Dual Discipline Systems In Tucson Public Schools
September 26, 2009, 06:04 PM
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Columnist Doug MacEachern writes in the Arizona Republic:

Tucson schools create race-based system of discipline
It has been a busy summer for our friends running the Tucson Unified School District.

As always, the annual Institute for Transformative Education summer seminar, hosted by TUSD's amply funded Mexican/American raza-studies program, was fun. So much racial bitterness to obsess over.

Tim Wise, the ultra-angry Tulane University poli-sci grad who has made a great living finding racism under every doormat, was the featured speaker. Everyone was wowed.

Tim Wise is America's foremost Uncle Tim.

In a year in which hundreds of district teachers received pink slips, meanwhile, TUSD spent thousands on recruiting teachers from out of state. And it hired a coordinator at $80,000 per annum to lead the effort.

The recruiting was prompted by what is fast becoming the consuming passion of the TUSD governing board and its allies - to establish a corps of teachers that precisely mirrors the racial make-up of its heavily minority student population.

... This summer, the TUSD board adopted a "Post-Unitary Status Plan" that it expects will help the district escape a decades-old federal desegregation order. The plan includes increasing the number of minority teachers - per the summer hiring spree, which netted 14 special-education teachers and one math-science teacher.It also includes a vast expansion of the district's controversial Mexican-American studies program. Despite the budget-enforced closing of school libraries, the shuttering of arts and music programs and the layoff of teachers and counselors in other disciplines, the Post-Unitary Status Plan calls for a vigorous expansion of the program run by TUSD's happy band of unrepentant political leftists.

The board's plan also calls for changes intended (however counterproductive those plans may be) to improving the lot of minority students.

It wants to see more minority students enrolled in advanced-placement programs, for example - a laudable goal, certainly. But consider one significant part of the plan for "improving" the academic status of TUSD's Black and Hispanic students:

The board is calling for a two-tiered form of student discipline. One for Black and Hispanic students; one for everyone else.

With the goal of creating a "restorative school culture and climate" that conveys a "sense of belonging to all students," the board is insisting that its schools reduce its suspensions and/or expulsions of minority students to the point that the data reflect "no ethnic/racial disparities."

From the section of the 52-page plan titled "Restorative School Culture and Climate," subhead, "Discipline": "School data that show disparities in suspension/expulsion rates will be examined in detail for root causes. Special attention will be dedicated to data regarding African-American and Hispanic students."

... Offenses by students will be judged, and penalties meted out, depending on the student's hue. ... Some behavior will be met with strict penalties; some will not. It all depends on the color of the student's skin.

It is an invitation to chaos.

The funny thing is that after a number of years of disparate impact-based discipline, there won't be anybody except blacks and Hispanics left in the Tucson Unified School District.

Don't we need to de-unify school districts? Look how the San Gabriel Valley east of LA has prospered in recent decades because it has its own small school districts, while the more conveniently located San Fernando Valley has floundered under the control of the LAUSD.

One noteworthy feature of the Los Angeles Unified School District is that you can look up online every single school's suspension and expulsion statistics by race. For example, here is Canoga Park HS in the west San Fernando Valley. I wonder if this feature was dreamed up a discrimination lawyer and imposed as part of the settlement of a discrimination suit to make it easier to troll for more lawsuits? (The extremely deep pockets of LA's huge public institutions such as the LAUSD and the LAPD, combined with LA's many legally favored minorities and LA's swarms of LA Law-style Arnie Beckerish sleazy attorneys, such as the late Johnny Cochran, has made suing for discrimination a favorite retirement plan out here.)

Does anybody know whether charter schools are less attractive targets for discrimination lawsuits because they have shallower pockets?