Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Jan. 10, 2014 / 9 Shevat, 5774

New Guidelines Undermine School Discipline

By Linda Chavez



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | With much ballyhoo, the Obama administration announced this week that it will keep a close eye on school districts that discipline minority students at higher rates than whites. Attorney General Eric Holder and Education Secretary Arne Duncan held a joint press conference to release a "Dear Colleague" letter to school districts issuing guidance on school discipline that will likely encourage districts to make race a significant factor in deciding how to administer punishment. Of course, Holder and Duncan claim their intention is to ensure nondiscrimination in school disciplinary procedures — but the guidelines they've offered will result in exactly the opposite.

Black and Hispanic students, on average, experience higher rates of school suspensions and other serious disciplinary actions — there is little doubt or debate on that score. A Washington Post study last year found that in the D.C. region, black students were far more likely to be suspended from school than whites or Asians. In Montgomery County, a suburban Maryland district just outside of Washington, 6 percent of black students were either suspended or expelled from school the previous year, while only 1.2 percent of white students suffered the same punishment. The most recent national school suspension statistics available show that some 15 percent of blacks, 7 percent of Hispanics, 5 percent of whites and 3 percent of Asians are suspended at some point in their school life.

But the real question is: Why? If black and Hispanic students engage in behavior that is punishable by suspension at higher rates than whites or Asians, then we shouldn't be surprised that their punishment rates are higher, as well. On the other hand, if behaviors don't differ or if black students who commit the same infractions as whites receive harsher treatment, discrimination is likely the cause.

Unfortunately, the DOJ and DOE guidelines go far beyond discouraging actual racial discrimination. In essence, what the Obama administration wants school districts to do is guarantee that minority students don't experience higher rates of suspension or other serious punishments for disciplinary infractions. It is certainly laudable to try to bring down suspension rates for black and Hispanic students — but there are right and wrong ways to go about it, and the Obama administration has chosen the worst way.


The guidelines tell school districts that any discipline policy that results in an "adverse impact on students of a particular race as compared with students of other races" is problematic. The school district must prove that the policy is "necessary to meet an important educational goal" and that there are not "comparably effective alternative policies or practices that would meet the school's stated educational goals."

In the D.C. area study, for example, minority students were far more likely to be suspended for "insubordination" than whites. The easiest way to fix the statistical disparity would be for school districts to eliminate insubordination as an infraction punishable by suspension. But whom would such a change benefit?

Students who refuse to follow the rules and behave disrespectfully to teachers and administrators would learn they could get away with it with no consequences, setting them up for future failure in the work world. Students who behaved would find themselves in unruly classrooms, and teachers would find their authority and ability to teach undermined.

Meanwhile, the real culprit for racial differences in disciplinary problems among students would go unexamined. More than 70 percent of black babies are born to single moms, as are about 60 percent of Native Americans and 50 percent of Hispanics, but less than 30 percent of whites and 20 percent of Asians. Children who grow up in fatherless homes are exponentially more likely to face school suspension or engage in early criminal behavior.

According to the Fatherhood Coalition, fatherless teens are three times more likely to be suspended from school and fatherless teen boys are 10 times more likely to become chronic juvenile offenders than those raised in homes with two parents. Forcing school districts to weaken disciplinary policies or set racial quotas in implementing them serves no one. And those who would suffer the most would likely be underachieving minority students stuck in undisciplined classrooms.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


JWR contributor Linda Chavez is President of the Center for Equal Opportunity. Her latest book is "Betrayal: How Union Bosses Shake Down Their Members and Corrupt American Politics". (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.)

Linda Chavez Archives


© 2006, Creators Syndicate

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles

Quantcast