Should schools have racial disciplinary quotas? For example, if a teacher has a class with 50% white students and 50% black students, should the list of students sent to the office or punished in any way also be 50-50?
That looks like what one of Obama's recent executive orders would lead to.
This is from the Daily Caller´s Obama Backs Race-Based School Discipline Policies (Neil Munro, The Daily Caller, July 27th, 2012):
President Barack Obama is backing a controversial campaign by progressives to regulate schools’ disciplinary actions so that members of major racial and ethnic groups are penalized at equal rates, regardless of individuals’ behavior. His July 26 executive order established a government panel to promote “a positive school climate that does not rely on methods that result in disparate use of disciplinary tools.”
So what's the reasoning behind this?
“African Americans lack equal access to highly effective teachers and principals, safe schools, and challenging college-preparatory classes, and they disproportionately experience school discipline,” said the order, titled “White House Initiative On Educational Excellence.” Because of those causes, the report suggests, “over a third of African American students do not graduate from high school on time with a regular high school diploma, and only four percent of African American high school graduates interested in college are college-ready across a range of subjects.”
There's a new commision being set up...
The order created a “President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans.” It will include senior officials from several federal agencies — including the Departments of Education, Justice and Labor — which have gained increased power over state education policies since 2009.
Unsurprisingly, Eric Holder has been involved in this issue.
In February, Attorney General Eric Holder claimed that “we’ve often seen that students of color, students from disadvantaged backgrounds, and students with special needs are disproportionately likely to be suspended or expelled.” “This is, quite simply, unacceptable. … These unnecessary and destructive policies must be changed,” he said in his speech, given in Atlanta, Ga.
But where's the beef?
Holder’s speech did not, however, include any evidence of discrimination toward any individual African-American student. For example, he offered no evidence that school infractions by African-American students prompt stiffer punishments than similar infractions by white, Hispanic or Asian students.
If black students and white students receive different punishments for the same infractions, they'd have a point. But if black students make more trouble in schools, they can expect to receive more punishments. However, the Executive Order is based on the specious reasoning now so rampant known as "Disparate Impact":
The progressive campaign to impose race-based rules on schools relies on various judges’ decisions, which penalize so-called “disparate impact” in hiring. According to progressive lawyers, “disparate impact” may occur when companies or state and local governments hire and promote people at rates different from their percentage in the local population. Because of judges’ decisions, juries can force companies and state agencies — such as city boards that hire police officers and firefighters — to pay heavy financial penalties to plaintiffs, even when hiring policies are recognized as color-blind.
Disciplinary racial quotas are already being instituted in Maryland.
The progressives campaign for race-based discipline policies also won a victory in Maryland July 24. The state’s board of education established a policy demanding that each racial or ethnic group receive roughly proportional level of school penalties, regardless of the behavior by members of each group. The board’s decision requires that “the state’s 24 school systems track data to ensure that minority and special education students are not unduly affected by suspensions, expulsions and other disciplinary measures,” said a July 25 Washington Post report. “Disparities would have to be reduced within a year and eliminated within three years,” according to the Post.The state’s new racial policy was welcomed by progressives, including Judith Browne Dianis, a director of the D.C.-based Advancement Project. “Maryland’s proposal is on the cutting edge,” she told the Post.
Yeah, the "cutting edge" of racial totalitarianism.
The article quotes some critics:
“What this means is that whites and Asians will get suspended for things that blacks don’t get suspended for,” because school officials will try to level punishments despite groups’ different infraction rates, predicted Hans Bader, a counsel at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Bader is a former official in the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights, and has sued and represented school districts and colleges in civil-rights cases.
“It is too bad that the president has chosen to set up a new bureaucracy with a focus on one particular racial group, to the exclusion of all others,” said Roger Clegg, the president of the Center for Equal Opportunity.
“A disproportionate share of crimes are committed by African Americans, and they are disproportionately likely to misbehave in school… [because] more than 7 out of 10 African Americans (72.5 percent) are born out of wedlock… versus fewer than 3 out of 10 whites,” he said in a statement to The Daily Caller. Although ” you won’t see it mentioned in the Executive Order… there is an obvious connection between these [marriage] numbers and how each group is doing educationally, economically, criminally,” he said.
How about the legal aspects?
In 1997, however, the Seventh Circuit appeals court barred the practice of racial balancing in school discipline to avoid disparate impact lawsuits, said Bader. Progressives say the “disparate impact” claims are supported by the 1964 Civil Right Act.
Critics, such as Clegg, say “disparate impact” law is used to trump popular and effective color-blind practices, such as civil-service tests by governments and employment-suitability testing by companies.
Today's educators have enough discipline problems without managing a system of racial quotas for who gets sent to the office or punished.
This is yet another reason we need to get Obama out of the Oval Office.