MONDAY: Gotham's schools are worst in the nation again!

MONDAY, MAY 27, 2024

Except for the fact that they aren't: As usual, the headline was highly dramatic.

Indeed, so was the opening paragraph! We refer to the recent piece by Errol Louis for New York Magazine, which made the same old (bungled) claim about the New York City Public Schools. 

It's the nation's largest school system! Dramatic headline included, Louis' report started like this:

Why Are New York City Schools Still So Segregated?

The 70th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision, which outlawed racial segregation in public schools, came and went in New York with little official notice. Perhaps our leaders were embarrassed by the fact that our city has been cited for more than a decade as having the nation’s most racially segregated schools and has done little or nothing to implement dozens of reasonable proposals to move in the direction of integration.

“We have the outline, we have the blueprint. Integration is feasible. It’s within our reach,” says Nyah Berg, the executive director of New York Appleseed, a nonprofit organization that advocates for integrated schools around the state. I recently sat down with Berg and Matt Gonzales, who works at the Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools, a division of NYU’s graduate school of education. They are part of a growing movement of young researchers and advocates who are fed up with New York’s delays and dissembling on diversity.

In one way, the highlighted claim is accurate. 

It's true! For more than a decade, journalists have been advancing the dramatic claim that New York City is guilty of "having the nation’s most racially segregated schools."

Just as Louis does in his recent piece, these journalists have supported this eye-catching claim by linking to lengthy reports about "New York" from UCLA's Civil Rights Project. 

(In his opening paragraph, Louis links to the most recent of these lengthy reports, a report which appeared in 2021. That lengthy report was an update of UCLA's earlier effort, which appeared in 2014.)

These lengthy reports from UCLA have been relentlessly bungled in a remarkable number of ways. But just for the record, here's the first thing a reader saw if she clicked the link Louis provided—the link he provided in his opening paragraph in support of his dramatic claim:

Report Shows School Segregation in New York Remains Worst in Nation

A new report from the Civil Rights Project finds that New York retains its place as the most segregated state for black students, and second most segregated for Latino students, trailing only California. ...

Sad! Quite literally, that's the first thing a reader (or an editor) saw if she clicked the link Louis provided in support of his dramatic representation. Let's spell this problem out in the simplest way possible:

As everyone presumably knows, two different jurisdictions go by the name "New York." On the one hand, there's New York City—but there's also New York State. 

Right from the first sentence in the source to which Louis links, we see that the Civil Right Project is specifically referring to New York State when it clumsily says that school segregation in "New York" remains the "worst in the nation."

Specifically, the source report says that New York is "the most segregated state for black students." It then says that New York is "second most segregated for Latino students, trailing only California."

California is a state! Plainly, we're being told, accurately or otherwise, that school segregation is worst, among the fifty states, in the state of New York—in the large jurisdiction known as New York State

At this early point, we'll offer an obvious bit of advice to the academics at UCLA's Civil Rights Project. Our advice would be this:

If you're going to make dramatic claims about "New York," you need to be clear about which "New York" you mean! For our money, an editor at the Civil Rights Project should have amended the headline we've posted, making the headline say something like this:

Report Shows School Segregation in New York State Remains Worst in Nation

That might seem like an improbable claim. But at least that headline would have said which "New York" was under discussion.

Don't worry! Our journalists, being human, could almost surely find a way to misparaphrase that headline too! But one of the astonishing problems with UCLA's reports involves the persistent way the reports make references to "New York" without clearly stating which "New York" they mean.

Do they mean New York City, or are they referring to New York State? It's amazing to see the way these academics have helped create that sort of confusion through at least their last two giant reports.

Having said that, riddle us this:

Is it really true that New York State is the worst state in the nation when it comes to "school segregation?" That claim may seem surprising.

The claim turns on the extremely peculiar way the Civil Rights Project defines "school segregation." We'll try to explain that matter below. For now, we'll only tell you this:

If your fifth grader attends a school with the student population shown below, UCLA would tell you that your child was attending a "segregated school:"

Hypothetical Public School A:
White kids: 25%
Black kids: 25%
Hispanic kids: 25%
Asian-American kids: 25%

Actually, no—we aren't making that up! Under UCLA's definition of "school segregation," a child consigned to a hellhole like that is attending a "segregated school!"

Below, we'll run you through the way that works. For now, let's briefly be fair.

Briefly, let's be fair! The first paragraph at the source to which Louis links mentions New York City too. 

That said, can anyone here play this game? Here you see that overview paragraph, now presented in full:

Report Shows School Segregation in New York Remains Worst in Nation

A new report from the Civil Rights Project finds that New York retains its place as the most segregated state for black students, and second most segregated for Latino students, trailing only California. The report also makes clear that New York is experiencing an acceleration of demographic changes outlined in the earlier 2014 report. White students are no longer the state’s majority group as they were in 2010. the proportion of Asian students increasing sharply to more than 17% in 2018, and Latino students becoming the largest racial/ethnic group, from 35% in 1990 to 41% in 2018. Conversely, there has been a significant decline in the black student population. The new research also examines the expansion of school choice and charter schools and how they may have contributed to the continued segregation of the city’s schools. The research underscores that many in New York City are engaged in important efforts to integrate schools and there are a significant number of schools showing signs of reduced segregation.

How odd! In his dramatic opening paragraph, Louis says that New York City "has done little or nothing to implement dozens of reasonable proposals to move in the direction of integration." 

As you can see in the highlighted passage, the overview paragraph to which he links seems to say something quite different. 

In our view, that looks like a journalistic bungle. Meanwhile, note the peculiar way UCLA's overview paragraph suddenly stops talking about New York State. Suddenly, it refers instead to "the city," without actually naming the city in question.

In a very high-level report about a very important subject, that is astoundingly bad academic writing. In fairness, everybody makes mistakes, but can anyone here play this game?

In reality, Louis is linking to a report about "New York," city and state, which was released by UCLA in 2021. As noted above, it was the sequel to an earlier report about "New York," city and state, released by UCLA back in 2014.

The full report from 2021 is 92 pages long. All in all, we'd call it bewildering and profoundly unhelpful.

It presents such a wealth of statistical claims that, in the end, it's hard to get clear on what it's actually claiming. What it does plainly do is this:

It keeps repeating such treasured old terms as "segregation" and "segregated schools." It keeps us living in the world of the pre-1954 Deep South, even though it's now the year 2024 and the world, though still highly imperfect, is no longer that world.

Presumably, there are still many things we could improve about our public schools (and about the wider culture zones within which they operate). That may include the way these schools produce, or fail to produce, constructive interaction among their different demographic groups.

That said, we no longer have "segregated schools" in the way we had such schools in that earlier era. Keeping that basic thought in mind, what does UCLA mean when it says that New York State is worst, among the fifty states, in this highly fraught area?

Sadly, the Civil Rights Project means this:

As in the 2014 report, so too in 2021. The writing was less explicit this time around, but again and again the 2021 report seems to say and/or suggest that any school which is "more than 50% percent nonwhite" is a "segregated school."

In the 2014 report, UCLA explicitly stated that definition of "school segregation." The scholars seem to have responded to past criticism of that peculiar definition by fudging their language a bit in the 2021 report.

Still, a wide array of graphics in the 2021 report seem to include such "predominantly nonwhite" schools within the broad rubric of "segregated schools." Meanwhile, on page 52 of the endlessly complex report, this explicit passage occurs, subheading included:

Segregation in NYC Schools
New York City schools have extreme levels of segregation by race/ethnicity. Almost all of the public schools are predominantly nonwhite (94%), and most are intensely segregated (70%), although this percentage has fallen slightly since 2010. The percent of apartheid schools (those with less than 1% white student enrollment) has been declining for the past 30 years, and in the  time frame from 2010 to 2018 has declined more than 10 points to 17%. Nonetheless, the fact remains that 1 in 6 schools in NYC are apartheid schools.

Below that passage, the report includes one of the many graphics which seem to list "predominantly nonwhite" schools as one of the three basic types of "segregated schools."

In the 2021 report, UCLA seems to define three types of "segregated schools." As you can see in the passage we've posted, there are "apartheid schools;" there are "intensely segregated schools;" and there are "predominantly nonwhite schools."

In 2014, predominantly nonwhite schools were explicitly described as being "segregated." In 2021, someone may have forgotten to clean up the language we've posted above, language in which that rubric still seems to be in operation.

That said, directly below that passage from page 52, the reader sees one of the many graphics in which "predominantly nonwhite schools" still seem to be listed as one of the three basic types of "segregated schools." For better or worse, this is the way the academics at UCLA seem to think about this (very important) state of affairs.

Does it make sense to say that a school which is predominantly nonwhite is thereby "segregated?" By that reckoning, Hypothetical Public School A (see above) would in fact be a "segregated school." 

By UCLA's apparent reckoning, this second hypothetical school would also be a "segregated school:"

Hypothetical Public School B:
White kids: 48%
Black kids: 30%
Hispanic kids: 20%
Asian-American kids: 2%

By UCLA's apparent reckoning, that school would be "segregated" too. Its student population is predominantly nonwhite!

What sorts of problems actually afflict our nation's public schools? In a rational world, that would seem to be an important question.

That would be in a rational world. In our world, our journalists and our academics frequently seem to lack the tools—or the level of actual interest—which would be required to let us address that important question.

In his recent report, Louis became the latest journalist to think that UCLA was talking about New York City when the report to which he linked was plainly referring to New York State

Can anyone here play this game? Plainy, our journalists frequently can't.

(For the record, UCLA has never claimed that New York City is "worst in the nation" in this area. Given the peculiar frameworks with which it operates, no such claim would be possible.)

For its part, UCLA produced its latest bewildering report in 2021. By our lights, the academics at the Civil Rights Project seem to be living in the past. They seem to want to say that we're still living in Mississippi in the year 1935.

They seem to love the sound of the word "segregation." They seem to thrill to the surprising claim that the state of New York is maintaining a large volume of "segregated schools." 

They seem capable of noticing or caring about little else. The basic problems of American schooling, including possible problems of racial distribution, go unaddressed as they continue to pump their old-world presentations to waves of hapless journalists.

Final points:

First, why does the state of New York have so many "segregated schools?"

The answer is fairly simple. The state's nonwhite population is heavily concentrated downstate, in New York City and its metropolitan area. Upstate, the rest of New York State is much more heavily white.

In a large state whose large population is distributed that way, there's no obvious way to produce schools which exhibit some perfect form of "racial balance." Inevitably, the downstate schools will be heavily nonwhite. The upstate schools will be the opposite.

That's why New York State is worst among the fifty states, as judged by UCLA's cockeyed reckoning. As for the New York City Public Schools, this was the breakdown of its massive student population, as reported on page 52 of the 2021 UCLA report:

Student population, New York City Public Schools
Hispanic kids: 40.6%
Black kids: 25.1% 
Asian-American kids 16.6%
White kids: 15.1%

At that time, 85% of New York City's public school students were "nonwhite." Given that student population, it will be hard to create a lot of schools which aren't "predominantly nonwhite," even if you feel, for whatever reason, that some such distributive nirvana is necessary.

In our view, these reports from UCLA's Civil Rights Project rank among the most incompetent academic reports we've ever seen. Through their statistical complexity and their peculiar taxonomies, they create maddening amounts of confusion, even as they carelessly trumpet deeply important, deeply fraught terms from the nation's past.

In the present day, no one's schools are "segregated" in the way the public schools of many states once were. At UCLA, they seem to cling to that deeply fraught but pleasing term, creating waves of confusion and misdirection as they do.

As for New York Magazine, there seems to be an endless supply of journalists and news orgs who are prepared to misinterpret the dramatic (and ambiguous) claim found in the ambiguous headlines which routinely top UCLA's reports. The whole thing starts with UCLA's persistent, ridiculous failure to say which "New York" it's talking about—city or state.

There are many problems with our public schools and with the overall "education" of American kids. In our view, UCLA's peculiar reports do nothing to help us focus on areas where improvement could be sought. That includes the general area of (constructive attempts at creating) racial interaction.

Welcome to The Planet of the Humans! We humans are good at building tall buildings (and the like). We're much less skilled at virtually everything else. 

It's maddening to try to fight your way through the reports about "New York" from the Civil Rights Project. We think of what the later Wittgenstein said, in a different context:

It's like you have to repair a broken spider's web using your bare hands. 

Such matters seem to outstrip our fundamental skill levels. Welcome to the planet of the present-day upper-end humans, modern public school style!


142 comments:

  1. Today is Memorial Day. What better way to observe it than to ignore it here at TDH?

    "The Fayetteville Observer ran an op-ed a few days ago by Rebekah Sanderlin. She calls out Donald Trump for his dismissal of soldiers who fell in battle in Europe as “suckers and losers.” She spotlights the burdens borne by the wives of U.S. soldiers lost in Afghanistan thirteen years before Trump’s snubbing:

    I started leading Care Teams in 2005, only we didn’t call them that then. We didn’t call them anything back then. We just helped. We, military spouses, showed up after the soldiers in dress uniforms notified someone just like us that the person she loved most in this world was never coming home. As the wife of an enlisted U.S. Army Special Forces soldier who spent more time deployed than home, my husband’s friends were the ones dying, and my friends were their widows.

    Sometimes we were there to simply be a friend to a woman who didn’t have any friends nearby, but mostly we quietly did all the little things life requires of people, things people can’t do when they’re in shock and grieving. Because most military families live far from their hometowns, they rarely have a local network to lean on during a tragedy. We became their local network.

    We vacuumed, we washed dishes, we walked their dogs. We prepared their houses for the stream of people who were about to appear. We bought groceries, arranged meal trains, picked up their family members from the airport and met their kids at the bus stop, fully aware — though those children weren’t yet — that they were having the last normal moments of their entire lives.

    Early in 2005 I learned to always bring toilet paper with me. When the widow wasn’t looking, I would sneak a few rolls into her bathroom. It seems like a tiny, insignificant thing, and it was, but I quickly saw that the last thing anyone needs when their world has collapsed is to also be out of toilet paper. Some of those years, the casualties came often enough that I just kept a giant pack in my car.

    Service is what Trump expects wherever he goes. It’s not a thing he does, nor is self-sacrifice in his limited vocabulary. Trump’s comments left Sanderlin and others “furious and disgusted”:

    I was still leading Care Teams and still carting around toilet paper in November 2018 when then-President Trump called the U.S. Marines who died at Belleau Wood “suckers” and the American soldiers buried at Aisne-Marne American Cemetery “losers.” I was furious and disgusted even though, like everyone else, I had become conditioned to our President saying horrible things. But there were some lines that even the most ardently anti-war protestors were too decent to cross, and this man — the President of the United States — had just spit on those lines. But I didn’t have time to stay mad then. We were at war, and we were still getting new widows.

    In the months following President Trump’s callous insult, my husband’s unit would lose six more soldiers in Afghanistan. I had the privilege of knowing most of them before the deployment and there was not a sucker or a loser among them. They were committed, proud, well-trained and highly competent patriots, and they were some of the greatest people I’ve ever known. "

    From Digby's Blog Hullabaloo

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    1. Trump is disgusting in many ways, including being physically repulsive.

      Trump wears diapers and regularly shits his pants, contributing to Trump Stench.

      Trump has detailed that he struggles with bathroom issues, having to flush the toilet 15 times, thus using a massive amount of toilet paper.

      There is a solution to diminish the overuse of toilet paper: a bidet.

      This could also help out people in times of grieving, their neighbors could focus more on emotional support than running to Target to get tp.

      Delete
    2. Digby puts Memorial Day into the service of dissing Trump and her anonymouse groupie uses that same piece to taking a swipe at Bob.

      These folks have had their flags flying upside down since they were adolescents. Along with the crucifix. If they walk down the street and see a flag lapel pin they cross the street and text SOS to their coven.

      Delete
    3. LOL.
      The Right thinks the USA is too shit-hole of a country to help poor people.
      Let your fake patriotism freak flag fly.

      Delete
    4. Anonymouse 4:41pm, I doubt Digby or anonymouse 10:08am, are “poor people”. However , you might be struggling.

      I’m certain Sorros ain’t shelling out much money for flying monkey acts.

      Delete
    5. Did you hear the one about the Right-winger who loved the United States of America?
      Me neither.

      Delete
    6. Anonymouse 5:16pm, there’s another $1.50 in your pocket.

      Keep on keeping on, bro.

      Delete
    7. Wave the flag like you really mean it, Cecelia.

      Delete
    8. I live quite comfortably on my payments from Soros.

      Delete
    9. I think the red tribe loves America, but not Americans.

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    10. Pied Piper, you can NOT love a country and hate its citizenry. You can’t love the country and write posts that endlessly vilify half the country to the point of even calling a fellow liberal a Russian agent.

      People who do that love only the likeminded. They view everyone else as a problem.

      Delete
    11. Anonymouse 6:08pm, and you always will.

      Delete
    12. If the government really cared about your relatives they would have lived as long as Henry Kissinger.

      Delete
    13. CC - Actually, I’d exclude you from my obviously overly-generalized comment. But it’s my experience that many of the red proudly fly the flag, but then spew hate toward many of their fellow citizens. I think the whole Real Americans bit popularized by the likes of Sarah Palin attests to this. (BTW, I think many in my blue tribe are almost as bad, as you can see by what many of the commenters here write.)

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    14. Cecelia didn't bother to read the excerpt Digby quoted, which was written by a woman who helped the families of the fallen in our military. Digby didn't write it. How anyone can mock the service of those who died doing their military duty, and those who helped the families of the fallen, on Memorial Day, is beyond me, but Cecelia and Pied Piper play their foolish games, oblivious to what adults care about today. Those of us who are veterans or know them take this day seriously and care about observing it.

      That doesn't include Somerby and it definitely doesn't include Cecelia or Pied Piper, big surprise.

      Delete
    15. Anonymouse 7:46pm, I didn’t mock military members or their spouses, I responded to the use of their sacrifices and their duties as a means of going after Trump on Memorial Day. And THEN using it against Somerby.

      You and Digby turned these people into cannon fodder merely for one more polemical political sally, .

      Delete
    16. Neither you nor Somerby have respected this memorial day. You didn’t read the excerpt you mocked. I found it moving.

      Delete
    17. Anonymouse 8;54pm, no, you found it to be good cannon fodder.

      Delete
    18. Aileen Cannon's fodder (judicial rulings)?

      Delete
    19. Soldier - I don’t read comments that are almost 100 lines long, but thank you for your service.

      Delete
  2. From Robert Reich

    "On this Memorial Day, it’s fitting and proper that we honor Americans who made the supreme sacrifice for this nation, and express our humble gratitude to them and to their survivors.

    It is also fitting and proper that we confirm what it is they sacrificed for, and why their sacrifices were and still are worth it.

    They sacrificed for a set of ideals enshrined in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and echoed in Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. That no person is above the law. That everyone should have an equal chance to make it in America. That democracy is a system of self-government — of, by, and for the people.

    This is the last Memorial Day before these ideals will be tested in the election of 2024, less than six months from now.

    If we lose these ideals — if we succumb to despotism — future generations may never learn what occurred, because despots rewrite history to suit their own warped version.

    Donald Trump and his supporters are already trying to rewrite the history of the election of 2020 and what occurred in the weeks and months following. An astounding number of Americans believe his Big Lie. A dismaying number of Republican lawmakers are willing to accept and repeat the lie in order to remain in office or gain office.

    Trump and his supporters are trying to redefine patriotism as white Christian nationalism. But the true meaning of patriotism is the opposite.

    America’s moral mission has been toward greater inclusion — providing equal rights to women, Black people, immigrants, Native Americans, Latinos, LGBTQ+, Muslim, Jewish, atheist, and agnostic.

    True patriots don’t fuel racist, religious, or ethnic divisions. Patriots aren’t homophobic or sexist.

    Nor are patriots blind to social injustices — whether ongoing or embedded in American history. They don’t ban books or prevent teaching about the sins of the nation’s past.

    True patriots don’t have to express patriotism in symbolic displays of loyalty like standing for the national anthem and waving the American flag.

    They express patriotism in taking a fair share of the burdens of keeping the nation going — sacrificing for the common good.

    They pay taxes in full rather than lobby for lower taxes or seek tax loopholes or squirrel away money abroad.

    They refrain from making large political contributions that corrupt American democracy.

    They blow the whistle on abuses of power, even at the risk of losing their job.

    They volunteer time and energy to improving their community and country.

    They do not spread baseless claims that millions of people vote fraudulently. Or pass laws — based on the Big Lie that the 2020 election was stolen — that make it harder for people to vote .

    Their patriotism lies instead in strengthening democracy — defending the right to vote and ensuring more Americans are heard.

    Patriots understand that when they serve the public, their responsibility is to build public trust in the institutions of democracy.

    They don’t put loyalty to their political party above their love of America. They don’t support an attempted coup.

    They don’t try to hold onto power after voters have chosen not to reelect them. They don’t make money off their offices.

    When serving as judges or justices, they recuse themselves from cases where they may appear to have a conflict of interest. They don’t fly flags signaling agreement with Trump that the 2020 election was stolen from him.

    America’s challenge is not as described by Trump and his white Christian nationalist followers — that the nation is losing its whiteness or dominant religion, that too many foreigners are crossing our borders, that boys are competing in girl’s sports and failing to use bathrooms consistent with their gender at birth, or that teachers are failing to celebrate the nation’s history.

    No. America’s challenge is to remind Americans of the sacrifices that real patriotism requires.

    Happy Memorial Day."

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Reich would have made a better president than Bill Clinton, but Hillary chose Bill over Robert.

      Now, partly due to Clinton’s neoliberal Third Way politics, we have to contend with a candidate that endorses an ad that suggests we become a “unified reich”, echoing Nazi rhetoric.

      What could have been: Robert Reich
      What could be: Unified Reich

      Delete
    2. You're in a cult.

      Delete
    3. The people who own the Democrats are just going to let someone say the game is over, sorry neo liberalism?

      Delete
    4. If the only time democracy lets you imagine new possibilities is after the time to challenge anyone before the election, they're just puffing up your imagination to accept the status quo.

      If what needs to be done it's so serious then why can't Robert run third party? Or convince Biden to step down now?

      Delete
    5. What is all this nice nice talk with the instruments of Capitalists, the army to advance your democracy?

      Delete
    6. You think sending people to war instead of the factory is inclusion and opposite of neo liberal goals?

      Delete
    7. Next election we will stop the genocide bro trust Biden.

      Delete
    8. Biden killed thousands of foreigners with Israel then jumps into a weird voice when asked about it, like he's a calming Mr Rogers or Bob Ross. Why would you trust him?

      Delete
    9. Make Robert president instead of a Christian Zionist from Delaware and a useless wine mom if you truly don't care about neoliberalism.

      Delete
    10. The fundraising/media machine won't let someone like Robert win at the national level for a few decades and if by some luck we get there, at that point we will have millions of people like Robert ready to go.

      Delete
    11. The Democrats were warned that there was a protest vote. They doubled down on Joe. Now they're getting ready to blame us for this.

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    12. Every minority you just named will be crucified for not helping liberals win this time.

      If Biden is opposed to neoliberalism can't he say so? Isn't he articulate and mature?

      Delete
    13. When Democrats lose a few elections they learn discipline.

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    14. If Biden is such a reasonable person why is he getting just as greedy as Trump and taking two terms?

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    15. Do you think we didn't see you liberals laughing at the vaccine deniers dying? You're not the participants in democracy you claim to be. Where was the money to save them?

      Delete
    16. If you can out organize the two party system then you shouldn't be worried about a single election beyond union density overall.

      Delete
    17. Biden is not opposed to really any lobbies. That's how he got there man. It's that simple.

      Delete
    18. I can't stand listening to liberals getting ready to warn us for capitalism taking off its gloves on everyone like they are managing the task responsibly.

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    19. They send us to war to prevent a labor party from forming

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    20. Who owns the government? The military lobby writing checks to itself using your politicians.

      Who dies before they can form a union? Every soldier in every war.

      But voting for genocide Joe is so peaceful?

      Delete
    21. Ah yeah we remembered capitalism sucks please vote for genocide Joe now please please please

      Delete
    22. Biden caused world-wide inflation by not Nationalizing the fossil fuel companies.
      Better to vote for Trump, who will give the fossil fuel companies carte blanc to charge whatever they want.
      I am not a crank.

      Delete
  3. The best way to improve American education is clearly to tell little girls with Puerto Rican parents that they can never grow up to be Nancy Drew.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. It’s always interesting when Somerby dips his toe in the pool of racism.

      Delete
    2. It's never interesing when an anonymouse makes a pointless comment.

      Delete
    3. Anonymouse 10:10am, you’re such a squid.

      Sotomayor grew up in this country to be a SCOTUS justice and her mother immigrated here and took her family into the middle class by becoming an R.N.

      Quit hating on the country.

      Delete
    4. Puerto Ricans are not immigrants.

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    5. I was very recently reading about a family who had come from Central America and mixed that up.

      Doesn’t matter. They are a testament to the American spirit.

      Delete
    6. The American spirit, right wing version, seems to be to prevent immigration, illegal or otherwise. Period. End of story.

      Delete
    7. Anonymouse 6:59pm, needless to say, anonymices always go with that sort of stance when describing the positions of their opposition.

      Generally that sentiment/pose is accompanied by a claim of physical or psychological impediments that have resulted in the dastardly disorder of not sharing your views.

      Delete
    8. You can talk or babble all you want, but the reality is as stated.

      Delete
    9. Anonymouse 7:31pm, sure. Your opposition party is just slavering to keep educated professional people from emigrating here as well as regular folks who don’t swim across the Rio Grande.

      Delete
    10. 7:41,
      Did you pick those words out of a hat in that order?

      Delete
  4. Polls continue to highlight Biden's weaknesses. Voters in swing states are saying there is "not really any chance" they would vote for Biden.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/05/21/joe-biden-donald-trump-presidential-race-new-polls/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Until we choose the president by polling, you are just a fool playing fantasy football.

      It is possible for that day to come, anything is possible.

      Until then, we can follow Somerby’s directive and pity the fool.

      Delete
    2. President Biden has protected our families by securing border.

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    3. Nobody had to do it.

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    4. The media never discusses the warm meals the Biden administration provides to the needy.

      Delete


  5. "Welcome to The Planet of the Humans!"

    Hmm. No, I don't think shape-shifting alien Reptiloids concocting pieces you quote are welcome to our planet.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Don Perlin has died.

    ReplyDelete

  7. Weekday, weekend, or holiday, I sniff my fingers and spam Somerby's blog. And I always will.

    I am Corby.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Having no expertise in education, all I can contribute to the discussion is my own experience. I attended integrated schools through grades 7 - 12. It worked OK. Classes were homogeneous. There were few blacks in the top classes, but those classes were available to anyone who belonged there. We elected a Chinese-American girl school President one year. Kids from my high school entered college well educated.

    My daughters went through elementary school in Berkeley. Berkeley had two-way bussing plan through 6th grade that mixed poor blacks with upper-middle class, educated whites. My daughter J had problems. She entered 1st grade already doing math on a second grade level. Her teacher was a jerk (who we later found out was a pederast). He gave my daughter remedial worksheets well below her level and turned her off. I can't sy whether he was influenced by the students who needed more help

    In 6th grade, aggressive parents moved their white daughters out of J.s class, so that J was the only white girl left. J was already having difficulties, so we switched her to a private school, which worked a lot better for her.

    The one conclusion I draw is that children are individuals. Sometime a particular school situation isn't working for a particular child. In that case, it's valuable to have alternatives available

    ReplyDelete
  9. My opinion FWIW is that schools should focus more on the quality of the education for each student and less on integration. IMO Brown v. Board of Education made the correct decision, but for the wrong reason They ruled that segregated schools were automatically inferior. That wasn't true. The excellent Dunbar HS in Washington D.C. was a nearby counter-example.

    Integrating classes is a lot easier than making education more effective. So, we now have an army of integration people, who may not be that qualified, with senior positions in the education hierarchy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great. Now we know some dumb old man on the internet's opinion. Thanks.

      Delete
    2. “They ruled that segregated schools were automatically inferior”

      That is not what the ruling said, David. This is what it said:

      “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal," and therefore laws that impose them violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution”

      (Italics are mine.)

      Delete
    3. The next good faith argument from a Right-winger will be the first.

      Delete
    4. I am skeptical we know DIC’s opinion, he lies regularly, his stories are fiction, so his true opinions are unknown.

      Delete
    5. Is DiC Somerby, or a Mao-bot?

      Delete
    6. David is a Right-winger. Agree with their opinions from the Left, and watch them run from their previously stated beliefs.
      NOTE: Does not work with their bigotry and white supremacy. Those are the two things the Right actually cares about.

      Delete
    7. 1:10 good point, generally right wingers have no integrity when it comes to their views, except with issues related to endorsing and enforcing oppressions, where they remain steadfast, loyal, and faithful.

      Delete
    8. Thanks for the exact wording, @12:54

      @12:10 your snark irritates me. I am very committed to black advancement. I've donated a lot of money to this cause. As a teen, I went to Washington DC to hear MLK talk.

      More effective education is perhaps the biggest need today. That's because liberals, to their credit, have gone a long way to solving other problems, like voting, segregation, and legal discrimination. To improve black education requires looking at what's being done an evaluating what the problems are and what methods are working better or not working.

      You may think the problems of black education are funny, but it's no joke to me.

      Delete
    9. David is misguided, but he’s a good decent person, and I love him.

      Delete
    10. 1:27,
      You support a party which suppresses the votes of people of color. So sad, that my noticing that irritates you.
      Picture me wearing one of those "Trump: Fuck Your Feelings" t-shirts as my response.

      Delete
    11. DIC exclaims “I’m not a racist, I have a Black friend”.

      Sure, sure.

      Delete
    12. I have a Soros-bot friend.

      No, just kidding. Actually, I don't. I wouldn't.

      Delete
    13. Russia, if you're listening, you're overpaying Mao for his lazy trolling here.

      Delete
    14. David, the discrepancy between what you said and what the ruling said isn’t one of mere wording. Yours is a fundamental misunderstanding/misstatement of it.

      Delete
    15. In what way @2:05?

      Delete
    16. DiC, In what way? You can’t figure that out yourself? separating blacks from whites creates two separate (ie not equal) educational systems. The ruling overturned the Plessy decision, which said as long as things were equal, separate was ok.

      Delete
    17. DiC:
      “To improve black education requires looking at what's being done an evaluating what the problems are and what methods are working better or not working.”

      Two things: the report from the civil rights project isn’t just talking about “black education.” It also talks about Hispanics, whites, Asians, and American Indians.

      Second: the report deals with one aspect of the education system. It never states or implies that segregation is the only problem facing schools. It’s the only issue Somerby chooses to discuss in his blog, so he gives the impression, which you seem to share, that liberals care solely about segregation. It isn’t true, of course, but it is a continual beef of Somerby’s. I don’t know why he doesn’t discuss any other topic in education.

      Delete
    18. @2:23 - Let me try again. In what way did my paraphrase fundamentally misstate the ruling in Brown v Board of Ed?

      Delete
    19. David, you said the ruling claimed that separate implied inferior. That isn’t what the ruling said, at all. Even if accommodations are identical, the fact that they were legally segregated was deemed unconstitutional.

      Delete
    20. @2:05 -- You're right about separate being unconstitutional in all cases. However the claptrap psychological study that the SC relied did indeed claim that segregated black schools were inherently inferior for black students. Yes, they used the word "different", but they meant "worse". They weren't worried about the possibility that segregated black schools might be better for black students.

      Ironically, today's thinking has turned so that many educators believe that segregated functions might well be preferable in some cases. In fact, there are now court cases where schools are being sued for having some segregated black functions.

      Delete
    21. I can’t believe you, as a conservative, would find fault with a decision that ruled that legally mandated segregation is unconstitutional. Don’t conservatives object to race being used as a defining principle?

      Delete
    22. In Brown v. Board of Education, the court indeed did write something very close to DiC's paraphrase. Instead of "automatically inferior" they wrote that segregated schools are "inherently unequal."

      (I leave it to others to parse the difference between these characterizations.)

      But it wasn't just the existence of a racially uniform student body that drove the court's decision. They pointed to the "sanction of law" in relegating black students to separate schools that made segregation unconstitutional. Their opinion says:

      "Segregation of white and colored children in public schools has a detrimental effect upon the colored children. The impact is greater when it has the sanction of the law, for the policy of separating the races is usually interpreted as denoting the inferiority of the negro group. A sense of inferiority affects the motivation of a child to learn. Segregation with the sanction of law, therefore, has a tendency to [retard] the educational and mental development of negro children and to deprive them of some of the benefits they would receive in a racial[ly] integrated school system."

      This is why a Washington DC school that served a black student population in the days of segregation was a notable outlier. In spite of limitations on funding, the school graduated many outstanding students.

      Yes, it's possible. But in practice, the court ruled that isolating students by race fails to meet the requirement of equal treatment.

      Delete
    23. @DiC

      "In fact, there are now court cases where schools are being sued for having some segregated black functions."

      Sued by who?

      Delete
    24. Sued by opponents of racial discrimination.

      Delete
  10. If New York State and New York City aren't confusing enough, there's also New York County.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sure, but if you make it in, say, Buffalo, that does not mean you can make it anywhere.

      Delete
  11. How to lose an election:
    https://apnews.com/article/israel-palestinians-hamas-war-news-05-27-2024-7b743a848ef8bfbe69a9659a4a5dd047#

    ReplyDelete
  12. This from the civil rights project:

    “In exploring district racial/ethnic stability from 2010-2018, we identify 34 schools that are integrating, predominantly within District 2 in Manhattan, District 15 in Brooklyn, and 31 in Staten Island. These districts were all on the SDAG’s list of CSDs with sufficient demographic diversity to create integration plans. District 15 was one of the first districts to adopt an integration plan that was launched in the 2019-20 school year. We identified 22 schools that are resegregating, nine of which are located in District 24 and District 25 in Queens.
    Using the categorization schema outlined by the SDAG to quantify representativeness between”

    It is recognized, obviously, that integration is not always possible. Is it worthwhile, though, in cases where it is?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are studies that indicate students do better in integrated schools.

      Right wing Whites get around integration by forming real estate enclaves.

      Segregation is effective in maintaining the power imbalance that is vital to the existence of right wing Whites.

      Delete
    2. anon 1:13, what do you think is the solution? busing?

      Delete
    3. Have the highest tax base area fund the poorest area's school system, 2nd highest funds second lowest, etc, until the median tax base funds itself.

      Delete
  13. Quaker in a BasementMay 27, 2024 at 1:13 PM

    UCLA issued a separate report on New York City Schools in 2021. The headline reads as follows:

    NYC School Segregation Report Card
    Still Last, Action Needed Now

    Early in the executive summary, you'll find this:

    With the growing population of nonwhite students, more students are attending diverse schools,
    but shares of predominantly nonwhite schools are increasing. If all schools were perfectly
    proportional in the city, all schools would be predominantly nonwhite; however, the share of
    intensely segregated schools (>90% students of color4
    ) is increasing. On the other hand, there has
    been a steep decline in extremely segregated schools (>99% students of color), consistent with
    national trends. All racial/ethnic groups but Latino students have experienced declining contact
    with white students in NYS; this has been supplanted with growing exposure to Latino students.
    Black students have seen a 10 point increase in their contact with Latino students since 1990
    (21% to 31%).

    https://www.civilrightsproject.ucla.edu/research/k-12-education/integration-and-diversity/nyc-school-segregation-report-card-still-last-action-needed-now/ES-from-NYC_6-09-final-for-post.pdf

    And yes, the various types of segregation don't parse out easilty. One has to pay close attention.

    ReplyDelete
  14. The report also talks a lot about segregation by income. Is this on Somerby’s radar, or does he simply want to scold the researchers for using the term “segregation” do that he can ignore the larger point?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. “…so that he can…”

      Delete
    2. Agree, Somerby’s typical MO is to nitpick on the inconsequential in the hope that it distracts from what’s important.

      Delete
    3. And mouse typical MO is to criticize Somerby for not writing about whatever it is that mouse wants to talk about.

      Delete
    4. Piper, Somerby doesn’t like the term segregated because he thinks it harks back to the days of legally mandated segregation. Do you feel there is any value in the work of the civil rights project? I see no evidence Somerby does. But then, your main topic seems to be defense of Somerby, rather than engaging in the discussion about his topic.

      Delete
    5. Anonymouse 7:16pm, you can’t engage with people who claim that Bob was never interested in civil rights because he critiques the clarity of the people engaged in the examination of such matters.

      When you jump to that supposition, it’s game over. Tilt.

      Delete
    6. I did not say he was “never interested in civil rights.” I sued that I see no evidence of that finds any value in the UCLA study, or any such discussion of segregated schools. Again, you are welcome to debate the value of the study he cited, but you are more interested in twisting the words of commenters and defending Somerby rather than discussing the study. So be it.

      Delete
    7. “Sued” should be “said” and “of that” should be “that he.” Autocorrect issues.

      Delete
    8. Anonymouse 8:39pm, I’d be very glad to hear that you weren’t saying that Bob isn’t interested in civil rights, but frankly you just restated that same opinion.

      Bob has blogged on
      the various aspects of this subject for years, any suggestion that his critiques are a way of not discussing the matter or of merely blowing off and dismissing the findings is tantamount to saying he really doesn’t care.

      Delete
  15. Donald Trump's contempt for Republican voters is something the media should emulate.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Trump runs as a Republican because he recognizes that Republican voters are easier to manipulate, same reason why the media often has a right wing bias, it’s better for their bottom line.

      Delete
    2. Trump was a Democrat until his Russian handlers told him to switch parties.

      Delete
    3. Three anonymouse flying monkey poo flings in a row.

      Is each one of those a Zelle payment from Uncle George or is it one transfer at the end of the day so you can head on down to the CBD gummie place?

      Delete
    4. Mr Soros gives me $100 bills.

      Delete
    5. Cecelia and David’s poo flings are non-anonymous.

      Delete
  16. Today is Cilla Black’s birthday. Her real name was Priscilla White.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Parents of all races are taking their children out of bad mostly black school systems. All races. Yes, middle class blacks flee bad schools, just as Whites and Asians do. Black parents send their children to parochial schools and alternative schools.

    The solution is to fix and improve inner city schools so that blacks and nonblacks in inner city schools get a good education. We used to do this. Thomas Sowell got a good education in Harlem. His SAT scores were so good that he got admitted into Harvard, long before affirmative action.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How do you 'fix' a school?

      Delete
    2. Then we elected Reagan, which is all the proof you need that Trump isn't the worst President in the history of this country.

      Delete
    3. Can you fix a school when all the parents remove their kids from it, essentially abandoning the school?

      Delete
    4. FWIW here's my suggestion: See what works and copy it. I believe there are certain private school
      companies that have particularly good results. So, do whatever it is that they do. Or hire these companies to run your public schools.

      Years ago the New York Times published my letter pointing out that education researchers tend be rewarded for coming up with something new. I wrote
      The problem is that bilingual education did not originate with educators. It came from Washington bureaucrats, whose raison d'etre is creating new programs. A big step toward improving public school education would be to give local educators more freedom to conduct classes in ways that are most effective for their students.

      Delete
    5. You didn’t address the problem of schools being emptied of students, who get enrolled in charter schools or what have you. How does this “fix” the supposedly bad schools? They get further neglected and deprived of funding. It’s a kind of shell game.

      Delete
    6. @7:04 When a school has fewer students, the school gets less total funding. However, as I understand it, the per student funding doesn't go down.

      I do agree that when a school has a high percentage of bad or disruptive or unmotivated students, that's a problem. I don't know a solution. Social promotion, which amounts to ignoring the situation, is a poor solution, but I don't know a better one. My feeling FWFW is that the school must realistically deal with the students it has, but that's not much help.

      Maybe there are students who are hopeless, and the best we can do is not let them f*ck things up for other students of all races.

      Delete
    7. There’s also the important consideration that schools alone can’t fix all problems. Academic achievement is tied to societal factors too, that a change of school alone might not fix. Tax cuts did the super rich seems unlikely to help.

      Delete
    8. “…for the super rich…”

      Delete
    9. I agree @7:28. Cuts for wealthy individuals don't help society. (They can be justified on a fairness argument. As a consultant in Bermuda,. my tax rate was between 60% and 65%. A person should be allowed to keep a large part of the he income he worked hard to earn.)

      Corporate tax cuts are a different story. They do a great deal of good for poor blacks, because they promote more jobs at all levels

      Delete
    10. Rich people need and deserve tax cuts.

      Delete
    11. David in Cal,
      If we tax dividends, share buybacks, and capital gains the same rate as earned income, we wouldn't need to tax corporations.

      Delete
    12. A big step toward improving public school education would be to give local educators more freedom to conduct classes in ways that are most effective for their students.

      Don't these "local educators" have to run it all by you favorite fascist governor, Gov Ron Desantimonious, first to see what books are allowed to be used, and letting the Ministry of Approved Sanitized History check their lesson plans, David?

      Delete
  18. It’s becoming increasingly clear each day that Biden is the most inspiring 81-year-old presidential candidate in our country's history.

    ReplyDelete
  19. While Somerby is ignoring Memorial Day (and what it stands for), here is what Trump said on Truth Social today:

    "Happy Memorial Day to All, including the Human Scum that is working so hard to destroy our Once Great Country, & to the Radical Left, Trump Hating Federal Judge in New York that presided over, get this, TWO separate trials, that awarded a woman, who I never met before (a quick handshake at a celebrity event, 25 years ago, doesn’t count!), 91 MILLION DOLLARS for DEFAMATION. She didn’t know when the so-called event took place – sometime in the 1990’s – never filed a police report, didn’t have to produce the “dress” that she threatened me with (it showed negative!), & sung my praises in the first half of her CNN Interview with Alison Cooper, but changed her tune in the second half – Gee, I wonder why (UNDER APPEAL!)? The Rape charge was dropped by a jury! Or Arthur Engoron, the N.Y. State Wacko Judge who fined me almost 500 Million Dollars (UNDER APPEAL) for DOING NOTHING WRONG, used a Statute that has never been used before, gave me NO JURY, Mar-a-Lago at $18,000,000 – Now for Merchan!"

    Does anyone really think that a man capable of writing this should be president?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. David and Cecelia think so.

      Delete
    2. Sorry, anonymouse flying monkey, I’m already on record as to this not being a day to go after your domestic political opposition.

      Nary a word of encouragement in that from you. Don’t feign outrage now.

      Delete
    3. Even Trump haters should care about American justice. A woman says Trump raped her many years ago. Trump says he didn't. There's no independent evidence. For claiming innocence, and thus supposedly defaming the woman, Trump was fined $91 million.

      Delete
    4. Donald just doesn’t follow your playbook, does he Cecilia? You gonna vote for him anyway, even after he declared those dead soldiers were suckers? What a POS.

      Delete
    5. Well, David. He had his day in court.

      Delete
    6. Anonymouse 8:35pm, I don’t have a political playbook and I don’t have politicians as my messiahs. .

      You do. Which is why you get batshite over the thought of anyone voting against your vote.

      Good.

      Delete
    7. Why don’t you vote FOR someone, rather than against someone?

      Delete
    8. Anonymouse 8:44pm, why are you asking ME that in the context of someone haranguing me over a vote I have yet to cast?

      Delete
    9. It is God's will that David and Cecelia shall vote for Trump.

      Delete
  20. Why isn't this blog dedicated to independent thinking not comforting me about the people who died for my nationalist cult?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "this blog dedicated to independent thinking"

      LO-fucking-L.

      Delete
  21. Trump vows no funding for any school with a vaccine mandate.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Operation 39:

    Debrief liaison Fanny Bubbles.

    ReplyDelete