Big Important Piece of the Day: Rich, Black, Flunking

Via Linkiest:

Parents in Shaker Heights began trying to explain the disquieting gap months before Ogbu arrived. A small group of black and white parents gathered in the mid-1990s to study the issue months before the student newspaper at Shaker Heights High School published its article. Their preliminary explanations were divided into four broad categories: the school system, the community, black parents, and black students. The group concluded that the academic gap was an “unusually complex subject, involving the internal and external synergistic dynamics not only of the school system, but also of the parents and of students, collectively and individually, as well as our community as a whole.”

It was a diplomatic way of saying there was much blame to go around, some of it attributable to black parents or students. Although many black parents would later react negatively to Ogbu’s work, this biracial group had in fact beaten him to some of his conclusions. “Ogbu didn’t find anything new,” recalls Reuben Harris, an African-American parent who served on the subcommittee. “It’s just a community where you wouldn’t think this kind of gap would occur.”

Ogbu agreed. And because he had spent much of his prior career looking at inner-city schools, he was particularly intrigued by the idea of studying a relatively affluent minority group in an academically successful suburban district. This was an opportunity to do a new kind of research. Why were there such stark differences when the socioeconomic playing field was comparably level? How could you explain the achievement discrepancies when they couldn’t be dismissed with the traditional explanations of inadequate teachers or disparities in school funding?

via Rich, Black, Flunking | Feature | Oakland, Berkeley & Bay Area News & Arts Coverage.


About godsowncrunk
I'm King B, the originator of the Jellywhite lyrical style and god's own crunk.

2 Responses to Big Important Piece of the Day: Rich, Black, Flunking

  1. Eric says:

    Very interesting article. When you strip away all the racial bias, all Ogbu is really saying here is that his study found that students whose parents make them do their homework tend to do better in school. And for that they want to brand him a racist. Welcome to the Tea Party.

  2. godsowncrunk says:

    In a nutshell – yes. I wanted to add commentary to it, but it pretty much sums it up.

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