Tuesday, October 15, 2019

But why are there discipline disparities in Metro Schools?

From The Tennessean.
By Rod Williams - Sunday's Tennesseean had an article that started on the front page taking two-thirds of the page and continued for two full pages on the inside of the paper called, "Discipline Disparities." The article makes the point with text, data, and charts and illustrative pictures that Black children are suspended from school at a much higher rate than White children.  The whole tone of the piece is that this is somehow unfair and something that must be corrected.

The article explains that Metro Schools spent five years trying to close the racial gap through an initiative called Passage and other reform efforts and spent more than $2 million in the process but instead of the gap narrowing, it got worse.  The program focused on training teachers on alternative forms of discipline and tightening guidelines on when administrators could suspend a child. It worked in that suspensions decreased. Last year 8,500 students received out-of-school suspensions, down from 11,000 in the 2013-14 school year.  However, there was a greater decrease in the number of white students suspended than the decrease in the number of  Black students suspended.  The result was the gap widened rather than narrowing.  In the 2013-14 school year, black students were 2.7 times more likely to be suspended than white students but by 2018-19, they were 3.1 times more likely.

School officials could offer no explanation as to why there was such a gap. It seems they are clueless. I am going to go out on a limb and take a wild guess that has not even occurred to the Tennesseean or Metro School officials. Here it is: Black students have more disciplinary problems than White students. 

Does that seem so far fetched that it is not even discussed in a lengthy article?  It is not only true of children but when it come to adults, Blacks commit more crime than White people. In 2017, blacks represented 12% of the U.S. adult population but 33% of the sentenced prison population. Whites accounted for 64% of adults but 30% of prisoners. And while Hispanics represented 16% of the adult population, they accounted for 23% of inmates (link). Do liberals think this is just a result of discrimination or do they recognized that Blacks commit more crime?

Wikipedia link
The article did not at all examine gender gap disparities, but I don't doubt anyone would be surprised if data showed that  boys get suspended at a higher rate than girls. I don't think the cause for this is discrimination against boys, but I suspect girls are less of a discipline problem.  Why can we not even recognize that Black children are more of a disciplinary problem than White children. 

We need to recognize the fact that Black culture is dysfunctional. I am going to venture an explanation as to why. Seventy-two percent of black children are raised in single-parent households, and the national average is only 25 percent (link). Most of the single-parent households raising children are single mother-headed households.  I fervently believe that 'when it comes to raising children, that's a job meant for two.'  Young boys with no father in the household are more likely to display disciplinary problems.  There may be a variety of reasons why the Black family has broken down, but I believe the growth of the welfare state beginning with the Great Society in the 1960's made fathers a liability rather than a asset. We often hear people say we need to have an honest conversation about race in America; we do.

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