September 9, 2011

In Madison, Wisconsin: "a school for 60 male and 60 female sixth-graders geared toward low-income minorities."

Well, they did address the sex discrimination problem. Originally, Madison Prep was to be an all-boys charter school — with the Madison school district is pouring $10.5 million into this lavish experiment. After hearing from the ACLU, there will be equal numbers of boys and girls, albeit with boys and girls in separate classrooms.

Did they hear from groups who are concerned about setting up a separate school for "minorities"? The school — with the original all-boys structure — was proposed by the Urban League of Greater Madison.

49 comments:

Scott M said...

So the boys and girls will be kept separate, but will they be kept equal?

Triangle Man said...

Unconstitutional:

White School >= Black School

Constitutional?

White School <= Black School

Triangle Man said...

Who is going to argue this one?

"No Justice Scalia we aren't moving the poor minority children to a different school to separate them from the white kids. I mean sure, the net effect is that they are segregated from the white kids, but it's really for their own good. Actually we're just separating 120 of them from the other somewhat less poor minority kids that we don't care as much about."

TMink said...

It is not really about the schools. It is about the families. No family support, so school achievement.

Got daddy?

Trey

Carol_Herman said...

Okay. When's the first pregnancy?

And, since when has "pouring money in" solved anything in education?

It may be safer to have kids just stay home. And, to plug them into computers that are plugged into the walls of your home. Or? Work wireless.

Of course, IN schools they can claim they can take attendance efficiently.

Within weeks of openeing, here, however, how much of the new stuff will be stolen?

Whatever happened to the concept of neighborhood schools?

MadisonMan said...

This and 4-K starting this year. It's like Madison Schools have money to burn!

This Madison Prep school has an okay change of success, I think, in part because it requires so much parental involvement for your kid to get in. I'll be interested to see how they enforce that.

John M Auston said...

Would anyone object if it were suggested to put the 'slower learner' kids all in a singled-out class, so that techniques appropriate to their special needs could be addressed without it hurting the progress of others, and without the embarrassing side-by-side comparisons to over-achievers causing the slow learners to act out?

No? Well, that's all they're doing here. So let them try it. It might help.

MarkG said...

Are taxes cheaper in Middleton?

Levi Starks said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott M said...

No? Well, that's all they're doing here. So let them try it. It might help.

But...but...their self-esteem...

Snark aside, if that's truly the goal and it's accomplished, I say damn the torpedos. Better students from other countries don't give a shit about our under-achievers' self-esteem.

fleetusa said...

$10 million is a lot of bucks. Seems like it could have been done cheaper if government wasn't involved.

edutcher said...

Anybody ever think young black males are a discriminated minority all by themselves?

And why not, just once, tell the ACLU to shove it?

Triangle Man said...

Are taxes cheaper in Middleton?

They seem to be. Comparing one house in Middleton to one in Madison, the rate in Middleton is 1.96% of appraised value and Madison is 2.23%. Madison houses may appraise a little higher too.

GulfofMexico said...

fleet,

$4-5mm became $10mm once they added the girls.

Seemed like a liberal ploy (demand inclusion of girls) to blow the whole thing up, due to cost.

Wouldn't want to try anything new if it upsets the status quo.

PatCA said...

"Raising questions" is the nice media way of saying "threatening expensive lawsuit." They are unelected lawmakers, aren't they?

Also, given the disparity in academic success of AA boys, isn't it discriminatory to NOT give them additional help?

Carol_Herman said...

This is to make lawyers rich!

This school is just begging for lawsuits to happen to it.

And, it will cave.

When? After the millions and millions are gone.

Blacks are being used to perpetrate this joke. But where can they go?

The drugs in the ghettos kill more kids than the schools do, anyhow.

Maybe, the thing you have to count up is how many liquor stores are in any given neighborhood?

Politicians trying what doesn't work isn't news to me. (It's a bottomless pork barrel.)

DADvocate said...

How abut better schools, period?

Of course, school choice and charter schools like the ones they shut down in D.C. would help, but the libs won't allow that.

In the meantime, the white middle class will continue to work and struggle on their own without any special government programs, educational or otherwise, to help them. And, they will to succeed for the most part. Working and struggling is how success happens.

Maguro said...

So what's the difference between a school "geared towards low-income minorities" and a school for regular people? Is there a different curriculum (Afrocentic?), more computers, nicer buildings? What's it all about?

George said...

We have an all girls school WITHIN Austin ISD...I don't see why an all boys charter school should be an issue.

Oh, wait, I forgot--this is one of those areas that isn't transitive.

Blue@9 said...

Seems like a worthwhile experiment, but the cost seems high.

I do wish more states would try different stuff like this. Vouchers, charter schools, etc., something to shake up our horrible, failing public schools.

MarkG said...

Madison is too liberal to make a school like this work. They'll never hold black students, parents, teachers or administrators responsible for poor performance. They'll find some other...white...oh look, there's Scott Walker!

Oligonicella said...

edutcher --

"Anybody ever think young black males are a discriminated minority all by themselves?"

Indeed. Here was a school originally designed to target THE most problem area in education and immediately it was diluted and now the scrap fighting has started.

It's that whole If they're giving something to you, they're taking something away from me fallacy.

To remove the fallacy, it's the If they're giving something to you, I can't have it argument.

wv: pingsogr - I just found a name I needed for a character.

GulfofMexico said...

George,

It shouldn't be an issue but for the rabid teacher's union and the belief that if this is allowed, then what??? And no constituency will be spared when it comes to protecting their racket.

John Lynch said...

I wonder when they will figure out that having schools like this for everyone would increase test scores for everyone.

TosaGuy said...

$87,500 per student, what could go wrong?

ndspinelli said...

PC horseshit. The boys, of all races, are becoming second class citizens in public education. When I went back to college in 1999 to get my teaching certification[secondary school history], of all the horsehit they taught in the school of education, the biggest indoctrination was "giving girls their voice." 80% of public school teachers are women. Boys get shit on, and when one segment of boys is about to get a well deserved program..the fucking feminist pc shitstorm starts.

Michael said...

I am all for what the Urban League proposed and hope that the ACLU's inteference does not diminish the chances for this project to succeed. First, my hat is off to the UL in their recognition that minority boys need help and they need it in the company of other boys. They are to be commended for not bowing to the multiple PC traps that this presents. Young minority men are fucked unless we drop most of the PC bullshit that has enthralled educators for decades. God willing there will be well qualified male teachers to staff this experiment.

madAsHell said...

The project will be declared a success regardless of outcomes.

prairie wind said...

My daughter visted a school on the other side of town and reported to us that "they must be rich!" That school was beautiful--lots of tech touches that screamed expensive. The school sits in the middle of a poor area of town, with many immigrant families.

My daughter's school, on the "rich" side of town, hasn't been updated since it was built in 1960. It has air conditioning, but only because the PTO paid for it. The poor schools don't have to pay for air conditioning or playground equipment or much of anything.

I don't mind the poor neighborhood schools getting renovated sooner than our neighborhood school.

What I do mind is the attitude that kids will learn IF their schools are renovated and IF they have plenty of computers and IF they have bright classrooms. The kids at my daughter's school learn just fine.

Instead of all this magical thinking about what will make it possible for [fill in the category] kids to learn, how about if the teachers and parents EXPECT them to learn?

Black boys probably have a tougher time because their families are ripped up because of the War on Drugs or the War on Poverty. Think how much $$ we could save if we stopped senseless wars!

GulfofMexico said...

This is PC horseshit. The public school system is feminized. I suspect young black males could use more male role models than the average kid. Yeah, it's expensive but fuck can we try something? How about some fucking vouchers? Something. Jesus what we have sucks ass. Not saying the parents aren't mostly repsonsible here, but come on if we are going to have public school we can do better.

William said...

I have read the Smithsonian article about schools in Finland. Finland apparently has the best performing schools in the world. What is their secret? According to the article, they pay their teachers lots of money. Let us, therefore, dispense with this nonsense and double teacher's salaries. In rapid order, the scholastic performance of our students will also soon double. If we love our children, we will pay their teachers more money.

Sofa King said...

What is their secret? According to the article, they pay their teachers lots of money.
Are you positive that is the ONLY relevant difference? I have a sneaking suspicion that there might be some other parts of the Finnish system that the PTB would not be so keen to emulate.

Jennifer said...

Finns don't start schooling until 7 or 8. And even then it's not this all day, strap to their desks and bury them in homework nonsense that we love so much.

Here in Germany kids have a slightly longer school year, but they're out every day by lunch. They start real school a year later than we do. And they take it very seriously. One example is that in American schools, they frown on bringing in a child that has a sniffle. They are constantly imploring everyone to keep even the barest of sick children home. In the German school system, try to call a kid in sick and you get interrogated. How are they sick? How sick are they? Are you sure this is worth missing school over?

I suspect the Finns do something similar. And I suspect the different approach has a bigger impact on different results than teacher pay.

Jennifer said...

Also in Finland (and in Germany) they pay mothers to stay home with their children for several years. It's not exactly extended maternity leave but it is a stipend that enables families to forgo one income. That probably affects child development in some way, too.

DADvocate said...

Finland apparently has the best performing schools in the world. What is their secret? According to the article, they pay their teachers lots of money.

I wonder how our teachers would measure up to Finnish teachers on standardized tests. If our teachers can measure up on actual knowledge, not credentials - knowledge, go for it. But, we don't need to be handing out raises to a bunch of second rate teachers.

MarkG said...

Finns don't blame poor test scores on not having laptops. Finns don't blame illiterate 17 year-olds on Ronald Reagan (saw that once on CBS News while he was still president).

Jennifer said...

Finns are also, however, on the whole very dour and socially awkward to the point of near paralysis. Maybe that's neither here nor there, but while we're throwing out Finnish generalizations...

Michael said...

William. I happen to agree that we should pay our teachers a lot more. Not to reward those present in the system but to encourage bright and ambitious graduates into the field. But first the unions have to go and many if not all of the "certification" requirements that have created a guild that has prevented a lot of smart retirees, for instance, from entering the field.

SteveR said...

The Urban League of Greater Madison. OK

DADvocate said...

while we're throwing out Finnish generalizations...

They also live in a very cold region and play with reindeer.

Jennifer said...

And the drinking! Don't forget the drinking!

Blue@9 said...

Finland apparently has the best performing schools in the world. What is their secret? According to the article, they pay their teachers lots of money.

I could get behind this if teachers could be hired and fired like workers in any other profession.

There is no point in paying teachers big money and then giving them union-backed job security. All it will do is attract and entrench poorly performing teachers.

Tie performance to salary and fire the ones who don't measure up. You'll attract better talent and dump the sandbagging lifers.

SteveR said...

I keep thinking there are some real differences between Finland and the United States which could explain the difference in educational results. As hard as I looked, I couldn't find any. Except for the language, Helsinki, is just like any big American city.

David said...

Actually this may work, if only because it removes the most disruptive kids from other schools. Did anyone say this was an important element of the program? Of course not. But it is, and everybody knows it.

TMink said...

In 2000 in Finland, 20% of kids lived in a one parent family. Currently in America, 70% of black kids grow up without two parents.

You do the math.

Oh wait, I already did.

Trey

ndspinelli said...

I coached an exchange student from Finland one summer. She played softball w/ my daughter in high school. She wasn't very good but had a great attitude and was a positive influence on the team.

As the summer was winding down and she was preparing to return home after her year here we planned a party. I asked what she would like to do. Well, in the converstion I learned she had never been to a ML baseball game. That solved it..tailgating and a game @ Miller Park. She got to see the great Ken Griffey, Jr. The one food item she really wanted was roasted corn on the cob. I videotaped the entire evening and made a dvd for her and her teammates. This girl was bright, engaging, and now is an MD in Finland. Foreign exchange programs are invaluable.

AllenS said...

I've said this before, and I'll say it again, let discrimination be legal. Once you establish that, then you can deal with each and every problem in this country, based on race without being sued by a bunch of fucking lawers.

David said...

"Except for the language, Helsinki, is just like any big American city."

Steve, you just broke a record for the most ridiculous single sentence statement on Althouse Blog this year.

Check into: parental educational attainment, income level, multilingual speaking proficency, race, percentage of immigrants, family stability, crime, etc. Then compare these statistics not just to the overall population of our big cities but to the African American population. Compare it to Detroit, or any other American city with an African American majority.

It's hard to exaggerate what a disaster the education of African Americans has been in my adult lifetime (since the 1960's). A total, highly consequential failure at all levels of government and society. Yet we persist in the same approaches and attitudes that have lead to 50 years of failure.

MikeinAppalachia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.