Self-Segregation in Charter Schools

Discussion in 'Parenting and Education' started by MarketStEl, Mar 15, 2017.

  1. MarketStEl

    MarketStEl Will Work for Food, But Prefers Cash

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    Charter school proponents tout the privately run public schools as a way to improve choice and educational outcomes for students, especially students in low-income and minority communities.

    Some studies have already suggested that charters as a whole don't produce significantly better educational outcomes for students thanks to wide variations in the quality of the individual schools. Now a new study of charter schools in Pennsylvania finds that black and Latino students especially will choose charter schools where their own race dominates even if more diverse schools are closer. (White students also tended to make this choice, but the distance factor, it appears, wasn't as significant.)

    Students seem to prefer charter schools dominated by members of their race, Pa. study finds | Newsworks / WHYY

    So has it come to pass that, after the great push for integration of the Civil Rights years and the subsequent rise of identity politics, we've all internalized Jim Crow? Or is something else afoot?
     
  2. Hospitalitygirl

    Hospitalitygirl Resident Ornery Bitch

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    Why is this a surprise? Look at the suburbs--you know those places people move to supposedly for the schools. They're really just another way to self-segregate.
     
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  3. ShoshTrvls

    ShoshTrvls Well-Known Member

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    I think that there are factors here that can't be so easily dismissed as "self-segregation."

    Charter schools sell themselves, and need to distinguish themselves to do so. So you end up seeing some charters with slick marketing brochures which are designed to appeal to a certain demographic. So some focus on "discipline," with the belief that this will appeal to blacks who are afraid that their kids will end up in gangs, or, similarly, on test scores, which may be seen as the key to a college education. On the other hand, whereas places like Independence Charter (a mostly white charter) focus on softer elements because most white families really aren't as worried that their kid is going to become a street corner drug dealer.
     
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  4. billy ross

    billy ross Well-Known Member

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    ICS is mostly white? I don't believe that.
     
  5. ShoshTrvls

    ShoshTrvls Well-Known Member

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    I just looked at the stats and you are correct, now it is not. But 5-10 years ago when it started, it was lots and lots of white kids immersed in Spanish. From the school's page, it also looks like it is no longer a parent-driven school (which is what charters were meant to be) -- the PTA page hasn't been updates since before November, 2016.
     
  6. tsarstruck

    tsarstruck Well-Known Member

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    I'll never forget the zoning meeting with a charter school that I won't mention. During the meeting, I was weirded out by *how* they were talking about their French language and ballet offerings and how they kept focusing on how they weren't going to be offering buses. And then after the meeting, I swear to God, the principal told me that she "couldn't believe how many white parents are sending their kids to public schools." My mouth just about hit the floor. If you don't think charters *themselves* are part of the segregation, I've got a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.
     
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  7. OldMama

    OldMama Finally retired. Newly married. Kids are gone.

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    By not offering buses, charters can keep out students they don't want. Many of the ones that don't offer busing tend to be very white.
     
    #7 OldMama, Apr 5, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2017
  8. MarketStEl

    MarketStEl Will Work for Food, But Prefers Cash

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    (emphasis added)

    Race traitors, all of 'em, obviously.

    But that would actually jibe with buzz I've been hearing recently - comments to the effect that "Philly's public schools aren't as bad as everyone says they are."
     
  9. tsarstruck

    tsarstruck Well-Known Member

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    The comment was half the "not as bad" vibe, but the other half "we can make this a white school." When your principal says that, the school doesn't bus, the school emphasizes French and ballet... that's not just quacking like a duck.
     
  10. MarketStEl

    MarketStEl Will Work for Food, But Prefers Cash

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    One of the things I have a hard time explaining to willfully blind (conservatives | liberals) is that there is a crucial difference between the white flavor of self-segregation and the black one.

    One of those willfully blind folks, this one on the right, asked me in the course of a discussion on a related topic (namely, integration and why so many blacks insist on it) on Facebook, "wouldn't the problem be solved by giving the black schools the same resources as the white ones?"

    I had to explain to him why "separate but equal" wasn't - and wouldn't be if we tried it again now.

    Whites self-segregate to preserve their privilege and advantages (real or perceived).

    Blacks self-segregate to create environments where they're not subject to white presumptions of inferiority.

    BTW, in case you've forgotten, I'm an integrationist.
     
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  11. billy ross

    billy ross Well-Known Member

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    I disagree. Whites self-segregate to preserve their standards. See White Flight. It's useful to bring the Asians into the mix. I see them as Uber-whites. So from the standpoint of educational standards, it's Asians > Whites > Hispanics > Blacks. Blacks have fairly recently got on board with the idea that education is Beyond Important. But you know that 'Blacks' aren't a monolith. So there is a cohort of blacks that see education as the pinnacle. The Obamas are in that cohort. And there is a cohort of parents who simply don't understand education. They aren't agin' it. They simply don't grasp its subtleties. That cohort is overrepresented in the parents of Roxborough High School students. So whites (and Asians and educationally oriented blacks and Hispanics) avoid Roxborough High in droves. And rightly so.

    Your description of it as "Whites self-segregate to preserve their privilege and advantages (real or perceived)." is patronizing at best and self-delusional at worst.
     
    #11 billy ross, Apr 25, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2017
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  12. OldMama

    OldMama Finally retired. Newly married. Kids are gone.

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    I see very little difference in "reserving their privilege and advantages" and "to preserve their standards." Both imply that blacks have lower standards., that their children can't succeed in schools in which the whites are not a strong majority.
     
  13. eldondre

    eldondre Well-Known Member

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    when looking at schools for our daughter, the advice we got was that in the lower levels you just need good environment for learning...once you have that, they differences aren't huge. as they get older, the quality of the schools begin to separate. in our catchment, the local school went from being something nobody would consider to something people are trying to make work. behind that is a lot of effort by a few parents and, frankly, stability. the school's finances increase incrementally each year and have for a few years rather than being cut which is leading to schools people will choose. it also helps that some of the old transfer in schools are full so people who want to send their kids to public school and stay in the city have to choose the local catchment.
    as for your other comment about privilege, I would think that parents are mostly the same. we want what is best for our kids. most simply assume all the schools are bad, many are put off by the terrible test scores. while they value diversity they are going to choose a school with good test scores.
     
    #13 eldondre, Apr 25, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2017
  14. boognish

    boognish Well-Known Member

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    You see, white guys have names like Lenny, while black guys have names like Carl.
     
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  15. ShoshTrvls

    ShoshTrvls Well-Known Member

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    There is no difference; it's still bigotry and racism.
     
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  16. MarketStEl

    MarketStEl Will Work for Food, But Prefers Cash

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    You're making that argument to the wrong black person, my friend.

    It may have been a relatively small percentage of African-Americans who went around establishing schools like Cheyney University (nee the Institute for Colored Youth) in the years leading up to the Civil War, and there certainly weren't enough Quakers to ensure schools like Lincoln University and Wilberforce College were more plentiful, but there have been blacks who understand the importance of education in this country for centuries; I think some guy named Du Bois did as well, though he identified the stratum of black society that would truly be able to take advantage of it for the advancement of the race as one-tenth of the population.

    And don't forget that, prior to the Civil War, the states where most black Americans lived made it a crime to teach them to read and write, and those same states were slow to establish schools where they could learn those things after the war ended.

    Most of the African-Americans you find in our large Northeast cities and those of the industrial Midwest are the children of the Second Great Migration, which brought many residents of those same states north in search of opportunity, much as generations of immigrants from abroad did. They far outnumber the descendants of the likes of Octavius V. Catto, one of the founders of the Institute for Colored Youth.

    Blacks native to my part of the country don't display the attitudes you describe here either, or at least not the ones I knew growing up. Certainly not my mother - and I'm pretty sure I've told you about her. She may have been the first in her family to graduate from college, but others in that same family did the same things, including one of her two sisters and half my cousins (one of whom went to one of those separate-but-equal universities for Negroes in my native state, after all that fell by the wayside. It's named for Lincoln too, a fact I consider noteworthy in the former slave state I grew up in.

    They didn't quite know what to make of me at William Rockhill Nelson my first three years there. Then they started busing in kids from the school I would have attended had my Mom not sought an out-of-district transfer, knowing that I wouldn't get as good an education at that school (it was overcrowded and Nelson had plenty of room). Now maybe this undercuts my argument, but I went from being Them to being Us after that, most likely by virtue of my already being there.

    Some of us, and more than a handful, got the idea a long time ago. Most of us weren't even allowed to get it until not all that long ago, historically speaking. But somehow that's our fault.

    And some of us still get the message that we ain't supposed to be edumacated. I had an interesting conversation along those lines with Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell's chief of staff after an event in U-City I reported on in "Property" a couple of weeks back. She works with young children in an educational-enrichment program as a volunteer. She told me that when she announced that her group would be making a field trip to the Penn campus, the kids replied, "Oh, no, we can't go there. That's not for us."

    "Yes, you can go there, and we will," she responded.

    They did, and the kids learned a valuable lesson thereby.

    Now, I'm sure they got that impression from their peers and their parents, who probably didn't know any better. But who do you think put those ideas into their heads? I'm willing to wager that it wasn't an explicit message - and that the messengers weren't black - but they received it anyway.
     
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  17. MarketStEl

    MarketStEl Will Work for Food, But Prefers Cash

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    Strike "in which the whites are not a strong majority" from that sentence and it becomes a little more accurate.

    Replace it with "and they'll drag our kids down with them" and you have a more accurate description of the sentiment.
     
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  18. MarketStEl

    MarketStEl Will Work for Food, But Prefers Cash

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    In support of my point, billy ross, I offer you a little light reading:

    Segregation on the Upper Main Line: The "School Fight" of 1932-34 (Tredyffrin-Easttown Historical Quarterly, 42(1), Winter 2005)

    Our cover feature "Racial Profiling on the Main Line," which came out in the December 2015 issue (the first one I saw after getting hired at Phillymag), covers much the same (physical and attitudinal) territory.
     
  19. ShoshTrvls

    ShoshTrvls Well-Known Member

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    Sandy, I give you great credit in your responses here. Were I in your shoes, I'm not sure I could take such a reasoned approach (and, indeed, I did not, as you can see from the above).
     
  20. OldMama

    OldMama Finally retired. Newly married. Kids are gone.

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    Very true, Sandy. Both my kids were racial and socio-economic minorities in their elementary schools ( we were certainly more middle class than most of their classmates). They did just fine, very well actually, although I did have to convince several family members that I wasn't crazy.

    And now, I will bow out of this discussion. I was married on Saturday and need to get ready to go on a honeymoon next week. A trip to Alaska for three weeks. The perks of being retired.
     
    #20 OldMama, Apr 27, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2017
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  21. boognish

    boognish Well-Known Member

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    Congrats! I know you've been talking about the big day for a while now.

    Enjoy that honeymoon!
     
  22. Titus

    Titus Well-Known Member

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    That's a fascinating article. As someone who grew up in Tredyffrin-Eastown School District I had never heard of this outrageous chapter in local history. I will admit, though that African American students were in a tiny minority when I was in school in the 50s - 60s. There were (and remain to a degree) distinct pockets where African Americans lived. In school they kept to themselves, but I never heard any comment or disparaging remark made.

    Thanks for this.
     
  23. MarketStEl

    MarketStEl Will Work for Food, But Prefers Cash

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  24. Templeton

    Templeton Well-Known Member

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    It seemed a little off your topic, but supported your thesis that some racial outcomes in schools aren't all harmless coincidences.
     
  25. billy ross

    billy ross Well-Known Member

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    Whites self segregate to flee low quality. The goals isn't so much segregation as it is maintaining standards, but I do recognize that the result mirrors segregation to an extent. I know it's appealing to exonerate blacks for their own plight because of course it's always whiteys fault. But it's intellectually lazy and it's incorrect.

    Teacher hurt in student melee at Cheltenham High School

    The same thing happened at Washington High a few years back. When whites see stuff like this happening, it's a sign that standards have gotten unacceptably low and that this place is no longer an option. My guess is that some blacks come to the same conclusion also. Keep in mind that in Detroit it eventually got to a point of 'Black Flight'. People opt away from low standards. People opt towards high standards. There's White Flight going on in parts of NE Philly right now. It isn't white prople trying to preserve their privilege. They just see unacceptable things occurring and they're out of there. Blacks on the other hand see it as an improvement over South Philly or Germantown because the neighborhood is 'quieter' and in better condition. So blacks move in as the whites flee.

    Also please note that when blacks arrive and standards are maintained, whites don't flee. This of course is the story of West Mt. Airy and what makes it such an interesting story. There the standard narrative was turned on its head, as you well know. Connect the dots. It isn't whitey trying to hold the blacks down. It's whitey trying to live in a world with cultural standards that they're comfortable with. And in my opinion we should celebrate cultural differences a little more rather than trying to deny that they exist or to extinguish them, both of which are the present PC model.
     
    #26 billy ross, May 4, 2017
    Last edited: May 4, 2017
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  26. OldMama

    OldMama Finally retired. Newly married. Kids are gone.

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    This is so simplistic as to be useless. Low quality is a perception and is often not based in reality. More often, it is based on long-standing prejudice and fear.
     
  27. Hospitalitygirl

    Hospitalitygirl Resident Ornery Bitch

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    Nope, sorry. Low quality is reflected in increases in fighting in schools; it's reflected in increased vandalism to personal property; it's reflected in generally unacceptable behavior (brandishing guns by rather young people, for example) that previously either didn't exist or existed in such low numbers as to be negligible.
     
  28. billy ross

    billy ross Well-Known Member

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    Wow. We agree. In order to live where I live, you need to be able to handle your garden furniture and your plantings disappearing here and there. You need to be able to handle getting stuck in line behind someone who forgot their password on their access card five times after going over their limit three times and having this fry the computer system (this happened to us just last night). Many white (and other!) people simply can't handle these small insults. So they check out to where they can use the Giant out in the suburbs and the clientele and workforce know how to make systems work rather than know how to break them down. The same is true for schools. And the post office.

    Me I relearned for the unpteenth time a painful lesson last night about getting in line behind two generations of single moms shopping together, and in future I'll be sure to look for stable (and hopefully mature) couples to get behind since they seem less likely to clog up the system with four transactions per shop - two Access and two cash / credit - plus general cluelessness. My wife was a total limousine liberal until she got stuck behind one of those farces one too many times. Honestly white people who haven't grown up with this have a really hard time dealing with it, and they check out because they can't handle it. Sandy haughtily calls that 'preserving their privileges'. I call it being unwilling to countenance things which are below their standards and are in truth unfathomable to them.
     
    #29 billy ross, May 4, 2017
    Last edited: May 4, 2017
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  29. Hospitalitygirl

    Hospitalitygirl Resident Ornery Bitch

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    Billy, we actually do agree from time to time, and the Earth doesn't stop in its track.
    What I have witnessed in various parts of the Northeast are indicative of what you write.

    Where my father lives in a house and area many still find desirable, (and my daughter and son-in-law would love to own once they move back to Philadelphia), but I've seen the effects of the different kids from when we grew up there and their inability to pick up trash or just not throw it wherever the go, or the neighbors who move in and are of different cultures and races (more Asian and S American) who just don't maintain the outsides of their properties the way my now 83 y/o, bladder cancer afflicted now ostomy wearing father does still. But that's just a minor nit.
     

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