As a public school teacher in California (1975 – 2005), we had an annual form we had to fill out that counted the girls, boys, and ethnicities in each of our classes. In fact, the annual school report card that was posted online identifies the ethnic, racial demographics of each school so we know how many Caucasians, Latinos, Asians, Philippians, African Americans, etc. attend each school.
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In America, we are supposed to be color blind but our government makes that impossible.
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Many colleges and universities in the US have ethnic/racial quotas to make sure everyone is represented on campus. To achieve this, even when it may be illegal, universities lower the entrance requirements for African-Americans and Latinos while Asian-Americans have to score higher than even Caucasians to be accepted.
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I always felt this was wrong and that everyone no matter what his or her ethnic, racial, or sexual orientation or sex should compete on an equal playing field for entry into college. You know, merit.
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I Reblogged this post from MRCYRIAC.com because it makes a point.

MR CYRIAC GOES TO WASHINGTON

The only thing that binds Asian Americans is the common fear of disappointing our parents.

Yesterday we took a look at the demographic rise of the Asian American community. And since I took the effort to examine what a Hispanic is a few weeks ago, I thought I’d just touch upon what it means to be Asian American.

I never liked the word Asian. I suppose all racial/ethnic categories are arbitrary and invented, but Asian takes the cake for the silliest. It always seemed absurd to lump together 60% of the world’s population into one group. And as far as geography goes, Europe and Asia are obviously part of the same landmass, so why this arbitrary boundary of the Ural mountains? What do folks from Saudi Arabia and Japan have in common? Malaysia and Mongolia?

While growing up, it was easy to see solidarity and understanding within the Black, White and Hispanic…

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9 Responses to

  1. merlin says:

    Actually it’s funny that it would be more complex to get the real statistics because more people are true Americans as opposed to immigrants. What I dislike is if they apply ethnicities to scholarships. I can agree scholarships for actual ETHNIC groups that immigrate to the US are helpful, but for an Asian American that’s grown up here their entire life it’s a knockout punch to the neighbor that’s white. Most Asian Americans live in an upper middle class or even “noble” class level because their parents being professionally qualified asians or an asian with a professional American that traveled multiple times to Asia.

    Usually Asian families stay together (or mix race families). I rarely find divorce in such families. As for the average white American family the divorce rates are high. I think it’s because the immigrant families feel they should stick together in a foreign environment, and the mixed race families stick together because they’ve done so much just to get married in the first place. Look at the cost of marrying a foreigner, the paperwork itself runs in the $800-1000 range. Divorcing would be throwing away a month or more paycheck, plus dealing with the court system on who’s to take the kids. That was a 3-ring circus for a guy not too long ago that divorced his Japanese wife, who later ran back to Japan with the kids against court order.

    So we’re looking at full families holding good paying jobs, and lets not forget how strict asians are with their kids education. It’s not just Asians, every culture focuses on their kid’s education. Mexicans maybe don’t force them to sit in front of a piano, but instead they share horror stories of their past and explain to their kids that life is better with a college education. Hispanic/latino families then have a greater tendency to want to learn and if you notice they usually dedicate any scholarships they earn to their sisters and brothers. If school doesnt work out for them, they look for support in street gangs that can make the salary of a CEO in a day’s sale of drugs.

    No wonder ethnic minorities are moving higher up the ladder while the average white boy/girl next door is finding a job after 6 months of searching working on the lines for a warehouse.

    • True about divorce and jobs for Asian Americans.

      Asian Americans, even those that have been in the US for generations (on average) do better in high school, go to college in higher ratios than other ethnic groups, graduate in higher ratios with more valuable college degrees, have lower divorce rates, lower unemployment, lower drug use, lower alchololism, lower suicide rate (even lower than Caucasions), lower teenage prenancy rates… Studies even show that Asian Americans have the lowest self-esteem in the country which may also be a factor in why they tend to work harder than any other ethnic group.

      Even generations later, the values of their Asian heritage tend to stick. The same goes for most Jewish Americans.

      For another example, I want to mention suicides

      CDC.gov shows that Whites and Native Americans have the highest suicide rates among both females and meals. In all racial groups, males kill themselves in much higher numbers than females.

      1st place (most suicides) goes to Native American females and males
      2nd place goes to White (Non-Hispanic/Latino)–both female and male.

      However, black women seem to be the strongest of all ethnic groups among women. They have the lowest suicide rate followed closely by Hisplanic/Latino women.

      “During 2005–2009, the highest suicide rates were among American Indian/Alaskan Native males with 27.61 suicides per 100,000 and Non-Hispanic White males with 25.96 suicides per 100,000. Of all female race/ethnicity groups, the American Indian/Alaskan Natives and Non-Hispanic Whites had the highest rates with 7.87 and 6.71 suicides per 100,000, respectively. The Asian/Pacific Islanders had the lowest suicide rates among males while the Non-Hispanic Blacks had the lowest suicide rate among females.”

      Source: http://www.cdc.gov/ViolencePrevention/suicide/statistics/rates02.html

      In addition, Latinos have the highest high school drop out rate and the lowest graduation rate from college.

      Between 1992 and 2003, literacy rates for White adults went up 9 quantitave points; black adults were up 16, while Latinos/Hispanics went down 18 point in prose and 14 points in document.

      In 2003, in prose, whites had the highest scorews followed by Asians/Pacific Islanders, Blacks and last Hispanics/Latinos.
      In Docuemtn, White and Asian/Pacific Islanders had the highest scores followed by Blacks and last Hispanics/Latinos.
      In Quantative, Whites had the higehest scores followed by Asians/Pacific Islanders, and both Black and last Hispanics/Latinos.

      Source: National Center for Education Statistics

      http://nces.ed.gov/naal/kf_dem_race.asp

      Note: I taught in a high school that was 70% Latino (today it is 80%). The Latinos born in the United States were the most difficult and challenging to teach (on average) while immigants (born in another Latin country and immigrated to US) tended to work harder. It is easy to access school report cards for public high schools in America and when you see a high school with a majority of Latinos and/or Blacks, the overall scores of the school tend to be MUCH lower than schools where the majority of students are White and/or Asian-American.

      • merlin says:

        Natives have a higher suicide rate? I thought it was due to their uncontrollable addiction to alcohol. African American women are the strongest of all ethnic groups of women? They’ve got a long history. As for OUTSIDE of the US, I dont know if those statistics still hold true globally.

        You stated that the American born Latino ethnic group were difficult to teach. Is that because they’ve grown up with the American culture and values?

      • Due to the fact that the US appears to be stratified by ethnicity and socio-educational, economic level, adapting to American cultural values may have affected each ethnic group (on average) differently depending on each ethnic groups’ perception of its role of history in the US in addition to how racism white on colored (Asian, Latino, Black, etc.) influenced those socioeconomic cultural adaptions.

        However, most Americans belong to the American tribe but within that tribe, there are smaller tribal groups that tend to live in condensed ethnic dominated city neighborhoods. The way to discover which neighborhoods are dominated by one ethnic group or another is easy. Study the annual school report cards of high schools and you soon know the ethnic, educational and economical breakdown of a community.

        Then most police departments in these communities keep crime statistics, which may also be accessed on the Internet. This way it is possible to collate, the cultural identify of a community.

        For example, I offer four high school report cards from high schools in California. The reason that these annual school report cards exist is because it is the law.

        You may discover that when the majority of students are black, Latino and/or socioeconomically disadvantaged, the average scores are low. When the majority of students are White, Asian and Filipino and there are few socioeconomically disadvantaged students, the average scores will be high.

        ________________________________

        Nogales High School, La Puente, California (the community that I taught in from 1975 – 2005.
        Student population today = 1,644 (when I taught there it ran between 2000 and 3000)
        White = 1.9%
        Black = 2.7%
        Asian = 3.9%
        Filipino = 9.4%
        Hispanic or Latino = 81.3%
        Socioeconomically Disadvantaged = 81.9%
        ESL students = 41.5%
        The Academic Performance Index Rank for three years (in addition the report breaks down academic performance average for each ethnic group)
        2008 = 3
        2009 = 4
        2010 = 5
        http://nhs.rowlandschools.org/ourpages/auto/2010/7/20/44903686/2011-12%20English%20SARC%20Nogales%20HS.pdf
        ___________________________________
        Los Lomas High School, Walnut Creek, California
        Total enrollment for the 2010-11 school year was 1,468
        White = 68%
        Black = 3%
        Filipino = 3%
        Asian = 11%
        Latino = 11%
        Socioeconomically Disadvantaged = 8.7%
        ESL students = 9.3%
        If you study the chart on page 7 that shows perentage of students scoring at profecient or advanced levels on STAR tests (the annual standardized test in California), you will discover the differences between each ethnic group and learn which ethnic group scored highest and lowest in each subject.
        Three of the ethnic groups (white, Filipinio and Asian) tend to always score higher on these tests. EIghty-two percent of Los Lomas student populaition is from these three ethnic groups.
        The Academic Performance Index Rank for three years was 10 ( the highest possible rank on the index)
        http://www.acalanes.k12.ca.us/cms/lib01/CA01001364/Centricity/Domain/6/sarcs/LLHSSARC2009-10.pdf
        ______________________________
        Oakland High School, California
        I had trouble finding and accessing this school report card so when I did, I copied and pasted the whole thing here. The API for the last three years is ranked a 2 every year, which means no improvement, with 10 being the highest rank . There may be a reason why the actual document was difficult to find. Most people would give up before they found it. However, as a former teacher, I knew it had to be there somewhere so I kept looking. Note: I deleted some of the information since it is necessary to make my point.
        Black = 31.9%
        Latino = 18.2%
        Asian = 43.7%
        White = 1.4%
        Socioeconomically Disadvantaged = 75.1%
        ESL students = 37.7%

        Executive Summary School Accountability Report Card, 2010–11

        Student Enrollment
        Group Enrollment
        Number of students 1,777
        Black or African American 31.9%
        American Indian or Alaska Native 0.3%
        Asian 43.7%
        Filipino 1.1%
        Hispanic or Latino 18.2%
        Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander 1.0%
        White 1.4%
        Two or More Races 0.2%
        Socioeconomically Disadvantaged 75.1%
        English Learners 37.7%
        Students with Disabilities 10.8%
        Total Teacher Misassignments 0
        Student Performance
        Subject Students Proficient and Above on STAR* Program Results
        English-Language Arts 31%
        Mathematics 17%
        Science 44%
        History-Social Science 20%
        *Standardized Testing and Reporting Program assessments used for accountability purposes include the California Standards Tests, the California Modified Assessment, and the California Alternate Performance Assessment.
        Academic Progress*
        Indicator Result
        2011 Growth API Score (from 2011 Growth API Report) 652
        Statewide Rank (from 2010 Base API Report) 2
        Met All 2011 AYP Requirements no
        Number of AYP Criteria Met Out of the Total Number of Criteria Possible Met 14 of 26
        2011–12 Program Improvement Status (PI Year) Year 5
        *The Academic Performance Index is required under state law. Adequate Yearly Progress is required by federal law.
        Science Laboratory Equipment (grades 9-12) 0
        School Completion
        Indicator Result
        Graduation Rate (if applicable) 70.17
        Postsecondary Preparation
        Measure Percent
        Pupils Who Completed a Career Technical Education Program and Earned a High School Diploma 54
        Graduates Who Completed All Courses Required for University of California or California State University Admission N/A
        School Accountability Report Card
        Student Enrollment by Grade Level (School Year 2010–11)
        Grade Level Number of Students Grade Level Number of Students
        Kindergarten 0 Grade 8 0
        Grade 1 0 Ungraded Elementary 0
        Grade 2 0 Grade 9 433
        Grade 3 0 Grade 10 503
        Grade 4 0 Grade 11 454
        Grade 5 0 Grade 12 387
        Grade 6 0 Ungraded Secondary 0
        Grade 7 0 Total Enrollment 1,777
        Student Enrollment by Subgroup (School Year 2010–11)
        Group Percent of Total Enrollment
        Black or African American 31.9%
        American Indian or Alaska Native 0.3%
        Asian 43.7%
        Filipino 1.1%
        Hispanic or Latino 18.2%
        Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander 1.0%
        White 1.4%
        Two or More Races 0.2%
        Socioeconomically Disadvantaged 75.1%
        English Learners 37.7%
        Students with Disabilities 10.8%

        III. School Climate
        Suspensions and Expulsions
        Rate* School 2008–09 School 2009–10 School 2010–11 District 2008–09 District 2009–10 District 2010–11
        Suspensions 15.22% 10.57% 14.01% 14.79% 14.16% 12.26%
        Expulsions 0.50% 0.11% 1.07% 0.15% 0.16% 0.19%
        * The rate of suspensions and expulsions is calculated by dividing the total number of incidents by the total enrollment.
        Note: High-poverty schools are defined as those schools with student eligibility of approximately 40 percent or more in the free and reduced price meals program. Low-poverty schools are those with student eligibility of approximately 25 percent or less in the free and reduced price meals program.
        IX. Student Performance
        Standardized Testing and Reporting Program

        The Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) Program consists of several key components, including:
        • California Standards Tests (CSTs), which include English-language arts (ELA) and mathematics in grades two through eleven; science in grades five, eight, and nine through eleven; and history-social science in grades eight, and nine through eleven.
        • California Modified Assessment (CMA), an alternate assessment that is based on modified achievement standards in ELA for grades three through eleven; mathematics for grades three through seven, Algebra I, and Geometry; and science in grades five and eight, and Life Science in grade ten. The CMA is designed to assess those students whose disabilities preclude them from achieving grade-level proficiency on an assessment of the California content standards with or without accommodations.
        • California Alternate Performance Assessment (CAPA), includes ELA and mathematics in grades two through eleven, and science for grades five, eight, and ten. The CAPA is given to those students with significant cognitive disabilities whose disabilities prevent them from taking either the CSTs with accommodations or modifications or the CMA with accommodations.

        The assessments under the STAR Program show how well students are doing in relation to the state content standards. On each of these assessments, student scores are reported as performance levels.

        For detailed information regarding the STAR Program results for each grade and performance level, including the percent of students not tested, see the CDE STAR Results Web site at http://star.cde.ca.gov.
        Standardized Testing and Reporting Results for All Students – Three-Year Comparison
        Subject Percent of Students Scoring at Proficient or Advanced (meeting or exceeding the state standards)
        School District State
        2008–09 2009–10 2010–11 2008–09 2009–10 2010–11 2008–09 2009–10 2010–11
        English-Language Arts 31% 35% 31% 38% 43% 45% 50% 52% 54%
        Mathematics 17% 22% 17% 39% 44% 46% 46% 48% 50%
        Science 37% 36% 44% 34% 41% 46% 50% 53% 56%
        History-Social Science 24% 22% 20% 25% 27% 32% 41% 44% 48%
        Note: Scores are not shown when the number of students tested is ten or less, either because the number of students in this category is too small for statistical accuracy or to protect student privacy.
        Standardized Testing and Reporting Results by Student Group – Most Recent Year
        Group Percent of Students Scoring at Proficient or Advanced
        English- Language Arts Mathematics Science History- Social Science
        All Students in the LEA 45% 46% 46% 32%
        All Students at the School 31% 17% 44% 20%
        Male 28% 16% 46% 22%
        Female 33% 18% 41% 19%
        Black or African American 18% 6% 22% 7%
        American Indian or Alaska Native 0% 0% 0% 0%
        Asian 42% 29% 56% 30%
        Filipino 29% 13% 0% 42%
        Hispanic or Latino 25% 6% 39% 13%
        Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander 17% 0% 0% 0%
        White 54% 15% 0% 0%
        Two or More Races 19% 19% 0% 6%
        Socioeconomically Disadvantaged 30% 17% 44% 20%
        English Learners 8% 15% 10% 2%
        Students with Disabilities 26% 16% 0% 2%
        Students Receiving Migrant Education Services
        Note: Scores are not shown when the number of students tested is ten or less, either because the number of students in this category is too small for statistical accuracy or to protect student privacy.
        California High School Exit Examination
        The California High School Exit Examination (CAHSEE) is primarily used as a graduation requirement. However, the grade ten results of this exam are also used to establish the percentages of students at three proficiency levels (not proficient, proficient, or advanced) in ELA and mathematics to compute AYP designations required by the federal ESEA, also known as NCLB.

        For detailed information regarding CAHSEE results, see the CDE CAHSEE Web site at http://cahsee.cde.ca.gov/.
        California High School Exit Examination Results for All Grade Ten Students – Three-Year Comparison (if applicable)
        Subject Percent of Students Scoring at Proficient or Advanced
        School District State
        2008–09 2009–10 2010–11 2008–09 2009–10 2010–11 2008–09 2009–10 2010–11
        English-Language Arts 41% 37% 42% 34% 35% 40% 52% 54% 59%
        Mathematics 51% 40% 47% 37% 36% 40% 53% 54% 56%
        Note: Scores are not shown when the number of students tested is ten or less, either because the number of students in this category is too small for statistical accuracy or to protect student privacy.
        California High School Exit Examination Grade Ten Results by Student Group – Most Recent Year (if applicable)
        Group English-Language Arts Mathematics
        Not Proficient Proficient Advanced Not Proficient Proficient Advanced
        All Students in the LEA 60% 21% 18% 60% 26% 14%
        All Students at the School 58% 26% 16% 53% 30% 17%
        Male 60% 27% 13% 52% 30% 18%
        Female 56% 26% 19% 55% 29% 16%
        Black or African American 77% 18% 5% 85% 10% 5%
        American Indian or Alaska Native 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
        Asian 43% 33% 24% 29% 43% 27%
        Filipino 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
        Hispanic or Latino 66% 23% 10% 63% 27% 10%
        Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
        White 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
        Two or More Races 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
        Socioeconomically Disadvantaged 57% 28% 15% 49% 33% 18%
        English Learners 88% 12% 0% 64% 27% 9%
        Students with Disabilities 100% 0% 0% 100% 0% 0%
        Students Receiving Migrant Education Services 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
        Note: Scores are not shown when the number of students tested is ten or less, either because the number of students in this category is too small for statistical accuracy or to protect student privacy.
        California Physical Fitness Test Results (School Year 2010–11)
        The California Physical Fitness Test (PFT) is administered to students in grades five, seven, and nine only. This table displays by grade level the percent of students meeting the fitness standards for the most recent testing period. For detailed information regarding this test, and comparisons of a school’s test results to the district and state, see the CDE PFT Web page at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/pf/.
        Grade Level Percent of Students Meeting Fitness Standards
        Four of Six Standards Five of Six Standards Six of Six Standards
        5
        7
        9 19% 16% 14%
        Note: Scores are not shown when the number of students tested is ten or less, either because the number of students in this category is too small for statistical accuracy or to protect student privacy.
        X. Accountability
        Academic Performance Index
        The Academic Performance Index (API) is an annual measure of state academic performance and progress of schools in California. API scores range from 200 to 1,000, with a statewide target of 800. For detailed information about the API, see the CDE API Web page at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/ac/ap/.
        Academic Performance Index Ranks – Three-Year Comparison
        This table displays the school’s statewide and similar schools’ API ranks. The statewide API rank ranges from 1 to 10. A statewide rank of 1 means that the school has an API score in the lowest ten percent of all schools in the state, while a statewide rank of 10 means that the school has an API score in the highest ten percent of all schools in the state.

        The similar schools API rank reflects how a school compares to 100 statistically matched “similar schools.” A similar schools rank of 1 means that the school’s academic performance is comparable to the lowest performing ten schools of the 100 similar schools, while a similar schools rank of 10 means that the school’s academic performance is better than at least 90 of the 100 similar schools.
        API Rank 2008 2009 2010
        Statewide 2 2 2
        Similar Schools 1 3 4
        Academic Performance Index Growth by Student Group – Three-Year Comparison
        Group Actual API Change 2008–09 Actual API Change 2009–10 Actual API Change 2010–11
        All Students at the School 3 13 3
        Black or African American 23 -13 -7
        American Indian or Alaska Native
        Asian -2 24 5
        Filipino
        Hispanic or Latino 9 38 3
        Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
        White
        Two or More Races N/D
        Socioeconomically Disadvantaged 6 7 2
        English Learners 38 -24 -4
        Students with Disabilities 52 -17 12
        Note: “N/D” means that no data were available to the CDE or LEA to report. “B” means the school did not have a valid API Base and there is no Growth or target information. “C” means the school had significant demographic changes and there is no Growth or target information.
        Academic Performance Index Growth by Student Group – 2011 Growth API Comparison
        This table displays, by student group, the number of students included in the API and the 2011 Growth API at the school, LEA, and state level.
        Group 2011 Growth API
        Number of Students School Number of Students LEA Number of Students State
        All Students at the School 1,125 652 26,718 726 4,683,676 778
        Black or African American 335 525 8,537 652 317,856 696
        American Indian or Alaska Native 3 95 703 33,774 733
        Asian 515 740 4,034 828 398,869 898
        Filipino 17 732 247 810 123,245 859
        Hispanic or Latino 208 607 9,893 698 2,406,749 729
        Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander 12 610 311 678 26,953 764
        White 13 743 2,133 911 1,258,831 845
        Two or More Races 4 458 853 76,766 836
        Socioeconomically Disadvantaged 930 652 16,731 694 2,731,843 726
        English Learners 439 608 11,108 702 1,521,844 707
        Students with Disabilities 121 444 2,844 539 521,815 595
        )
        Dropout Rate and Graduation Rate
        Indicator School District State
        2007–08 2008–09 2009–10 2007–08 2008–09 2009–10 2007–08 2008–09 2009–10
        Dropout Rate (1-year) 3.7 5.9 4.8 7.6 10.8 9.0 4.9 5.7 4.6
        Graduation Rate 83.85 78.84 70.17 67.60 59.20 58.37 80.21 78.59 80.44
        Note: The National Center for Education Statistics graduation rate as reported in AYP is provided in this table.
        Completion of High School Graduation Requirements
        This table displays, by student group, the percent of students who began the 2010–11 school year in grade twelve and were a part of the school’s most recent graduating class, meeting all state and local graduation requirements for grade twelve completion, including having passed both the ELA and mathematics portions of the CAHSEE or received a local waiver or state exemption.
        Group Graduating Class of 2011
        School District State
        All Students 71% 50.9% N/D
        Black or African American 62.8% 48.7% N/D
        American Indian or Alaska Native 50.0% 50.0% N/D
        Asian 82.7% 62.3% N/D
        Filipino 100.0% 81.0% N/D
        Hispanic or Latino 52.2% 57.3% N/D
        Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander 0.0% 70.2% N/D
        White 60.0% 70.0% N/D
        Two or More Races 66.7% 37.7% N/D
        Socioeconomically Disadvantaged 75.0% 53.9% N/D
        English Learners 53.7% 36.1% N/D
        Students with Disabilities 60.3% 49.8% N/D
        Note: “N/D” means that no data were available to the CDE or LEA to report.

        _____________________________________
        Gunn High School, Palo Alto, California (near University of Stanford)
        This high school has 1,885 students
        White = 46.8%
        Asian = 37.9%
        Black = 1.7%
        Latino = 7.6%
        Socioeconomically Disadvantaged = 4.1%
        ESL students = 8%
        API = 10 (one of the highest in the state)
        http://pausd.org/community/about/downloads/SARC/HenryGunn.pdf

      • I wanted to add that if we were to bus the students from Oakland High School to Los Lomas and send the Los Lomas students to Oakland and not move the teachers, the scores would follow the students. The teachers would not make much of a difference. In fact, I suspect many of the teachers at Los Lomas high school would soon leave the teaching profession or attempt to transfer to Oakland to be with their higher performing students. Most of the teachers in Oakland would probably be happier by the end of the school year teaching the students from Gunn or Los Lomas but they would have to correct a lot more student work and the parents would push them to challenge the students more.

        I’m sure by now you have noticed that I am a fact man and when I have an opinion, it is mostly based on facts from reputable sources instead of emotional opinions with few facts to support them.

      • merlin says:

        LOL nice experiment to try switching the students. That would be a clear indication of our education system.

      • Someone should do it. They could also just switch all the teachers between two high schools. Take the entire staff from a public high school that ranks in the 10 out of 10 ranking and send them to a high school that ranks between 1 and 3. Give it five years and see what happens.

        One year I explained to my students what the ranking meant and when they heard what our high school was ranked (it was a three then), they laughed and made fun of the school as if the buildings and teachers were the ones that earned that rank. I then told them it was their scores that earned the rank and it had very little to do with the buildings or the teachers.

        I said if we swapped you with the students from Walnut High School or Diajmond Bar High School, which was both ranked a nine (at that time) and both high schools were only a few miles distance but in different towns surrounded by upper middle class neighborhoods mostly populated with Whites and Asians, instead of the Latino gang infested barrio that surrounded our high school, the ranking would go with them.

        The students stopped laughing but that didn’t change the fact that the majority of the students never did the homework, never studied for tests and quizzes or read books or even the assignments. In fact, it was considered bad form among the students to be caught carrying school books and would often result in being insulted by your adolescent, gang banger peers, which is why, even though all of the students were assigned textbooks at the beginning of the year, we had to ahve a set in the room too because so many students came to class without their textbooks, pencils, paper, etc.

        They just came and sat and expected to earn a passing grade because they were there and when they earned FAILING grades, many of the parents would blame the teacher and accuse him or her of being a boring teacher. Many of this same kids never opened the textbooks they were assigned. The books gathered dust under a bed or shelf somewhere while the kids was either hanging out, texting, watching TV, playing video games, etc.

        As a teacher, my focus was to maintain control over behavior so I could teach the 5% that were there to learn and that’s what I did for most of thirty years. I was a cop, a teacher soldier that was threatened with violence every year by one of the gang bangers while the struggle to maintain control of the classroom so the students would not take over never ended. Meanwhile, every weekend there were shootings in the local community. The high school had to have its own police force and every day at lunch a Sheriff’s squad car would arrive and sit on the grass over looking the outside lunch area so the gangs could see the two armed polcie officers sitting in their squad car with shotguns.

        Every major city in America has these communities dominated by street gangs. In Los Angeles alone, there are an estimated 100,000 members of street gangs but less than 10,000 police.

        I you check a high school’s school report card and the school ranking is below a five the odds are that there are teen street gangs attending that school and they live nearby. The more gangs, the more members, the lower the ranking of the school and the higher the lower socioeconomic status of the community will be. I’ve read that in the Black community, 70% of families are single parent because there is no father living at home. I recently read of one man that had 30 children with 11 single mothers and he went to court begging the judge to lower his child support payments on his minnimum wage job because he couldn’t support himself. Yet, when he made that plea to the judge, he had three different women preganat at the same time.

      • merlin says:

        Starting from the bottom, that is a funny story which reminds me of some of the dumb things we do in America without logically thinking. .

        The problem with the education system today is that it focuses on preparing students for the state tests. It needs to take the time in elementary school discovering what kids are interested in. Honing those interests in middle school. Highschool should be about preparing students for the real world. In japan, students live in dorms and learn to take care of themselves. One thing I never learned was taxes. I never learned about the technical terms of a loan. I never learned about renting or buying property and all the paperwork involved. I never learned general car maintenance, which is funny because my parents and grandparents know how to make minor repairs on vehicles, yet to me it’s still a puzzle that I try to understand. College should be about picking 1-2 hobbies out of all the interests a person has, and teaching them the skill they’d need to do the work. For example, if I’m learning accounting wouldn’t it be helpful if I was taught the ins/outs of Word Excel? It’s amazing that after a year on the job, a person might be learning for the first time the keyboard shortcuts to the program. The reason I threw in basic life skills such as learning to support oneself in a highschool dorm, is because even today there are people that dont know how to use a wash machine, cook, clean, organize their things, or clean up after themselves. I’ve cleaned offices before and was always amazed to find half eaten bags of popcorn laying around, coffee stains all over the break room counters, and a funky smell coming from the microwave that reminded me of the smell of roadkill alongside the road. We are so ill-disciplined that we say we will lose weight, only to go home with a quart of ice cream and watch the latest Big Bang Theory on tv.

        Street gangs are funny because they fight over territory to sell drugs, yet the drugs they buy may also be supplied to a rival gang. The drug lords are not stupid, they are wealthy businessmen that understand if you have more salesmen you earn more money as opposed to throwing all your eggs into 1 basket. The mafia was better because it offered protection to people in their territory, and some were so kind that they gave back to their local communities in order to gain the community’s trust.

        Our environment we live in is part of who we are. Surrounded by shotguns and machine pistols, people become numb to the violence around them. Those people are the ones that plan and take action on operations such as Columbine or VA Tech.

        As for the police presence, it’s already not enough in my hometown. We’ve got break-ins, drugs, gang activity, and now teen kidnappings on the rise. As my mom was mentioning today to my stepdad, it’s too bad the mayor doesnt implement a community volunteer program that would assist the police force to stop those events. I’ve heard of community programs where volunteers train to use tasers and what to look for in situations that would require the law to step in. My local police force is split down the middle. Some are dedicated to the community, while others are corrupt joining the drug network to make a little kickback on the side. Also, it’s been over a month since my friend’s little sister was taken to TX, and they’ve done little but issue one amber alert. It would be so easy to call the suspect’s family in TX to confirm the situation is a misunderstanding, but until they do nobody knows the truth.

      • The picture of a dysfunctional system that needs fixing but the focus is on big things like the national debate over health care, social secruity, etc. The focus is on the big issues while ignoring the small things that are happening all over the country as if the gangs, drugs, corruption, prostitution doesn’t exist.

        It’s the monkey see no evil (by holding his hands over his eyes), hear no evil (by holding his hands over his ears), speak no evil (by holding his hands over his mouth), and touch no evil (by tying his hands behind his back).

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