By John Ubaldi, “Ubaldi Reports”
The horrific death of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer has galvanized the nation at this injustice, but as the country comes to grip with the crisis, it shed a light on a seldom reported issue of the educational achievement gap in America.
Far too long blacks and Hispanic students often are educated in the most impoverished schools in the country. These same students score far below white and Asian students further impacting any viable economic opportunities.
The words preached by Martin Luther King, Jr., who once famously chided America for giving minorities a bad check which has come back marked “insufficient funds.” Still, he said, “we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we’ve come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.”
This has never been more evident as it relates to education in America.
With Minnesota in the national news because of the death of George Floyd, the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis issued a report last October which showed that of all the African-American and Hispanic students in the state only around 30% were proficient at grade level in Math and English.
This means that 7 out of 10 blacks and Hispanic Students in the state of Minnesota could not read or do math at grade level, far below white and Asian students.
This trend is not only confined to just Minnesota, but in California the same dismal academic achievement gap is found as 70% of all blacks and Hispanic students cannot do math or read to grade level, this after years of billions of increased spending by California.
Just last month the University of California Board of Regents decided at the urging of UC President Janet Napolitano to abolish the use of SAT and ACT college admission exams. The rational for this decision is that the tests discriminate against blacks and Hispanic students.
California UC system may need to examine other factors that contribute to why blacks and Hispanic students fare poorly on college entrance examinations. The left leaning Brookings Institute in 2017 examined other factors for low test scores and analyzed study habits of all ethnic groups and found that those in low income households spend less time doing homework. Why do Asian children as reported by the Brookings Institute who reside in low income communities do more homework then other racial ethnic groups?
We all know that black and Hispanic youths are proportionally more likely to attend chronically failing elementary and secondary schools. This alone may attest to a better explanation of why black and Hispanic students do poorly on standardized tests.
It’s strange that those advocating for the rejection of the SAT and ACT in the college admission process also reject any meaningful reform of these failing schools which disproportionately fall on the backs of blacks and Hispanic students.
Why do these same individuals that condemn racial discrimination reject vouchers and charter schools that would help underserved children to attend a better quality school.
Massachusetts Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren while campaigning for president last year proposed ending all federal funding for public charter schools, banning for profit charter schools, increasing regulations for all charter schools, and making it more difficult to start new charter schools. Finally she added that she also advocated ending private school choice programs.
The problem for Warren who has been a strong advocate for public schools, but then it was revealed her children had attended a private school. Even President Barack Obama a strong advocate for public education for everyone else except for his children. His children went to a prestigious private school in Chicago before he entered the White House, and then had his children attend the Sidwell’s Friends School which is reserved for the elite.
One of the first official acts as president, Obama ended the D.C. voucher program that allowed underserved children to attend a private school of their choice through the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship program which dramatically improved reading achievement.
At the time liberal political analyst on the Fox News Juan Williams, called the decision to end the program, “Obama’s outrageous sin against our kids.”
As Williams points out, “The National Education Association and other teachers’ unions have put millions into Democrats’ congressional campaigns because they oppose Republican efforts to challenge unions on their resistance to school reform and specifically their refusal to support ideas such as performance-based pay for teachers who raise students’ test scores.”
Ask yourself, where do the political elite send their children?
Across the country the teacher’s union has a stranglehold on any education reform, as witnessed by last year’s protest against charter schools. California in the past year has dramatically scaled back charter schools, required extensive reporting requirements, at the same time pumping billions into public schools without any meaningful accountability or oversite that they demand from the charter schools.
New York Mayor Bill de Balsio centered his entire administration on ending charter schools even though many Black and Hispanic parents want to send their children there so they can get a better education instead of having to attend the failing public schools.
Black and Hispanic children in New York fit the similar pattern of California and Minnesota with around 70% unable to read or do math to grade level, scoring score far below their white and Asian counterparts.
Why not let these children attend better schools! Are these progressive mayors and governors more beholden to the powerful teachers union then in helping improve the educational opportunities of Black and Hispanic children?
Just last year at the beginning of New York City’s beginning of the first day of school, Jason Riley, Wall Street Journal columnist and Manhattan Institute Fellow wrote that with the majority of students returning, the majority of them can’t do basic reading or math, according to state standardized test results released last week. And the numbers get even more depressing when broken down by race and ethnicity. Black and Hispanic students make up 67% of the system, while whites and Asians are about 15% and 16%, respectively. Only 28% of black students passed the math exam, versus 33% of Hispanics, 67% of whites and 74% of Asians. On the English exam, the passage rates were 68% for Asians, 67% for whites, 37% for Hispanics and 35% for blacks.
With this dismal record de Balsio and other social-justice advocates routinely advocate against inequality, but at the same time they reject any and all reforms of the nations educational system that keeps black and Hispanic children into substandard schools.
Does anyone wonder or ask why over 70% black and Hispanic children in California can’t read or do math to grade level. By perusing the same policy in hoping for a different result is a recipe for failure.
Even in the progressive lead city of Washington D.C. WAMU radio reported that in 2018-2019, 85% of white students passed the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) exams in English and 79% of white students passed in math, the report says. The same year, 28% of black students passed the English assessment and 21% of black students passed math exams.
Educational advocates often cite additional revenue is needed to close the educational achievement gap but the facts prove otherwise that more funding doesn’t routinely prove beneficial. California is a case in point.
Black and Hispanic families want change, and the gubernatorial elections in 2018 should have been a up wake call. One of the many reasons Democratic candidates Stacy Abrams in Georgia and Andrew Gillum in Florida lost was their strong stand against charter schools in which many in the black and Hispanic communities support.
The tragic nature and despicable actions by the Minneapolis Police Department that resulted in the death of George Floyd, received intense coverage of the protests and violence that followed. Missing in the coverage is that all of these cities across America have systemic progressive polices for all of their supposed good intentions have disproportionally had a negative impact on the black and Hispanic communities.
Far too long these cities have been governed by one party.
The last Republican mayor in many of these cities dates back decades;
- Washington D.C.-1910
- Minneapolis- 1973
Other major cities with decades of progressive one party rule are endless.
Each of these cities is controlled by a strong-mayor form of government which is headed by a mayor who serves as a city’s chief executive and a city council, its legislative body. For it to be considered a strong mayor system, the mayor receives administrative authority and a significant degree of independence. He or she can appoint and dismiss staff at city hall, including department heads without consulting the city council or receiving public approval.
Now the situation in Minneapolis is intolerable but has anyone asked the mayor and the Democratic Party in these cities why the police department is run the way it is when you control who the police chief will be and how the police department is funded?
Has anyone asked any of the basic questions on how these progressive polices have underserved the black and Hispanic communities for decades but all the while preaching racial justice and fighting against inequality?
The situation in Minnesota is not new, but a representation of how progressive polices have failed the black and Hispanic communities.