America’s Failure to Educate Black Students* is Soft Genocide.

*For brevity’s sake I said Black students, but it applies to latinos, under resourced white kids and a plethora of other immigrant groups as well.

Did you know that certain governor’s base the number of prison beds on

3rd grade reading scores? The notion is, the worse the scores, the more beds will be needed.

Statistics show that a baby that doesn’t know how to read at 8yrs old/3rd grade,
will likely NEVER catch up.

I am obsessed with education.

Yall know that.

So when I came across an article this morning titled, Racism alive and well in S.F. schools – here’s proof, I knew it was about to be on and poppin’. The article actually represents a rare, candid discussion on public education.

Last spring, Cal graduate student Mandy Johnson wrote a paper looking at why parents picked certain schools in the choice-based San Francisco district.

The top factors correlated with low demand were the prevalence of low-income students and – here’s the really troubling one – race. Specifically, Johnson found, “as the percentage of African American students in the school increases, kindergarten demand decreases.”

Then it gets even more in the gristle and delicious:

Chris Rosenberg, principal of ethnically diverse Starr King Elementary, laid it out for me in clear terms.

“The bottom line is that many people do not feel comfortable sending their kids to a school with a lot of African American students,” says Rosenberg, who has been at Starr King for 12 years, four as principal. “It’s a crying shame. It’s terrible. But it is a sad and obvious truth in our schools. And no one wants to touch it.”

Nobody wants to read with the negros. Eh?

And here comes the big bad finance wolf:

With African American families leaving San Francisco, schools are losing black students. But as Sanchez says, when students leave those predominantly black schools, “nobody is willing to fill those seats.” The result is that schools in minority neighborhoods are continually threatened with closure because they are losing enrollment.


Skeptics will say we are exaggerating the problem. After all, it may not be racial. Who wants to send their kid to a school in a bad neighborhood? Rosenberg admits that Starr King is not far from the Potrero housing projects.

“I get a lot of questions from parents about safety,” says Rosenberg, a white man who majored in African American studies in college. “But John Yehall Chin Elementary (on Broadway) is a really good school with a lot of strip clubs around it. Do you think they get asked about safety? The fact is, people don’t care so much about the environment when it does not include black people.”

Which brings me to Rudy Crew. A couple of weeks ago, I picked up his new book.

He is the former superintendent of schools for NYC.

On the cover he looks proud. The rich money green background contrast’s nicley
with his bronze tone.

People are like books, its whats inside that matters.

After reading the table of contents and the chapters of interest, I came to the conclusion
that there was a fundamental problem with the book.

There was NO mention of the history of public education and how the school finance formula fundamentally screws urban schools.

Education is expensive. Right? Right!

Why else are property taxes high as h*ll in Jersey and Conneticut BUT families pay it
because they understand that a meaningful education COSTS MONEY.

The formula used to fund public education, mainly using property taxes on homes, automatically short shifts the hood.

Folks in the hood don’t own their homes, that makes for fewer tax dollars, which equals underfunded schools. Throw in hella apartment complexes full of kids and you
have an interesting prison situation.

A whole ‘lotta kids. And a little bit of cake.

In his book there was a great analysis of Demand Parents aka, those parents that demand things from their schools and their kids.

He gave valuable tips on how to become a demand parent.
He also gave examples of what happens when you are NOT a demand parent.

He did not go into the economic or a historical analysis of the system,
which undermines his credibility.
How can an educator expect a parent to leverage power in an instution when the parent has no idea of the institution’s history, and how the institution funds itself?


Are there any parents or teachers reading?
What has your experience been with No Child Left Behind?

What do you think of “Every Third Grader Will Read” as the alternate slogan?