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Tag Archives: Race and ethnicity in the United States Census

Civil Disobedience and No Child Left Behind – Part 1/9

This post supports “civil disobedience” among teachers when the situation warrants it, which is why I feel it may be right for teachers to help students cheat on standardized tests that are mandated by The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB).

One individual I will call Mr. Morally Correct, sent me an e-mail on this topic. He wrote, “There (are) instances where it is morally right to lie for the greater good such as to save a life, to save another person from violence, etc.

“However, when a person voluntarily puts himself into an untenable situation and then attempts to claim a lie is justified for the greater good that is immoral and not excusable.”

Mr. Morally Correct then wrote, “Teachers working in the unionized public school system voluntarily put themselves into a corrupt system. The state faithfully paid administrators and teachers to educate children, and these individuals faithfully cashed their checks knowing they (were) failing their contractual obligation. When the state implemented tests to insure they were receiving what was paid for, teachers cheated to conceal their ongoing decades old fraud.”

Mr. Morally Correct ignores facts that prove about 80% of children (mostly White and Asian-American) are succeeding in the public schools according to the NCLB Act, and he bases his claim that the public schools are failing on the minority of students that are not showing gains.


I recommend watching this half-hour video since it points out several factors why failing students fail, which the NCLB Act does not address. For example, one reason scores are not improving in poor performing schools is due partially to the high student mobility-turnover rate

Mr. Morally Correct says, “Then the teachers (Mr. Morally Correct included me in his indictment), claimed they were justified because of self-esteem issues (implausible) and fear of losing their jobs. I find this excuse morally indefensible because every teacher working in a substandard school should have quit after discovering they could not educate students for whatever reason including the students’ refusal to learn.”

Well, Mr. Morally Correct, my response is that there wouldn’t be anyone teaching in the public schools, and when those teachers quit, they would be abandoning the 80% of the students that are succeeding and improving scores, which includes most White and Asian-American students and significant numbers of African-American and Hispanic/Latino students.

In an ideal world, it might be possible to expect all students to be teachable but we do not live in an ideal world and not all students are teachable. Public education is mandatory to age 18 from kindergarten to twelfth grade. Many of the most difficult students to teach would not be in a school setting if education was voluntary.

Mr. Morally Correct is saying is that if a teacher cannot be successful with “all” of his or her students, he or she should quit.

There is a reason why some students are not teachable, which I will provide more details of in Civil Disobedience and No Child Left Behind – Part 2 on September 1, 2011.

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

lloydlofthouse_crazyisnormal_web2_5

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

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Blind Obedience – Part 3/4

America’s public schools are not failing.

In 2010, of about 42 million students attending the public schools (K – 12), white–non Hispanic (23.2 million) and Asian (1.9 million) met the goals of the NCLB Act, and these two racial groups represents more than 25 million (59%), while the two ethnic groups that did not measure up were African-American (6.2 million) and Hispanic/Latino (9.9 million) representing about 16 million students.

This does not mean all African-American or Hispanic/Latino students failed to meet the standards set by the NCLB Act but most did.

Since students may not graduate from high school without passing a competency test and about 50% of African-Americans graduate from high school annually, that says more than 3 million African-American students were successful in addition to more than 6 million Latinos.

Then more than 16% (one million) of African-American and 14% (1.4 million) of Hispanic/Latino students graduate from college.

Did America’s public school teachers fail these African-American and Hispanic/Latino students? I do not think so.

The same “e-mail critic” I quoted in Part 1 dismissed what I said about our daughter (in another e-mail) attending the public schools and “learning” well enough from her (K to 12) teachers to graduate from high school and be accepted to Stanford. She just completed her first year at Stanford with flying colors mostly thanks to her public school teachers and the great job they did teaching. Those same teachers also had African-American and Hispanic/Latino students in their classes.

The “e-mail critic” said our daughter was an exception infering that most students of all racial groups fail when in fact, that is not the case.

My point was that if our daughter learned what her public school teachers taught, there is no excuse for those students and their parents that do not meet the mandates of the NCLB Act.

Our daughter is Asian-American and there are 1.9 million Asian-American students in the U.S. public schools that as an ethnic group met the requirements of the NCLB Act with the highest average score when compared to all other racial groups.

Do we dismiss 1.9 million Asian American students and the dedication of the parents and say they do not count?

Do we measure all students by those at the bottom with parents (among other inequalities) that did not do an adequate job supporting their children’s education?

If you want to know how dedicated the average Asia-American parent is, I recomment you to the Amy Chua controversy and her memoir, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.

Continued on July 27, 2010 in Blind Obedience – Part 4 or return to Part 2

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

lloydlofthouse_crazyisnormal_web2_5

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Sign me up!”

 

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Eager to Learn or Not – Part 9/10

During the 30 years that I taught English, reading and journalism in the public schools, I worked with thousands of students from every ethnic and socioeconomic group.

My family, although of White/Caucasian heritage with roots to England, Ireland and Europe would have been placed in three of the categories that the Academic Performance Index (API) identifies.

My brother and I would have been labeled as White (Caucasian), Socioeconomically Disadvantaged and Students with (learning) Disabilities.

A student that is labeled “Socioeconomically Disadvantaged” is defined as “a student neither of whose parents have received a high school diploma or a student eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program”.

A “Student with Disabilities” is defined as student who receives special education services and has a valid disability code on the student answer document (or) a student who was previously identified as special education but who is no longer receiving special education services for two years after exiting special education. This student is not counted in determining numerical significance for the SWDs subgroup.

The API monitors and measures the schools to see if the NCLB Act’s goal of reaching an average and/or norm for all Ethnic/Racial subgroups that is 800 or better on the API is being met.  Failure for schools and teachers to reach this goal for all subgroups may lead to being fired and/or having schools shut down while students will be bussed long distances to schools that have been successful.

For 2010, in California, the norm/average for Students with Disabilities was 544; for Socioeconomically Disadvantaged that norm/average was 701 while the norm for White/Caucasian was 842.

During the thirty years I taught in a public classroom, the subgroups that (on average) resembled my brother Richard and I are found mostly in Black or African American (API 676) and Hispanic or Latino (API 706) subgroups.  Source: 2010-11 APR Glossary-Base API

Continued on July 21, 2011 in Eager to Learn or Not – Part 10 or return to Part 8

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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Putting the Blame where it Belongs — Part 6/6

Comparing the current method used to report API scores with my friend’s suggestion.

A numeric API score ranges from a low of 200 to a high of 1000. The interim statewide API performance target for all schools is 800. A school’s growth is measured by how well it is moving toward or past that goal. The target date to reach this goal is 2014. Recently, Education Secretary Arne Duncan admitted that 82 percent of public schools could be labeled “failing” under No Child Left Behind specifications as they are written at this time.

Current Academic Performance Index Growth by Student Group in California

2010 Growth API Comparison

All Students ­– 767
Black or African American – 686
American Indian or Alaska Native – 728
Asian – 890
Filipino – 851
Hispanic or Latino – 715
Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander – 753
White – 838
Two or More Races – 808
Socioeconomically Disadvantaged – 712
English Learners – 692
Students with Disabilities – 580

My Friend’s Suggested API Report
(Since this does not exist, this is a fictional representation)

900 – 1000
5% of student population, which completed 95 to 100% of homework and/or class work and participated daily in class – average student with this API score reading at or above grade level

800 – 899
15% of student population, which completed 80 to 95% of home work and/or class work and participated often in class – average student with this API score reading at or within one or two years of grade level

700 – 799
30% of student population, which completed between 70 to 82% of homework and/or class work and sometimes participated in class. – average student with this API score reading two or three years below grade level

600 to 699
30% of student population, which completed between 55 to 68% of homework and/or class work and seldom participated in class – average student with this API score reading four to five years below grade level

500 to 599
15% of student population, which completed between 45 to 60% percent of homework and/or class work and rarely participate in class – average student with this API score reading at about fourth grade level

499 or less
5% of student population, which completed less than 10% of homework, 30% of class work and never participated in class – average student with this API score reading at about second grade level

Note — There may also be percentages for each of the six levels that show each ethnic group in each API ranking. For example, 800 – 899 = African-American 10%, Asian 30%, Latino 8%, and White 52%. This way we learn that of the 15% of total students that scored in the 800 – 899 range, there are students of each ethnic group in that API ranking.

Return to Solving the Putting the Blame where it Belongs – Part 5 or start with Part 1

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

To subscribe to “Crazy Normal”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.

 

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Putting the Blame where it Belongs — Part 3/6

Students, teachers, parents, everybody can use these “new” rankings to improve education. A black or Latino student with a low API score can clearly see how he can improve his score. If he puts in more homework time, increases classroom participation, and strives to bring up this classroom test scores by studying and asking questions, he will move up.

This is how API scores should be evaluated, but we don’t because our society is deeply brainwashed to see everything in terms of race.

Those who create and blindly accept the current Academic Performance Index Growth by Student Group – 2010 Growth API Comparison are themselves racist and don’t even know it.

The Black or Latino student looking at this racial ranking clearly sees it is hopeless to even try! Racism like this keeps low achieving racial minorities suppressed which clearly must be the purpose of this modern day version of Jim Crow.

The challenge is to show who is involved in class participation (class work, academic discussions and asking questions), doing the homework, and studying for tests and quizzes.

This is easy to show and Part 4 will show everyone how this will be accomplished.

Continued on May 18, 2011 in Putting the Blame where it Belongs – Part 4 or return to Part 2

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

To subscribe to “Crazy Normal”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.

 

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Avoid the Mainstream Parent Trap – Part 8/9

In Part 4 of Recognizing Good Parenting, I focused on another method of parenting—the average Asian-American parent. The results provided in Parts 5 through 8 in that series are impressive.

Well before Amy Chua and her essay in The Wall Street Journal then her memoir, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, Asiance Magazine reported December 2009, “How (average) Asian-American parents raise successful children.

“What Chinese (Asian-American) parents understand is that nothing is fun until you’re good at it. To get good at anything you have to work, and children on their own never want to work, which is why it is crucial to override their preferences.

“This often requires fortitude on the part of the parents because the child will resist; things are always hardest at the beginning, which is where Western parents tend to give up.”

The author wrote, “Western friends (parents) who consider themselves strict make their children practice their instruments 30 minutes every day. An hour at most.


Kindergarten children – Is this the result of parents using old-world methods of parenting?

“For a Chinese mother, the first hour is the easy part. It’s hours two and three that get tough.

“Chinese parents can order their kids to get straight As. Western parents can only ask their kids to try their best.”

Many of Amy Chua’s critics claim this description of the average Asian-American from Asiance Magazine is a stereotype and is wrong

However, Jean M. Twenge, Ph.D. writing in Psychology Today explains Why Chinese Mothers Really are Superior (on average). “It’s not stereotyping when it’s right.… Asian Americans have the lowest self-esteem of any ethnic group in the U.S., but achieve the best academic performance (and, among adults, the lowest unemployment rate)…

“On average,” Dr. Twenge says, “Asian parents use more discipline and insist upon hard work more than Western parents. And on average, their kids do better….”

In Part 9, take a test to discover how much of an “average” American parent you might be.

Continued on May 12, 2011 in Avoid the Mainstream Parent Trap – Part 9 or return to Part 7

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran.

His latest novel is the award winning Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to kill Americans.

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Posted by on May 11, 2011 in family values, Parenting

 

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