In this article William McGurn theorizes how New York City school systems are failing African-American children and why nothing is being done about it.
I wonder if the NYC school system mirrors the national teacher demographic statistic, which is 87% of all teachers; parochial, charter, public or private are white females.
If so, I’d say there is our problem. #SelfIdentifyingMatters
New York City runs a school system in which only a fraction of African-American children are taught anything. It’s a systemwide failure that cuts these children off from the opportunities of this century and condemns them to life on the margins of the American Dream.
About this there is no outrage. No one loses his job. Even though the numbers are scandalous.
According to the Regents exams, only 11 percent of black males who leave a New York City high school with a diploma are ready for college. In the lower grades — third through eighth — only 15 percent of African-American students are proficient in math and reading. The National Assessment of Educational Progress finds roughly the same, with only 18 percent of New York City’s African-American eighth-graders proficient in reading and 13 percent in math.
The high failure rate means one of two things. Either black children can’t learn, or the city has a school system wildly out of whack with what kids need.
Plainly black children can learn. Because at other schools, they are learning.
They learn at elite private schools, which have expanded their outreach. They learn at Catholic schools, from the all-scholarship Regis High to the neighborhood parochial school. The Archdiocese of New York — which puts its black high school population at 14 percent — reports that 99 percent of its students graduate and 98 percent go on to a two- or four-year college.
Black children also learn in charters. Though city charters range in quality, African-American students at the most successful compete with the best in the state. Even overall, when African-American students in charters are measured against their peers in district schools, the charter kids do better — which explains a wait list 50,000 long.
So put ideology aside. The pattern of black achievement suggests that if you were designing a system where African-American children will learn, you wouldn’t place most in traditional district schools. Instead, they’d be in schools where they have a better chance of learning — whether charter, Catholic or private.
Let Black Kids Learn
By William McGurn
May 1, 2014