Separate and Unequal: Education Parody

PK NOTE: A new war lingers on the horizon, with the first blow coming at Vdare soon.

Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology: 0.6 percent Black

Two news stories converge to produce a glimpse of why Waiting for Superman is going require a patience that Samuel Beckett couldn’t conjure up for Vladimir and Estragon in Waiting for Godot.

First, from Fairfax County (Thomas Jefferson High School For Science And Technology Hit With Civil Rights, Discrimination Suit, Huffington Post, July 24, 2012):

The Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, a prestigious Alexandria, Va. high school, has been hit with a federal civil rights lawsuit.
The Coalition of The Silence, a local minority advocacy group, and the NAACP filed a complaint to the U.S. Department of Education Monday alleging that black and Latino students, as well as students with disabilities, are being shut out of the school because Fairfax County consistently fails to identify them for gifted programs.

“Poor Latino kids are not being identified, and I worry part of that is language,” Martina Hone of the Coalition of Silence told NBC Washington. “African-American kids are not being identified. I’m worried that’s race.”

The complaint alleges that the county “…essentially operates a network of separate and unequal schools,” and that “for decades, these students have been grossly and disproportionately underrepresented in admission to the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology.”

According to the complaint, 476 students comprise Thomas Jefferson’s incoming class. Of those, 43 percent are white, 46 percent are Asian and just more than 8 percent are multiracial. Black students, however, comprise just 0.6 percent — or three students — while Latino students only comprise 2.1 percent of the class. By contrast, black and Latino students make up 32 percent of Fairfax County’s student population.

 Knowing that New York Times reported the proficiency of Black students is far below what was expected (after trillions of dollars spent to close the racial gap in academic achievement), Mein Obama has announced the creation of a new, African American Education Initiative. Not only that, but it will be a new office to wage war on the horribly low scores Black students produce on their SAT/ACT tests (and AP tests or lack thereof for Black participation in honors/AP classes is quite low, even in majority Black schools):

President Barack Obama is creating a new office to bolster education of African-American students.

The White House says the office will coordinate the work of communities and federal agencies to ensure that African-American youngsters are better prepared for high school, college and career.

Obama is announcing his election-year initiative Wednesday night in a speech to the civil rights group the National Urban League as he seeks to rally black voters. Aides say his executive order, to be signed Thursday, will set a goal of producing “a more effective continuum” of programs for African-American students.

What do you this call this refusal to acknowledge the true source behind the completely forgotten Atlanta Public Schools (APS) cheating fiasco of 2011, knowing that the lofty goals set in the No Child Left Behind Act were more foolish and impossible to achieve than, well, Godot ever showing up. 

It’s not education parity… it’s education parody at this point.

Waiting for Superman, that noble effort to find the jolt of pure energy (perhaps in the form of Kal-El, a comic character and last son of Krypton) that will finally close the racial gap in education is the equivalent of Waiting for Godot. No matter the money; no matter the time; no matter the effort; no matter if you find a way to cause all white and Asian children to be born with autism, the racial gap will persist.

To quote from Beckett:

“But that is not the question. Why are we here, that is the question. And we are blessed in this, that we happen to know the answer. Yes, in this immense confusion one thing alone is clear. We are waiting for Godot to come.”

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