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Education chief fans racial tension flames

Here we go again. Obama's secretary of education, Arne Duncan, commented on his department's recently released report concerning "equity and educational opportunities" with a focus on disparity in punishment for black male youths over all other school students.

While this disparity should be cause for concern and prudent study, Arne took the opportunity to proclaim the study a revelation of long-hidden data about student suspension, expulsion and incarceration in schools, and that the disparity was clearly evidence of injustice. Really, I would question his motives and agenda.

My first thought would be to question what could be the reason for such disparity. Could it be possible that the statistics relating to the disparity of treatment are directly related to the disparity in the behavioral patterns of that same demographic? Would it be possible that the behavioral disparity for that demographic stems from the sharp differences in family structure as compared to other demographics?

All studies I have researched tend to support the fact that children from single-parent homes require vastly more discipline than those from two-parent homes, though other factors such as poverty, social status, education of the parents, etc., also play a role. Census results further show that about 56 percent of black children as opposed to 28 percent for all other demographics combined live in a single-parent homes. Studies also show that black teachers are more likely to be critical of black student unruly behavior than white teachers, which would tend to diminish any claim of racism.

Ignoring these possibilities, Arne was more inclined to inflame racial tension, proclaiming injustice upon a thinly disguised basis of legitimate research. In customary form, the mainstream media was quick to scoop up the ball and run with it. My suspicion is that by inflaming a whole voting demographic with half-baked truths and then feigning to come to the rescue, Arne can help ensure that demographics support in the next election and thereby secure a continuation of their divide-and-conquer strategy for another four years.

STEVEN TAMBRONI

Albany

Comments

washedupcoach 2 years, 8 months ago

As a former teacher and coach, I deplore the repeated attempts to place all student behavior and discipline into racial categories. ALL teenagers are disrespectful at times. Since DCSS is vastly more black than any other group, it is only natural the percentage of black punishment is higher. The attempt to catoregize is just another excuse for parents NOT doing their job of raising their children with a respect for adults, education and authority. If I had $10 for every parent that blamed me for their lovely child's failure and threaten to "go to the board", I would have retired years ago. Parents, raise your children the right way, and keep them away from this "gangbanger" mentality.

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