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WSJ: Republican Women Question Race-Based Standards for Alabama's Schools


Spaceman Spiff

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Figured this would be a hot topic around here:  http://online.wsj.com/article/PR-CO-20130702-913533.html

 

According to this article by Jamon Smith, "Beginning this fall, Alabama public schools will be under a new state-created academic accountability system that sets different goals for students in math and reading based on their race, economic status, ability to speak English and disabilities." Alabama's Plan 2020 "sets a different standard for students in each of several subgroups -- American Indian, Asian/Pacific islander, black, English language learners, Hispanic, multirace, poverty, special education and white."

The "race-based" standards are part of Common Core, adopted by the state board of education in November 2010.

Elois Zeanah, President of the Alabama Federation of Republican Women, stated, "No way would these standards, which have racial overtones, be accepted if there had been an opportunity for public debate. Parents have no idea that their elected state education officials and the state superintendent of education, are forcing different standards on their children based on their family income and race. Isn't this discrimination? Doesn't this imply that some students are not as smart as others depending on their genetic and economic backgrounds?"

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Yeah, I'm inclined to agree with Ms. Zeanah here. I sure as hell don't want anyone treating me differently because of my race. I believe I'm able to achieve at the same standards a white person can achieve and I don't want there to be any "yeah, buts..." when I reach those standards.

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It is a mistake to do so(except perhaps for some disabled/SE),as much flack as Texas schools get we still show race should not be used in such a manner....making tutors,remedial classes ect available is much more effective

I'm not a fan of ESL either except as a means to integrate to english,continual parallel programs are a mistake.

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Special needs? Yeah, I can see that. Handicap? If it's mental, sure. Race? Economic? Geographic?

 

If I was a parent, I'd be packing up and moving in a heartbeat. As a son of a Mexican Immigrant with a PhD in solar physics who is COO of a company that builds satellite parts, I think I'll pass on any help from the man. I don't believe for a moment that I need any help to achieve equal success and I don't want a big ****ing asterisk next to my name when I do. This makes me sick.

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I'm not a fan of ESL either except as a means to integrate to english,continual parallel programs are a mistake.

I'm of the opposite mind... I'd expand dual language programs to American students. English only is a weakness.

Having said that reduced standards for minority students looks like discrimination to me. Education needs to be about effectiveness not cooking the books, which is what this looks like. Schools aren't meeting the marks for minority students? Well then we'll move the goal posts closer and celebrate a win. That's the wrong attitude.

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worse than a asterisk is that lowered expectation usually gives lower results,perpetuating the problems

worse than a asterisk is that lowered expectation usually gives lower results,perpetuating the problems

Des, I fully support requiring learning a second language, what I was complaining about is is the opposite of that
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Des, I fully support requiring learning a second language, what I was complaining about is is the opposite of that

Then we agree.  I was in ESL when I first entered school here in the US and learned English pretty quickly.  I was in and out of that program fast but I was young and languages are easier to learn early in life.  

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Strongest, most consistent and longest term language instruction should be all about English.

 

That I've lived in the D.C./Balt. tip of the megalopolis for a long time has given me a special perspective on this matter.  

 

There have been times when I've been profiled by recent immigrant PEOPLE OF COLOR  as a lifelong English speaker because I'm a white guy.   During these incidents I've been asked to be, not quite a translator, but rather an interpreter, of another's broken English.

Usually I've been able to render adequate service in this wise.   Examples run the gamut:  Korean woman trying to talk to Honduran woman, etc. 

 

Recent immigrants have enough headaches to sort out without the "Let's have a nation of Babel!"  crowd playing their dodgy games.

 

Oh yeah, and complaints about those from south of the border along the lines of "they don't want to learn English!" have reached my ears many times from lips born in Africa, Asia and the Caliphate. 

 

Throwing something else in the mix does these other folks, especially in the 2 job having working class, no favors at all.

 

 

 

 

 

velocet

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It's funny that for a state generally known for having a poor education system, that they would set their standards even lower.  More than anything it's probably an excuse for them to cut funding from inner city and rural schools who do poorly.  Simply set their standards lower and voila-- they meet their standards just as the affluent schools meet theirs, so no extra funding is needed.  Ironically this is a progressive move, but I can only see this being used as a reason to withdraw funding from the poorly educated.

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Great Velocet! So I suppose you have no problems understanding Jagdish from India's accent when he answers your customer service request, right?

 

 

Actually, that hasn't been an issue, since you mention it.   

 

When interacting with someone new to English, listening far more carefully than usual is really the only key. Practice in that vein does indeed yield a certain skill, and that, cumulatively.  

 

An aside:  I've noticed that my practiced patient and attentive demeanor when listening puts people at a certain ease.  They don't feel as though the entire onus is on their nascent English skills; that any communication failure is all their fault. 

 

In fact,  "No no! You're doing fine... I didn't understand that last part because I'm an idiot..."  while pointing to my head and rolling my eyes is phrasing I've  employed before.   Relief visible via body language is the reward for that.

 

 

 I've witnessed other "native" speakers in action and at times it hasn't been pretty.   The unconscious full or partial scowl and the concomitant  impatient "huh?"s or "what?'s  kinda suck for the one struggling to be understood, I can imagine. 

I hate that noise.

 

 

 

velocet

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It's funny that for a state generally known for having a poor education system, that they would set their standards even lower.  More than anything it's probably an excuse for them to cut funding from inner city and rural schools who do poorly.  Simply set their standards lower and voila-- they meet their standards just as the affluent schools meet theirs, so no extra funding is needed.  Ironically this is a progressive move, but I can only see this being used as a reason to withdraw funding from the poorly educated.

 

This or they are at risk of losing money from the feds for educational funding because of students not meeting appropriate standards. However, I'm sure if this idea was proposed and presented to the feds, they would not have accepted it. It makes me believe your scenario to be more likely.

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Destino, on 14 Jul 2013 - 20:38, said:

twa, on 14 Jul 2013 - 20:24, said:

I'm not a fan of ESL either except as a means to integrate to english,continual parallel programs are a mistake.

I'm of the opposite mind... I'd expand dual language programs to American students. English only is a weakness.

Having said that reduced standards for minority students looks like discrimination to me. Education needs to be about effectiveness not cooking the books, which is what this looks like. Schools aren't meeting the marks for minority students? Well then we'll move the goal posts closer and celebrate a win. That's the wrong attitude.

Evidence doesn't support your position on dual language regimens. Although from what you stated about expanding it to English speakers I believe you confused dual language programs with second language training/teaching programs. Dual language programs do not encourage learning a second language - ie their programs teach non-English speakers in their native languages and results have shown students in schools that do this fall behind their (like languaged) contemporaries that are emersed in English taught classes. Just a side note - I recently visited Germany and they use emersion teaching and require their students to be taught in German (ie my neices) - it worked.
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Evidence doesn't support your position on dual language regimens. Although from what you stated about expanding it to English speakers I believe you confused dual language programs with second language training/teaching programs. Dual language programs do not encourage learning a second language - ie their programs teach non-English speakers in their native languages and results have shown students in schools that do this fall behind their (like languaged) contemporaries that are emersed in English taught classes. Just a side note - I recently visited Germany and they use emersion teaching and require their students to be taught in German (ie my neices) - it worked.

I was referring to bilingual immersion programs, which my friends with children in such programs, have called dual language in conversations on the subject.  These programs, as I understand it, divide the school day into two languages with the goal of producing students that can read, write, and speak both.  I'm hoping to place my daughter in such a program when she's old enough.  

 

She's only 6 months old right now though, and much more interested in grabbing her feet than anything else, so I've got some time to sort things out. :)   

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