  If it did, disproportionate rates of incarceration between genders would indicate that men are being overwhelmingly oppressed with unjust mass imprisonment, which is ridiculous.  This doesn’t mean that the cause isn’t racism, either, but we have to actually show evidence of that, not just teach it as gospel to be accepted on faith.  

Correlation can also be caused by other factors; for example, the strongest statistical correlation between an environmental factor and poor educational outcomes, juvenile delinquency, criminal behavior, and incarceration is the lack of an intact family with the biological father in the home.  Doesn’t it stand to reason, then, that communities where this home situation is less common would have higher rates of these problems?

Other posters have already spoken to aspects of this question, but to add a bit:

  • Current housing market: researchers using "paired testing" (using pairs of people submitting applications, with all financial & other information identical except the test-category) have rather consistently found significant differences in whose applications are accepted in the apartment rental market (prior link), the home insurance market, and the mortgage market.
  • Voter access: There are many elements of voter access beyond the discrepancies in what voter ID is accepted that you cite, and the differences in on-the-ground practice in what ID is actually demanded of whites/blacks showing up to vote that @Big Buckin' Longhorn  described upthread.  There have been verified instances of voter roll purges that overwhelmingly affect voters of one party or with "minority-sounding" names. There have been districts gerrymandered with what state and federal courts have deemed "surgical precision" to pack black voters densely so to dilute their impact.  Vastly unequal distribution of polling stations and allocation of funding to operate them result in hours-long wait at the polls for some and breezy minutes in and out for others, a pattern that has been statistically verified by analysis of smartphone data.
  • Education: The aftermath of Brown v BoE saw the rise of "school choice" and charter schools, which enabled a new form of segregation to arise.  Even within mainline public education, there are vast disparities in per capita funding, which (in large measure as a result of how schools are funded, which I recall your mentioning yourself in another post) map neatly to the % of minorities by district. As well we've discussed pretty extensively in this thread how on-the-ground differences in expectations can yield devastating effects.
  • Law enforcement, prosecutorial discretion, and sentencing: You didn't mention these interlocking systems and structures, but beyond the appalling one-off stories like George Floyd's, there have been extensive studies uncovering extensive racial differences at each of these stages.

You are absolutely correct that correlation does not equal causation.

There are three ways to evaluate such patterns. One is The Singular Heart Method: to define racism solely and singularly as an individual matter of individual "heart," such that unless there is a substantiated record of some actor along the way that specifies RACE as a criteria (as in the North Carolina gerrymander case)... any "pattern" is just coincidental.  Another, related but not identical, is the Colorblind Doctrine Method: to define as a premise that racism is all in our past, and so even to LOOK for race-based patterns is, itself, racist; and even to ask LE or prosecutors or courts to keep records of the race of people wending through the system is, itself, racist because only individuals matter.  And the third is to Keep Looking and Evaluating.  The critics of CRT are correct in their furious mischaracterization about CRT's "premise" insofar as looking for patterns does, indeed, belie a premise that maybe there are patterns there to be found.

ETA: The first of these, the Singular Heart Method, defines vast disparities in collective outcomes entirely away, as immaterial. If home ownership among whites is nearly twice that of blacks... well, that is surely due solely as a matter of Individual preference, or habits, or some other solely-individual factor. It defines any differences in collective outcomes as solely the fallout of individual choices.  The second of the three, the Colorblind Doctrine, is to define *the very looking for patterns* to be, itself, racist.  You know what's racist?  Talking about race, that's what's racist!  And the third, Keep Looking and Evaluating, posits that maybe there's something there, that we can learn from and from there do better.

 

As a great number of pp have already covered extensively, actual critical theory (of any content area) is not something that middle school kids, let alone younger ones, have the background knowledge or developmental capacity to begin to do. 

But *this sort of practice* is developmentally appropriate:

4 hours ago, Harpymom said:

...When I taught a group of 5, 6, and 7th graders US History, one of my main goals for this age was to avoid defaulting to White. What I mean by that is making sure that when the class talked about "what was happening when" we asked "who" also - when the Lowell girls were striking, were they White?  All races? When women wore certain types of dresses, was it all women? Enslaved women?  Then just kept going or else got more involved if a student engaged with it.  Without spending much time on it, I wanted these kids to remember, when they got to higher level history learning in the future, to question the default assumption of Whiteness in historical thinking.  Was this a worth-while pedagogical theory?  I don't know, but I do know that my own dd who was in the class now "questions the narrative" with both ease and grace.

and this sort of coverage of "difficult" content is developmentally appropriate:

 


 

But we're coming from a baseline that is *nowhere within shouting distance* of those kinds of developmentally appropriate coverage.

We're coming from a baseline where coverage of the historical fact that many founding fathers owned slaves evokes fury to a sizeable segment of our nation. Where coverage of the historical fact that the Constitutional Congress spent months hammering out a wobbly framework that enabled slavery to persist, including a provision that kinda-sorta counted 3/5 of slaves as "people" for a purpose that sustained white power but definitely didn't count them as people in other regards. Where the plain statement that the Civil War was "about slavery" evokes fury. Where coverage of the historical fact that the Confederate flag is a symbol of white supremacy, from the time of the Civil War, through its use by the KKK during the lynching era and again during the Civil Rights era and again in Charlottesville right through January 6, evokes fury. 

And where episodes like Tulsa have NOT been taught in most schools.  Let alone how the combination of poll taxes & grandfather clauses were only the first of a VERY LONG and EVOLVING series of de jure and de facto measures that have disproportionately limited black and brown voter access to the vote.

We have had every one of these debates, extensively, right on these boards. Not one of these issues is settled history, solidly in our past.

And so whether the definition of "racIST" is mostly-individual or mostly-institutional... doesn't matter. Either way, this is our history.

And also, it is our present.

And also, it will be our future, until we get over the feelz and manage to grapple with it.

 

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18 minutes ago, Carol in Cal. said:

An excellent point regarding ‘content knowledge’.

I think to some extent this goes back to whether teachers are typically/exclusively the ‘best and brightest’ of a group.  When my grandmother was a teacher, around 1910, teaching was the highest occupation that a woman could aspire to, and there were high standards of knowledge, conduct, and skill involved as requirements for it.  People generally did not try to become teachers unless they were already viewed as very capable and to some extent superior.

Once women started to get opportunities to move into fields that had been reserved only for men, then teaching was a field that competed with other fields for candidates, and that reduce the pool enough to reduce the quality of the average applicant.

There are absolutely still outstanding teachers, but now there are also some poorly qualified ones as well.  

I think that teachers’ colleges tend to assume content knowledge and teach pedagogy, which is no longer reasonable.  

Have you looked at any BS/BA in Education requirements for teaching degrees?

bc that is not true in many, if not most cases. 

For an elementary education degree, generally K-5, courses are more generalized bc a elementary teacher most likely will be teaching “all the subjects.” There are exceptions, like art or gym, if available. Also, some schools have specialists in reading and math...but in general, an elementary Ed degree requires classes like...teaching reading K-5, teaching science K-5, teaching social studies K-5. 

There is usually more than 1 class required for teaching each subject, especially reading.

then, moving on to middle school...most colleges offer “extensions” where an el Ed major can focus on a particular subject, be it math, science, social studies...these are content classes and it is as many as 18-24 credits in content classes to earn an extension.

For high school, teachers specialize in a subject. Biology, English, Spanish, Math...Most of colleges require about 36 hours at least of content, plus education courses.

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1 hour ago, pinball said:

Have you looked at any BS/BA in Education requirements for teaching degrees?

bc that is not true in many, if not most cases. 

For an elementary education degree, generally K-5, courses are more generalized bc a elementary teacher most likely will be teaching “all the subjects.” There are exceptions, like art or gym, if available. Also, some schools have specialists in reading and math...but in general, an elementary Ed degree requires classes like...teaching reading K-5, teaching science K-5, teaching social studies K-5. 

There is usually more than 1 class required for teaching each subject, especially reading.

then, moving on to middle school...most colleges offer “extensions” where an el Ed major can focus on a particular subject, be it math, science, social studies...these are content classes and it is as many as 18-24 credits in content classes to earn an extension.

For high school, teachers specialize in a subject. Biology, English, Spanish, Math...Most of colleges require about 36 hours at least of content, plus education courses.

Those elementary classes teach the HOW, not the WHAT and, in practice, include a lot of projects. Ever wonder how it is that teachers know how to make all of those awesome displays? It’s literally taught in teacher ed programs. Content is the WHAT and not all states require it in the areas you teach even for high school certification. A minor is often more than adequate. I could qualify as a certified French teacher and I haven’t studied or regularly spoken the language in years. The requirements are very weak, especially when compared to other industrialized countries.

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39 minutes ago, Carol in Cal. said:

An excellent point regarding ‘content knowledge’.

I think to some extent this goes back to whether teachers are typically/exclusively the ‘best and brightest’ of a group.  When my grandmother was a teacher, around 1910, teaching was the highest occupation that a woman could aspire to, and there were high standards of knowledge, conduct, and skill involved as requirements for it.  People generally did not try to become teachers unless they were already viewed as very capable and to some extent superior.

Once women started to get opportunities to move into fields that had been reserved only for men, then teaching was a field that competed with other fields for candidates, and that reduce the pool enough to reduce the quality of the average applicant.

There are absolutely still outstanding teachers, but now there are also some poorly qualified ones as well.  

I think that teachers’ colleges tend to assume content knowledge and teach pedagogy, which is no longer reasonable.  

The teachers in my family began in the late 60s/70s when opportunities were limited for smart women of color. They, too, were amazing educators and advised my parents about what to do for me. They’re all retired now tho.

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51 minutes ago, Sneezyone said:

 

Similarly, the decline in marriage cannot JUST be attributed to welfare policies. Benefits that one must REQUEST, not be offered. That kind of discussion requires more nuance.

https://www.brookings.edu/research/an-analysis-of-out-of-wedlock-births-in-the-united-states/

No, welfare is not the ONLY cause. It certainly played a big part.

I do think it is odd that there was no mention from our (3 siblings + me) PS that we qualified for free lunch. The pediatrician's office surely knew about our situation and that we qualified for welfare/food stamps etc. and afaik never suggested to mom to apply. I do recall my mom helping another single mom (CNA who obviously made less $ than mom) who was told she did not qualify for food stamps after she did request them. This woman had 3 kids and had taken in her elderly parents as well.

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6 minutes ago, Fritz said:

No, welfare is not the ONLY cause. It certainly played a big part.

I do think it is odd that there was no mention from our (3 siblings + me) PS that we qualified for free lunch. The pediatrician's office surely knew about our situation and that we qualified for welfare/food stamps etc. and afaik never suggested to mom to apply. I do recall my mom helping another single mom (CNA who obviously made less $ than mom) who was told she did not qualify for food stamps after she did request them. This woman had 3 kids and had taken in her elderly parents as well.

Pride. It plays a role. Assistance must be requested. The forms go to parents. We still, today, have parents that refuse/decline help.

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2 minutes ago, Sneezyone said:

Pride. It plays a role. Assistance must be requested. The forms go to parents. We still, today, have parents that refuse/decline help.

As I said afaik. She may have known and chosen not to ask. That wouldn't really surprise me. If those forms were dependent on my siblings and I bringing them home from school she likely never saw them. We were latchkey kids. She was gone to work before we woke up and didn't get home until we were home from school. The schools never saw my mom's signature on anything. We learned early to forge her name rather than get in trouble at school for not remembering to get forms signed the night before 🙂.

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26 minutes ago, Plum said:

One thing that nagging me is why do we have checkboxes on forms for race? What purpose does it serve? In employment? In housing? In medical records? Are there places where race is relevant and places where it isn’t? 

That seems like an easy fix to a lot of the systemic racism discussed here. We are all data points now. As hard as I try to cling onto the last few shreds of privacy left in this world, I can’t escape it. So if algorithms are inherently biased because of who designed them, then perhaps removing some of the identifiers will help balance the results? Is that too simple? If race doesn’t exist, then why do we need to have the checkboxes? 

It’s also a way to track disparities. It’s even easier to do nothing if there’s no evidence of problems. The forms that request that info are SUPPOSED to be separate from decision-making. There are no easy fixes for problems hundreds of years in the making.

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28 minutes ago, Plum said:

One thing that nagging me is why do we have checkboxes on forms for race? What purpose does it serve? In employment? In housing? In medical records? Are there places where race is relevant and places where it isn’t? 

That seems like an easy fix to a lot of the systemic racism discussed here. We are all data points now. As hard as I try to cling onto the last few shreds of privacy left in this world, I can’t escape it. So if algorithms are inherently biased because of who designed them, then perhaps removing some of the identifiers will help balance the results? Is that too simple? If race doesn’t exist, then why do we need to have the checkboxes? 

Because without evidence it's even easier to dismiss a problem.  Too many people think that if they don't see it or experience it that racism isn't a real systemic problem.  If we could fix it without gathering evidence it would be fixed by now.  People need proof and eliminating data buries that evidence.

I watched one of the links in the OP . . . the one where they interviewed the two moms.  They didn't SAY anything.  I don't understand how they were allowed to be on the air.  It sounded like they think CRT is a curriculum; the same way some people think common core is a curriculum. They poured through the budget and saw line items for CRT teacher training.  Do they think all professional development classes make it to the scope and sequence of the classroom? Then they went off on how their children shouldn't be SJWs.  How is that not Civics?  Civics isn't new. I WANT to understand their beef, but they're not articulating it very well.  It was almost like whoever put them on the air wasn't even on their side.

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9 hours ago, SKL said:

Actually I think most if not all of the readers here are aware that the Jewish community is not monolithic, and would have applied that knowledge in reading Plum's post.

You're deflecting. You've made two claims here that are not supported by any evidence. There are two things that you wanted to believe as a white person with concerns about CRT. First, that many of other people who are opposed to CRT are not white and second, that many non-white people are opposed to CRT. 

Those are nice things to believe. Obviously, many other people want to believe that too. That's why we are seeing these articles about non-white people who are opposed to CRT. 

We're all guilty of this kind of behavior. There's always a need to appeal to some of authority. It's like how people claim that their doctor isn't getting the COVID vaccine. (UPDATED Coronavirus tracker: More than 96% of physicians fully vaccinated against COVID-19, AMA survey shows)

But actually there isn't any evidence that anyone can cite. It's all anecdotal at this point. Which means that we should acknowledge that it's our own opinion and not for anecdotes that support our opinions. 

 

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1 hour ago, pinball said:

Have you looked at any BS/BA in Education requirements for teaching degrees?

bc that is not true in many, if not most cases. 

For an elementary education degree, generally K-5, courses are more generalized bc a elementary teacher most likely will be teaching “all the subjects.” There are exceptions, like art or gym, if available. Also, some schools have specialists in reading and math...but in general, an elementary Ed degree requires classes like...teaching reading K-5, teaching science K-5, teaching social studies K-5. 

 

I honestly don't know much about how k-5 teachers in my area are taught, but I do know the outcome, and it has a lot to do with why they aren't teaching my kids anymore.

Teachers are apparently not taught anything about phonics, or effective ways to teach reading, and universally (well, here at least), think phonics means "try to sound it out, good luck".  Whole language is still a thing.  Math instruction is even more of a mess, and our school district seems to flip flop around math curricula every couple of years. I've been super happy with Singapore math myself, and seen the results first hand, and if I can learn to teach this, seems like any reasonable person ought to be able to.

What the teachers have learned in college is no end of education jargon and buzzwords.  I'm not going to back and check my copy of WTM, but I bet that nowhere in that book are the terms "Formative" or "Summative" assessment.

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You know, here's how I see it in the end...

Teachers and public schools are a massive mixed bag. We all know that all kinds of things get messed up when in the implementation level. Most teachers are intelligent, wonderful people who had to jump through a lot of hoops to get into the classroom. But who have to do a LOT and are constantly under siege from "the latest thing" and who bring their own biases to the table. That's all just true no matter what program or total lack of program is implemented - meaning that no matter what is done, some teachers will teach racism and a few will mess up and make some white kid think there's something wrong with being white. That's the fallibility of human teachers.

CRT is an academic lens meant for looking at systems in a critical way in academia. No one is advocating that it be taught that way to little kids.

The more basic idea that we all have privileges we can be aware of, that racism can be everywhere, that it's something we need to actively be aware of, and that intentions and actions/results don't always match up... is all stuff that many, many people have been successful in teaching young children (and older ones) in a variety of ways to all sorts of groups. It's not academia, phd material. It does not make white kids feel guilty, just aware. 

People who are more concerned that somehow teachers are going to get a good attempt wrong than they are about the current lack of guidance and willingness to address one of the foundational issues in American history, culture, politics, and society in our education system are enabling racism. When you're more worried that some teacher will mess up and make some hypothetical poor white kid feel guilty about being white than you are that the system blindly perpetuating bias in a million little ways - something that is not at all hypothetical, but borne out in all sorts of data, then you're focused on the wrong problem.

Obviously, it's absolutely worth it to discuss these issues, continually engage in teacher education, examine and refine what we're doing, and try to get it right. But it's not threatening or guilting white folks to say that white people have advantages that we have no control over and that just being aware of that helps us be better allies. My white kids got that from a very young age. They don't feel guilty about being white. It hasn't hurt them a bit. They're fine.

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1 hour ago, Fritz said:

No, welfare is not the ONLY cause. It certainly played a big part.

I do think it is odd that there was no mention from our (3 siblings + me) PS that we qualified for free lunch. The pediatrician's office surely knew about our situation and that we qualified for welfare/food stamps etc. and afaik never suggested to mom to apply. I do recall my mom helping another single mom (CNA who obviously made less $ than mom) who was told she did not qualify for food stamps after she did request them. This woman had 3 kids and had taken in her elderly parents as well.

In the case of your mom’s friend the reason for disqualification might have been the assets/income of the elderly parents. I know my sister’s daughter didn’t qualify for free or reduced lunch when they were living with my retired parents because the assets/income of the household, not just the parent, was considered. No one had much $, but it was enough when all combined to disqualify her.
 

We qualified for virtually all family support when my husband was in grad school and our son was born. We were aware of all it because most student families around us used it, but we chose not to apply. But the only mention anyone in a professional or official capacity ever made of it was when our pediatrician suggested we do immunizations at the county health department to save on the appointment fee. Nothing about WIC,  health insurance, etc. from anyone.

It seems like the more concerted effort to make people aware of all the benefits they might qualify for in a more coordinated way is more recent. In some places now they even try to have pediatrician offices promote things like the EITC. And some schools have gone to everyone gets free meals.
 

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26 minutes ago, Plum said:

 


As a white person, I don’t believe my opinion carries nearly as much weight in this matter as a POC. Listening to those that have experienced racism or lived through atrocities, they have a more meaningful perspective than I do. And when people who do live it every day make an argument against something that is supposed to be designed to help them, I want to know more. It’s just my way of figuring where I land on this. I am not purposely seeking out minority dissenters. I just find their reasoning to be the most compelling. It’s not easy to speak up. Period. 
 

 

There's POC on this thread giving opinions on this. Why would people on tv carry more weight? I know that there is no monolithic perspective that any minority group of any type (gender, race, ethnicity, religion, etc) has on most political issues. There's always diversity of opinions and political beliefs within groups. We had organized groups of women against women's suffrage! I tend to give more weight to the consensus opinion than that of the outliers if I'm not a member of a group.

As far as CRT- I think it's the new bogeyman- the new common core, evolution, sex ed, or gender studies that function as the trendy target of the day. I think there are good programs and bad programs. I think good programs should be celebrated and bad programs shouldn't be taught. I think parents who are upset with a program should address the specifics of the curriculum and attack it rather than seeing theoretical CRT as their enemy. On the other hand, it's hardly surprising that there's a backlash. CRT is inherently subversive. It asks people to look at society and the systems of power and control and to critically think about why it is the way it is and to see the shadows and skeletons behind the curtains. Kids may learn to question authority, question laws, question systems, philosophies, etc.  

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3 hours ago, Pam in CT said:

re Structures and Systems: All in the Past, or Ongoing Today?

Other posters have already spoken to aspects of this question, but to add a bit:

  • Current housing market: researchers using "paired testing" (using pairs of people submitting applications, with all financial & other information identical except the test-category) have rather consistently found significant differences in whose applications are accepted in the apartment rental market (prior link), the home insurance market, and the mortgage market.
  • Voter access: There are many elements of voter access beyond the discrepancies in what voter ID is accepted that you cite, and the differences in on-the-ground practice in what ID is actually demanded of whites/blacks showing up to vote that @Big Buckin' Longhorn  described upthread.  There have been verified instances of voter roll purges that overwhelmingly affect voters of one party or with "minority-sounding" names. There have been districts gerrymandered with what state and federal courts have deemed "surgical precision" to pack black voters densely so to dilute their impact.  Vastly unequal distribution of polling stations and allocation of funding to operate them result in hours-long wait at the polls for some and breezy minutes in and out for others, a pattern that has been statistically verified by analysis of smartphone data.
  • Education: The aftermath of Brown v BoE saw the rise of "school choice" and charter schools, which enabled a new form of segregation to arise.  Even within mainline public education, there are vast disparities in per capita funding, which (in large measure as a result of how schools are funded, which I recall your mentioning yourself in another post) map neatly to the % of minorities by district. As well we've discussed pretty extensively in this thread how on-the-ground differences in expectations can yield devastating effects.
  • Law enforcement, prosecutorial discretion, and sentencing: You didn't mention these interlocking systems and structures, but beyond the appalling one-off stories like George Floyd's, there have been extensive studies uncovering extensive racial differences at each of these stages.

You are absolutely correct that correlation does not equal causation.

There are three ways to evaluate such patterns. One is The Singular Heart Method: to define racism solely and singularly as an individual matter of individual "heart," such that unless there is a substantiated record of some actor along the way that specifies RACE as a criteria (as in the North Carolina gerrymander case)... any "pattern" is just coincidental.  Another, related but not identical, is the Colorblind Doctrine Method: to define as a premise that racism is all in our past, and so even to LOOK for race-based patterns is, itself, racist; and even to ask LE or prosecutors or courts to keep records of the race of people wending through the system is, itself, racist because only individuals matter.  And the third is to Keep Looking and Evaluating.  The critics of CRT are correct in their furious mischaracterization about CRT's "premise" insofar as looking for patterns does, indeed, belie a premise that maybe there are patterns there to be found.

ETA: The first of these, the Singular Heart Method, defines vast disparities in collective outcomes entirely away, as immaterial. If home ownership among whites is nearly twice that of blacks... well, that is surely due solely as a matter of Individual preference, or habits, or some other solely-individual factor. It defines any differences in collective outcomes as solely the fallout of individual choices.  The second of the three, the Colorblind Doctrine, is to define *the very looking for patterns* to be, itself, racist.  You know what's racist?  Talking about race, that's what's racist!  And the third, Keep Looking and Evaluating, posits that maybe there's something there, that we can learn from and from there do better.

 

As a great number of pp have already covered extensively, actual critical theory (of any content area) is not something that middle school kids, let alone younger ones, have the background knowledge or developmental capacity to begin to do. 

But *this sort of practice* is developmentally appropriate:

and this sort of coverage of "difficult" content is developmentally appropriate:

 


 

But we're coming from a baseline that is *nowhere within shouting distance* of those kinds of developmentally appropriate coverage.

We're coming from a baseline where coverage of the historical fact that many founding fathers owned slaves evokes fury to a sizeable segment of our nation. Where coverage of the historical fact that the Constitutional Congress spent months hammering out a wobbly framework that enabled slavery to persist, including a provision that kinda-sorta counted 3/5 of slaves as "people" for a purpose that sustained white power but definitely didn't count them as people in other regards. Where the plain statement that the Civil War was "about slavery" evokes fury. Where coverage of the historical fact that the Confederate flag is a symbol of white supremacy, from the time of the Civil War, through its use by the KKK during the lynching era and again during the Civil Rights era and again in Charlottesville right through January 6, evokes fury. 

And where episodes like Tulsa have NOT been taught in most schools.  Let alone how the combination of poll taxes & grandfather clauses were only the first of a VERY LONG and EVOLVING series of de jure and de facto measures that have disproportionately limited black and brown voter access to the vote.

We have had every one of these debates, extensively, right on these boards. Not one of these issues is settled history, solidly in our past.

And so whether the definition of "racIST" is mostly-individual or mostly-institutional... doesn't matter. Either way, this is our history.

And also, it is our present.

And also, it will be our future, until we get over the feelz and manage to grapple with it.

 

I agree with all of this post. I know that there are hurdles that POC face that I just don't register becaues I'm white. I know that we all have inherent biases and that it's good for all of us to examine ours to see how we might change them and overcome them, especially those who like me enjoy a privileged position in society. I try really hard to highlight the injustices in the past and in the present when I teach my kids about history and about current events. But I really have a question about the bolded. (not just to you, PaminCT)

I do NOT think the problem of racism has been "solved" or that it's only a historical problem. I do NOT think that the pattern of discrimination we can see in these examples is coincidental or accidental. It's obvious that racism is a factor. Duh. But I really struggle with saying that the system itself is racist. I fully realize in history that it was. But we've had equal protection for a long time now, and so it seems to me that the reason we still have racism and these disparate outcomes is because racist people are applying the laws unequally, and apprently there are still a lot of racists out there or these would be isolated cases. But if the individuals implementing the system - the banker who denys the mortgages, the realtor who shows different houses to different races, the election worker who asks POC for ID but not the white people, the LEO who is more provacative and violent with POC, the judge who makes the sentencing decision, etc. - if each of those individuals was not a racist, or was consciously working on trying to overcome their biases - then the current system itself, the current laws themselves, wouldn't be racist, would they? If they were applied equally in fact as they are supposed to be on paper? So doesn't that in some sense make it true that it's actually an Individual Heart Problem?

I get overwhelmed thinking about changing an entire system that I have very little control over anyway. I may be white and privileged, but I'm under no illusions that I have much power or clout when it comes to politics. Most of us don't. But changing individual people's hearts, one at a time - that's something that makes me feel like I can make a difference. Or am I just being stupid and obtuse??? I honestly can't tell ... but this is what makes sense to my brain.

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2 hours ago, Plum said:

as I said upthread I don’t speak woke so I expect this might run people wrong but please try to hear what I’m trying to say  


As a white person, I don’t believe my opinion carries nearly as much weight in this matter as a POC. Listening to those that have experienced racism or lived through atrocities, they have a more meaningful perspective than I do. And when people who do live it every day make an argument against something that is supposed to be designed to help them, I want to know more. It’s just my way of figuring where I land on this. I am not purposely seeking out minority dissenters. I just find their reasoning to be the most compelling. It’s not easy to speak up. Period. 
 

The few Black critics I’ve seen and read about are really saying that what the school systems were doing was not CRT. They are bastardizing it. It’s supposed to be a lens not the lens. And anyone teaching that take it to an individual and not systemic level is teaching it wrong. 
 

I gotta go now. 

What does the bolded even mean? Don't you think this discussion deserves a little bit better than that? That's dismissive and what does it even mean? 

You may not be purposefully seeking out minority dissenters but the minority dissenter opinions are being presented to you. The minority voices that agree with the majority are usually amplified. 

 

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29 minutes ago, Momto6inIN said:

I agree with all of this post. I know that there are hurdles that POC face that I just don't register becaues I'm white. I know that we all have inherent biases and that it's good for all of us to examine ours to see how we might change them and overcome them, especially those who like me enjoy a privileged position in society. I try really hard to highlight the injustices in the past and in the present when I teach my kids about history and about current events. But I really have a question about the bolded. (not just to you, PaminCT)

I do NOT think the problem of racism has been "solved" or that it's only a historical problem. I do NOT think that the pattern of discrimination we can see in these examples is coincidental or accidental. It's obvious that racism is a factor. Duh. But I really struggle with saying that the system itself is racist. I fully realize in history that it was. But we've had equal protection for a long time now, and so it seems to me that the reason we still have racism and these disparate outcomes is because racist people are applying the laws unequally, and apprently there are still a lot of racists out there or these would be isolated cases. But if the individuals implementing the system - the banker who denys the mortgages, the realtor who shows different houses to different races, the election worker who asks POC for ID but not the white people, the LEO who is more provacative and violent with POC, the judge who makes the sentencing decision, etc. - if each of those individuals was not a racist, or was consciously working on trying to overcome their biases - then the current system itself, the current laws themselves, wouldn't be racist, would they? If they were applied equally in fact as they are supposed to be on paper? So doesn't that in some sense make it true that it's actually an Individual Heart Problem?

I get overwhelmed thinking about changing an entire system that I have very little control over anyway. I may be white and privileged, but I'm under no illusions that I have much power or clout when it comes to politics. Most of us don't. But changing individual people's hearts, one at a time - that's something that makes me feel like I can make a difference. Or am I just being stupid and obtuse??? I honestly can't tell ... but this is what makes sense to my brain.

We members of the dominant culture (race, religion, sexuality, etc) have more power and clout than we think we do. We live in a democracy and we have a vote. We can support candidates who do not engage in racist language and/or support racist groups. 

But more importantly, we can listen. I see these debates play out within my religious circles all of the time. White Catholics talk themselves in circles and eventually end up discounting and ignoring the voices of black Catholics. But we can make an effort to listen to the voices of POC. 

 

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11 hours ago, Melissa Louise said:

So I'm not prepared to take it as read that if 'my' side is in favour, it's gotta be good. My side has been in favour of some dodgy things, lately. The left only has itself to blame when I'm not waving my pom poms, frankly. 

I feel you on that one. 

I'm a moderate through and through. I'm not a progressive. If the left becomes totally "progressive," whatever that means, I will have no one left to vote for. 

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3 hours ago, PaxEtLux said:

 

I honestly don't know much about how k-5 teachers in my area are taught, but I do know the outcome, and it has a lot to do with why they aren't teaching my kids anymore.

Teachers are apparently not taught anything about phonics, or effective ways to teach reading, and universally (well, here at least), think phonics means "try to sound it out, good luck".  Whole language is still a thing.  Math instruction is even more of a mess, and our school district seems to flip flop around math curricula every couple of years. I've been super happy with Singapore math myself, and seen the results first hand, and if I can learn to teach this, seems like any reasonable person ought to be able to.

What the teachers have learned in college is no end of education jargon and buzzwords.  I'm not going to back and check my copy of WTM, but I bet that nowhere in that book are the terms "Formative" or "Summative" assessment.

I completed my Master's in Education in 2011 (Old Dominion University). I had *entire* classes devoted to phonics and effective ways to teach reading. Not only entire classes, but in order to graduate I had to take a multiple-hour phonics & early-reading-specific summary exam (no books/materials allowed) on early reading development & instruction. There were also CE seminars on phonics and teaching reading strategies required for educators who received degrees before a certain year. This is not unusual anymore, and hasn't been for a number of years now.

Not that much of that education helped me, not when approximately 50% of my 4th-grade students were close to failing (& couldn't have cared less - that went for their parents as well), despite every intervention in the book. They came to school needing breakfast, with zero home support or help with homework or organization, with stories-ever-ready-to-spill-out about parents walking out the door & never returning, unexplained bruises, TVs that ran all night long in their shared bedroom, etc. etc. (BTW, at that time I worked in a suburban-ish school setting in a small conservative city in a Western state, not an urban school district.) You'd never know it from looking at the classroom from the outside what was going on in these kids' lives. 

Singapore Math was a disaster for my math-challenged daughter. It would also be a disaster for *many* public school students who struggle with conceptual learning, especially at younger grade levels.

Yes, public education is a mess (I'd also argue that the homeschool community has become a mess as well...I watched that massively degrade over the 10+ years we homeschooled), but having taught on-and-off in the public school system, I can say it has to be one of the most demoralizing jobs out there.

And it's not fair to make teachers the final stopgap for a failing society, but that's exactly what NCLB did and that's what many people consider them to be.

(Side note: I did/do have a bone to pick with the approximately 6,000 (/s) "evidence-based strategies" we had to learn in my M.Ed. (thanks to NCLB, which required the teaching of those), as we were often learning strategies without context, and brief descriptions of these strategies dominated the textbooks and assignments....it was overwhelming & unhelpful. Not to mention that trying to implement multiple strategies with 30 children in a classroom is often impossible.)

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17 minutes ago, Happy2BaMom said:

I completed my Master's in Education in 2011 (Old Dominion University). I had *entire* classes devoted to phonics and effective ways to teach reading. Not only entire classes, but in order to graduate I had to take a multiple-hour phonics & early-reading-specific summary exam (no books/materials allowed) on early reading development & instruction. There were also CE seminars on phonics and teaching reading strategies required for educators who received degrees before a certain year. This is not unusual anymore, and hasn't been for a number of years now.

Not that much of that education helped me, not when approximately 50% of my 4th-grade students were close to failing (& couldn't have cared less - that went for their parents as well), despite every intervention in the book. They came to school needing breakfast, with zero home support or help with homework or organization, with stories-ever-ready-to-spill-out about parents walking out the door & never returning, unexplained bruises, TVs that ran all night long in their shared bedroom, etc. etc. (BTW, at that time I worked in a suburban-ish school setting in a small conservative city in a Western state, not an urban school district.) You'd never know it from looking at the classroom from the outside what was going on in these kids' lives. 

That sounds terrible 😕 . Did anything at all help them? 

 

17 minutes ago, Happy2BaMom said:

Singapore Math was a disaster for my math-challenged daughter. It would also be a disaster for *many* public school students who struggle with conceptual learning, especially at younger grade levels.

I've never used Singapore and I'm honestly skeptical about what "conceptual" means, anyway... but I'm curious about what made it a disaster, if you don't mind me asking. 

 

17 minutes ago, Happy2BaMom said:

Yes, public education is a mess (I'd also argue that the homeschool community has become a mess as well...I watched that massively degrade over the 10+ years we homeschooled), but having taught on-and-off in the public school system, I can say it has to be one of the most demoralizing jobs out there.

And it's not fair to make teachers the final stopgap for a failing society, but that's exactly what NCLB did and that's what many people consider them to be.

(Side note: I did/do have a bone to pick with the approximately 6,000 (/s) "evidence-based strategies" we had to learn in my M.Ed. (thanks to NCLB, which required the teaching of those), as we were often learning strategies without context, and brief descriptions of these strategies dominated the textbooks and assignments....it was overwhelming & unhelpful. Not to mention that trying to implement multiple strategies with 30 children in a classroom is often impossible.)

What was considered an "evidence-based strategy," anyway? 

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2 hours ago, Not_a_Number said:

I feel you on that one. 

I'm a moderate through and through. I'm not a progressive. If the left becomes totally "progressive," whatever that means, I will have no one left to vote for. 

In the last decade or so, I've developed a better appreciation for the impure society, in which small c conservative, moderate, liberal, leftist and progressive thought must jostle. 

When one school of thought wants to slam the Overton window shut, or open it up completely, or jealously guard a 2cm opening, the jostling seems to work to bring the window back or forward to a compromise position. Sometimes erring closer to closure, sometimes to open, sometimes remaining where it is. 

As much as I'd like 100% of my preferred policies enacted now and forever more, I can see that society can't work that way and remain stable. 

(Although of course I think my way is the best!)

 

 

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1 hour ago, Not_a_Number said:

That sounds terrible 😕 . Did anything at all help them? 

 

I've never used Singapore and I'm honestly skeptical about what "conceptual" means, anyway... but I'm curious about what made it a disaster, if you don't mind me asking. 

 

What was considered an "evidence-based strategy," anyway? 

Not much time here, but I'll do what I can.....(in order)....

Repetitively pounding on some basics day after day did help. Reading to them (from books I used in homeschooling) helped a lot, as they loved hearing whole stories. But it was very difficult to make massive jumps when so many of them just weren't interested & my day was SO scripted by the materials I had to use and the amount of info we had to cover. So....it was possible to make some progress, but most of them still finished the year with C's & D's. It was fairly common for my fellow M.Ed. students to be working in classrooms where ~50% of the kids were considered academically at risk or failing.

I don't know if there is one agreed-upon definition of conceptual, but in general (for math), conceptual focuses on the "why's" or 'big ideas', 'going deep', rather than, say, focusing on memorizing isolated facts, formulas, etc. (you can google for more info on SM) The problem is that some students, particularly in the elementary years - esp if they have LDs or challenges, get completely lost because they are still literal thinkers. My son sailed through 6 years of SM. LOVED it. My daughter understood / learned *nothing* from it. Couldn't understand it at all, found it very frustrating. Tried it twice - once in first, once in 4th...didn't work at all either time.

Hahaha. Good question. "Evidence-based strategy" is straight from NCLB, and I don't remember if it was fully detailed in the legislation. The textbooks basically summarized the strategies which other teachers had successfully used in classrooms, demonstrated by their students moving a certain # of points on standardized tests following said strategies. These results were documented in papers by educational researchers and thus ended up in M Ed textbooks.

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1 hour ago, Happy2BaMom said:

I completed my Master's in Education in 2011 (Old Dominion University). I had *entire* classes devoted to phonics and effective ways to teach reading. Not only entire classes, but in order to graduate I had to take a multiple-hour phonics & early-reading-specific summary exam (no books/materials allowed) on early reading development & instruction. There were also CE seminars on phonics and teaching reading strategies required for educators who received degrees before a certain year. This is not unusual anymore, and hasn't been for a number of years now.

Not that much of that education helped me, not when approximately 50% of my 4th-grade students were close to failing (& couldn't have cared less - that went for their parents as well), despite every intervention in the book. They came to school needing breakfast, with zero home support or help with homework or organization, with stories-ever-ready-to-spill-out about parents walking out the door & never returning, unexplained bruises, TVs that ran all night long in their shared bedroom, etc. etc. (BTW, at that time I worked in a suburban-ish school setting in a small conservative city in a Western state, not an urban school district.) You'd never know it from looking at the classroom from the outside what was going on in these kids' lives. 

Singapore Math was a disaster for my math-challenged daughter. It would also be a disaster for *many* public school students who struggle with conceptual learning, especially at younger grade levels.

Yes, public education is a mess (I'd also argue that the homeschool community has become a mess as well...I watched that massively degrade over the 10+ years we homeschooled), but having taught on-and-off in the public school system, I can say it has to be one of the most demoralizing jobs out there.

And it's not fair to make teachers the final stopgap for a failing society, but that's exactly what NCLB did and that's what many people consider them to be.

(Side note: I did/do have a bone to pick with the approximately 6,000 (/s) "evidence-based strategies" we had to learn in my M.Ed. (thanks to NCLB, which required the teaching of those), as we were often learning strategies without context, and brief descriptions of these strategies dominated the textbooks and assignments....it was overwhelming & unhelpful. Not to mention that trying to implement multiple strategies with 30 children in a classroom is often impossible.)

It's a bit baby and bathwater. Among those strategies truly evidence based, some of them work in context. We wouldn't have the focus on phonics without the 'war' - phonics won out because it can be shown to be effective.

I feel for you though. The achievement gap between my remedial phonics students is stark. Those with parents who can reinforce one on one at home rapidly catch up to grade level or close. Those who can't or don't, really struggle, even with remediation. 

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5 minutes ago, Happy2BaMom said:

Not much time here, but I'll do what I can.....(in order)....

Repetitively pounding on some basics day after day did help. Reading to them (from books I used in homeschooling) helped a lot, as they loved hearing whole stories. But it was very difficult to make massive jumps when so many of them just weren't interested & my day was SO scripted by the materials I had to use and the amount of info we had to cover. So....it was possible to make some progress, but most of them still finished the year with C's & D's. It was fairly common for my fellow M.Ed. students to be working in classrooms where ~50% of the kids were considered academically at risk or failing.

That sounds really hard 😞 . Honestly, stories like this is why I've never thought about going into teaching, despite the fact that I really like teaching. 

 

Quote

I don't know if there is one agreed-upon definition of conceptual, but in general (for math), conceptual focuses on the "why's" or 'big ideas', 'going deep', rather than, say, focusing on memorizing isolated facts, formulas, etc. (you can google for more info on SM) The problem is that some students, particularly in the elementary years - esp if they have LDs or challenges, get completely lost because they are still literal thinkers. My son sailed through 6 years of SM. LOVED it. My daughter understood / learned *nothing* from it. Couldn't understand it at all, found it very frustrating. Tried it twice - once in first, once in 4th...didn't work at all either time.'

I think I undersold myself a bit here -- I know plenty about SM from having seen samples and read reviews. I just haven't used it because I've used nothing at all: I make things up as I go. 

I'm just curious what went wrong with your daughter -- like, what kinds of things was she not understanding? 

I definitely do focus on "big ideas" with kids I teach, or at least on... ideas? But somehow I've never had trouble communicating even with kids who seem to be struggling. That's why I'm always curious what goes wrong with supposedly conceptual programs. Do they just go too fast? Is their vision of what a concept is different from mine? 

 

Quote

Hahaha. Good question. "Evidence-based strategy" is straight from NCLB, and I don't remember if it was fully detailed in the legislation. The textbooks basically summarized the strategies which other teachers had successfully used in classrooms, demonstrated by their students moving a certain # of points on standardized tests following said strategies. These results were documented in papers by educational researchers and thus ended up in M Ed textbooks.

Sounds kind of silly. 

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3 minutes ago, Happy2BaMom said:

Not much time here, but I'll do what I can.....(in order)....

Repetitively pounding on some basics day after day did help. Reading to them (from books I used in homeschooling) helped a lot, as they loved hearing whole stories. But it was very difficult to make massive jumps when so many of them just weren't interested & my day was SO scripted by the materials I had to use and the amount of info we had to cover. So....it was possible to make some progress, but most of them still finished the year with C's & D's. It was fairly common my fellow M.Ed. students to be working in classrooms where ~50% of the kids were considered academically at risk or failing.

I don't know if there is one agreed-upon definition of conceptual, but in general (for math), conceptual focuses on the "why's" or 'big ideas', 'going deep', rather than, say, focusing on memorizing isolated facts, formulas, etc. (you can google for more info on SM) The problem is that some students, particularly in the elementary years - esp if they have LDs or challenges, get completely lost because they are still literal thinkers. My son sailed through 6 years of SM. LOVED it. My daughter understood / learned *nothing* from it. Couldn't understand it at all, found it very frustrating. Tried it twice - once in first, once in 4th...didn't work at all either time.

Hahaha. Good question. "Evidence-based strategy" is straight from NCLB, and I don't remember if it was fully detailed in the legislation. The textbooks basically summarized the strategies which other teachers had successfully used in classrooms, demonstrated by their students moving a certain # of points on standardized tests following said strategies. These results were documented in papers by educational researchers and thus ended up in M Ed textbooks.

That's not what I mean by evidence based. 

To me, having an evidence base means in replicable, experimental conditions, one variable is shown to make a significant difference to an outcome compared to no intervention or an alternative intervention. 

So in regards to racial justice education, that draws upon but perhaps over-simplifies CRT, and fails to communicate the systemic, instead focusing discussion on identity, including individual identities, I'd expect to see that it makes a significant and replicable difference to measures of systemic racism, as compared to no racial justice education, or alternative forms of racial justice education.

 

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To add, the above won't happen, however, because Western education is fad driven (well, Anglophone education, anyway).

It doesn't happen for most any other subject either, which is pretty poor. Teaching is an art, yes, but it's an art best practised using tools that actually work. 

 

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