Education, recent

The Bitter Debate over School Discipline

Last month, Congresswoman Kathleen Clark (D-MA) called on Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to resign because the Federal School Safety Commission’s report contained a citation to a study, the findings of which Clark did not like. The Congresswoman did not allege that the study was methodologically flawed. Rather, she simply called the study “racist” because it found that differences in behavior explained the racial disparity in school discipline.

This could have been a teachable moment in the bitter national debate over school discipline. Unfortunately, rather than take this conflagration as an opportunity to review the research literature, journalists seemed more interested in reinforcing Clark’s accusation by innuendo, noting that the study’s author describes himself on Twitter as a “stoic, masculine, conservative.” But for America’s students, the truth matters a great deal more than partisan posturing. Policies predicated on falsehood rarely yield positive results.

If Congresswoman Clark’s contention that the racial discipline gap is not a product of student behavior but rather of “institutional racism” then the Obama administration’s policy of pressuring school districts to decrease discipline disparities by implementing “restorative justice” would have made a great deal of sense. But if, as the study that Clark condemned suggests, the disciplinary disparity is largely a product of behavior, then pressuring school districts toward statistical parity would likely do more harm than good, and Secretary DeVos’s decision to discontinue federal pressure would have been well-founded.

The truth is that the Obama administration’s discipline policy was reasonably justified at the time it was implemented, but advances in the literature have undercut its rationale and provided even stronger grounds for the Trump administration to rescind it.

When the Obama administration issued a Dear Colleague Letter threatening districts with federal investigation on the basis of their disciplinary statistics in January of 2014, the most advanced academic study, conducted by Indiana University’s Russell Skiba, indicated that principals punished African American students more frequently and severely than white students for the same infractions. But Skiba noted that this study had two important shortcomings: it didn’t control for differences between schools or past student behavior. That meant that what appeared to be discrimination could actually be differences in policy between schools or reasonable disciplinary differentiation in handling first-time or repeat offenders.

In late 2014, Skiba addressed those shortcomings and found that student race ceased to be a statistically significant factor. This finding has been replicated by other researchers examining data from Arkansas and from North Carolina. There are substantial differences between schools in how school administrators mete out discipline, but within schools administrators do not treat students who are sent to their office differently based on race.

But are teachers systematically sending black students to the principal’s office for lighter cause than white students? This is a tricky question to answer, given that researchers can’t directly observe student misbehavior. In 2011, one researcher made a substantive empirical advance by incorporating teacher surveys on individual student behavior. He found that “previous work without measures of student behavior grossly overestimated the extent to which racial disparity in school discipline is based on illegitimate factors,” such as racial discrimination.

A smaller racial disparity still persisted, and in a way it was a more alarming one because teacher perception of student behavior should have completely accounted for their disciplinary decisions. But the author noted a flaw in his methodology: he couldn’t control for past measures of student behavior. Enter the allegedly “racist” research cited by the Federal School Safety Commission. In 2014, John Paul Wright factored in teacher assessments of student behavior from earlier grades and found that doing so completely accounted for the racial gap in school suspensions.

This study is by no means the final word in the debate. In 2017, researchers examining data from North Carolina found that white teachers were slightly more likely than black teachers to send black students to the principal’s office. But the difference was not large; the researchers estimate that having all-black rather than all-white teachers reduced the risk of being suspended by two percentage points.

The best conclusion that can be drawn from the research literature, then, is that school administrators treat students fairly, and that teacher bias may play a small role in disciplinary disparities, but that they are largely driven by differences in student behavior. Although this conclusion is considered verboten by politicians and activists, it’s supported by the students themselves. According to national surveys, black students are more likely to say they’ve been in a fight at school than white students (15.5 percent vs. 6.5 percent), to skip school (9 percent vs. 4.9 percent), and to arrive late to class (20.9 percent vs. 12.2 percent).

And whereas advocates claim that the gap is driven by “subjective” offenses especially prone to biased teacher discretion, the data suggest that this isn’t so. In Louisiana schools, for example, which are approximately half black and half white, black students are suspended relatively more frequently than white students for the “objective” offense of fighting (467,074 vs. 125,606) than for the “subjective” offense of disrespecting authority (393,442 vs. 131,529).

None of this, of course, suggests that behavior differences are attributable to race itself. Regardless of race, students from single-parent homes are twice as likely to be suspended—and black students are almost three times as likely to be raised by a single parent. The disparity in school discipline rates largely reflects far broader and deeper inequities in American society.

It may be neither politically correct nor pleasant to argue that aggregate group differences in behavior exist, but it’s essential for policymakers to have the proper diagnosis lest the prescribed cure do more harm than good. If teacher bias were primarily responsible for disciplinary disparities, then aggressive reforms could be pursued safely. If bias plays a smaller role, modest reforms may be in order but aggressive reforms could be dangerous.

The latter is what we have seen. Two studies out of Chicago, which implemented relatively modest reforms, have shown mixed and minimal effects. But school districts that have effectively attempted to prohibit teachers from exercising subjective discipline by banning suspensions for “willful defiance” have seen great academic harm. In Philadelphia, researchers estimate that it decreased academic achievement by 3 percent in reading and 7 percent in math after three years. Another study, still pending peer-review, examined the effects of suspension bans in four California school districts and found no effect on reading but a large harm to math achievement, large enough to drag a student from the 50th percentile down to the 39th after three years. Tragically, the state of California appears poised to extend that ban to all schools.

If social justice activists truly care about the welfare of students of color, the academic evidence produced in the last several years should—at the very least—provide grounds for pause. Unfortunately, the episode with Congresswoman Clark suggests that no such re-evaluation is on the horizon. Earlier this year, David Griffith, a self-described liberal education researcher at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, made an appeal to his colleagues to be honest:

In my personal experience, almost nobody really believes that African American, Hispanic, and low-income students, or students with disabilities, exhibit the same rates of misbehavior as wealthy, white, or Asian students, or students without disabilities. However, a significant number of well-meaning people do believe that publicly acknowledging such differences does more harm than good.

But when policymakers insist that debate on an issue must start from a premise they know to be false, it becomes difficult to credit them as well-meaning. Almost everyone in the education policy world has a status-incentive for their posturing. Advocates can fundraise on the battle-cry of “anti-racism,” and politicians can make the news cycle by accusing their opponents of racism, all the while pushing policies that do damage to low-income students of color.

All in all, it’s an excellent case study in structural racism, wherein those with privilege may be, charitably, unconscious of their role in perpetuating oppression.

 

Max Eden is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and author of the recent report “Safe and Orderly Schools: Updated Guidance on School Discipline.” You can follow him on Twitter @MaxEden99

 

83 Comments

  1. MMS says

    When a society acts on anything based on group affiliations vs the unique attributes of the individuals that make up the society, it always fails both. – Will we ever learn this…

    • Ray Andrews says

      @MMS

      To quibble, I don’t think it’s a question of leaning it. We all know it perfectly well, it is a question of admitting it to ourselves. But that won’t happen so long as the people in charge retain more power, and make more money, by keeping the system perpetually broken. The more it is broken the more it needs fixing, and if you are a fixer it is thus in your interests to keep it broken. This will continue as long as the straitjacket of Correctness keeps even well meaning people from challenging lies that we all know are lies, thus keeping the fixers safe in their positions.

      • northernobserver says

        And the Robin DiAngelo’s of this World are making it harder and harder to live in a world of truth.

      • JA M says

        “The more it is broken the more it needs fixing, and if you are a fixer it is thus in your interests to keep it broken.”

        Not just keep it broken, but break it even more (which has the added bonus of allowing those in power to blame political opposition for their plight and insist the problem is they don;t have ENOUGH power).

        • Ray Andrews says

          @JA M

          As every snake-oil salesman will agree, if your tumor is still getting bigger, that’s not because the snake-oil isn’t working, it’s because you aren’t taking enough. Thus, if Equity has not been achieved, say the fixers, it’s because we’re not trying nearly hard enough.

  2. Eigen Eagle says

    The large majority of teachers with experience in the most racially-integrated school districts could have told you it wasn’t true that black kids don’t misbehave any more than other kids. But of course we live in a social climate where discussion about race in any manner other than that approved by racial justice crusaders isn’t allowed, so of course we let innumerate, politically-biased social scientists who have never set foot in a classroom set foolhardy school policy that hurts the very people the policy is designed to help.

    • Nakatomi Plaza says

      But the article says that black students are indeed breaking the rules at a higher rate than white students. I doubt you even know any teachers, and I guarantee you don’t know any “innumerate, politically-biased social scientists.” You’re full of shit.

      I don’t think you have a clue what you’re talking about.

      • Just Me says

        Nakatomi Plaza-

        ” it wasn’t true that black kids don’t misbehave any more than other kids.”

        Double negatives are confusing…and so you got confused.

        Eigan Eagle means “it IS true that black kids misbehave more than other kids”.

      • itsherlocknosh says

        What a remarkably nonsensical reply. You didn’t even understand that he agreed with the article.

  3. wrd9 says

    “The truth is that the Obama administration’s discipline policy was reasonably justified at the time it was implemented, but advances in the literature have undercut its rationale and provided even stronger grounds for the Trump administration to rescind it.”

    Umm, no, the Obama administration’s discipline policy was not reasonably justified because the research was obviously flawed from the outset and was used as false justification for the policy. Flawed or outright scurrilous “research” or “evidence” is routinely used by progressives to advance their social engineering efforts or to eliminate their “enemies”.

    • MMS says

      Yes and I would say the same about the Right…

      Clowns to the Left and Jokers to the Right…

  4. Andreas K. says

    I calculated once that if you’re under age eighteen, about one-third of your time awake is spent in school. This has caused me ever since, teasingly, to describe schools and teachers as subcontracted parenthood.

    In that respect, I suppose you could say that expecting any one system or culture of discipline to succeed everywhere in a country increasingly diverse in people and values alike, well, that is rather utopian. Especially given how you can’t realistically expect anymore that school faculty will come from a similar lifestyle or character as the families they’re supposed to be relating to. Much less from the same community. That won’t matter for the content they’re responsible for teaching, but I can see how it could result in all kinds of minor culture and values clashes. And of course, God-only-knows what will happen once you add human personality and ego into the mess.

    You know, I remember asking my mother about her memory of schools and society when she was young. What she described to me was a situation where everybody already vaguely knew everyone came from different backgrounds. However, that diversity was merely cosmetic. I say “cosmetic” because it only was the surface. Apparently, in her childhood everyone could take for granted that everyone regardless of ancestry, accent, costume, religion, or cuisine grew up with basically the same idea of respectable living, personal conduct, what constitutes decency, manners, ethics, vice or virtue, etc. She didn’t mean that everyone actually embodied those things. Simply that regardless of culture and background they generally shared the same ideas about what was good and proper and to be encouraged by society, and what ought to be discouraged.

    You worked to look past all the cosmetic diversity, she described, and to recognize the your essential sameness underneath. I found that very interesting because in my own childhood everything seemed, instead, excited to have us learn to focus on the cosmetic diversity and how we’re not the same.

    Maybe that’s how everyone nowadays ended up having less and less the same underneath…?

    • Etiamsi omnes says

      Great insight, Andreas. I’m reading a book by French author-journalist-teacher Natacha Polony that raises the same issues: « Nos enfants gâchés » (play on words: enfant gâTÉ is a spoiled brat ; enfant gâCHÉ is a kid spoiled in the sense of “rendered useless”, “made a great big mess of.”) In a French context, she laments the loss of that ‘essential sameness underneath’, as opposed to ‘cosmetic diversity’, to put it in your terms.

  5. E. Olson says

    So the Obama administration based their “dear comrade” letter to schools based on 1 obviously flawed study, and then did not correct themselves in 2014 when the flaws were fixed to reveal no discrimination? This sounds bad, but it is easy to see why Obama and Congresswoman Clark would believe that educators are racist in applying discipline since it is well known that most teachers are members of the KKK or Nazi party, and encouraged to join by their Alt-Right administration and teacher’s unions. And then after those poor innocent black kids somehow manage to overcome the adversity of constant detention and other totally unjustified punishments to eventually graduate, they are faced with even more racism and discrimination in college by all those Nazi/KKK faculty members that dominate higher education. I mean, how fair is it that black applicants sometimes need to get SAT scores that are 70% of what those white Asian kids need to get into the same school?

    I think the only possible solution is to send Barack, Michelle, Kathleen and all the other believers in fair and equitable treatment of all students into inner-city public schools to teach for America and show the rest of us how non-discriminatory discipline can be done properly.

    • Nakatomi Plaza says

      “So the Obama administration based their “dear comrade” letter to schools based on 1 obviously flawed study, and then did not correct themselves in 2014 when the flaws were fixed to reveal no discrimination?”

      No, this is not at all what happened. The article suggest as much (sort of), but the article is obviously very much based on a political agenda. And why do you give so much credence to the studies that support your ideological beliefs but lamely dismiss the other study as “flawed”? Your preferred study identifies prejudice as a cause of discipline, just to a lesser extent. How much discrimination are you willing to tolerate? Actually, it doesn’t really matter does it? It’s not as though any of that prejudice will ever be directed at you. To hell with black kids, right?

      • Stephanie says

        A trend we’ve been seeing in studies examining all manner of discrepancies is that the more relevant factors you take into account, the more those discrepancies shrink, and the less can be attributed to discrimination. Since it is inconceivable that we have taken into account every possible relevant factor, we should be very skeptical of the tiny remaining portion that we can still attribute to discrimination. It is likely a more thorough follow-up study will reveal that there is no statistically significant indication of discrimination, or even positive discrimination.

        The study that shows black teachers are slightly less likely to send black students for disciplinary action could suggest a positive discrimination in favour of black students, as black teachers consciously or subconsciously seek to be more lenient on black students they believe are being discriminated against.

        • Gringo says

          The study that shows black teachers are slightly less likely to send black students for disciplinary action could suggest a positive discrimination in favour of black students, as black teachers consciously or subconsciously seek to be more lenient on black students they believe are being discriminated against.

          There is an alternative explanation. Black teachers know better than white teachers which buttons to push to get black students to behave.Thus they don’t need to write as many disciplinary referrals as white teachers. My experience from having been a white teacher in a black school is that black teachers are more confrontational than white teachers.towards misbehaving black students.

          Black teachers have no more sympathy than white teachers for misbehaving students, regardless of the color of the misbehaving students.

          • lewis guignard says

            RE: Gringo “Black teachers have no more sympathy than white teachers for misbehaving students, regardless of the color of the misbehaving students.”

            Agree completely. Some teachers are good, some are bad, some are fair, some are not. etc.

            The problem, as it exists, is one created by government, exacerbated by parents who claim their child doesn’t do anything wrong. Punishment is either not acceptable or the child who needs the discipline of school the most is sent home for a few days.

            Children need discipline. Sometimes that needs to be in the form of spankings. Why? To teach that misbehavior has results and the results can be painful. At that point the peer pressure of not wanting to be the one who was spanked results in better overall behavior. But our society, the whiner, do-gooders, don’t use violence against children people, would have us believe that is wrong. WRONG???? What they have left us with is an avenue teaching children to disregard authority, and then they run into the police and end up dead or in jail.

            Better a few spankings.

      • itsherlocknosh says

        Again you lash out without considering your position. The facts are that performance by ALL students in US public schools continues to decline. Performance by black students remains the worst. The no strums applied by leftist teacher unions and big city administrators haven’t worked. For the past 100 years things haven’t improved. Your answer is to apply the “everyone gets a trophy” theory even harder. Lol.

  6. Morgan Foster says

    “But are teachers systematically sending black students to the principal’s office for lighter cause than white students? “

    Or are white teachers slower to send black students to the principal’s office out of fear of appearing racist, and misbehavior by black students is actually worse that we know?

  7. Farris says

    This what I term a revolving door issue. When I worked in law enforcement, community activists would come in and complain their neighborhoods and schools were unsafe, which inhibited learning and opportunities, and that policing resources were unevenly allocated to affluent areas. In response to these concerns law enforcement and educators would tighten the screws, increasing both presence and punitive measures. Within five years the activists would return complaining that enforcement measures and police presence had become unfairly disproportionate. This taught me that what the activists really desire is an issue not a solution. Too much concern and attention is paid to the concerns of the disruptive elements and not enough attention is given to those their to learn and live honestly.

    • E. Olson says

      Farris – what are you trying to do? Put community activists out of work? Remember, not all of them can expect to run successfully for President, so how do you expect the vast majority to earn their living if they can protest and agitate? Furthermore, where would Soros spend his money?

    • JA M says

      “This taught me that what the activists really desire is an issue not a solution”

      This sums up so much of the “modern” “progressive” politics and its ever expanding definitions or “unethical” and “immoral” and “bigotry” in a nice tidy nutshell. It shouldn’t be TOO surprising the group that insists one’s personal feelings are more concrete proof than actual objective fact and critical thinking.

    • MMS says

      In need of an issue… One of the most profound simple statements I have ever read concerning the issues of our time….

    • ga gamba says

      The war on drugs came in part at the behest of black communities demanding the government “do something” about the scourge of heroin (in the early ’70s) and cocaine (in the late ’80s). At the time the complaint was these communities were under policed because the white supremacist institutions were, at best, indifferent to black communities being destroyed by drugs and the criminal gangs running the show.

  8. Blackberry Blackberry says

    More to the point, administrators and teachers are going to be less likely to discipline black students for fear of being called ‘racist.’ Back in 1999, an adult black student threatened to knife me for giving him a ‘C’ on a paper. He’d threatened others in the class who received higher grades because it was ‘racist.’ It took several persons complaining to get the administration to even take the situation seriously because…’racist.’ Never mind that I had to walk through a desolate industrial wasteland to get to the school, providing this person the perfect opportunity to make good on his threat.

    Granted, this is anecdotal evidence, but let’s get real: Most white people are so terrified of the ‘r’ word that it gives these kids free license to behave as badly as they want without much fear of reprisal.

    Add to this a frequently observed response to bad behavior by black mothers: He’s just a kid! He doesn’t know any better!

    Sorry but that “kid” should know better. It seems that running through the culture is a high tolerance for bad behavior that the whites are ‘racist’ for not understanding.

  9. Mike says

    “[W]hen policymakers insist that debate on an issue must start from a premise they know to be false, it becomes difficult to credit them as well-meaning”

    Amen to that. I wish more people would acknowledge that accepting/discussing uncomfortable facts/research is better for humanity overall (and is not an indication of ill-intent) than sweeping such facts/research under the rug out of some misplaced sense of politeness.

  10. A small number of students who cannot or do not wish to learn can cause a disproportionate amount of chaos.
    I taught for twelve years in an urban high school in a neighborhood which routinely saw shooting on the streets. The vast majority of students would openly say to the teacher, when observing a disruptive classmate, “Send him/her out!”
    As an aside, I wonder why majority Black schools, which often, like mine, had a lot of gun violence on the surrounding streets, have not been the ones where we have seen mass shootings; those seem to be in mostly white, suburban schools. Any thoughts on this?

    • Morgan Foster says

      @True Wolff

      It appears to me that child-on-child shootings in urban areas like Chicago are most frequently related to street gang activity and drug dealing. The shooters are motivated by territory, greed and honor. They have specific victims in mind.

      By contrast, mass shootings inside a suburban school are nearly always committed by students with long histories of severe mental illness that have been concealed from the rest of the school community by their parents and teachers. They don’t seem to care who they kill.

      Now, why poor, black teenagers with severe mental illnesses and no ties to gang activity have not been doing the same thing inside urban Chicago schools, I can’t say. But I have not heard of it happening.

      • donotreply says

        “Now, why poor, black teenagers with severe mental illnesses and no ties to gang activity have not been doing the same thing inside urban Chicago schools, I can’t say. But I have not heard of it happening.”

        They are the ones being killed on the streets.

    • Grippen says

      “..mass shootings; those seem to be in mostly white, suburban schools.”

      Because when black kids get angry they lash out pretty quickly. Then for them it’s done.

      The white school shooters harbor their rage for months, often years and then release a huge pent up rage.

      • R O says

        And those school shooters are more narcissistic in wanting widespread MSM coverage with their names and faces shown everywhere. I have come to believe that if the only way their names/faces could be seen would be by only those really so curious sending a SASE (self addressed stamped envelope) to the police requesting the info, that particular incentive (there are others of course) would be greatly diminished.

  11. Kristina says

    What about the alarming fact that these studies had no teacher input? And were not based on direct classroom observation? The academics who study school discipline, or the related area of psychiatric care of children, do so in their nice ivory tower vacuum where they can believe that all children are angels and they just need a little bit more love. But talk to the people actually on the ground, in the classrooms, in the hospitals, and you will get a much different picture. Sure, there are bad teachers, but I believe a majority of teachers discipline because they have to, in order to obtain a modicum of control over impossible situations.

    • JWatts says

      “What about the alarming fact that these studies had no teacher input? And were not based on direct classroom observation? ”

      That’s directly contradicted by the article above.

      “In 2011, one researcher made a substantive empirical advance by incorporating teacher surveys on individual student behavior. “

    • @kristina, yes! And give then an anonymous outlet to respond. Teachers don’t trust email linked surveys. Your career will be ruined in an instant if you don’t tow the totalitarian party line. I saw 3 such instances last year that made the media here. People in the system who questioned the party line were demoted to working in the plant making copies. 2 teachers and one principal. The totalitarians are on the war path looking for any perceived offenses. In each situation, I marveled because none would have been a big issue 10 years ago. The thought police are on the war path. The identity left are eating their own.

  12. Ray Andrews says

    Let’s give segregation another look. If the doctrine is that white teachers are simply incapable of not being racist (whiteness being implicit) then let’s have all-black schools where a white person is forbidden to even set foot on the grounds least his shadow ruin everything. Let’s have a 100% black staff decide what to do with 100% black students — those who want to learn and those who do not. And let’s have all-white schools too, think of them as quarantine for racist students and racist teachers. Put them all in one place so that the poison is contained. The quarantine flag would be flown and there would be big signs warning POC that they’d best not enter contaminated grounds.

    However some blacks might choose to attend these schools and they’d be most welcome so long as it was understood that they’d be Oppressed by being held to exactly the same standards as everyone else. And their blackness would be Extinguished. Yes. It would be entirely ignored. Naturally few will chose such abuse, but some could tho one might wonder why especially as these schools would be entirely Colonized, which is to say that knowledge would be taught. In particular the math will not have been Decolonized and the algebra will be entirely racist. The geometry saturated with White Privilege. The contributions of Wakanda to calculus entirely ignored. Social Justice overlooked. Shocking.

    • Nakatomi Plaza says

      Are you bitter or just a racist? Both perhaps?

      You need to get a better sense of how race-obsessed you sound. I’ll bet you call black people the N-word with your white friends. It really seems like you would and feel completely justified in doing so.

      • Rev. Wazoo! says

        Indeed, Nakatomi, seegragation sounds racist to me and an obsession with race unhealthy. So why are my supposedly Leftist colleagues calling for both?

        If the system is in fact institutionally racist marble Malcolm X, rather than Martin Luther King was right: blacks will never get justice till they control the means of education/production.

      • Jeremy H says

        @Nakatomi Plaza

        “I’ll bet you call black people the N-word with your white friends. It really seems like you would and feel completely justified in doing so.”

        Wow, not many people are so open about how they construct a strawman. Seems to be a theme of your posts today.

      • mr1492 says

        I think you totally missed the sarcasm in Ray Andrew’s post. Plus, why did you immediately descend into the “you must be a racist” trope? How can anyone say anything you disagree with if they are immediately labeled a racist? It makes dialogue nearly impossible when that trigger is pulled.

      • mike says

        naktomi

        this is america. Ignorant twits like yourself are allowed to spew your dumb and hateful statements as much as your want. The rest of us will sit back and laugh at silly posts and be glad we don’t know you personally.

    • Ray, We are doing that in our large school district. We had 40 years of forced busing to balance out the schools in the district. Schools became increasingly worse. That was challenged in the SC around 2007 and won based upon parents could send their kid to the neighborhood school. (If there was a slot open which there usually wasn’t)

      Then the government social engineers decided that “people of color” needed their own schools. So in the past 3 years 2 “”People of Color” Academy’s public schools have opened. They are application based. They get around the law by stating on their literature that all colors can “apply”.

      So 40 years of busing right back to segregation at taxpayer expense. You can’t make this stuff up. Our betters in government always know best for us peasants.

    • D.B. Cooper says

      @Ray Andrews

      A few lowlights…

      The truth is that the Obama administration’s discipline policy was reasonably justified at the time it was implemented…”.

      Really? Exactly what good reason did the Obama administration have that “justified” its decision to implement aggressive disciplinary reforms? Yes, I’m aware that black students are suspended more often than white (and Asian) students, but at what point did the variance of a probability distribution become de facto/de jure discrimination? Statistical disparities are outcomes, not explanations. Honestly, does the U.S. Department of Education not employ statisticians?

      As I’ve said before – and no, I’m not above quoting myself – presupposing the validity of your suppositions is less social science than banal sophistry. This is not an argument, notice, but something more like greedy race-reductionism. If our (my) gov’t is going to traffic in fallacious claims, they should at least have the decency to do so with arguments that aren’t an affront to common sense.

      In 2017, researchers examining data from North Carolina found that white teachers were slightly more likely than black teachers to send black students to the principal’s office. But the difference was not large; the researchers estimate that having all-black rather than all-white teachers reduced the risk of being suspended by two percentage points.

      Did the study look at whether black teachers had any effect(s) on office referrals for willful defiance for white students? Surely, their data could’ve have controlled for such factors.

      Furthermore, it should be said that it doesn’t follow that because exposure to same-race teachers led to reduced rates of exclusionary discipline for black students then therefore; the behavior (e.g. willful defiance) of black students didn’t necessarily warrant exclusionary discipline. For example, a black student who calls his/her black teacher or fellow classmate a “motherfucker” but doesn’t get sent to the office for doing so, it doesn’t then mean that the black student shouldn’t have been sent to the office for having done so.

      And to the idiot who objects that the interdiction of labeling one’s teacher or peer(s) a “motherfucker” (or other such pejoratives of a similar nature) should be left to the teachers discretion, I would say that while I can certainly appreciate the subjective nature of such decisions, and while I’m happy to countenance the unmolested propriety of most any learning environment(s) without predilection; I would simply ask that you keep note of exactly how conducive to learning and erudition this conversation becomes once I mention that only a fucking retard would make such an objection. Just to be clear, it is a nescient response devoid of common sense and based upon social advocacy rather than substantive considerations.

    • TRuther says

      My mother, taking a look at this article with me, suggests: an all-black-student/all-white-teacher-staff school and an all-white-student/all-black-staff school. Then see what happens. I say, let the researchers study it.

  13. Nakatomi Plaza says

    I cannot get a free copy of the original study, so I’m forced to work off of summaries. The article “Prior problem behavior accounts for the racial gap in school suspensions” apparently states that “in subsequent analyses the racial gap in suspensions was completely accounted for by a measure of the prior problem behavior of the student.” OK, so the students came to class with behavioral issues and the teachers were only doing what they had to do. I think we all just assumed that there aren’t a bunch of racist teachers taking out their frustrations on black students, so Wright’s point isn’t surprising. Also, the article says that “These findings highlight the importance of early problem behaviors.” Again, it makes perfect sense that students are demonstrating a pattern of misbehavior and this isn’t a product exclusively of instruction. But where do the original problems come from? Black culture? Single-parent families? From early teachers who were overly punitive? What ages did the Wright study cover? I wonder because if black students are treated differently from the very beginning, then of course they’re going to misbehave later, confirming Wright’s argument but definitely not confirming Eden’s conclusions.

    Eden should have explored these questions more thoroughly. I’m not an authority, but I have to believe there is a ton of evidence available to address all these questions. And forgive my presumption, but the credibility of a typical Quillette article is total shit. The author leads us to the conclusions he’d like us to have, but the evidence isn’t there. The predictable right-wing politics, however, are undeniable.

    • Morgan Foster says

      @Nakatomi Plaze

      You say the “typical Quillette article is total shit.” You’ve previously made clear your disdain, if not contempt, for most of the people who comment here.

      And yet you’ve come here for help in understanding something?

      Good luck.

      • Denny Sinnoh says

        Naka Chan does not have a girlfriend and is very sexually frustrated.
        He makes up for it by calling commenters
        names and using swear words just like a big boy.

    • Charlie says

      Children of many races and religions have attended British Public Schools ( Eton, Harrow, Westminster, Winchester, Dulwich, etc, etc ) since the 19th century: everyone had to obey the same rules and pass the same entrance exams. Nehru attended Harrow and went up to Cambridge. The rugby players Maro Itoje and Billy Vunipola are Old Harrovians.

    • Stephanie says

      It is unreasonable to assume that teachers are harsher to younger students than to older students, and that discipline when you are young leads to being a troublemaker when you’re older.

      The correlation between life outcomes and single parenthood demonstrated in other studies suggests that the most likely cause for misbehavior at school is a lack of discipline at home, owing to the absence of a father or other stable father figure.

      • Charlie says

        This is why boarding schools can be of use to families where the Father is absent. Historically the government subsidised boarding fees for those in armed forces /diplomatic service overseas and scholarships were given when the Father was killed.

        The question needs to be asked ” At what age of the son can the Mother no longer exert physical control ?”.

  14. If you are raising normal kids focused on school as a place to learn, don’t send them to urban public schools. There is little education going on. There is a ton of indoctrination going on. They will leave mostly illiterate.

    Our school system (top 20 in size) received Obama’s Dear Comrade letter. It was already bad because activists (mostly upper middle class black activists and parents) were already agitating and suing. The students, of course, know what’s going on concerning the behavior imbalance but the total irony was that the behavior problems were disproportionately black/Hispanic.

    But, the administration was keeping a shadow referral database that was leaked to the media! The behavior was horrendous but NOT being disciplined. Reason? Money. Never forget that school superintendents are basically public relations positions.

    Many kids were afraid to attend already.

    But our betters found the answer! Forbid teachers to make minority referrals! Yep. And that’s where we are today.

    I like DeVos (Gasp!) because I volunteered on a school scholarship program back during in the 90s that she was part of creating. It’s an issue close to my heart. I don’t think the public school institutions can be saved except for intense competition from the outside. The institution is fat, bureaucratic, insular, lazy and puts out a subpar product. In a free market, they wouldn’t exist. I have since come to realize the totalitarians love it because it churns out dependent, uneducated citizens that are easy to control.

    Guess who was the lined up in droves wanting to apply for a school choice scholarship for their children? Poor black moms. It was the most astonishing thing I have ever been a part of. The community activists were not happy with them. We were delighted to save a few hundred kids every year. They could not apply the next year if there were behavior problems. Only a few had that issue. It worked. Government bureaucrats hated it which delighted me.

    • TRuther says

      It’s a statistically proven fact that School Choics benefits inner city students and shows statistical insignificance in the suburbs. That is to say, to reject the School Choice policy is to show lack of compassion to black students and other “disadvantaged” students.

      Furthermore, the primary statistical disadvantage of US blacks, mentioned in the article, is the lack of two-parent families. If two-parent black families are compared economically to two-parent white families, the blacks are equal, if not higher, to the whites. Please remember this the next time someone announces that there is a huge gap between blacks and whites in our economy.

      Also would like to mention here that there is a gap between the education of males versus females. Many public schools are designed for and favor female success, and when males behave like males they are discriminated against, diagnosed with learning disabilities, etc. For example, school days and years grow lengthier, more homework is given at earlier ages, “recess” no longer seems to exist, and PE seems to be only done in quarters or semesters not year-long. I wonder how this factors in to the “misbehaviors”.

  15. Harrison Bergeron says

    Perhaps we need to reframe the question from “Are black children misbehaving more in schools more than white children?” to “Are children from homes where there is no father misbehaving more than ones with a father?”.

    • Some-woman says

      Chances are that even then black children would misbehave a lot more, assuming we compare black children from married parents with white children of married parents and black children from single parents with white children from single parents.

      Fatherless homes is a symptom of the cause rather than the cause itself. The cause itself is genetic differences in behavioral propensities of black and white children, which impact impulse control, aggression, iq and instincts for paternal investment.

  16. I would suggest that the differences in behavior are mostly explained by the different general experiences of blacks and whites in economic security, relationship/family stability, education of parents, maternal health care, extended social contacts of the family, physical security in the home or just outside the front door. It would be interesting to see the differences in behavior between black students of educated parents with security-providing incomes and those that have essentially non-existent or severely dysfunctional environments to nurture early childhood.

    The early development years are absolutely crucial. Again, this is a deep and long lasting structural issue, born from overt, widespread and aggressive racist beliefs and policies within our country that are really not that distant, historically speaking. Of course, many believe that such attitudes still exist today, but that view does not align with an honest evaluation concerning racial attitudes of whites, today. Obviously, we have a long way to go…..but the attitudes and beliefs associated with race held by whites have been radically changed for the better. However, racist social conditions that blacks faced, which are largely inconceivable by whites, set in motion a self-replicating condition. If you grow up in horrifically crippled social structures you are very likely to provide the same conditions for your offspring.

    Furthermore, there are significant political barriers (both right and left) and friction points that essentially work to severely limit the ability of wealthy Americans (whites) to provide EFFECTIVE relief to black families still under this burden. Throw in the perfectly understandable, though not justifiable, resentment (or outright hatred) that blacks have of whites….then effective measures are further diminished. If the better natures of our common humanity could fully work on this problem, this structural problem could be eliminated…..but whatever effective measures are applied will have to be consistent and of fairly significant duration……30 to 40 years????? And I’m not talking about reparations, either.

    • Stephanie says

      “However, racist social conditions that blacks faced, which are largely inconceivable by whites, set in motion a self-replicating condition. If you grow up in horrifically crippled social structures you are very likely to provide the same conditions for your offspring.”

      This hypothesis is not supported by the fact that the black family structure remained intact throughout the worst periods of racism in American history, and only deteriorated with welfare expansion that incentivized single motherhood. Single parenthood is behind poor outcomes and is a relatively recent phenomenon.

      The only effective way to improve these metrics is thus to disincentivize single motherhood, which would be labelled as cruel, or for black people to choose themselves to form stable nuclear families. This is not a battle white people can fight for them. The best the government can do is to stop actively making things worse, like with this California ban on discipline. The best the media can do is honestly discuss the statistics and what they mean instead of grievance peddling. It’s not a problem that will be solved over night, but this generation can set the right conditions for the next to thrive.

  17. Rev. Wazoo! says

    @Stephanie & @Bill Ponder
    Stephanie nails it, well done, the elephant in the room of single motherhood grows larger all the time. Of course, it’s a group start not applicable to any individual, especially single mothers themselves raised by twp parents; the stats for intergenerational single parenthood are grim. Also, many “single” mothers actually have 1.5 men helping raise their kids: an ex paying child support and doing some childcare plus a live-in man sharing the rent and bills plus providing a male role model and some discipline. This skews the stats a lot.

    Bill Ponder, assuming your contention of past mistreatment is still creating problems then include the destabilisation of the black family as foremost from slave-owners selling family members to the misguided incentivisation of single motherhood.

    Also, the toleration of inferior schools continues and “disparate impact” is another way to make those schools even worse. Students who want to learn are taught they don’t count for much while disruption is tolerated and even rewarded with attention and special measures.

  18. Geary Johansen says

    The Michaela Community School in London is achieving miraculous results in the UK, with highly structured, high discipline, knowledge-intensive education. Kids from poor, inner city backgrounds, cycling to school past knife gangs are achieving results three years ahead of their counterparts, irrespective of family circumstances, socio-economics or class. Like Success Academy in New York, they are chosen by lottery, the only proviso being that their parents agree to actively supporting the educational endeavour. Historically, a very similar situation occurred, where the non-selective Catholic grammar system took poor kids, from deprived neighbourhoods and helped them systemically outperform their middle-class Protestant counterparts. Catholic incomes have now drawn level with Protestants, and the youth unemployment rate is now higher amongst Protestants.
    It’s about methodology.

    For anyone interested in researching further, check out Daisy Christodoulou’s short book, ‘Seven Myths About Education’, or watch Katherine Birbalsingh on YouTube. As an aspiring Sci Fi writer, currently researching ideas for a novel, I have found both these sources highly informative.

    To use an analogy, the usually wealthy white liberal, is like a satellite that has already achieved geostationary orbit, looking down on the rest of us. I shouldn’t complain- as a heterodox and beneficially of middle-class privilege- In many ways, I’m one of them. What liberals forget is that, in order to achieve a cornucopia of opportunities, they needed two things- parents or grandparents with the deeply-embedded conservative values of personal responsibility, hard work and self-sacrifice for their children and a school system which not only enforced a strict policy of discipline for low-level offences, but also crammed as much knowledge into their little heads as they could take. These two things were like booster rockets, propelling their ungrateful arses into the giddy heights of the stratosphere and beyond.

    And I think that’s the tragic truth about educational academics and bureaucracies, with their liberal biases and psychologically-ingrained, deep distrust of authority- they forget their own personal histories and the progress they or their parents made, under the yoke of fascist, authoritarian school regimes. There is a form of expertise-induced blindness that occurs when one is fed on pernicious postmodern dogmas like knowledge is indoctrination or understanding is more important than knowledge. How they love Sir Ken Robinson’s inspiring, but factually incorrect, TED talk- as though 50 years of progressively more progressive education wasn’t enough and more of the same is really going to help.

    Here’s a radical idea. We know that almost all professional athletes have low digit ratios. Irrespective of IQ, it makes you better at maths and worse at reading. You are also likely to be more competitive and aggressive. Why not set-up specialist sports and technical schools, in all medium to large cities. Give any boy or girl with a low digit ratio the option to attend. This has the added benefit, of streaming the kids most likely to be disruptive or unruly, due to boredom in the progressive system, into specialist education. Design a reading curriculum that is more likely to engage them- action comics, books on war, Greek and Norse mythology, sports, cars and engineering feats (The Guinness book of records is a good one). Aggression is biological, not socialised, it needs to be channelled into productive activity- hence sport and one of genius innovations of the British Empire. If they misbehave, threaten to withdraw their sport. Plus, we know from student athletes and teir systemically higher than average grades, that all that hard work and discipline cross-pollinates into study. Sport even increases IQ- healthy body, healthy brain. But it’ll never happen, because liberals don’t like sport or competition.

    Perhaps the most dark and unsettling truth, is that whilst liberals are by no means racist, if they become teachers, they can end up as classist bigots. They beg for more money from government (which in many cases is, at least modestly, warranted), whilst simultaneously blaming kids for their backgrounds and claiming that only 25-30% of a child’s educational outcomes, are based in the school. Of course, it’s true to say that parental circumstances, income and a home full of books can make a difference- but most of that difference is in making up for the failures of the progressive education system. Parents teach their kids phonics, when they hear them read at night. They osmose knowledge through vocabulary and encyclopedic expositions of the world, and how it works. But a school can counteract that, if every minute of every school day is spent using highly-intensive drill and didactic teaching methods. Fundamentally, all that is really needed is a recalibration of education, and a recognition that different circumstances make for different needs. And the great thing is that this system could be one of those very few society-changing innovations that end up systemically favouring poor kids over their wealthier counterparts- because I seriously doubt that middle or upper-middle class parents are going to let their precious little darlings attend schools that are highly structured and highly disciplined- it might stifle their ‘creativity’, whatever that means.

    • Fran says

      You hit the nail on the head-structured learning with parental support. We had to go to a rivate school for this in Montreal. In the public junior high, we found out at the 6-weekly parent-teacher meeting that our 13/yo had been leaving school at noon to spend the afternoon at the mall; when she said all homework was done, it was a fib at the very least. How do you punish a 13/yo for things done weeks ago. Teachers would not report ongoing behaviour – too much like workk.

      At the private school we enroled her in the next year, she tried skipping once – the school informed us but said they would take care of it; if hommework was not done, she had lunch hour and after school ‘study’ halls. The money was well worth it.

      I note throughout the above ‘discipline’ seems to mainly ‘suspension’. No mention of afterschool study, informing parents, etc. It is impossible to deal with teens who are testing all boundaries in this manner. I was concerned about the public system when I saw my daughter’s grade 1 teacher arrive at 8:59 in dry-clean only designer clothes. Nothing I found out through 20-some years of getting 3 kids through university changed my first impression. Once every year or tw we would meet a dedicated excellent teacher, but 90% were lazy women who signed in at the professional development days and left to go shopping.

      • Gringo says

        I note throughout the above ‘discipline’ seems to mainly ‘suspension’. No mention of afterschool study, informing parents, etc.

        It is a fair assumption that before suspension, less arduous consequences, such as after-school study (detention) or informing parents, were tried before suspension. The study merely chose not to focus on consequences used before suspension.

        • Geary Johansen says

          Yeah, I should have been more specific. Low-level enforcement (such as detentions), usually but not always, reduces the need for more draconian punishments (such as suspensions). Give an inch, and they’ll take a mile. Plus, you really have to ask yourself whether you want them missing maths for a week- which is probably the most pyramidal knowledge-structure, most dependant on prior building blocks- when you know that the teacher will only have to devote more time and resource bringing them up to speed, to the detriment of their fellow classmates.

    • Peter from Oz says

      Geary
      One suspects that the liberals of whom you speak, or at least some of them, are subconscioulsy trying to kick away the ladder up which they climbed from lower middle class to the middle class.
      They also need an issue to fight for, or else their pathetic little lives are meaningless.

      • Geary Johansen says

        Very good point. In interview, Katherine Birbalsingh noted that it was upper-middle class, white women who were most opposed to her setting up the Michaela Community School. She made the point that they wanted to sit around the dinner party table, and show just how liberal, kind and compassionate they were for taking the time to campaign on behalf of the oppressed.

        In practice, there were poor, black British mums desperate to secure a decent education for their kids, having meetings disrupted by wealthy white women. Her interview with Dave Rubin is really worth watching, as an intro into the thorny issues surrounding progressive education.

      • Charlie says

        Peter from Oz. Good points, especially the subconscious aspects.

        Birbalsingh has shown great moral courage and fortitude. If more members of the education system were like her, they would be far greater social mobility.

        Those opposed to Birbalsingh were left wing metropolitan upper middle class women . Upper middle class women who had played hockey, lacrosse, hunted or taken part in cross country horse events, come from a rural military background would approve of Birbalsingh.

        Most left wing middle class types appear feeble and are terrified of physically tough sports; perhaps they fear their children cannot cope with competition? Most middle class lefty types were those who fainted at the sight of muddy rugby or hockey pitches.

        What made British public schools, especially the boarding ones is the toughness: conditions were spartan. Cold showers, 5-6 mile cross country runs in the snow and rain, rugby, boxing, rowing, cricket and rigorous academic study with frequent canings produced boys resilient, robust and full of initiative. Girls schools used to be equally tough with hockey and lacrosse being played. Unless one broke the rules, life was very stifling, so one learnt to take risks and not whine when one was caught and caned.

        Boarding schools are ideal for single mothers with unruly sons.

        Those Fathers who came from a landowning and military background expected spartan public schools to produce tough gentlemen: only the nouveau riche expect their sons to be pampered. In WW1 and WW2, men a year out of public school were leading other men into combat. At Dunkirk a 17 year old midshipmen won the DSC. Men like Sterling, Jellicoe, P leigh Fermour had plenty of initiative and more recently

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/10780550/Gurth-Hoyer-Millar-obituary.html

        https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/12121935/Lieutenant-Colonel-Henry-Worsley-obituary.html

        As one Father said , ” Public school was excellent training for a POW camp and developing the initiative required to escape, also being an explorer, undertaking construction, oil and mineral exploration in remote arduous areas and entering the special forces. “. Climbing across the roofs, when a fall would be fatal, at night when wet and windy, in order to buy cigarettes and alcohol to sell to one’s housemates, all the while evading prefects is good practice in developing escaping skills. Character was considered more important than brains and the Headmaster of Ampleforth ( produced D Stirling ) said ” The scholars often end up working for the Remove ( bottom set – plenty of character and initiative ).

        The tough public school boys tend to get on well with the tough blue collar types as they both tend to despise the effete swottish urban middle class types.

        British public schools had boys from all over the World from the 19th century and everyone was treated equally harshly and given the opportunities to shine or be mediocre. During Independence Nehru sung school songs with fellow Harrovian who was British.
        What is vital is the competence of the headteacher . Where the headteacher was educated at Oxbridge, has blue or better and served in the Armed Forces as an officer then one has someone who is bright, physically fit and a leader. In many poor schools the teachers have low quality degrees in absurd subjects, are unfit and have no leadership, they are clerks.

        • Peter from Oz says

          Charlie
          I agree completely. I was a product of one of those schools.
          The fact that I was a sickly youth didn’t seem to make a difference, as long as I tried as hard as I could to do as much as I could.
          That was education for leaders and entrepreneurs, but also for eccentrics and dreamers.
          Rather than bring these schools down, it would be great if they made more public schools like them, especially for boys. In that way you can channel the natural traits of masculinity towards constructive efforts.

          • Charlie says

            Peter from Oz.
            Many West Indian and West African families with a strong Christian faith have despaired at the lack of discipline in most comprehensives and have actually sent their children to their home countries for education.

            Orwell and Muggeridge were correct. The left wing middle class hold their views not because they are concerned about the less well off but because they have a grudge against the English Speaking World’s rugged and heroic individualism which is needed to create a free society. I have yet to come across a left wing middle class person who thrived on tough sports, enjoyed the countryside and arduous dangerous activities and were craftsmen, engineers, classicist,Medievalists and/or served in elite combat units. Engineering is about solving problems; whining is no use.

            They said the special forces in WW2 were the sweeping of the prisons and public schools; they were probably correct.

            The left wing are basically feeble effete swottish impractical metropolitan types with untaxing arts degrees working in something related to the public sector.

            Boys tend to fight and those who had played full contact rugby from the age of 8 or 9 years were never terrified of caning. House rugby matches with the punches, kicks, head butts , etc were far more violent than any caning. However it was the swots who were terrified of their very infrequent caning. One Lord asked a labour Lord ” Are you a socialist because you had back time at public school ?”

            The reason the Left hates masculinity is tough, brave, fit, charming , well mannered practical buccaneering men are very rare in their circles. Left wing men feel inadequate and Left wing women resent other women who have men who are brave, fit, charming, well mannered practical and buccaneering partners.

            Whining does not solve problems but can win the votes of whiners.

  19. Gringo says

    “The truth is that the Obama administration’s discipline policy was reasonably justified at the time it was implemented,

    Very few who have taught in schools with a lot of black students would have considered the Obama discipline policy to be “reasonably justified at the time it was implemented,” Surprise, surprise, later research showed the Obama administration’s discipline policy was NOT justified.

    This is very common in education research. Someone proposes something half-assed with insufficient, poorly-designed research to back up the proposal. The proposal is implemented on a massive scale. Subsequent research shows the proposal doesn’t work in the real world. Consider learning styles, for example.Proposed, implemented, and later debunked. Don’t worry, the next education fad will come along, with similar results.

    Most, or a substantial proportion, of research in the education field is useless. Consider the Chicago Annenberg Challenge.Bill Ayers was one of the three co-authors of the winning Annenberg Challenge grant proposal. As chairman of the Annenberg Challenge, Barack Obama was responsible for doling out $49 million in Annenberg Foundation monies coupled with $110 million in matching funds for research projects on improving Chicago public schools.

    An August 2003 final technical report of the Chicago Annenberg Research Project by the Consortium on Chicago School Research said that while “student achievement improved across Annenberg Challenge schools as it did across the Chicago Public School system as a whole, results suggest that among the schools it supported, the Challenge had little impact on school improvement and student outcomes, with no statistically significant differences between Annenberg and non-Annenberg schools in rates of achievement gain, classroom behavior, student self-efficacy, and social competence.

    With all that money spent on education research, and no substantial difference in student achievement between Annenberg schools and non-Annenberg schools. One would hope that with all that money spent, SOME research would point to a way to improve student achievement. Oh well. Just remember this when someone tries to sell you on some great education idea.

  20. Peter from Oz says

    It seems that America is in the middle of a big feedback loop on the issue of race. The blacks insists that their continued failure to reap the rewards of society must be due to racism, whilst whites tell them that it’s really more about politics and poor cultural choices.
    Both sides have to reach out to each other and break this deadlock. Both sides have to realise that someone’s race is probably the least interesting thing about them. The wites need to understand how the blacks feel and the blacks need to understand that the whites are not against them.
    Most of all we have to return to MLK’s dictum about judging by character and not characteristic.
    I have to add, that the worst thing blacks can do is to keep on voting for Dems in overwhelming numbers..
    Republicans therefore have to reach outto the black community and show that they are interested in that community thriving. They should not be put off by the fact that the majority of blacks vote Democratic.
    Republicans need to go out there and talk to the black community. They need to explain how Trump’s policies are actually creating more opportunitoies for blacks, but also what the blacks themselves would like to see happen to improve their lives. I suspect that when it comes down to it, what blacks want is not that much different to whites, but that many of them are not able to say so, in fear of being labelled ”oreos” by activists.

    • Morgan Foster says

      @Peter from Oz

      “Republicans need to go out there and talk to the black community. They need to explain how Trump’s policies are actually creating more opportunitoies for blacks, but also what the blacks themselves would like to see happen to improve their lives. “

      Peter, Republicans, most of whom are white, have been telling this to the black community for decades. Trying, to, anyway. Not just Trump’s policies, but those of other Republican leaders as well.

      White people “talking to the black community” is something that is generally met with hostility and mistrust.

      Black people “talking to white people” generally means “black people talk and white people listen respectfully and agree with everything they’re being told.”

      No Republican gets a good result when he advises black people what they need to do to improve their lives. (Not even the rare black Republican.)

      “Both sides have to reach out to each other and break this deadlock.”

      The only thing that will break this deadlock is another century of racial intermarriage. That process is actually well underway. (Spend a little time in a rural Alabama Walmart superstore.) But it will not happen more quickly than that, in my opinion.

      • Peter from Oz says

        ”The only thing that will break this deadlock is another century of racial intermarriage. ”
        You are probably right.

  21. Realworldman says

    While one can appreciate the intent behind this article, it should be noted that the real issue is not disparity but rather inadequacy. Regardless of extreme left wing nut jobs who think spanking is the same thing as child abuse, American children have been left out in the cold by the village. This is why boys are failing in record numbers, gaming has become a psychological disorder and those with any mental illnesses now bring guns to school and kill their peers. Like it or not, we are mere primates who swung down from the trees not too long ago. Our offspring do not come fully programmed and capable of surviving in this world without parental programming. If you are older than 35 you may have noticed the general dive in dignity and respect within our culture. Vulgarity is now presented as normal and promiscuity is praised. Road rage is out of control and there is a distinct inability to have a meaningful conversation that does not devolve into ad hominem attacks. These are in large part, all due to lack of self worth and respect for others that is the hallmark of reasonable, loving, firm discipline. Sending a child home or making him sit somewhere else, is not legitimate discipline. My son, who is now 13, will tell you point blank that kids have no fear of school authority. He behaves as well as he does, because he knows that he must deal with me in the end. I have not spanked him for over a year and he thanks me all the time for raising him the way I have. Children want boundaries. They want to know you care enough to intervene and demand better from them. They respect parents who command it. And they ignored those who do not. Respect for others and for authority is not an inborn human trait. It must be inculcated. Until parents begin to parent again, as opposed to “being friends” with their kids, the schools will never get better.

  22. Jerjapan says

    Betsy DeVos should resign – due to being woefully unqualified to be the Secretary of Education, for her relentless support of charter schools. The data is clear on that issue – they exacerbate inequality.

    But the article tackles a much more important, complex issue. Marginalized students – be they black, brown, poor, differently-abled, part of the LGBTQ community – are all more likely to have behavioral / attendance problems. They may not have had a meal on any given day, they make be bullied, lack adults at home to model literacy and help with homework, or simply not feel a part of the mainstream school environment – often for good reason. But are we not failing these marginalized students, and all students, if we don’t have clear, consistent expectations and consequences for ALL students equally?

    As a white male teacher, I try to set high standards for all my students, and have yet to encounter a colleague who I would describe as racist. That said, the evidence that visible minorities are punished more severely is much more complex than implied by this article, and the consensus within education – front line educators, not policy makers – remains that visible minorities will at times be punished more severely.

    In short – to best empower marginalized students, we need to acknowledge and address the barriers they face to success in schools while also acknowledging that they may be more challenging students to teach in terms of behavior.

    • Morgan Foster says

      @Jerjapan

      “Betsy DeVos should resign – due to being woefully unqualified to be the Secretary of Education, for her relentless support of charter schools.”

      If that’s your reason for thinking she’s unqualified to be Secretary of Education …

      “As a white male teacher …

      Oh, dear God, you’re a member of a public teachers’ union, aren’t you.

      If that is the case, I’m hardly likely to trust you to have an objective opinion regarding Betsy DeVos.

  23. SFWC2017 says

    The differences are attributable to race. Black kids have lower average IQ’s, less impulse control, and less ability to delay gratification. Many of these kids are not capable of handling secondary education, thus we need alternatives for them. Discipline academies (call them reform or finishing schools if you like) are the answer. Instead we lie to ourselves and spend billions on nonsense.

  24. The problem that any critic of the work and track record of the liberal humanist ascendancy, whether their name is Eden or Skiba, or whether it is about pedagogy, or for that matter anything else to do with social governance, is that the are infallibly bound to run into a lot of regime flak, because they are talking about a major regime problem, that ‘isn’t there’.

    And this goes far beyond the question of whether it is or isn’t arguably the case that discipline in American schools (and anywhere else in the old affluent ‘Western World, including Australia where I live) is ‘race’ or ‘behaviour’ driven.

    In my view, Eden and Skiba between them makes a fair case that classroom disciplinary action it is overwhelmingly a behavioural rather than a racial one, by reasonable objective standards, as in physical classroom disruption (while accepting that subjective confrontations over classroom authority are a more difficult area to quantify from beyond the classroom).

    But \but whether this critical analysis is or is not of a good academic standard, it begs the question about the standard of governance in schools generally.

    The good Democrat Senator Clarke, who represents the liberal humanist ascendancy, will inevitably try to obfuscate the issue of classroom discipline into a racial problem, because she is very keen to blame shift classroom problems away from its liberal pedagogy and governance ‘product’, onto ‘racist’ teachers and/or ‘racist’ analysts/critics. And she will do it for exactly the same regime reasons and in exactly the same denialist/obfuscatory/blame shifting fashion as the tobacco and fossil fuel industries when they defend their products from critical scrutiny by medicos and climatologists respectively.

    The reason this happens is that BOTH the corporate and humanities driven regime apparatchiks are and have been for the last 60-70 years, pursuing a systematic indulgence driven deregulatory and privatization agenda.in their respective areas of governance. They are BOTH administrative arms of ‘Indulgence Capitalism’ (where normal needs and wants have to be superseded by a regime manipulated fantasy, desire and satiation at any any environmental or social cost in order to maintain indefinite consumption growth). They have BOTH done the same kind of damage to the infrastructure that they are supposed be stewarding, with disastrous consequences that are only now starting to be seriously felt.

    Indulgence, deregulation and privatization all look cool in the early stages of the take down of ‘repressive’, ‘inhibitive’ and ‘enterprise destroying’ regulatory and governance structures that ‘get in the way’ of ‘progress’, whether economically or socially defined. And any robust infrastructure can withstand that kind of decapitalization for a while. It takes time for that commons infrastructure to noticeably asset degrade, whether we talking the natural, or social/economic governance worlds. And for a while it is really easy to dismiss criticism as ‘backwards stepping and ‘old fashioned conservative, and sweep concerns about this under the carpet.

    When that gets more difficult, there are now so many powerful interests at play that are dependant on the status quo, that we get what I call, the ‘Goebbels Syndrome, where as the war goes against the Nazi regime, heroic tactical victories are turned into strategic ones and concern about its military enterprises is painted as a treasonous, fear mongering or defeatist….and spread by Communist &/or Jewish sympathizers; i.e., shifting reality, attention and blame.

    ‘The humanati’ and corporate think tanks/.lobbies are as expert (if not as formally coordinated through a single propaganda department…because it no longer needs to be) at this game as their fascist predecessors were, whether we are talking governance’ in education, the welfare sector, the criminal justice system, health or any other vector of social administration…..or economic governance in the banking and insurance system……or coal burning in the age of CO2 driven global warming.

    We have now reached the stage where questions of sustainability and rationality are becoming so pressing and the denial industries so intractable, that we are heading almost inevitably towards some kind of tectonic shift, disruption, and war. In many ways the present architecture of discourse is beginning to disintegrate in the ways one would expect as a precursor to war.

    This is not to say that there are not racial problems in the world and that they do not noticeably and measurably affect those minorities that are subject to racial categorization and resultant poor treatment.

    But the bottom line is that indulgence systematically destroys axiomatic rules based behaviour and the boundaries that enclose it, by tolerating and making excuses for sub-optimal and/or poor behaviour. Deregulation destroys the basis for disciplined behaviour by removing the moral codes, authoritative role templates and sociophilic values that underpin it. And privatization takes away any sense of collective accountability for poor behaviour, by giving disinhibited individuals carte blanche to do pretty much whatever they like….if they can get away with it.

    When one feeds race into this maw, race minorities come out of it very badly and very quickly, because whatever disadvantages and problems they may have inherited from the past are made much worse and they have far less fat in the system to keep them going and their lives in some kind of coherent shape.

    When Martin Luther King said. ‘Free at last! Free at last! Free at last!’. he thought it was the freedom of the righteous in the name of The Lord and led by the congregations of the righteous. What happened was all that was swept away by economic deregulation that sent black working class jobs overseas, by the devastation of protracted welfarism in its stead and the disintegration of righteousness in favour of crack, guns and single mums on welfare; i.e., chaos.

    The white middle class young do gooding civil rights activists of the 60s finished their colossally expensive degrees, went straight and very profitably peddled the new tertiary industries that worked just fine for them. They had just been ‘going through a ‘youthful stage’. Their black counterparts were not so lucky, it wasn’t just ‘a stage’ for them and they peddled much less well thought of ‘junk’.

    And the thing is that the children and the grandchildren of those white middle class kids from the sixties are beginning to find that deregulation etc does us much damage to them as anyone else. It just took a bit longer for that damage to be visible. The GFC was run by people who just hadn’t been morally toilet trained by their mummies and daddies and had followed the Pied Piper of Cool instead, playing songs about desire and having any fantasy you want…..and now, even if it means cannibalising the financial system to the point of collapse to get it..

    Just how serious this has got was revealed in South Australia by the Nyland Royal Commission that was investigating serious deficiencies in the child welfare system there in 2016. What it found was so astounding, the premier of the state initially refused to believe it. Nyland concluded that the welfare system was under completely unprepared for pressure, with up to 4 children in ten in the state likely to be subject to a welfare notification of neglect and/or abuse and or adult sexual interference. And in the case of our black indigenous aboriginal population, that figure when up to 9 out of 10.

    Chaos. And what is more, unless we reregulate the social system and see off indulgent disinhibition as liberty and consumer freeby entitlements without moral agency as human rights, things will only get worse into the next generation, no matter what race we are talking about.

  25. Sorry folks. I tried to do the above on my cell phone. Not a good idea. Here is the cleaned up version, if you are still prepared to have a second look….

    The problem that any critic of the work and track record of the liberal humanist ascendancy, whether their name is Eden or Skiba, or whether it is about pedagogy, or for that matter anything else to do with social governance, is that they are infallibly bound to run into regime flak, because they are talking about a major regime problem that ‘isn’t there’.

    This goes far beyond the question of whether it is or isn’t arguably the case that discipline in American schools (and anywhere else in the old affluent ‘Western World, including Australia where I live) is ‘race’ or ‘behaviour’ driven.

    In my view, Eden and Skiba between them makes a fair case that classroom disciplinary action is overwhelmingly a behavioural rather than a racial one, by reasonable objective standards, as in physical classroom disruption (while accepting that ‘subjective’ confrontations over classroom authority are a more difficult area to quantify from beyond the classroom).

    However, whether the above critical analysis is or is not of a good academic standard, it begs the question about the standard of governance in schools and across society generally.

    The good Democrat Senator Clarke, who represents the libertarian humanist ascendancy, will inevitably try to obfuscate the issue of classroom discipline into a racial problem, because she is very keen to blame shift classroom problems away from ‘liberal’ pedagogy and governance ‘product’, onto ‘racist’ teachers, analysts and ideological critics. And she will do it for exactly the same regime reasons, and in exactly the same denialist/obfuscatory/blame shifting fashion, as the tobacco and fossil fuel industries when they defend their products from critical scrutiny by medicos and climatologists respectively.

    The reason this happens is that BOTH the corporate and humanities driven regime apparatchiks are and have been for the last 60-70 years, pursuing a systematic indulgence driven deregulatory and privatization agenda.in their respective areas of governance. They are BOTH administrative arms of ‘Indulgence Capitalism’, where normal needs and wants have had to be superseded by a regime of manipulated fantasy, desire and satiation at any environmental or social cost, in order to maintain indefinite consumption and production growth. They have BOTH done the same kind of damage to the infrastructure that they are supposed be stewarding, with disastrous consequences that are only now starting to be seriously felt.

    Indulgence, deregulation and privatization all look cool in the early stages of the take down of ‘repressive’, ‘inhibitive’ and ‘enterprise destroying’ regulatory and governance structures that ‘get in the way’ of ‘progress’, whether economically or socially defined. Robust infrastructure can withstand that kind of decapitalization for a while. It takes time for that commons asset to noticeably degrade, whether we talking the natural, or social/economic governance worlds. For a while, it is really easy to dismiss criticism as ‘backwards stepping reactive and ‘old fashioned conservative, thus sweeping concerns under the carpet.

    When that gets more difficult, there are now so many powerful interests at play that are dependant on the status quo, that we get what I call, the ‘Goebbels Syndrome, where as the war goes against the Nazi regime, ‘heroic’ tactical victories are turned into strategic ones. Concern about its military enterprises is painted as a treasonous, fear mongering or defeatist….and spread by Communist &/or Jewish sympathizers; i.e., shifting reality, attention and blame.

    ‘The humanati’ and corporate think tanks/.lobbies are as expert (if not as formally coordinated through a single propaganda department, because it no longer needs to be in the age of privatized publicrelationspeak) at this game as their fascist predecessors were, whether we are talking governance in education, the welfare sector, the criminal justice system, health or any other vector of social administration…..or economic governance in the banking and insurance system……or coal burning in the age of CO2 driven global warming.

    We have now reached the stage where questions of sustainability and ideological rationality are becoming so pressing and the denial ‘industries’ so intractable, that we are heading almost inevitably towards some kind of tectonic shift, disruption, and war. In many ways the present architecture of discourse is beginning to disintegrate in the ways one would expect as a precursor to war and perhaps some kind of regime endgame.

    This is not to say that there are not racial and historical legacy problems in the world and that they do not noticeably and measurably affect those minorities that are subject to prejudicial racial categorization and resultant poor treatment.

    However, the bottom line is that indulgence systematically destroys axiomatic rules based behaviour and the boundaries that enclose it, by tolerating and making excuses for sub-optimal and/or poor behaviour. Deregulation destroys the basis for disciplined behaviour by removing the moral codes, authoritative role templates and sociophilic values that underpin it. And privatization takes away any sense of collective accountability for poor behaviour, by giving disinhibited individuals carte blanch to do pretty much whatever they like….if they can get away with it.

    When one feeds already under pressure racially distinct populations with a bad historical legacy behind them into this maw, they come out of it very badly and very quickly. Whatever disadvantages and problems they may have inherited from the past are made much worse by indulgent deregulation and privatization of the social system. Because they have far less fat in their social system to keep them going and their lives in some kind of coherent shape, they go down first and hardest.

    When Martin Luther King said. ‘Free at last! Free at last! Free at last!’. he thought it was the freedom of the righteous in the name of The Lord, led by the congregations of the elect. What happened was all that was swept away by economic, social and moral deregulation that sent black working class jobs overseas, drowned them in protracted welfarism in their stead and set religiously centred righteousness aside in favour of crack, guns and single mums on welfare; i.e., chaos.

    The white middle class young civil rights activists of the ‘60s went straight, finished their colossally expensive degrees and very profitably peddled the new emerging tertiary industries and their glamorized services. This worked just fine for them. They had just been ‘going through a ‘youthful stage’ and got out of it Scott free. Their black counterparts were not so lucky. It wasn’t just ‘a stage’ for them. They found themselves peddling much less well thought of ‘junk’ in much less salubrious environs.

    But, the children and the grandchildren of those white middle class kids from the sixties are beginning to find that deregulation etc does us much damage to them as anyone else. It just took a bit longer for it to be visible.

    The 2008 GFC was run by over-grown adolescent narcissist banksters who saw themselves as unique exceptionals for whom the old rules of conduct no longer applied. They hadn’t been morally toilet trained by their mummies and daddies and had followed the Pied Piper of Cool instead, playing songs about having any fantasy you want…..and having it all right now baby, even if it meant cannibalising the financial system to the point of collapse to get it.

    Just how serious this has got was revealed in South Australia by the Nyland Royal Commission that was investigating serious deficiencies in the child welfare system there in 2016. What it found was so astounding, the premier of the state initially refused to believe it. Nyland concluded that the welfare system was under completely unprepared for pressure, with up to 4 children in ten in the state likely to be subject to a welfare notification of neglect and/or physical abuse and/or adult sexual interference.

    In the case of our black indigenous aboriginal population, that figure when up to 9 out of 10…..Chaos.

    Unless we reregulate the social system and see off indulgent, irresponsible and disinhibited consumer freeby human rights as entitlements-without-moral-agency, things will only get worse into the next generation, no matter what race we are talking .

    And there will be the most terrible shit fight to fix it.

    ‘Modernism: Satan’s Bargain’
    https://www.writing.com/main/books/entry_id/865742

  26. Richard Aubrey says

    Ingestion of lead prior to age five leads to reduced impulse control. It’s irreversible.

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