Saturday, October 16, 2010

Public Schools Destroyed by 'Justice'

Public Schools Destroyed by 'Justice'
Kevin Probst

I grew up the youngest of three boys. My father was formerly a sergeant in the U.S. Army and never really ceased be a sergeant even after leaving the military. So, the three of us were often told to “shape up or ship out.” I can still hear his voice at the foot of the stairs every Saturday morning, “Up and at ‘um, boys. We have work to do.”
My father was stern but fair. It would have been unimaginable for him to apply some sort of ‘quota’ disciplinary system to the three of us. If one of us deserved more discipline than the other it was because we earned it honestly. He was never one to equate fair discipline with an equal number of spankings per child. That would be absurd. If we got it we deserved it.
But such absurdity is actually the norm for our government’s Department of Education. Included in the Obama administration’s $4.3 million Race to the Top initiative is a piece of litigation that will attempt to address the unevenness of disciplinary action in our public schools. At issue is the disproportionate suspension and expulsion of African-American students. Rather than take the ‘road less traveled’ and dig deep for some creative solution to the prevalence of violence and misbehavior in our schools, this administration has decided to take the easy road and simply count beans.
Federal moneys will be withheld from those schools who fail to have proportionate discipline in regard to their distinctive racial groups. African-Americans seem to have a greater occurrence of misbehavior, followed by Hispanics, then whites and finally Asians. Of course, this may vary in different school systems that have different percentages of each race. The troubling assumption being made here is that there is a blatant racism at the foundation of our system for discipline in the public schools. Imagine the chaos in our society if we used a quota system for sending people to prison? That policy would allow a certain criminal element in our society a tremendous advantage and it would also increase the number of misdemeanor offenders who would find themselves in prison simply because a quota had to be met.

A disciplinary quota system will only bring chaos to public schools. Can you imagine a principal dependent on federal funds who decides to turn his head when a certain student has been found with a knife in his possession because the ‘quota’ has already been exceeded?

In view of the fact that our society is becoming more and more racially blended, how difficult will it be for the principal to determine the race of the offender? Will those who are mixed be able to claim a race most convenient for any particular day? Will we have to man our public schools with a DNA patrol?

No one would deny that discipline in the public schools is a huge problem. I taught 15 years in inner city public schools and I often felt more like a cop than a teacher. But the decision to discipline by racial quota may be the most asinine policy those disconnected Washington bureaucrats have ever come up with! (for more on public schools) (religion, theology and apologetics)

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