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Reading Instruction, Research and Racism
Write-in "Doug Mann" for School Board
by Doug Mann, 29 Oct 2004, Submitted to the Star-Tribune for publication 28 Oct 2004
29 November 2001. Is school desegregation a failed experiment? Are white parents moving to the suburbs only to avoid diversity, or is the poor quality of education also a factor?
" The doctrine of 'separate but equal,' i.e., that separate accommodations are OK as long as they are equal, is currently the legal basis for racially segregated schools in Minneapolis...However, no where and at no time has a policy of racial separation ever been accompanied by 'equal accommodations.' In racially segregated school systems, there have always been huge disparities in the allocation of educational resources between black and white schools..."
28 November 2001. "...racial prejudice is based upon and reinforces an unequal distribution of wealth and power between blacks and whites. That's what racism is all about, in my opinion. The underlying problem is a social system and a political system based on economic exploitation and nourished by racism, sexism, elitism, and heterosexism."
25 November 2001. Unless the district ditches the ability-grouping model, adopts a more coherent reading curriculum, and encourages teachers to use more effective learning strategies in the classroom, a lot of students are not going to learn how to read. Even reducing class sizes to an average of 15 in grades K-3 won't change that.
24 November 2001. The 1966 Coleman report was cited by school districts around the country as evidence that integrating black kids into white schools would have little or no effect on student achievement. Coleman was in high demand as an expert witness for the school districts.
It is also important to note that the 1966 Coleman report explained differences in academic achievement between whites and blacks as a byproduct of a culture of poverty. This culture of poverty supposedly had a greater influence on blacks because of a higher concentration of poverty among blacks.
24 November 2001. Teaching a child how to read requires more than "guts." One must know how to do it, have the temperament to do it, and have the time to do it. A parent also needs to know that it is unlikely that their kids will learn the basics of reading at school. But that's not the sort of thing that the school board wants to advertise.
21 November 2001. "We can only hope that the quality of education is worse, or is getting worse faster, on average, in other big city school districts. Then we could say that the MPS is "beating the odds." Praise Carol Johnson!"
21 November 2001
20 November 2001
19 November 2001