Another article on the racial inequity in schools came out not long ago. The numbers highlighted are that blacks are suspended 3.5 times more often than whites and that whites get more experienced teachers and better classes than blacks (and other minorities). Not all the data is out, but the inference from the article’s title is clear.
In reality, the issue is infinitely more complicated than the article would suggest. While the full data set has not been released yet, sight unseen, I’d wager the data, of itself, is accurate. Consequently, all conclusions formulated will be based upon evaluation and interpretation of the data. Want to bet it becomes a righty vs. lefty fight over racist education? And if it does, as The Huffington Post article already infers, we will miss the point completely.
So let’s start here: inequity in our society exists. That is an incontrovertible fact. If we had no Blacks and Latinos here at all, inequity would still exist. Some people would be rich and others poor. The rich would live in more protected, less crime-ridden communities that had better facilities. Teachers would prefer to teach in those communities, and given the unionized system we have in place, where positions that come availabe are filled according to seniority within the union and system, the more experienced teachers would be the ones to get the more preferable spots.
The second reason for this is economics. Teachers all get paid the same and get increases for longevity. Many systems refuse tenure to assure a turnover and keep payroll down. Others encourage turnover by giving the untenured, newer teachers a hard time, requiring them to do double the work of their tenured counterparts. This happens at the time they are learning their trade, or at the most difficult time of their career. Instead of coddling and coaxing and rewarding, precisely what teachers are trained to do with their students, they are abused. Four in ten quit in the first year. Fifty percent leave teaching in the first five years.
Remember, mostly due to union seniority rules, the new teachers get the left-open spots which are the least desirable spots in those poor, crime-ridden areas few teachers want to work in. And remember we took color and ethnicity out of the equation.
So enough already with racism! It’s like the boy who cried wolf. No, we’re looking at something much more sinister here. Twenty-three billion dollars and over fifty years later, we see our esteemed Politburo-like leaders have not been able to put even a dent in the war on poverty. If government were a business with a real responsibility to the owners, they’d all have been continually fired. We put a man on the moon in ten years. But we can’t even put a dent in the poverty problem in over fifty?
Instead of getting cynical, which is too easy in this case, here are the questions we must ask. Who actually benefits from the status quo? Who benefits from the divisiveness the racial and have-have not rhetoric causes? Who benefits from divide and conquer?
So while that Huffington Post headline is not a lie, it’s not the truth. It is meant to cast an aspersion and to present an image. That image keeps them in business. The notion that our government can actually solve the problem presented keeps the government in business. God help us. And in part, perhaps large part, that is their goal. The government is on a major power grab. If they can make us believe they can solve the problem, they will take over education. This is what the government wants.
We all know images aren’t necessarily reality. The Huffington Post article is about education but the same questions apply across the board. Who benefits from not solving the issues before us and whose interests are best served by maintaining the status quo?
The answers are simple but not easy. The divisive rhetoric is a subterfuge. The government and its new American Politburo are running a divide-and-conquer game on us and the racism rhetoric is a part of their game meant to obfuscate the real issues. A true look at the education problem would clearly show how ineffective and off the mark our government is. Not solving this problem and the others, however, is in the government’s best interests. And that is the problem.