baldilocks – The Herding

baldilocks, newly-published author of  Tale of the Tigers, posted an essay about racism and how it is used by the left.  It’s in two parts (so far – more to come), The Herding, Part One and The Herding, Part Two - I encourage you to read the whole thing and here’s an excerpt to get you interested (hat tip – Ace of Spades):

…when the Civil Rights Movement began to achieve success in garnering true freedom for Americans who are black, many of the governmental programs designed to “help” black Americans were implemented.  What such programs and policies have actually done:  almost succeeded in destroying the black family, created a sense of endless entitlement and stoked continued resentment among blacks for any group that is perceived to have any social and/or economic advantage over them.

This Leftist-indoctrinated mindset–very efficiently put forth by the NEA-controlled public education systems–has created the notion in black Americans that government can and should take the place of family; that dependence on government is our right.  And it has inculcated the twin notions that any white American who want his fellow citizen who are black to be free from government is a racist and that any black American who wants to be free from government is a self-hating Uncle Tom (sic)/Aunt Jemima and is a traitor to all “real” blacks…

The repeated stoking of racial anger and vengeance is a tool—a tactic–of the organized Left…

If the Left has been successful at keeping racial grievance in the forefront of black American agenda—in indoctrinating black Americans into believing that retaining racial anger at whites is inherent in being black and essential for black survival–it has also been successful in later years of producing a certain mindset in white Americans.  Actually this seems to be two mindsets, but it is really a singular one—a two-headed beast.  The first is guilt-fear and the second is unproductive anger…

The Left sows and inflames Racial Discord in order to eventually style itself and its chosen representatives as the solution to the Discord it continues to sow. 

 

“We’re going to fix this”

Compare that quote from Madison City Schools Superintendent Dee Fowler to Huntsville City Schools Superintendent Ann Roy Moore’s complaint that:

“In the real world, that’s not how it works,” said Huntsville Superintendent Ann Roy Moore. “You take a course, you make 95 percent, you still get an A.”

Moore must be referring to HER real world, where her poor performance is rewarded with real tax money based on a process (PEPE) that gives her a perfect evaluation despite poor scores in some areas.

Fowler was referring to Bob Jones High School, which didn’t have enough juniors from low-income families pass the reading portion of the state graduation exam.  BTW Bob Jones is the highest-ranked high school in the area according to Newsweek (surpassing Grissom).  Madison officials don’t whine that the system is unfair, they pledge to address the AYP deficiency:

“When it comes down to it, I’ve got to figure out a way to get these children to read at the proficient level,” Bob Jones Principal Robby Parker said.

The Huntsville Times published two articles on AYP, one from Challen Stephens “AYP results in Madison County serious for handful of schools in north Huntsville, one in the county” and one from Steve Campbell “Low scores keep 16 schools in Madison County from ‘adequate yearly progress’”.  Both articles make good reading (the following quotes are gleaned from both of those articles – the reporters should have done a better job of summarizing the data):

Sixteen schools… failed to meet the state’s definition of “adequate yearly progress”. 

HUNTSVILLE CITY:

Butler High, Johnson High, Westlawn Middle and West Mastin Lake Elementary must offer every student the chance to choose a new school.

Martin Luther King Jr. failed to see enough students read on grade level.

Grissom High, Chapman [Middle?]Whitesburg, Providence K-8, Mt. Carmel Elementary  (low special education reading or math scores — or sometimes, both).

MADISON COUNTY:

Sparkman High School failed in several categories. 

Sparkman Ninth Grade School, Monrovia and Meridianville middle schools (low special education reading or math scores — or sometimes, both).

Hazel Green High was cited for having an 81 percent graduation rate.

MADISON CITY:

Bob Jones High was cited for having low reading scores from students who get free or reduced-price lunch.

GOOD NEWS:

Several schools that didn’t make AYP last year made it this year. Those schools are: Lakewood Elementary (HSV), New Hope High (County), Madison County High (County), Buckhorn High (County), and Madison Cross Roads Elementary (County).

***

Thank goodness Democrat Mary Jane Caylor is leaving the State Board of Education:

“It really sends a very bad and confusing message to people,” said Dr. Mary Jane Caylor of the state school board.

Her attitude of saying ‘if the news is bad, blame the news’ doesn’t help fix the problem.

Schools data show chasm

The headline could’ve come from The Huntsville Times, but the article “Schools Data Show Chasm:  Gap Widens Between Haves, Have-nots” is from The Wall Street Journal:

Of the top 10 schools, all but two screen some of the students, through tests or interviews or both. One school stands out: P.S. 172 Beacon School of Excellence, a Brooklyn school with 80% Hispanic population, is no. 5 on the list. The K-5 school takes kids from the neighborhood without testing or screening them.

Beacon’s feat is all the more impressive given that the state said the new proficiency standards hit black and Hispanic kids the hardest. Among Hispanic children across the state, 65% proficiency in English last year turned into 37% this year.

On the low side, the 10 worst-performing schools mostly have troubled histories. Three, including the first on the list, are schools that Mayor Bloomberg tried to close this year, but a lawsuit filed by the United Federation of Teachers and the NAACP stopped him. The mayor vowed to try again next year.

Here is a great article on the Beacon School (P.S. 172) from The New York Times “Brooklyn School Scores High Despite Poverty”:

To ace the state standardized tests, which begin on Monday, Public School 172 in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, finds money for coaches in writing, reading and math. Teachers keep detailed notes on each child, writing down weaknesses and encouraging them to repeat tasks. There is after-school help and Saturday school…

But on the tests, P.S. 172, also called the Beacon School of Excellence, is coming close — even though 80 percent of its students are poor enough to qualify for free lunch, nearly a quarter receive special education services, and many among its predominately Hispanic population do not speak English at home…

The school’s approach, while impressive in its attention to detail, starts with a simple formula: “Teach, assess, teach, assess,” said Jack Spatola, its principal since 1984.

Mr. Spatola attributed the coaches and other extra help to careful budgeting and fighting for every dollar from the Department of Education; the school’s cost per pupil, in fact, is lower than the city’s average…

While about one-third of the students are still learning English, there are no bilingual classes. They were eliminated years ago at the request of parents, who noticed that children placed directly in English-only classes, with extra help from teachers of English as a Second Language, were scoring higher…

Mr. Spatola defended his laser-beam approach, noting that his school still had art, music and dance instruction. “They are not asking us to teach skills that the children don’t need to know,” he said. “It’s not a test,” he added. “It’s learning.”

 ***

Back here in Huntsville, it is our responsibility to vote on August 24th for Board of Education Districts 2, 3, and 4.  Candidates running to replace Doug Martinson are David Blair, Emily Elam, Carole Fandre, and Court Heller.  District 3 candidates are incumbent Jennie Robinson, Mark Huff, and Walker McGinnis.  District 4 candidates are incumbent Topper Birney and Tiffiney Garner.  The Huntsville Times has a summary of the City races “22 candidates qualify to run for Huntsville City Council, school board”.

***

Considering the weaknesses and criticism of the current process for evaluating the superintendent (PEPE), what process do candidates recommend for evaluation?  I’m certain that any process “that gave Moore a perfect score” is deeply flawed.

Jennie Robinson noted that Moore received all 52 points possible in the Alabama Professional Education Personnel Evaluation Program, or PEPE. That score was tallied despite less-than-perfect evaluations from board members.

Hiring and evaluating the superintendent is a key duty of the board, Robinson said.

“And if we have an instrument that does not permit us to accurately evaluate the superintendent, I think there’s a problem.” she said.

Which of the incumbents voted to approve the construction of a new Lee High School in an undersized lot requiring students to cross the busiest railroad tracks in the City to use the sports fields?  Vote those dummies out (imagine the Dale Peterson ricochet sound effect).

How do candidates plan to address the terrible test scores in parts of the City and falling test scores in schools that used to be more competitive when compared to Madison City schools? 

How do City schools plan to compete against the growth of private schools and homeschooling (which are a valid response to the decline of City schools)?

What plans do candidates have for dealing with excess capacity in some areas and overcrowding in others (another symptom of the abyss into which the City schools seem to be spiralling)?

I write like…

David Foster Wallace according to I Write Like:

Check which famous writer you write like with this statistical analysis tool, which analyzes your word choice and writing style and compares them with those of the famous writers.

Any text in English will do: your latest blog post, journal entry, comment, chapter of your unfinished book, etc. For reliable results paste at least a few paragraphs (not tweets).

Brian writes like H.P. Lovecraft, author of Necronomicon.   I also pasted the Matthew Pierce report from the Gulf into the tool – he writes like Cory Doctorow.

Wikipedia on Wallace (author of Infinite Jest):

Wallace’s novels often combine various writing modes or voices, and incorporate jargon and vocabulary (sometimes invented) from a wide variety of fields. His writing featured self-generated abbreviations and acronyms, long multi-clause sentences, and a notable use of explanatory footnotes and endnotes—often nearly as expansive as the text proper.

Just something fun that I found on the Internet while avoiding yard work…