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Re: [Mpls] Why I oppose the Separate but Equal doctrine #3
Date:     9/16/2002 8:04:32 PM Central Daylight Time

In a message dated 9/16/2002 8:55:13 AM Central Daylight Time, Michael Lomker writes:

<< "I don't know about this.  I spent two years in the advanced math classes and received consistent D- grades.  Did this help me to have an adequate grasp of math when the class was moving too fast for me?  Did these low grades make me feel "smart" when I could have been getting B's in a more appropriate class?  I moved down to the slower math group and learned a lot more.

 "The mastery of math that is expected for students entering the sciences is so high that no average student could ever keep up, imo.">>

[DM] I assume that the advanced classes in Algebra and Geometry in Minneapolis are still about the same in content as the Algebra and Geometry classes that many school districts in Minnesota require nearly all their students to take.   

 > don't need a college-bound curriculum. Learning to accept one's
 > social status as an adult with a minimum of friction is what Horace
 > Mann called "moral education"
[ML] "Everyone has an equal opportunity to take the higher classes.  I credit my achievements in life to my mother, mostly.  I give the learning that takes place at the preschool ages a high level of importance--my parents couldn't do math otherwise I'm certain that I would have done better in that subject as well."  

[DM] Every MPS student has an equal opportunity to compete for access to higher level classes in High School. That prize goes to those who are best prepared.  The best prepared students are generally those who get on the college-bound track in the better K-8 schools, and most are part of white, middle-class minority.  

Why not make the advanced classes accessible to everyone? I believe that education is a right, not a privilege that public school students in Minneapolis should have to compete for.  That's why I favor an accountability system based on 'closing the gap.'

 > 3) People have a 'natural affinity' for people of their own race, an
 > argument advanced by the majority of US Supreme Court in Plessy
 > v. Ferguson, 163 US 537 (1896), which upheld a Louisiana State law
 > which require blacks and whites to use separate train car facilities.
[ML] I'm agreeing somewhat with Jim Graham on the race issue--it seems to be more of a social construct.  I do feel more comfortable with white people but it is strictly because I have more in common with people that have shared similar life experiences.   

There is, of course, no innate superiority to any race and it is no justification for the sort of discrimination that you mention.>>

[DM] I too think that "race" is a social construct.  In a biological sense there is only one human race. However, the discrimination that I've been talking about isn't overt racial discrimination: It is the 'colorblind' discrimination,  including 'ability-based' discrimination that gives middle-class whites privileged access to the better schools and college-bound curriculum tracks in the Minneapolis Public Schools.

-Doug Mann, Kingfield, the new 8th Ward
Mann for School Board