2007 Year in Review–10 Biggest Vanguard Stories of 2007

As the first full year of the People’s Vanguard of Davis comes to completion, we will countdown the top 10 stories from year. This is the second year we have done this.

Last year we counted down the 10 Biggest Stories in Davis.

This year we countdown the 10 biggest stories that we followed on the People’s Vanguard of Davis.

We continue with the 7th biggest story: Racial and Other Strife on the High School Campus.

Last year there were a series of incidents and stories involving the Davis High School Campus. One of the strangest incidents was an honors student who ended up getting suspended for giving a speech about Malcolm X that may or may not have challenged the authority of a teacher.

The incident started with the student asking if they could bring a poster of Malcolm X to to math class. The teacher had posted a number of political posters in the classroom and they had agreed.

As we wrote at the time:

“On the poster appeared the phrase very prominently, “by any means necessary” along with other phrases from one of Malcom X’s most famous speeches.

This is a phrase comes from this context:

“We declare our right on this earth…to be a human being, to be respected as a human being, to be given the rights of a human being in this society, on this earth, in this day, which we intend to bring into existence by any means necessary.”

The next day, the student came back and found that the poster had been taken down and in front of the class and was told that it was a “terrorist” message.

A few weeks later, this same student was asked to give a speech in front of the school during Human Relations Week about a civil rights incident that he had experienced. He was given a choice and decided to do it on this specific incident. He then gave them an advanced copy of the speech which they approved. He was told that he could not specifically mention the teacher and he agreed to this.

He then delivered the speech, he did not mention the teacher’s name. Apparently the teacher however walked out during the speech, he and his parents were called in by the Vice-Principal.”

The text of the speech was approved apparently by the powers that be. However, according to some, the student changed parts of the speech and made critical remarks to the teacher.

Because of the criticism of the teacher in the speech, the student was suspended for three days.

According to the student, this is a copy of the text of the speech that was actually read during the assembly.

Versions of the incident vary depending on who you ask. From my perspective, a three day suspension for an offense that does not include physical danger or illegal activity is inappropriate. A further problem is a school policy that is in the process of being changed, whereby students are punished academically for being suspended. This is problematic since most students suspended are academically at risk to begin with.

This leads us to another concern from the high school campus and really beyond–the achievement gap.

The basics of the achievement gap are well-known by now. Each candidate for school board expressed great concern for it. At a fundamental level, white and Asian students perform consistently and statistically significantly higher than do African-American and Hispanic students.

In fact it is worse than that. The most chilling statistic is that when you control for education level of the parents, and you look only at children of college educated parents, the achievement gap still remains. This means it is something beyond merely economic or educational differences between black and Hispanic families and white and Asian families.

Last spring, Davis High School Catalysts for Social Justice presented research on a number of tough topic including achievement gap, suspension rate differentials, and lack of minority hires.

That presentation is summarized here.

Early in May, Tansey Thomas, a community leader stood up before the school board and spoke at length about a “Racial Climate Assessment Report” that was done in the early 90s. This report laid out a series of concerns and problems that existed at the time. It made a series of recommendations.

Here are some of the specific recommendations made:

“The District should establish… no later than the 1990-91 school year, a district-wide multicultural curriculum committee… [that] should oversee and assist in implementation of the plan within the District. The responsibilities of the committee should include developing staff training programs, curriculum materials, and other similar matters.”

“The district needs to employ a specialist in multicultural education who can provide assistance to the administrative staff in the areas of staff development and development of multicultural curriculum materials.”

“To promote teacher input, a committee of teachers should be established at each site.”

“Job responsibilities of all school personnel should include being knowledgeable of, and attentive to, the educational needs of students from diverse cultural backgrounds… Training should be broad, covering all aspects of human relations and multicultural education.”

“The district should promote follow-through, such as peer coaching, where teachers can have other experienced staff observe, evaluate, and provide feedback concerning the implmenetation of teaching principles and methodologies covered in the training.”

“A strong consideration in the selection of Mentor Teachers in the District for the next several years should be their skill in multicultural education.”

“As part of its affirmative action program, the District should focus on strategies to attract and hire qualified applicants with diverse cultural backgrounds who are trained in multicultural education.”

“The district should offer more kinds of programs such as Global Education in which teachers learn about different cultures within the United States and in other countries.”

“The District needs to develop ways to help students realize their academic potential… a State task force recommended that local school districts review their policies to deliberately expose minority students to a strong academic background and prepare them for higher education.”

“Assessments every two years or on an annual basis, as needed, should be made to evaluate the progress the District is making in improving the racial/ethnic climate in Davis schools.”

The big concern of course is that this report could have been written today. And in fact, what happened was it gathered dust on a shelf. It was never implemented. The school district has gone to great measures to really just reinvent the wheel.

It does us little good to have studies, to discover that the same problems exist, but not to follow through on those recommendations.

Unfortunately these are just a few of the issues that arose during this year.

We also had a group of parents in frustration threaten to boycott the district’s STAR testing.

And the Interim Superintendent Richard Whitmore was concerned enough about this threat to personally respond on the Vanguard.

There was also conflict within some of the parents and students at the high school that led to the shutdown of the Black Student Union. This led to protests and marches.

Finally, just when it appeared things had calmed down after a long summer break, school started again, and the district began a crackdown of truancy at the same time the police began a crackdown on underaged students giving rides to other students (which is against the law). The combination led to mass confusion until everything was sorted out.

The Vanguard would run a four-part series on the truancy issue.

The first installment focused on the meeting itself. Newly promoted Director of Student Services, Pam Mari was put into an awful position at this time. She later told me that she was under the mistaken impression that the school board actually knew what was going on. They did not. Therefore, the lack of material and information fed into the confusion by the school board.

This was coupled with a fundamental misunderstand of what the term “truancy sweep” meant. Most of us took it to mean that the police were going around the community to round up students. What we would later learn is that they were using the term “sweep” as the police would to mean an operation that has a specific focus and goal, in this case to get the 15-20 worst truancy offenders back into class.

However, that is not what it looked like in mid-September when this story broke.

The confusion was perhaps best summed up by Amanda Lopez-Lara, the student representative on the school board.

“It was when the student representative on the board spoke, Amanda López-Lara, that it became more clear that what was being described by Pam Mari looked very different from the student perspective.

“Today was probably the first day most students were actually told these rules. We had never heard of them before, we were not aware of them. I agree it is very good to kid the kids into class again, because I do know there’s a problem at the high school especially with a lot of kids just skipping class and going to parks. But one concern I do have is that a lot of people appreciate Mark Hicks, and I know a lot of kids who are at-risk students who really respect him, but one concern that I had is that I know today during lunch, the whole high school was scared. We were scared because we went to lunch, we weren’t necessarily scared but we were made nervous, because we went out and I don’t think I’ve see that many cop cars at the high school. I saw one across the street, and two and each entrance, and then once I went down the street I’ve had my license for a year, so I wasn’t nervous, but what did make me nervous is that there were cop cars going up or down and I know that there were some students pulled over. I know one student who actually had his license for year and there was a misunderstanding between himself and the police officer. But I do know that a lot of students afterwards were feeling very nervous and had a lot of apprehension towards the police officers.”

Furthermore she stated:

“I’m an A student, I have no truancy problems, and I know that made me nervous.””

School Board members Jim Provenza and Tim Taylor expressed concern about this type of seemingly overly broad approach to fighting truancy.

At one point, Board Member Taylor in frustration summed up his concerns:

“Pam with all due respect that is interesting, but Jim’s point is that a student with all the reason in the world to be going to the bank, shouldn’t be stopped… It doesn’t matter that once their stopped and police run a check on them that fifteen minutes later they are let out of police control, the problem is the being stopped in the first place. I have a huge concern about it… [He stated he is supportive of the mission to reduce truancy] but there are limits, and I think the limits that Jim is identifying in his question are the ones that I am concerned about.”

Here’s the full article on the first meeting itself.

It was not until later the next week after a conversation with Davis Police Lt. Darren Pytel that it became clearer that what was conveyed at the school board meeting was not the entire story (fortunately).

Meanwhile the Vanguard met with a number of students who demonstrated the confusion and concerns that students had with the confluence of two policy decisions that appeared to the students to be one and the same.

By November 2, a new meeting laid out to the board what was really going on–telling the board in a way that should have been done in the first place. This time, in addition to Pam Mari, the Davis Police, the District Attorney’s Office, and other agencies involved were there to provide additional information.

“To her credit, Pam Mari, Davis Joint Unified School District Director of Student Services admitted that the previous conversation did not go as well as was hoped. However, she suggested that communications have drastically improved.

As so often seems to be the case, there was a miscommunication about expectations. She seemed to believe that the board already knew what was going on with regards to truancy, when in fact they clearly did not. It should be noted of course, that this was her first presentation in her present position. Nevertheless, the entire incident underscores the need for communication to occur at a high level.

Unlike the September meeting, Pam Mari was flanked by Lt. Darren Pytel of the Davis Police Department who was able to clarify the role of the police as it relates to issues of truancy. Also present were Trease Peterson, the Youth Intervention Specialist, and representatives from the Yolo County Probations department and the Yolo County DA’s office (Patty Fong).

Lt. Darren Pytel made it clear to the public that the use of the term “sweep” meant something different to the police than to the public. To the public the perception was that they would go around town and attempt to round up youths who might not be in school. “We have no intent to do that.” Instead, they have found that a lot of high school students, when being truant, end up hanging around in the park next to school. If this is the situation they encounter then they approach the students with a consensual stop and ask them where they should be. According to Lt. Pytel, most students are fairly honest about what they should be doing.”

The bottom line here is an illustration as to why communication within the district and between agencies would have spared a lot of people, a lot of grief.

Things would calm down after this, but it was a tumultuous year on the Davis High School Campus.

—Doug Paul Davis reporting

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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122 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    *smh*Wow.DHS was a racially-charged nightmare when I was a student there many years ago. And the madness continues!Something about the tone of the school…something about the tone of the town…intolerant. Things have always been fairly tolerant and mellow on the UCD campus, but there’s always been something sinister about DHS and the city of Davis (outside the bounds of the university)…what is it about the attitudes of the DHS admins and so many long-term residents of Davis? What’s up with the social dysfunction and bigotry? Why are students of color…and Davis residents of color…made to feel so unwelcome, so scrutinized, so out-of-place? It’s 2008! We’ll have a Black President in 2009! Will Davis CA EVER evolve? I’m SO glad I escaped the whole scene. My experience there left me disillusioned and wary. It was AWFUL. I’m glad there were a few DHS students and admins who CARED enough to leave me with a smattering of positive memories of my time there.But I will never forget what I went through. And I’m sure the current DHS students of color will never forget what they’re going through now. Davis is a college town, richly- funded and (supposedly) populated by forward-thinking liberal folks…so what’s the deal? There is simply no excuse for the poorly disguised racism constantly simmering beneath Davis CA’s well-manicured facade. What happened in the past…what’s happening now, is UNACCEPTABLE.

  2. Black at DHS back in the day

    Hey, Rich Rifkin:Your name rings a bell. Did you attend DHS in the 80’s? If so, I remember you.And if it IS you…do you remember what DHS was like for Black students back then?Because if you don’t–I DO).

  3. Davis High Student

    “…but it was a tumultuous year on the Davis High School Campus.”

    Says who? I go to DHS and all of this stuff you are talking about didn’t really raise that much fuss. You make it sound like the high school is filled with tension and pressures. Maybe to you adults who overanalyze everything and make it a bigger deal than a lot of of high school students see it. But for us, the whole Malcolm X poster thing was one stupid student abusing his position to give a speech, one stupid teacher for overreacting, and to the local media for blowing it up way larger than it should have been.

    Everyone take a deep breath and count to 10…..

  4. Davis High Student

    “…but it was a tumultuous year on the Davis High School Campus.”

    Says who? I go to DHS and all of this stuff you are talking about didn’t really raise that much fuss. You make it sound like the high school is filled with tension and pressures. Maybe to you adults who overanalyze everything and make it a bigger deal than a lot of of high school students see it. But for us, the whole Malcolm X poster thing was one stupid student abusing his position to give a speech, one stupid teacher for overreacting, and to the local media for blowing it up way larger than it should have been.

    Everyone take a deep breath and count to 10…..

  5. Davis High Student

    “…but it was a tumultuous year on the Davis High School Campus.”

    Says who? I go to DHS and all of this stuff you are talking about didn’t really raise that much fuss. You make it sound like the high school is filled with tension and pressures. Maybe to you adults who overanalyze everything and make it a bigger deal than a lot of of high school students see it. But for us, the whole Malcolm X poster thing was one stupid student abusing his position to give a speech, one stupid teacher for overreacting, and to the local media for blowing it up way larger than it should have been.

    Everyone take a deep breath and count to 10…..

  6. Davis High Student

    “…but it was a tumultuous year on the Davis High School Campus.”

    Says who? I go to DHS and all of this stuff you are talking about didn’t really raise that much fuss. You make it sound like the high school is filled with tension and pressures. Maybe to you adults who overanalyze everything and make it a bigger deal than a lot of of high school students see it. But for us, the whole Malcolm X poster thing was one stupid student abusing his position to give a speech, one stupid teacher for overreacting, and to the local media for blowing it up way larger than it should have been.

    Everyone take a deep breath and count to 10…..

  7. Anonymous

    Why keep focusing on a 10 year old report? Who cares? Now Tansey Thomas is also a community leader? Who is she leading? You should give the district, which has different personnel than 10 years ago, some credit for trying to take steps. Why keep harping on the same irrelevant theme? What are the “community leaders” doing to actually get these kids to study and develop career plans? What steps have they taken to tutor or otherwise support students to achieve at a higher level. How have they held these children accountable to do better in school? There seems to be more complaining and finger-pointing than action. The “community leaders” you have annointed should actually do some leading rather than creating greater divisions.

  8. Anonymous

    Why keep focusing on a 10 year old report? Who cares? Now Tansey Thomas is also a community leader? Who is she leading? You should give the district, which has different personnel than 10 years ago, some credit for trying to take steps. Why keep harping on the same irrelevant theme? What are the “community leaders” doing to actually get these kids to study and develop career plans? What steps have they taken to tutor or otherwise support students to achieve at a higher level. How have they held these children accountable to do better in school? There seems to be more complaining and finger-pointing than action. The “community leaders” you have annointed should actually do some leading rather than creating greater divisions.

  9. Anonymous

    Why keep focusing on a 10 year old report? Who cares? Now Tansey Thomas is also a community leader? Who is she leading? You should give the district, which has different personnel than 10 years ago, some credit for trying to take steps. Why keep harping on the same irrelevant theme? What are the “community leaders” doing to actually get these kids to study and develop career plans? What steps have they taken to tutor or otherwise support students to achieve at a higher level. How have they held these children accountable to do better in school? There seems to be more complaining and finger-pointing than action. The “community leaders” you have annointed should actually do some leading rather than creating greater divisions.

  10. Anonymous

    Why keep focusing on a 10 year old report? Who cares? Now Tansey Thomas is also a community leader? Who is she leading? You should give the district, which has different personnel than 10 years ago, some credit for trying to take steps. Why keep harping on the same irrelevant theme? What are the “community leaders” doing to actually get these kids to study and develop career plans? What steps have they taken to tutor or otherwise support students to achieve at a higher level. How have they held these children accountable to do better in school? There seems to be more complaining and finger-pointing than action. The “community leaders” you have annointed should actually do some leading rather than creating greater divisions.

  11. Doug Paul Davis

    “Why keep focusing on a 10 year old report?”

    It’s actually a 17 year old report.

    I’ll tell you why. It’s very simple. First, the school district is duplicating its efforts when it attempts to recreate the wheel. In other words, it is time to make changes not study what needs to be done, we’ve already done that.

    Second, those who do not learn from the past are bound to repeat it. We can study things extensively, write reports, if we do not implement them, then they end up sitting on a shelf, gathering dust, and another generation of students is negatively impacted by it.

    That’s why.

    “There seems to be more complaining and finger-pointing than action.”

    I agree on this. From my perspective we have too many studies and not enough action which is why I raised this point to begin with.

    And from my perspective these community leaders are pointing out the errors of our ways because unless they raise a ruckus, reports get lost in the shuffle once the issue fades from the headlines and another 17 years passes and the changes still go unimplemented.

    Is there some part of this cycle you are not understanding?

  12. Doug Paul Davis

    “Why keep focusing on a 10 year old report?”

    It’s actually a 17 year old report.

    I’ll tell you why. It’s very simple. First, the school district is duplicating its efforts when it attempts to recreate the wheel. In other words, it is time to make changes not study what needs to be done, we’ve already done that.

    Second, those who do not learn from the past are bound to repeat it. We can study things extensively, write reports, if we do not implement them, then they end up sitting on a shelf, gathering dust, and another generation of students is negatively impacted by it.

    That’s why.

    “There seems to be more complaining and finger-pointing than action.”

    I agree on this. From my perspective we have too many studies and not enough action which is why I raised this point to begin with.

    And from my perspective these community leaders are pointing out the errors of our ways because unless they raise a ruckus, reports get lost in the shuffle once the issue fades from the headlines and another 17 years passes and the changes still go unimplemented.

    Is there some part of this cycle you are not understanding?

  13. Doug Paul Davis

    “Why keep focusing on a 10 year old report?”

    It’s actually a 17 year old report.

    I’ll tell you why. It’s very simple. First, the school district is duplicating its efforts when it attempts to recreate the wheel. In other words, it is time to make changes not study what needs to be done, we’ve already done that.

    Second, those who do not learn from the past are bound to repeat it. We can study things extensively, write reports, if we do not implement them, then they end up sitting on a shelf, gathering dust, and another generation of students is negatively impacted by it.

    That’s why.

    “There seems to be more complaining and finger-pointing than action.”

    I agree on this. From my perspective we have too many studies and not enough action which is why I raised this point to begin with.

    And from my perspective these community leaders are pointing out the errors of our ways because unless they raise a ruckus, reports get lost in the shuffle once the issue fades from the headlines and another 17 years passes and the changes still go unimplemented.

    Is there some part of this cycle you are not understanding?

  14. Doug Paul Davis

    “Why keep focusing on a 10 year old report?”

    It’s actually a 17 year old report.

    I’ll tell you why. It’s very simple. First, the school district is duplicating its efforts when it attempts to recreate the wheel. In other words, it is time to make changes not study what needs to be done, we’ve already done that.

    Second, those who do not learn from the past are bound to repeat it. We can study things extensively, write reports, if we do not implement them, then they end up sitting on a shelf, gathering dust, and another generation of students is negatively impacted by it.

    That’s why.

    “There seems to be more complaining and finger-pointing than action.”

    I agree on this. From my perspective we have too many studies and not enough action which is why I raised this point to begin with.

    And from my perspective these community leaders are pointing out the errors of our ways because unless they raise a ruckus, reports get lost in the shuffle once the issue fades from the headlines and another 17 years passes and the changes still go unimplemented.

    Is there some part of this cycle you are not understanding?

  15. Anonymous

    Basic question anon 9:24:

    Do you find the achievement gap acceptable? Do you find it acceptable that the district basically sat on a report from 1990?

    If the answer is yes, then I can understand your point, albeit disagree with you.

    If the answer is no, then I think your comment amounts to a personal attack on DPD and a few others for no apparent reason in my eyes.

    So which is it?

  16. Anonymous

    Basic question anon 9:24:

    Do you find the achievement gap acceptable? Do you find it acceptable that the district basically sat on a report from 1990?

    If the answer is yes, then I can understand your point, albeit disagree with you.

    If the answer is no, then I think your comment amounts to a personal attack on DPD and a few others for no apparent reason in my eyes.

    So which is it?

  17. Anonymous

    Basic question anon 9:24:

    Do you find the achievement gap acceptable? Do you find it acceptable that the district basically sat on a report from 1990?

    If the answer is yes, then I can understand your point, albeit disagree with you.

    If the answer is no, then I think your comment amounts to a personal attack on DPD and a few others for no apparent reason in my eyes.

    So which is it?

  18. Anonymous

    Basic question anon 9:24:

    Do you find the achievement gap acceptable? Do you find it acceptable that the district basically sat on a report from 1990?

    If the answer is yes, then I can understand your point, albeit disagree with you.

    If the answer is no, then I think your comment amounts to a personal attack on DPD and a few others for no apparent reason in my eyes.

    So which is it?

  19. DHS Student

    No….the majority of the student body is not up in arms over this. As with most of these issues, it’s a small group that is making a big stink and wanting to blow it up into something larger.

  20. DHS Student

    No….the majority of the student body is not up in arms over this. As with most of these issues, it’s a small group that is making a big stink and wanting to blow it up into something larger.

  21. DHS Student

    No….the majority of the student body is not up in arms over this. As with most of these issues, it’s a small group that is making a big stink and wanting to blow it up into something larger.

  22. DHS Student

    No….the majority of the student body is not up in arms over this. As with most of these issues, it’s a small group that is making a big stink and wanting to blow it up into something larger.

  23. dhs student

    I hear constantly about this achievement gap and look – if a student will study and do their homework, they can do fine. I’ve sat in class with students and some of them sit and do NOTHING. They are troublemakers and don’t care one bit about doing well. It’s a choice they are making and others of us are making a choice to do well. The only ‘gap’ is the gap in their head where their brain used to be.

  24. dhs student

    I hear constantly about this achievement gap and look – if a student will study and do their homework, they can do fine. I’ve sat in class with students and some of them sit and do NOTHING. They are troublemakers and don’t care one bit about doing well. It’s a choice they are making and others of us are making a choice to do well. The only ‘gap’ is the gap in their head where their brain used to be.

  25. dhs student

    I hear constantly about this achievement gap and look – if a student will study and do their homework, they can do fine. I’ve sat in class with students and some of them sit and do NOTHING. They are troublemakers and don’t care one bit about doing well. It’s a choice they are making and others of us are making a choice to do well. The only ‘gap’ is the gap in their head where their brain used to be.

  26. dhs student

    I hear constantly about this achievement gap and look – if a student will study and do their homework, they can do fine. I’ve sat in class with students and some of them sit and do NOTHING. They are troublemakers and don’t care one bit about doing well. It’s a choice they are making and others of us are making a choice to do well. The only ‘gap’ is the gap in their head where their brain used to be.

  27. Doug Paul Davis

    I don’t know if this individual is in high school or is not in high school. But I am going to assume that they are and probably do not understand the fundamentals of statistical analysis.

    When a relationship between one factor (in this case race) and another factor (in this case performance) is statistically significant, that means that the difference between one group and another cannot be explained by mere happenstance.

    The relationship between race and performance in this case is quite strong.

    In order for your explanation to be valid, you would have to argue that one race is a group of troublemakers and the other is not.

    Is that what you are trying to argue?

    Even if that is in fact the case, that is not the end of the analysis. The next question would be to explain why one group of students is a group of troublemakers and the other is less so.

    Either way, there is a fundamental explanatory theory that goes beyond your very simplistic analysis. And either way that is something that the school needs to figure out and address because it is showing up in a way that will affect these students for the rest of their lives.

  28. Doug Paul Davis

    I don’t know if this individual is in high school or is not in high school. But I am going to assume that they are and probably do not understand the fundamentals of statistical analysis.

    When a relationship between one factor (in this case race) and another factor (in this case performance) is statistically significant, that means that the difference between one group and another cannot be explained by mere happenstance.

    The relationship between race and performance in this case is quite strong.

    In order for your explanation to be valid, you would have to argue that one race is a group of troublemakers and the other is not.

    Is that what you are trying to argue?

    Even if that is in fact the case, that is not the end of the analysis. The next question would be to explain why one group of students is a group of troublemakers and the other is less so.

    Either way, there is a fundamental explanatory theory that goes beyond your very simplistic analysis. And either way that is something that the school needs to figure out and address because it is showing up in a way that will affect these students for the rest of their lives.

  29. Doug Paul Davis

    I don’t know if this individual is in high school or is not in high school. But I am going to assume that they are and probably do not understand the fundamentals of statistical analysis.

    When a relationship between one factor (in this case race) and another factor (in this case performance) is statistically significant, that means that the difference between one group and another cannot be explained by mere happenstance.

    The relationship between race and performance in this case is quite strong.

    In order for your explanation to be valid, you would have to argue that one race is a group of troublemakers and the other is not.

    Is that what you are trying to argue?

    Even if that is in fact the case, that is not the end of the analysis. The next question would be to explain why one group of students is a group of troublemakers and the other is less so.

    Either way, there is a fundamental explanatory theory that goes beyond your very simplistic analysis. And either way that is something that the school needs to figure out and address because it is showing up in a way that will affect these students for the rest of their lives.

  30. Doug Paul Davis

    I don’t know if this individual is in high school or is not in high school. But I am going to assume that they are and probably do not understand the fundamentals of statistical analysis.

    When a relationship between one factor (in this case race) and another factor (in this case performance) is statistically significant, that means that the difference between one group and another cannot be explained by mere happenstance.

    The relationship between race and performance in this case is quite strong.

    In order for your explanation to be valid, you would have to argue that one race is a group of troublemakers and the other is not.

    Is that what you are trying to argue?

    Even if that is in fact the case, that is not the end of the analysis. The next question would be to explain why one group of students is a group of troublemakers and the other is less so.

    Either way, there is a fundamental explanatory theory that goes beyond your very simplistic analysis. And either way that is something that the school needs to figure out and address because it is showing up in a way that will affect these students for the rest of their lives.

  31. Diane

    DHS Student – You have a lot to learn. We appreciate reading your input, if you are in fact a DHS and not just some sour grapes adult venting.

    You should look beyone your narrow scope to learn why the achievment gap exists. To simplify it and say that they are slackers is just another easy way to have to deal with the issue at hand.

    It’s a good thing that we have some teachers who care along with community members such as Jann Murray-Garcia and others who are willing to tackle these issues.

    Thank you for proving the point that DPD has made in his blog: more diversity and awareness is needed at the high school.

  32. Diane

    DHS Student – You have a lot to learn. We appreciate reading your input, if you are in fact a DHS and not just some sour grapes adult venting.

    You should look beyone your narrow scope to learn why the achievment gap exists. To simplify it and say that they are slackers is just another easy way to have to deal with the issue at hand.

    It’s a good thing that we have some teachers who care along with community members such as Jann Murray-Garcia and others who are willing to tackle these issues.

    Thank you for proving the point that DPD has made in his blog: more diversity and awareness is needed at the high school.

  33. Diane

    DHS Student – You have a lot to learn. We appreciate reading your input, if you are in fact a DHS and not just some sour grapes adult venting.

    You should look beyone your narrow scope to learn why the achievment gap exists. To simplify it and say that they are slackers is just another easy way to have to deal with the issue at hand.

    It’s a good thing that we have some teachers who care along with community members such as Jann Murray-Garcia and others who are willing to tackle these issues.

    Thank you for proving the point that DPD has made in his blog: more diversity and awareness is needed at the high school.

  34. Diane

    DHS Student – You have a lot to learn. We appreciate reading your input, if you are in fact a DHS and not just some sour grapes adult venting.

    You should look beyone your narrow scope to learn why the achievment gap exists. To simplify it and say that they are slackers is just another easy way to have to deal with the issue at hand.

    It’s a good thing that we have some teachers who care along with community members such as Jann Murray-Garcia and others who are willing to tackle these issues.

    Thank you for proving the point that DPD has made in his blog: more diversity and awareness is needed at the high school.

  35. Anonymous

    I understand the cycle just fine. The point is rather than complain about too many studies, all groups (whites, blacks, asian, hispanic, other) should be working together to ensure that steps are taken to implement policy and program changes. There are new people at the District who appear to have genuine concern about the achievement gap. They have been trying to implement new programs, in addition to completing current studies. If they didn’t do current research, and instead went right into more programs, there is little doubt that the lily white Davis parents would be complaining and up in arms about relying on “17year old” research. Professionally, it would be irresponsible of them. So rather than sit around and complain, which has the effect of dissuading and discouraging the District and others who generally are interested in this issue, the focus should be upon making sure policy and program changes are well-designed and actually implemented. The constant complaining and harping about “no black teachers” is divisive and counter-productive to the actual goal.

    Think of it this way. Say the 17 year old research showed no achievement gap, and current DJUSD staff took the position that no policy changes are warranted based on that research. How would you react to that? No need to do studies to back up policy changes? This is an environment where when the high school makes all students attend the annual Black History Month Assembly, DHS administration is flooded with calls from white parents complaining that their kid had to attend the assembly. It’s ridiculous to conclude the district could get by just relying on the old report. It’s relevant to say that no action was taken from the old research, but it’s pointless to keep harping about it as a reason to not do current research. The harping should be about demanding changes and setting accountability.

    Is there some part of these points that you are not understanding?

  36. Anonymous

    I understand the cycle just fine. The point is rather than complain about too many studies, all groups (whites, blacks, asian, hispanic, other) should be working together to ensure that steps are taken to implement policy and program changes. There are new people at the District who appear to have genuine concern about the achievement gap. They have been trying to implement new programs, in addition to completing current studies. If they didn’t do current research, and instead went right into more programs, there is little doubt that the lily white Davis parents would be complaining and up in arms about relying on “17year old” research. Professionally, it would be irresponsible of them. So rather than sit around and complain, which has the effect of dissuading and discouraging the District and others who generally are interested in this issue, the focus should be upon making sure policy and program changes are well-designed and actually implemented. The constant complaining and harping about “no black teachers” is divisive and counter-productive to the actual goal.

    Think of it this way. Say the 17 year old research showed no achievement gap, and current DJUSD staff took the position that no policy changes are warranted based on that research. How would you react to that? No need to do studies to back up policy changes? This is an environment where when the high school makes all students attend the annual Black History Month Assembly, DHS administration is flooded with calls from white parents complaining that their kid had to attend the assembly. It’s ridiculous to conclude the district could get by just relying on the old report. It’s relevant to say that no action was taken from the old research, but it’s pointless to keep harping about it as a reason to not do current research. The harping should be about demanding changes and setting accountability.

    Is there some part of these points that you are not understanding?

  37. Anonymous

    I understand the cycle just fine. The point is rather than complain about too many studies, all groups (whites, blacks, asian, hispanic, other) should be working together to ensure that steps are taken to implement policy and program changes. There are new people at the District who appear to have genuine concern about the achievement gap. They have been trying to implement new programs, in addition to completing current studies. If they didn’t do current research, and instead went right into more programs, there is little doubt that the lily white Davis parents would be complaining and up in arms about relying on “17year old” research. Professionally, it would be irresponsible of them. So rather than sit around and complain, which has the effect of dissuading and discouraging the District and others who generally are interested in this issue, the focus should be upon making sure policy and program changes are well-designed and actually implemented. The constant complaining and harping about “no black teachers” is divisive and counter-productive to the actual goal.

    Think of it this way. Say the 17 year old research showed no achievement gap, and current DJUSD staff took the position that no policy changes are warranted based on that research. How would you react to that? No need to do studies to back up policy changes? This is an environment where when the high school makes all students attend the annual Black History Month Assembly, DHS administration is flooded with calls from white parents complaining that their kid had to attend the assembly. It’s ridiculous to conclude the district could get by just relying on the old report. It’s relevant to say that no action was taken from the old research, but it’s pointless to keep harping about it as a reason to not do current research. The harping should be about demanding changes and setting accountability.

    Is there some part of these points that you are not understanding?

  38. Anonymous

    I understand the cycle just fine. The point is rather than complain about too many studies, all groups (whites, blacks, asian, hispanic, other) should be working together to ensure that steps are taken to implement policy and program changes. There are new people at the District who appear to have genuine concern about the achievement gap. They have been trying to implement new programs, in addition to completing current studies. If they didn’t do current research, and instead went right into more programs, there is little doubt that the lily white Davis parents would be complaining and up in arms about relying on “17year old” research. Professionally, it would be irresponsible of them. So rather than sit around and complain, which has the effect of dissuading and discouraging the District and others who generally are interested in this issue, the focus should be upon making sure policy and program changes are well-designed and actually implemented. The constant complaining and harping about “no black teachers” is divisive and counter-productive to the actual goal.

    Think of it this way. Say the 17 year old research showed no achievement gap, and current DJUSD staff took the position that no policy changes are warranted based on that research. How would you react to that? No need to do studies to back up policy changes? This is an environment where when the high school makes all students attend the annual Black History Month Assembly, DHS administration is flooded with calls from white parents complaining that their kid had to attend the assembly. It’s ridiculous to conclude the district could get by just relying on the old report. It’s relevant to say that no action was taken from the old research, but it’s pointless to keep harping about it as a reason to not do current research. The harping should be about demanding changes and setting accountability.

    Is there some part of these points that you are not understanding?

  39. Doug Paul Davis

    Yes there is and it has to do with us in a way, speaking past each other. I see the 17 year old study not as a guide but as a cautionary tale. 17 years ago the district was committed to making these changes, they commissioned a study and it did not happen.

    So the point about dredging up the past is a reminder that we need to stay vigilant. Instead of complaining less, we actually need to complain more in order to insure that this time, the report gets acted upon and that follow through is done.

  40. Doug Paul Davis

    Yes there is and it has to do with us in a way, speaking past each other. I see the 17 year old study not as a guide but as a cautionary tale. 17 years ago the district was committed to making these changes, they commissioned a study and it did not happen.

    So the point about dredging up the past is a reminder that we need to stay vigilant. Instead of complaining less, we actually need to complain more in order to insure that this time, the report gets acted upon and that follow through is done.

  41. Doug Paul Davis

    Yes there is and it has to do with us in a way, speaking past each other. I see the 17 year old study not as a guide but as a cautionary tale. 17 years ago the district was committed to making these changes, they commissioned a study and it did not happen.

    So the point about dredging up the past is a reminder that we need to stay vigilant. Instead of complaining less, we actually need to complain more in order to insure that this time, the report gets acted upon and that follow through is done.

  42. Doug Paul Davis

    Yes there is and it has to do with us in a way, speaking past each other. I see the 17 year old study not as a guide but as a cautionary tale. 17 years ago the district was committed to making these changes, they commissioned a study and it did not happen.

    So the point about dredging up the past is a reminder that we need to stay vigilant. Instead of complaining less, we actually need to complain more in order to insure that this time, the report gets acted upon and that follow through is done.

  43. Anonymous

    A DHS student wrote:
    The only ‘gap’ is the gap in their head where their brain used to be.
    @ 12/27/07 11:50 AM

    It is great to see that the Davis Educational System has not yet succeeded in stifling all students’ natural sense of humor.
    That’s a great line! I was cracking up.

  44. Anonymous

    A DHS student wrote:
    The only ‘gap’ is the gap in their head where their brain used to be.
    @ 12/27/07 11:50 AM

    It is great to see that the Davis Educational System has not yet succeeded in stifling all students’ natural sense of humor.
    That’s a great line! I was cracking up.

  45. Anonymous

    A DHS student wrote:
    The only ‘gap’ is the gap in their head where their brain used to be.
    @ 12/27/07 11:50 AM

    It is great to see that the Davis Educational System has not yet succeeded in stifling all students’ natural sense of humor.
    That’s a great line! I was cracking up.

  46. Anonymous

    A DHS student wrote:
    The only ‘gap’ is the gap in their head where their brain used to be.
    @ 12/27/07 11:50 AM

    It is great to see that the Davis Educational System has not yet succeeded in stifling all students’ natural sense of humor.
    That’s a great line! I was cracking up.

  47. Anonymous

    Ok, we’re getting closer. Here is another example. DJUSD has been trying to hire a black teacher for the last 1 to 2 years. They’ve even traveled to North Carolina in that attempt to try and recruit from candidates there. It’s an active goal. Yet, given pay scales, the Davis culture, cost of living differences, etc, they have been unable to get anyone to come here. At the same time, the “black community” in Davis never stops complaining that there are no black teachers at the high school. That may be a legitimate point, except the complaints are always done in an animated fashion, with either direct or indirect claims that the district isn’t doing anything and is racist in not wanting a black teacher at the high school. A creative approach for subsidizing or otherwise addressing the real reason that candidates choose not to teach in Davis is never offered. Just accusatory complaints. That doesn’t help the process. It’s not constructive. It creates divisiveness, and leaves DJUSD personnel viewing the complainers as unreasonable and politically motivated. Constructive criticism should never stop, but misinformed or distorted criticism isn’t helping us get what we all hope for.

  48. Anonymous

    Ok, we’re getting closer. Here is another example. DJUSD has been trying to hire a black teacher for the last 1 to 2 years. They’ve even traveled to North Carolina in that attempt to try and recruit from candidates there. It’s an active goal. Yet, given pay scales, the Davis culture, cost of living differences, etc, they have been unable to get anyone to come here. At the same time, the “black community” in Davis never stops complaining that there are no black teachers at the high school. That may be a legitimate point, except the complaints are always done in an animated fashion, with either direct or indirect claims that the district isn’t doing anything and is racist in not wanting a black teacher at the high school. A creative approach for subsidizing or otherwise addressing the real reason that candidates choose not to teach in Davis is never offered. Just accusatory complaints. That doesn’t help the process. It’s not constructive. It creates divisiveness, and leaves DJUSD personnel viewing the complainers as unreasonable and politically motivated. Constructive criticism should never stop, but misinformed or distorted criticism isn’t helping us get what we all hope for.

  49. Anonymous

    Ok, we’re getting closer. Here is another example. DJUSD has been trying to hire a black teacher for the last 1 to 2 years. They’ve even traveled to North Carolina in that attempt to try and recruit from candidates there. It’s an active goal. Yet, given pay scales, the Davis culture, cost of living differences, etc, they have been unable to get anyone to come here. At the same time, the “black community” in Davis never stops complaining that there are no black teachers at the high school. That may be a legitimate point, except the complaints are always done in an animated fashion, with either direct or indirect claims that the district isn’t doing anything and is racist in not wanting a black teacher at the high school. A creative approach for subsidizing or otherwise addressing the real reason that candidates choose not to teach in Davis is never offered. Just accusatory complaints. That doesn’t help the process. It’s not constructive. It creates divisiveness, and leaves DJUSD personnel viewing the complainers as unreasonable and politically motivated. Constructive criticism should never stop, but misinformed or distorted criticism isn’t helping us get what we all hope for.

  50. Anonymous

    Ok, we’re getting closer. Here is another example. DJUSD has been trying to hire a black teacher for the last 1 to 2 years. They’ve even traveled to North Carolina in that attempt to try and recruit from candidates there. It’s an active goal. Yet, given pay scales, the Davis culture, cost of living differences, etc, they have been unable to get anyone to come here. At the same time, the “black community” in Davis never stops complaining that there are no black teachers at the high school. That may be a legitimate point, except the complaints are always done in an animated fashion, with either direct or indirect claims that the district isn’t doing anything and is racist in not wanting a black teacher at the high school. A creative approach for subsidizing or otherwise addressing the real reason that candidates choose not to teach in Davis is never offered. Just accusatory complaints. That doesn’t help the process. It’s not constructive. It creates divisiveness, and leaves DJUSD personnel viewing the complainers as unreasonable and politically motivated. Constructive criticism should never stop, but misinformed or distorted criticism isn’t helping us get what we all hope for.

  51. Rich Rifkin

    DAVID: “The relationship between race and performance in this case is quite strong.”

    I wonder how the race performance gap in Davis compares with the gap in other American communities? I know this gap is not at all unique to Davis.

    If the gap is the same or less here, we are likely dealing with a situation beyond our control. If it is markedly more pronounced here, then we need to examine why and see if we can remedy it.

    DAVID: “The next question would be to explain why one group of students is a group of troublemakers and the other is less so.”

    Being a troublemaker is an outward manifestation of problems a child brings from his home life. If it is the case that more non-white, non-Asian children come from troubled families, then they would be more likely to be troublemakers. I don’t know if that is the case. But it very well might be a part of what “DHS student” has observed.

    I realize that it is terribly politically incorrect to state the obvious, but I will do so anyway: groups which do poorly in school would do well to emulate the cultural behavior and values of those groups which do better.

    Nevertheless, I personally don’t care how well a “group” does. I don’t understand why anyone cares how well a “group” does. We ought to treat individuals as individuals, and not as a representative of some larger phenomenon.

    I always treat people as individuals. Every individual I have known (from all races) who did not do well in academics had talent in other areas of life. If such a person happens to be black or brown, we ought to encourage that individual to achieve everything he can in the areas in which his talents lie, and not try to force him into being a scholar when that is not his forte.

    After all, we are a society which needs more chefs and carpenters and electricians than we need political scientists.

    And we are a society which pays firefighters a lot more money than we pay academics.

  52. Rich Rifkin

    DAVID: “The relationship between race and performance in this case is quite strong.”

    I wonder how the race performance gap in Davis compares with the gap in other American communities? I know this gap is not at all unique to Davis.

    If the gap is the same or less here, we are likely dealing with a situation beyond our control. If it is markedly more pronounced here, then we need to examine why and see if we can remedy it.

    DAVID: “The next question would be to explain why one group of students is a group of troublemakers and the other is less so.”

    Being a troublemaker is an outward manifestation of problems a child brings from his home life. If it is the case that more non-white, non-Asian children come from troubled families, then they would be more likely to be troublemakers. I don’t know if that is the case. But it very well might be a part of what “DHS student” has observed.

    I realize that it is terribly politically incorrect to state the obvious, but I will do so anyway: groups which do poorly in school would do well to emulate the cultural behavior and values of those groups which do better.

    Nevertheless, I personally don’t care how well a “group” does. I don’t understand why anyone cares how well a “group” does. We ought to treat individuals as individuals, and not as a representative of some larger phenomenon.

    I always treat people as individuals. Every individual I have known (from all races) who did not do well in academics had talent in other areas of life. If such a person happens to be black or brown, we ought to encourage that individual to achieve everything he can in the areas in which his talents lie, and not try to force him into being a scholar when that is not his forte.

    After all, we are a society which needs more chefs and carpenters and electricians than we need political scientists.

    And we are a society which pays firefighters a lot more money than we pay academics.

  53. Rich Rifkin

    DAVID: “The relationship between race and performance in this case is quite strong.”

    I wonder how the race performance gap in Davis compares with the gap in other American communities? I know this gap is not at all unique to Davis.

    If the gap is the same or less here, we are likely dealing with a situation beyond our control. If it is markedly more pronounced here, then we need to examine why and see if we can remedy it.

    DAVID: “The next question would be to explain why one group of students is a group of troublemakers and the other is less so.”

    Being a troublemaker is an outward manifestation of problems a child brings from his home life. If it is the case that more non-white, non-Asian children come from troubled families, then they would be more likely to be troublemakers. I don’t know if that is the case. But it very well might be a part of what “DHS student” has observed.

    I realize that it is terribly politically incorrect to state the obvious, but I will do so anyway: groups which do poorly in school would do well to emulate the cultural behavior and values of those groups which do better.

    Nevertheless, I personally don’t care how well a “group” does. I don’t understand why anyone cares how well a “group” does. We ought to treat individuals as individuals, and not as a representative of some larger phenomenon.

    I always treat people as individuals. Every individual I have known (from all races) who did not do well in academics had talent in other areas of life. If such a person happens to be black or brown, we ought to encourage that individual to achieve everything he can in the areas in which his talents lie, and not try to force him into being a scholar when that is not his forte.

    After all, we are a society which needs more chefs and carpenters and electricians than we need political scientists.

    And we are a society which pays firefighters a lot more money than we pay academics.

  54. Rich Rifkin

    DAVID: “The relationship between race and performance in this case is quite strong.”

    I wonder how the race performance gap in Davis compares with the gap in other American communities? I know this gap is not at all unique to Davis.

    If the gap is the same or less here, we are likely dealing with a situation beyond our control. If it is markedly more pronounced here, then we need to examine why and see if we can remedy it.

    DAVID: “The next question would be to explain why one group of students is a group of troublemakers and the other is less so.”

    Being a troublemaker is an outward manifestation of problems a child brings from his home life. If it is the case that more non-white, non-Asian children come from troubled families, then they would be more likely to be troublemakers. I don’t know if that is the case. But it very well might be a part of what “DHS student” has observed.

    I realize that it is terribly politically incorrect to state the obvious, but I will do so anyway: groups which do poorly in school would do well to emulate the cultural behavior and values of those groups which do better.

    Nevertheless, I personally don’t care how well a “group” does. I don’t understand why anyone cares how well a “group” does. We ought to treat individuals as individuals, and not as a representative of some larger phenomenon.

    I always treat people as individuals. Every individual I have known (from all races) who did not do well in academics had talent in other areas of life. If such a person happens to be black or brown, we ought to encourage that individual to achieve everything he can in the areas in which his talents lie, and not try to force him into being a scholar when that is not his forte.

    After all, we are a society which needs more chefs and carpenters and electricians than we need political scientists.

    And we are a society which pays firefighters a lot more money than we pay academics.

  55. the world must have ended

    Because I actually agree with Rifkin.
    He and the DHS student are right on.
    Doesn’t matter what color you are; if your home life sucks and you have no good role models, you have a higher chance of not being good in school.

  56. the world must have ended

    Because I actually agree with Rifkin.
    He and the DHS student are right on.
    Doesn’t matter what color you are; if your home life sucks and you have no good role models, you have a higher chance of not being good in school.

  57. the world must have ended

    Because I actually agree with Rifkin.
    He and the DHS student are right on.
    Doesn’t matter what color you are; if your home life sucks and you have no good role models, you have a higher chance of not being good in school.

  58. the world must have ended

    Because I actually agree with Rifkin.
    He and the DHS student are right on.
    Doesn’t matter what color you are; if your home life sucks and you have no good role models, you have a higher chance of not being good in school.

  59. don shor

    Statistically significant achievement gaps exist between ethnic groups, between income levels, and between genders. There is very little evidence that hiring teachers of color reduces the achievement gap between ethnic groups, although I seem to recall seeing a NEA study summary on that subject when we discussed this earlier.
    The question is what policy recommendations logically result from the existence of achievement gaps.
    It seems logical that having more teachers of color would create mentors and enhance the learning experiences of students of color. But it seems to be very difficult to accomplish, and it doesn’t deal with the gender achievement gap.

    My guess is that the achievement gaps will be most effectively addressed at the elementary levels. But I have yet to read any set of recommendations that wasn’t simply full of banalities and generalizations (“get parents more involved” — duh!).

  60. don shor

    Statistically significant achievement gaps exist between ethnic groups, between income levels, and between genders. There is very little evidence that hiring teachers of color reduces the achievement gap between ethnic groups, although I seem to recall seeing a NEA study summary on that subject when we discussed this earlier.
    The question is what policy recommendations logically result from the existence of achievement gaps.
    It seems logical that having more teachers of color would create mentors and enhance the learning experiences of students of color. But it seems to be very difficult to accomplish, and it doesn’t deal with the gender achievement gap.

    My guess is that the achievement gaps will be most effectively addressed at the elementary levels. But I have yet to read any set of recommendations that wasn’t simply full of banalities and generalizations (“get parents more involved” — duh!).

  61. don shor

    Statistically significant achievement gaps exist between ethnic groups, between income levels, and between genders. There is very little evidence that hiring teachers of color reduces the achievement gap between ethnic groups, although I seem to recall seeing a NEA study summary on that subject when we discussed this earlier.
    The question is what policy recommendations logically result from the existence of achievement gaps.
    It seems logical that having more teachers of color would create mentors and enhance the learning experiences of students of color. But it seems to be very difficult to accomplish, and it doesn’t deal with the gender achievement gap.

    My guess is that the achievement gaps will be most effectively addressed at the elementary levels. But I have yet to read any set of recommendations that wasn’t simply full of banalities and generalizations (“get parents more involved” — duh!).

  62. don shor

    Statistically significant achievement gaps exist between ethnic groups, between income levels, and between genders. There is very little evidence that hiring teachers of color reduces the achievement gap between ethnic groups, although I seem to recall seeing a NEA study summary on that subject when we discussed this earlier.
    The question is what policy recommendations logically result from the existence of achievement gaps.
    It seems logical that having more teachers of color would create mentors and enhance the learning experiences of students of color. But it seems to be very difficult to accomplish, and it doesn’t deal with the gender achievement gap.

    My guess is that the achievement gaps will be most effectively addressed at the elementary levels. But I have yet to read any set of recommendations that wasn’t simply full of banalities and generalizations (“get parents more involved” — duh!).

  63. Anonymous

    Listen to the DHS student. He/she lives it everyday and knows the situation. Additonally I am absolutely astounded that Rich Rifkin’s comments were right on the mark. A first in my experience reading Rich’s comments.

  64. Anonymous

    Listen to the DHS student. He/she lives it everyday and knows the situation. Additonally I am absolutely astounded that Rich Rifkin’s comments were right on the mark. A first in my experience reading Rich’s comments.

  65. Anonymous

    Listen to the DHS student. He/she lives it everyday and knows the situation. Additonally I am absolutely astounded that Rich Rifkin’s comments were right on the mark. A first in my experience reading Rich’s comments.

  66. Anonymous

    Listen to the DHS student. He/she lives it everyday and knows the situation. Additonally I am absolutely astounded that Rich Rifkin’s comments were right on the mark. A first in my experience reading Rich’s comments.

  67. concerned community member

    I actually think DPD’s article is good.

    Please explain to me what all the fuss is about?

    It’s quite simple. Seventeen year study showed that there was an achievement gap. Seventeen years later (NOW) the problem still exists.

    We need to examine the problems and correct them. Very simple, but very complicated in a school district that does not want to admit there is a problem.

    Thank you for continuing to address the issue DPD. Denial will not make it go away, only action will.

  68. concerned community member

    I actually think DPD’s article is good.

    Please explain to me what all the fuss is about?

    It’s quite simple. Seventeen year study showed that there was an achievement gap. Seventeen years later (NOW) the problem still exists.

    We need to examine the problems and correct them. Very simple, but very complicated in a school district that does not want to admit there is a problem.

    Thank you for continuing to address the issue DPD. Denial will not make it go away, only action will.

  69. concerned community member

    I actually think DPD’s article is good.

    Please explain to me what all the fuss is about?

    It’s quite simple. Seventeen year study showed that there was an achievement gap. Seventeen years later (NOW) the problem still exists.

    We need to examine the problems and correct them. Very simple, but very complicated in a school district that does not want to admit there is a problem.

    Thank you for continuing to address the issue DPD. Denial will not make it go away, only action will.

  70. concerned community member

    I actually think DPD’s article is good.

    Please explain to me what all the fuss is about?

    It’s quite simple. Seventeen year study showed that there was an achievement gap. Seventeen years later (NOW) the problem still exists.

    We need to examine the problems and correct them. Very simple, but very complicated in a school district that does not want to admit there is a problem.

    Thank you for continuing to address the issue DPD. Denial will not make it go away, only action will.

  71. Anonymous

    “Additonally I am absolutely astounded that Rich Rifkin’s comments were right on the mark. A first in my experience reading Rich’s comments.”

    You’re not as dumb as you appear to be, in other words.

  72. Anonymous

    “Additonally I am absolutely astounded that Rich Rifkin’s comments were right on the mark. A first in my experience reading Rich’s comments.”

    You’re not as dumb as you appear to be, in other words.

  73. Anonymous

    “Additonally I am absolutely astounded that Rich Rifkin’s comments were right on the mark. A first in my experience reading Rich’s comments.”

    You’re not as dumb as you appear to be, in other words.

  74. Anonymous

    “Additonally I am absolutely astounded that Rich Rifkin’s comments were right on the mark. A first in my experience reading Rich’s comments.”

    You’re not as dumb as you appear to be, in other words.

  75. don shor

    “We need to examine the problems and correct them. Very simple, but very complicated in a school district that does not want to admit there is a problem.”

    I’ve never heard anyone deny that there is an achievement gap. How do you propose that we “correct” it? I don’t agree that it is “very simple.”

  76. don shor

    “We need to examine the problems and correct them. Very simple, but very complicated in a school district that does not want to admit there is a problem.”

    I’ve never heard anyone deny that there is an achievement gap. How do you propose that we “correct” it? I don’t agree that it is “very simple.”

  77. don shor

    “We need to examine the problems and correct them. Very simple, but very complicated in a school district that does not want to admit there is a problem.”

    I’ve never heard anyone deny that there is an achievement gap. How do you propose that we “correct” it? I don’t agree that it is “very simple.”

  78. don shor

    “We need to examine the problems and correct them. Very simple, but very complicated in a school district that does not want to admit there is a problem.”

    I’ve never heard anyone deny that there is an achievement gap. How do you propose that we “correct” it? I don’t agree that it is “very simple.”

  79. concerned community member

    Hiring a more diverse teaching staff would be a good start for addressing the achievement gap.

    Second,teaching the teachers how their biases may be having an effect or further promoting the achievement gap. While I believe most teachers do a great job with the kids there are some that have biases towards kids due to either socioeconomic status or ethnicity. In this case, they need to have training on how to teach a diverse student population.

    I have spoken with families who have children that have excelled once they leave DJUSD. It’s not because the schools they are now attending are easier, but rather because they are not being placed in a special needs class simply because the teacher doesn’t want to place them in a higher achieving class where they should have been placed in the first place.

    The first time I heard this I thought, “well, maybe it’s a parent defending their child.” However, I have spoken with several families (over four) to whom this has happened.

    It’s quite sad that this is still happening in this day and age in such an educated community.

    I hope this gets addressed with the new Sup. I have high hopes for him. I’m still keeping the faith.

  80. concerned community member

    Hiring a more diverse teaching staff would be a good start for addressing the achievement gap.

    Second,teaching the teachers how their biases may be having an effect or further promoting the achievement gap. While I believe most teachers do a great job with the kids there are some that have biases towards kids due to either socioeconomic status or ethnicity. In this case, they need to have training on how to teach a diverse student population.

    I have spoken with families who have children that have excelled once they leave DJUSD. It’s not because the schools they are now attending are easier, but rather because they are not being placed in a special needs class simply because the teacher doesn’t want to place them in a higher achieving class where they should have been placed in the first place.

    The first time I heard this I thought, “well, maybe it’s a parent defending their child.” However, I have spoken with several families (over four) to whom this has happened.

    It’s quite sad that this is still happening in this day and age in such an educated community.

    I hope this gets addressed with the new Sup. I have high hopes for him. I’m still keeping the faith.

  81. concerned community member

    Hiring a more diverse teaching staff would be a good start for addressing the achievement gap.

    Second,teaching the teachers how their biases may be having an effect or further promoting the achievement gap. While I believe most teachers do a great job with the kids there are some that have biases towards kids due to either socioeconomic status or ethnicity. In this case, they need to have training on how to teach a diverse student population.

    I have spoken with families who have children that have excelled once they leave DJUSD. It’s not because the schools they are now attending are easier, but rather because they are not being placed in a special needs class simply because the teacher doesn’t want to place them in a higher achieving class where they should have been placed in the first place.

    The first time I heard this I thought, “well, maybe it’s a parent defending their child.” However, I have spoken with several families (over four) to whom this has happened.

    It’s quite sad that this is still happening in this day and age in such an educated community.

    I hope this gets addressed with the new Sup. I have high hopes for him. I’m still keeping the faith.

  82. concerned community member

    Hiring a more diverse teaching staff would be a good start for addressing the achievement gap.

    Second,teaching the teachers how their biases may be having an effect or further promoting the achievement gap. While I believe most teachers do a great job with the kids there are some that have biases towards kids due to either socioeconomic status or ethnicity. In this case, they need to have training on how to teach a diverse student population.

    I have spoken with families who have children that have excelled once they leave DJUSD. It’s not because the schools they are now attending are easier, but rather because they are not being placed in a special needs class simply because the teacher doesn’t want to place them in a higher achieving class where they should have been placed in the first place.

    The first time I heard this I thought, “well, maybe it’s a parent defending their child.” However, I have spoken with several families (over four) to whom this has happened.

    It’s quite sad that this is still happening in this day and age in such an educated community.

    I hope this gets addressed with the new Sup. I have high hopes for him. I’m still keeping the faith.

  83. Rich Rifkin

    I tried to find something scientific on the web which attempts to conclusively prove that having more minority teachers raises the test scores of minority students. I found quite a few sites which state that “having a more diverse teaching staff” will reduce the achievement gap. But I couldn’t find one which took a scientific approach to proving it has ever narrowed the test score gap.

    There is a long report from the NEA on this subject. Sadly, it is a lot of verbiage, but no proof, just empty claims.

    Perhaps someone who understands what science means could point me to a non-biased study on the subject.

    “Hiring a more diverse teaching staff would be a good start for addressing the achievement gap.”

    One thing the NEA claims is that a more diverse staff raises the comfort level of some minority students. It doesn’t actually show that it raises their test scores, though.

    “Second, teaching the teachers how their biases may be having an effect or further promoting the achievement gap.”

    The NEA study talks about this, too. And I fully believe (and have seen studies which show) that teacher bias can greatly affect a students’ performance. That is, if a teacher believes, going in, that student X is a dunderhead, student X will perform less well in that classroom, all else held equal. And if X is pre-believed to be a smart kid, the reverse will occur.

    That said, I don’t buy the notion that many teachers in Davis, regardless of their own ethnic or religious backgrounds, have built in biases based on race or ethnicity. I went through the Davis school system (a long time ago, admittedly) and I never came across a teacher who was racially prejudiced.* My experience was certainly not the be-all and end-all. However, I would hope that if there was a DJUSD teacher who discriminated against minority kids, he or she would be exposed and removed.

    “While I believe most teachers do a great job with the kids there are some that have biases towards kids due to either socioeconomic status or ethnicity. In this case, they need to have training on how to teach a diverse student population.”

    If a teacher really was biased against an ethnicity, I would think “training” would be insufficient. My assumption is that prejudiced people are ingrained from their parents and earliest surroundings to think that way. And if they do, a training session won’t change their reality.

    “I have spoken with families who have children that have excelled once they leave DJUSD.”

    I, too, have. And I believe the reason for this is because the caliber of students at the next school is lower. By leaving Davis, the kid who was average or below average here becomes a top achiever at the new place.

    A friend of mine experienced just the opposite when he moved to Davis in high school. He had attended an elite prep school in Connectict as a sophomore. There, he was the smartest kid in school. But when he came to Davis as a junior, he discovered that there were 200 kids in our class better read and at least as bright, if not brighter than he was. He fell from the top to the middle due to that move.

    —–

    * The one exception to this in my personal experience was with a coach at Davis High. Although I never played for this coach, a very close African-American friend of mine told me that the coach was racially prejudiced. The person who said this was a high achiever academically and athletically in high school, and he has since gone on to be a huge success financially and otherwise. He never was a bitter angry guy apt to blame others for his problems. He simply told me what he believed to be true about that coach; and that coach was never removed from his job. (I don’t believe my friend’s parents filed a complaint against the coach.)

  84. Rich Rifkin

    I tried to find something scientific on the web which attempts to conclusively prove that having more minority teachers raises the test scores of minority students. I found quite a few sites which state that “having a more diverse teaching staff” will reduce the achievement gap. But I couldn’t find one which took a scientific approach to proving it has ever narrowed the test score gap.

    There is a long report from the NEA on this subject. Sadly, it is a lot of verbiage, but no proof, just empty claims.

    Perhaps someone who understands what science means could point me to a non-biased study on the subject.

    “Hiring a more diverse teaching staff would be a good start for addressing the achievement gap.”

    One thing the NEA claims is that a more diverse staff raises the comfort level of some minority students. It doesn’t actually show that it raises their test scores, though.

    “Second, teaching the teachers how their biases may be having an effect or further promoting the achievement gap.”

    The NEA study talks about this, too. And I fully believe (and have seen studies which show) that teacher bias can greatly affect a students’ performance. That is, if a teacher believes, going in, that student X is a dunderhead, student X will perform less well in that classroom, all else held equal. And if X is pre-believed to be a smart kid, the reverse will occur.

    That said, I don’t buy the notion that many teachers in Davis, regardless of their own ethnic or religious backgrounds, have built in biases based on race or ethnicity. I went through the Davis school system (a long time ago, admittedly) and I never came across a teacher who was racially prejudiced.* My experience was certainly not the be-all and end-all. However, I would hope that if there was a DJUSD teacher who discriminated against minority kids, he or she would be exposed and removed.

    “While I believe most teachers do a great job with the kids there are some that have biases towards kids due to either socioeconomic status or ethnicity. In this case, they need to have training on how to teach a diverse student population.”

    If a teacher really was biased against an ethnicity, I would think “training” would be insufficient. My assumption is that prejudiced people are ingrained from their parents and earliest surroundings to think that way. And if they do, a training session won’t change their reality.

    “I have spoken with families who have children that have excelled once they leave DJUSD.”

    I, too, have. And I believe the reason for this is because the caliber of students at the next school is lower. By leaving Davis, the kid who was average or below average here becomes a top achiever at the new place.

    A friend of mine experienced just the opposite when he moved to Davis in high school. He had attended an elite prep school in Connectict as a sophomore. There, he was the smartest kid in school. But when he came to Davis as a junior, he discovered that there were 200 kids in our class better read and at least as bright, if not brighter than he was. He fell from the top to the middle due to that move.

    —–

    * The one exception to this in my personal experience was with a coach at Davis High. Although I never played for this coach, a very close African-American friend of mine told me that the coach was racially prejudiced. The person who said this was a high achiever academically and athletically in high school, and he has since gone on to be a huge success financially and otherwise. He never was a bitter angry guy apt to blame others for his problems. He simply told me what he believed to be true about that coach; and that coach was never removed from his job. (I don’t believe my friend’s parents filed a complaint against the coach.)

  85. Rich Rifkin

    I tried to find something scientific on the web which attempts to conclusively prove that having more minority teachers raises the test scores of minority students. I found quite a few sites which state that “having a more diverse teaching staff” will reduce the achievement gap. But I couldn’t find one which took a scientific approach to proving it has ever narrowed the test score gap.

    There is a long report from the NEA on this subject. Sadly, it is a lot of verbiage, but no proof, just empty claims.

    Perhaps someone who understands what science means could point me to a non-biased study on the subject.

    “Hiring a more diverse teaching staff would be a good start for addressing the achievement gap.”

    One thing the NEA claims is that a more diverse staff raises the comfort level of some minority students. It doesn’t actually show that it raises their test scores, though.

    “Second, teaching the teachers how their biases may be having an effect or further promoting the achievement gap.”

    The NEA study talks about this, too. And I fully believe (and have seen studies which show) that teacher bias can greatly affect a students’ performance. That is, if a teacher believes, going in, that student X is a dunderhead, student X will perform less well in that classroom, all else held equal. And if X is pre-believed to be a smart kid, the reverse will occur.

    That said, I don’t buy the notion that many teachers in Davis, regardless of their own ethnic or religious backgrounds, have built in biases based on race or ethnicity. I went through the Davis school system (a long time ago, admittedly) and I never came across a teacher who was racially prejudiced.* My experience was certainly not the be-all and end-all. However, I would hope that if there was a DJUSD teacher who discriminated against minority kids, he or she would be exposed and removed.

    “While I believe most teachers do a great job with the kids there are some that have biases towards kids due to either socioeconomic status or ethnicity. In this case, they need to have training on how to teach a diverse student population.”

    If a teacher really was biased against an ethnicity, I would think “training” would be insufficient. My assumption is that prejudiced people are ingrained from their parents and earliest surroundings to think that way. And if they do, a training session won’t change their reality.

    “I have spoken with families who have children that have excelled once they leave DJUSD.”

    I, too, have. And I believe the reason for this is because the caliber of students at the next school is lower. By leaving Davis, the kid who was average or below average here becomes a top achiever at the new place.

    A friend of mine experienced just the opposite when he moved to Davis in high school. He had attended an elite prep school in Connectict as a sophomore. There, he was the smartest kid in school. But when he came to Davis as a junior, he discovered that there were 200 kids in our class better read and at least as bright, if not brighter than he was. He fell from the top to the middle due to that move.

    —–

    * The one exception to this in my personal experience was with a coach at Davis High. Although I never played for this coach, a very close African-American friend of mine told me that the coach was racially prejudiced. The person who said this was a high achiever academically and athletically in high school, and he has since gone on to be a huge success financially and otherwise. He never was a bitter angry guy apt to blame others for his problems. He simply told me what he believed to be true about that coach; and that coach was never removed from his job. (I don’t believe my friend’s parents filed a complaint against the coach.)

  86. Rich Rifkin

    I tried to find something scientific on the web which attempts to conclusively prove that having more minority teachers raises the test scores of minority students. I found quite a few sites which state that “having a more diverse teaching staff” will reduce the achievement gap. But I couldn’t find one which took a scientific approach to proving it has ever narrowed the test score gap.

    There is a long report from the NEA on this subject. Sadly, it is a lot of verbiage, but no proof, just empty claims.

    Perhaps someone who understands what science means could point me to a non-biased study on the subject.

    “Hiring a more diverse teaching staff would be a good start for addressing the achievement gap.”

    One thing the NEA claims is that a more diverse staff raises the comfort level of some minority students. It doesn’t actually show that it raises their test scores, though.

    “Second, teaching the teachers how their biases may be having an effect or further promoting the achievement gap.”

    The NEA study talks about this, too. And I fully believe (and have seen studies which show) that teacher bias can greatly affect a students’ performance. That is, if a teacher believes, going in, that student X is a dunderhead, student X will perform less well in that classroom, all else held equal. And if X is pre-believed to be a smart kid, the reverse will occur.

    That said, I don’t buy the notion that many teachers in Davis, regardless of their own ethnic or religious backgrounds, have built in biases based on race or ethnicity. I went through the Davis school system (a long time ago, admittedly) and I never came across a teacher who was racially prejudiced.* My experience was certainly not the be-all and end-all. However, I would hope that if there was a DJUSD teacher who discriminated against minority kids, he or she would be exposed and removed.

    “While I believe most teachers do a great job with the kids there are some that have biases towards kids due to either socioeconomic status or ethnicity. In this case, they need to have training on how to teach a diverse student population.”

    If a teacher really was biased against an ethnicity, I would think “training” would be insufficient. My assumption is that prejudiced people are ingrained from their parents and earliest surroundings to think that way. And if they do, a training session won’t change their reality.

    “I have spoken with families who have children that have excelled once they leave DJUSD.”

    I, too, have. And I believe the reason for this is because the caliber of students at the next school is lower. By leaving Davis, the kid who was average or below average here becomes a top achiever at the new place.

    A friend of mine experienced just the opposite when he moved to Davis in high school. He had attended an elite prep school in Connectict as a sophomore. There, he was the smartest kid in school. But when he came to Davis as a junior, he discovered that there were 200 kids in our class better read and at least as bright, if not brighter than he was. He fell from the top to the middle due to that move.

    —–

    * The one exception to this in my personal experience was with a coach at Davis High. Although I never played for this coach, a very close African-American friend of mine told me that the coach was racially prejudiced. The person who said this was a high achiever academically and athletically in high school, and he has since gone on to be a huge success financially and otherwise. He never was a bitter angry guy apt to blame others for his problems. He simply told me what he believed to be true about that coach; and that coach was never removed from his job. (I don’t believe my friend’s parents filed a complaint against the coach.)

  87. DHS student

    My friends and I at DHS have teachers who are Chinese, Japanese, and Latino. The Japanese teacher teaches Business, Chinese teacher teaches US History and the Latino teacher teaches Math. We also have a new vice principal who is Filipino.

    But I guess until DHS has a black teacher, it will always be seen as a ‘white’ school. Sorry – that doesn’t make sense.

    My friends and I don’t care what color our teachers are. They’re just the same ole people who give us homework and assign us papers. Color of their skin doesn’t make a difference. The Mexican guy is a great teacher and the Chinese guy teaches US History better than anyone I’ve ever had.

    What’s my point? First, for those who think that I’m not actually a student, get real. I go to DHS and I am graduating in the class of 2008. I work hard, apply myself, and have a good time. I also see others around me who do not. Someone referred to me as suffering from ‘Davis Bubble Syndrome’, while another claimed that I represented the need for more diversity and awareness. The impression I get then is that I am to blame for my other classmates’ lack of motivation/achievement, or that my teachers are to blame.

    1. I sit in the same classes as some of the non-achievers. We receive the same instruction, the same assignments.

    2. We all make choices and have to live by them.

    Isn’t this what the real world is too? Choices? Decisions?

    Are all the teachers at DHS good? Hell no! But is there teaching racially biased? No way whatsoever. To hear you adults talk about it is ridiculous. You’re not in the classroom and you are just projecting your own ideas and personal biases into the situation.

    This is the last I am going to say about this, because I can see that I have already been blasted by a few of you who must know so much more than me since I am only in high school. But I will say this: I actually go to DHS, you don’t. I actually experience what you are talking about, you don’t.

    Didn’t Bill Cosby recently say that the black community needs to stop blaming others for their problems and do something for themselves? The opportunity is there. It’s up to the individual to seize it.

  88. DHS student

    My friends and I at DHS have teachers who are Chinese, Japanese, and Latino. The Japanese teacher teaches Business, Chinese teacher teaches US History and the Latino teacher teaches Math. We also have a new vice principal who is Filipino.

    But I guess until DHS has a black teacher, it will always be seen as a ‘white’ school. Sorry – that doesn’t make sense.

    My friends and I don’t care what color our teachers are. They’re just the same ole people who give us homework and assign us papers. Color of their skin doesn’t make a difference. The Mexican guy is a great teacher and the Chinese guy teaches US History better than anyone I’ve ever had.

    What’s my point? First, for those who think that I’m not actually a student, get real. I go to DHS and I am graduating in the class of 2008. I work hard, apply myself, and have a good time. I also see others around me who do not. Someone referred to me as suffering from ‘Davis Bubble Syndrome’, while another claimed that I represented the need for more diversity and awareness. The impression I get then is that I am to blame for my other classmates’ lack of motivation/achievement, or that my teachers are to blame.

    1. I sit in the same classes as some of the non-achievers. We receive the same instruction, the same assignments.

    2. We all make choices and have to live by them.

    Isn’t this what the real world is too? Choices? Decisions?

    Are all the teachers at DHS good? Hell no! But is there teaching racially biased? No way whatsoever. To hear you adults talk about it is ridiculous. You’re not in the classroom and you are just projecting your own ideas and personal biases into the situation.

    This is the last I am going to say about this, because I can see that I have already been blasted by a few of you who must know so much more than me since I am only in high school. But I will say this: I actually go to DHS, you don’t. I actually experience what you are talking about, you don’t.

    Didn’t Bill Cosby recently say that the black community needs to stop blaming others for their problems and do something for themselves? The opportunity is there. It’s up to the individual to seize it.

  89. DHS student

    My friends and I at DHS have teachers who are Chinese, Japanese, and Latino. The Japanese teacher teaches Business, Chinese teacher teaches US History and the Latino teacher teaches Math. We also have a new vice principal who is Filipino.

    But I guess until DHS has a black teacher, it will always be seen as a ‘white’ school. Sorry – that doesn’t make sense.

    My friends and I don’t care what color our teachers are. They’re just the same ole people who give us homework and assign us papers. Color of their skin doesn’t make a difference. The Mexican guy is a great teacher and the Chinese guy teaches US History better than anyone I’ve ever had.

    What’s my point? First, for those who think that I’m not actually a student, get real. I go to DHS and I am graduating in the class of 2008. I work hard, apply myself, and have a good time. I also see others around me who do not. Someone referred to me as suffering from ‘Davis Bubble Syndrome’, while another claimed that I represented the need for more diversity and awareness. The impression I get then is that I am to blame for my other classmates’ lack of motivation/achievement, or that my teachers are to blame.

    1. I sit in the same classes as some of the non-achievers. We receive the same instruction, the same assignments.

    2. We all make choices and have to live by them.

    Isn’t this what the real world is too? Choices? Decisions?

    Are all the teachers at DHS good? Hell no! But is there teaching racially biased? No way whatsoever. To hear you adults talk about it is ridiculous. You’re not in the classroom and you are just projecting your own ideas and personal biases into the situation.

    This is the last I am going to say about this, because I can see that I have already been blasted by a few of you who must know so much more than me since I am only in high school. But I will say this: I actually go to DHS, you don’t. I actually experience what you are talking about, you don’t.

    Didn’t Bill Cosby recently say that the black community needs to stop blaming others for their problems and do something for themselves? The opportunity is there. It’s up to the individual to seize it.

  90. DHS student

    My friends and I at DHS have teachers who are Chinese, Japanese, and Latino. The Japanese teacher teaches Business, Chinese teacher teaches US History and the Latino teacher teaches Math. We also have a new vice principal who is Filipino.

    But I guess until DHS has a black teacher, it will always be seen as a ‘white’ school. Sorry – that doesn’t make sense.

    My friends and I don’t care what color our teachers are. They’re just the same ole people who give us homework and assign us papers. Color of their skin doesn’t make a difference. The Mexican guy is a great teacher and the Chinese guy teaches US History better than anyone I’ve ever had.

    What’s my point? First, for those who think that I’m not actually a student, get real. I go to DHS and I am graduating in the class of 2008. I work hard, apply myself, and have a good time. I also see others around me who do not. Someone referred to me as suffering from ‘Davis Bubble Syndrome’, while another claimed that I represented the need for more diversity and awareness. The impression I get then is that I am to blame for my other classmates’ lack of motivation/achievement, or that my teachers are to blame.

    1. I sit in the same classes as some of the non-achievers. We receive the same instruction, the same assignments.

    2. We all make choices and have to live by them.

    Isn’t this what the real world is too? Choices? Decisions?

    Are all the teachers at DHS good? Hell no! But is there teaching racially biased? No way whatsoever. To hear you adults talk about it is ridiculous. You’re not in the classroom and you are just projecting your own ideas and personal biases into the situation.

    This is the last I am going to say about this, because I can see that I have already been blasted by a few of you who must know so much more than me since I am only in high school. But I will say this: I actually go to DHS, you don’t. I actually experience what you are talking about, you don’t.

    Didn’t Bill Cosby recently say that the black community needs to stop blaming others for their problems and do something for themselves? The opportunity is there. It’s up to the individual to seize it.

  91. Doug Paul Davis

    First of all, there seems to be a misperception about what the achievement gap is.

    It is a statistically significant gap between students of one race and students of another based on standardized tests.

    If the choices and results were randomly distributed throughout the population of students, there would be less of a concern. The fact that it is systematic and skewed based on ethnicity makes it of greater concern.

    There is a further factor, if this is merely an effort statistic, the claim is that whites and asians are giving more effort than blacks and hispanics? In and of itself that would be a cause for concern that a school should not ignore. I made this point yesterday and no one seemed to want to pick up on it.

    However, if you control for parental education, that gap still persists. So you have black children of college educated parents scoring consistently and statistically significantly worse than the white children of college educated parents. Given that statistic, I think you have to look at other factors than effort.

    Some have jumped onto the hiring of black teachers as the strawman cure-all. If you read the achievement gap taskforce report it is a very very small portion of the recommendations. It is visible however and it is symbolic.

  92. Doug Paul Davis

    First of all, there seems to be a misperception about what the achievement gap is.

    It is a statistically significant gap between students of one race and students of another based on standardized tests.

    If the choices and results were randomly distributed throughout the population of students, there would be less of a concern. The fact that it is systematic and skewed based on ethnicity makes it of greater concern.

    There is a further factor, if this is merely an effort statistic, the claim is that whites and asians are giving more effort than blacks and hispanics? In and of itself that would be a cause for concern that a school should not ignore. I made this point yesterday and no one seemed to want to pick up on it.

    However, if you control for parental education, that gap still persists. So you have black children of college educated parents scoring consistently and statistically significantly worse than the white children of college educated parents. Given that statistic, I think you have to look at other factors than effort.

    Some have jumped onto the hiring of black teachers as the strawman cure-all. If you read the achievement gap taskforce report it is a very very small portion of the recommendations. It is visible however and it is symbolic.

  93. Doug Paul Davis

    First of all, there seems to be a misperception about what the achievement gap is.

    It is a statistically significant gap between students of one race and students of another based on standardized tests.

    If the choices and results were randomly distributed throughout the population of students, there would be less of a concern. The fact that it is systematic and skewed based on ethnicity makes it of greater concern.

    There is a further factor, if this is merely an effort statistic, the claim is that whites and asians are giving more effort than blacks and hispanics? In and of itself that would be a cause for concern that a school should not ignore. I made this point yesterday and no one seemed to want to pick up on it.

    However, if you control for parental education, that gap still persists. So you have black children of college educated parents scoring consistently and statistically significantly worse than the white children of college educated parents. Given that statistic, I think you have to look at other factors than effort.

    Some have jumped onto the hiring of black teachers as the strawman cure-all. If you read the achievement gap taskforce report it is a very very small portion of the recommendations. It is visible however and it is symbolic.

  94. Doug Paul Davis

    First of all, there seems to be a misperception about what the achievement gap is.

    It is a statistically significant gap between students of one race and students of another based on standardized tests.

    If the choices and results were randomly distributed throughout the population of students, there would be less of a concern. The fact that it is systematic and skewed based on ethnicity makes it of greater concern.

    There is a further factor, if this is merely an effort statistic, the claim is that whites and asians are giving more effort than blacks and hispanics? In and of itself that would be a cause for concern that a school should not ignore. I made this point yesterday and no one seemed to want to pick up on it.

    However, if you control for parental education, that gap still persists. So you have black children of college educated parents scoring consistently and statistically significantly worse than the white children of college educated parents. Given that statistic, I think you have to look at other factors than effort.

    Some have jumped onto the hiring of black teachers as the strawman cure-all. If you read the achievement gap taskforce report it is a very very small portion of the recommendations. It is visible however and it is symbolic.

  95. Matt Williams

    dhs student, you have made your point forcefully and intelligently. Despite the specific frustration that you voice in your posts about this thread, your overall optimism about life and your future are there for all of us to see. I for one admire those traits in you and fully expect they will be the foundation stones of your success through life.

    With that said, it is important to say that not all your fellow students share your optimistic perspective. The reasons for that often are rooted in the kind of personal choices you have highlighted in your posts. However, to think that their lack of optimism (lack of hope) is entirely due to personal choices is naive on your part.

    The moment I lose sight of the fact that I have gone through life as a White Anglo-Saxon Protestant Male, is the moment I have lost balance in my understanding of the factors that have contributed to the successes I have enjoyed in life. When I look at the three leading candidates of the Democratic Party for the Presidency, I can’t help but admire Clinton and Obama just a bit more than Edwards because the roads Clinton and Obama have traversed have (in simple terms) been more challenging. In short, they are more battle-tested.

    Your fellow students who you criticize as slackers may well be facing a more difficult road than you are facing. That may be presumptuous of me to say, because I don’t really know you, but all I ask you to do is to turn your scorn into support. Try reaching out to one of the people you label as slackers. It may be that there is only a slim margin between hope and hopelessness, and your help may be the difference for them. At the same time, you may want to consider the fact that having a teacher (to talk to and identify with and even admire) who has faced many of the same societal challenges they are facing may increase their chances of success.

  96. Matt Williams

    dhs student, you have made your point forcefully and intelligently. Despite the specific frustration that you voice in your posts about this thread, your overall optimism about life and your future are there for all of us to see. I for one admire those traits in you and fully expect they will be the foundation stones of your success through life.

    With that said, it is important to say that not all your fellow students share your optimistic perspective. The reasons for that often are rooted in the kind of personal choices you have highlighted in your posts. However, to think that their lack of optimism (lack of hope) is entirely due to personal choices is naive on your part.

    The moment I lose sight of the fact that I have gone through life as a White Anglo-Saxon Protestant Male, is the moment I have lost balance in my understanding of the factors that have contributed to the successes I have enjoyed in life. When I look at the three leading candidates of the Democratic Party for the Presidency, I can’t help but admire Clinton and Obama just a bit more than Edwards because the roads Clinton and Obama have traversed have (in simple terms) been more challenging. In short, they are more battle-tested.

    Your fellow students who you criticize as slackers may well be facing a more difficult road than you are facing. That may be presumptuous of me to say, because I don’t really know you, but all I ask you to do is to turn your scorn into support. Try reaching out to one of the people you label as slackers. It may be that there is only a slim margin between hope and hopelessness, and your help may be the difference for them. At the same time, you may want to consider the fact that having a teacher (to talk to and identify with and even admire) who has faced many of the same societal challenges they are facing may increase their chances of success.

  97. Matt Williams

    dhs student, you have made your point forcefully and intelligently. Despite the specific frustration that you voice in your posts about this thread, your overall optimism about life and your future are there for all of us to see. I for one admire those traits in you and fully expect they will be the foundation stones of your success through life.

    With that said, it is important to say that not all your fellow students share your optimistic perspective. The reasons for that often are rooted in the kind of personal choices you have highlighted in your posts. However, to think that their lack of optimism (lack of hope) is entirely due to personal choices is naive on your part.

    The moment I lose sight of the fact that I have gone through life as a White Anglo-Saxon Protestant Male, is the moment I have lost balance in my understanding of the factors that have contributed to the successes I have enjoyed in life. When I look at the three leading candidates of the Democratic Party for the Presidency, I can’t help but admire Clinton and Obama just a bit more than Edwards because the roads Clinton and Obama have traversed have (in simple terms) been more challenging. In short, they are more battle-tested.

    Your fellow students who you criticize as slackers may well be facing a more difficult road than you are facing. That may be presumptuous of me to say, because I don’t really know you, but all I ask you to do is to turn your scorn into support. Try reaching out to one of the people you label as slackers. It may be that there is only a slim margin between hope and hopelessness, and your help may be the difference for them. At the same time, you may want to consider the fact that having a teacher (to talk to and identify with and even admire) who has faced many of the same societal challenges they are facing may increase their chances of success.

  98. Matt Williams

    dhs student, you have made your point forcefully and intelligently. Despite the specific frustration that you voice in your posts about this thread, your overall optimism about life and your future are there for all of us to see. I for one admire those traits in you and fully expect they will be the foundation stones of your success through life.

    With that said, it is important to say that not all your fellow students share your optimistic perspective. The reasons for that often are rooted in the kind of personal choices you have highlighted in your posts. However, to think that their lack of optimism (lack of hope) is entirely due to personal choices is naive on your part.

    The moment I lose sight of the fact that I have gone through life as a White Anglo-Saxon Protestant Male, is the moment I have lost balance in my understanding of the factors that have contributed to the successes I have enjoyed in life. When I look at the three leading candidates of the Democratic Party for the Presidency, I can’t help but admire Clinton and Obama just a bit more than Edwards because the roads Clinton and Obama have traversed have (in simple terms) been more challenging. In short, they are more battle-tested.

    Your fellow students who you criticize as slackers may well be facing a more difficult road than you are facing. That may be presumptuous of me to say, because I don’t really know you, but all I ask you to do is to turn your scorn into support. Try reaching out to one of the people you label as slackers. It may be that there is only a slim margin between hope and hopelessness, and your help may be the difference for them. At the same time, you may want to consider the fact that having a teacher (to talk to and identify with and even admire) who has faced many of the same societal challenges they are facing may increase their chances of success.

  99. Stanford psychobiologist

    “So you have black children of college educated parents scoring consistently and statistically significantly worse than the white children of college educated parents. Given that statistic, I think you have to look at other factors than effort.”

    The difference is IQ. Parental income and education are statistically almost meaningless. Every academic study done in the last 50 years on this question proves this. You can ask any psychobiologist if what I am saying is true. Everyone in my field knows this is the case. It is not a contoversial question. The facts are unassailable. There is debate over the degree to which IQ is hereditary. But there isn’t any question at all as to whether the differences in group outcomes is a product of measurable IQ.

    The median IQ for white Americans is roughly 100. The median IQ for Chinese Americans is roughly 103. The median IQ for African Americans is approximately 85. Those differences explain the differences in school performance. The group with an IQ of 85 is two standard deviations lower than the group with a median IQ of 100. That is a tremendous handicap.

    If you took 1,000 black children with a median IQ of 100 and compared their test results with 1,000 whites or Asians or with any other group with a median IQ of 100, you would discover that the black kids do equally well. They will graduate high school in the same proportion. They will graduate college in the same proportion. They will have the same marriage and divorce rates. They will even go to prison in the same proportion.

    What you will also find is that the median IQ of college educated blacks is significantly lower than the median IQ of college educated whites and Asians. Because of that, the children of the non-black groups perform better in school than their black counterparts. That is why controlling for parental education, as opposed to parental IQ, is folly.

    Along these lines, I should turn the attention of your readers to a recent study done at Cornell University comparing the IQ’s of black immigrants from the Caribbean in the United States and native African Americans. Biologically, these groups are quite similar, though not exactly the same. African Americans have a slightly higher proportion of European ancestry. Nevertheless, if IQ were entirely hereditary, we would expect the median IQ’s of these two groups to be roughly the same. They are not. The Caribbeans living in the U.S. have a median IQ of 93, a full standard deviation higher than African Americans. Some believe this is the result of a Caribbean brain drain, where the smartest blacks from the Caribbean have chosen to emigrate to the U.S. That may be the case. But the difference is so large, it suggests that cultural variables which affect IQ are also at play. We see the same differences comparing black African immigrants and African Americans. However, with African immigrants, the brain drain effect is clearer.

  100. Stanford psychobiologist

    “So you have black children of college educated parents scoring consistently and statistically significantly worse than the white children of college educated parents. Given that statistic, I think you have to look at other factors than effort.”

    The difference is IQ. Parental income and education are statistically almost meaningless. Every academic study done in the last 50 years on this question proves this. You can ask any psychobiologist if what I am saying is true. Everyone in my field knows this is the case. It is not a contoversial question. The facts are unassailable. There is debate over the degree to which IQ is hereditary. But there isn’t any question at all as to whether the differences in group outcomes is a product of measurable IQ.

    The median IQ for white Americans is roughly 100. The median IQ for Chinese Americans is roughly 103. The median IQ for African Americans is approximately 85. Those differences explain the differences in school performance. The group with an IQ of 85 is two standard deviations lower than the group with a median IQ of 100. That is a tremendous handicap.

    If you took 1,000 black children with a median IQ of 100 and compared their test results with 1,000 whites or Asians or with any other group with a median IQ of 100, you would discover that the black kids do equally well. They will graduate high school in the same proportion. They will graduate college in the same proportion. They will have the same marriage and divorce rates. They will even go to prison in the same proportion.

    What you will also find is that the median IQ of college educated blacks is significantly lower than the median IQ of college educated whites and Asians. Because of that, the children of the non-black groups perform better in school than their black counterparts. That is why controlling for parental education, as opposed to parental IQ, is folly.

    Along these lines, I should turn the attention of your readers to a recent study done at Cornell University comparing the IQ’s of black immigrants from the Caribbean in the United States and native African Americans. Biologically, these groups are quite similar, though not exactly the same. African Americans have a slightly higher proportion of European ancestry. Nevertheless, if IQ were entirely hereditary, we would expect the median IQ’s of these two groups to be roughly the same. They are not. The Caribbeans living in the U.S. have a median IQ of 93, a full standard deviation higher than African Americans. Some believe this is the result of a Caribbean brain drain, where the smartest blacks from the Caribbean have chosen to emigrate to the U.S. That may be the case. But the difference is so large, it suggests that cultural variables which affect IQ are also at play. We see the same differences comparing black African immigrants and African Americans. However, with African immigrants, the brain drain effect is clearer.

  101. Stanford psychobiologist

    “So you have black children of college educated parents scoring consistently and statistically significantly worse than the white children of college educated parents. Given that statistic, I think you have to look at other factors than effort.”

    The difference is IQ. Parental income and education are statistically almost meaningless. Every academic study done in the last 50 years on this question proves this. You can ask any psychobiologist if what I am saying is true. Everyone in my field knows this is the case. It is not a contoversial question. The facts are unassailable. There is debate over the degree to which IQ is hereditary. But there isn’t any question at all as to whether the differences in group outcomes is a product of measurable IQ.

    The median IQ for white Americans is roughly 100. The median IQ for Chinese Americans is roughly 103. The median IQ for African Americans is approximately 85. Those differences explain the differences in school performance. The group with an IQ of 85 is two standard deviations lower than the group with a median IQ of 100. That is a tremendous handicap.

    If you took 1,000 black children with a median IQ of 100 and compared their test results with 1,000 whites or Asians or with any other group with a median IQ of 100, you would discover that the black kids do equally well. They will graduate high school in the same proportion. They will graduate college in the same proportion. They will have the same marriage and divorce rates. They will even go to prison in the same proportion.

    What you will also find is that the median IQ of college educated blacks is significantly lower than the median IQ of college educated whites and Asians. Because of that, the children of the non-black groups perform better in school than their black counterparts. That is why controlling for parental education, as opposed to parental IQ, is folly.

    Along these lines, I should turn the attention of your readers to a recent study done at Cornell University comparing the IQ’s of black immigrants from the Caribbean in the United States and native African Americans. Biologically, these groups are quite similar, though not exactly the same. African Americans have a slightly higher proportion of European ancestry. Nevertheless, if IQ were entirely hereditary, we would expect the median IQ’s of these two groups to be roughly the same. They are not. The Caribbeans living in the U.S. have a median IQ of 93, a full standard deviation higher than African Americans. Some believe this is the result of a Caribbean brain drain, where the smartest blacks from the Caribbean have chosen to emigrate to the U.S. That may be the case. But the difference is so large, it suggests that cultural variables which affect IQ are also at play. We see the same differences comparing black African immigrants and African Americans. However, with African immigrants, the brain drain effect is clearer.

  102. Stanford psychobiologist

    “So you have black children of college educated parents scoring consistently and statistically significantly worse than the white children of college educated parents. Given that statistic, I think you have to look at other factors than effort.”

    The difference is IQ. Parental income and education are statistically almost meaningless. Every academic study done in the last 50 years on this question proves this. You can ask any psychobiologist if what I am saying is true. Everyone in my field knows this is the case. It is not a contoversial question. The facts are unassailable. There is debate over the degree to which IQ is hereditary. But there isn’t any question at all as to whether the differences in group outcomes is a product of measurable IQ.

    The median IQ for white Americans is roughly 100. The median IQ for Chinese Americans is roughly 103. The median IQ for African Americans is approximately 85. Those differences explain the differences in school performance. The group with an IQ of 85 is two standard deviations lower than the group with a median IQ of 100. That is a tremendous handicap.

    If you took 1,000 black children with a median IQ of 100 and compared their test results with 1,000 whites or Asians or with any other group with a median IQ of 100, you would discover that the black kids do equally well. They will graduate high school in the same proportion. They will graduate college in the same proportion. They will have the same marriage and divorce rates. They will even go to prison in the same proportion.

    What you will also find is that the median IQ of college educated blacks is significantly lower than the median IQ of college educated whites and Asians. Because of that, the children of the non-black groups perform better in school than their black counterparts. That is why controlling for parental education, as opposed to parental IQ, is folly.

    Along these lines, I should turn the attention of your readers to a recent study done at Cornell University comparing the IQ’s of black immigrants from the Caribbean in the United States and native African Americans. Biologically, these groups are quite similar, though not exactly the same. African Americans have a slightly higher proportion of European ancestry. Nevertheless, if IQ were entirely hereditary, we would expect the median IQ’s of these two groups to be roughly the same. They are not. The Caribbeans living in the U.S. have a median IQ of 93, a full standard deviation higher than African Americans. Some believe this is the result of a Caribbean brain drain, where the smartest blacks from the Caribbean have chosen to emigrate to the U.S. That may be the case. But the difference is so large, it suggests that cultural variables which affect IQ are also at play. We see the same differences comparing black African immigrants and African Americans. However, with African immigrants, the brain drain effect is clearer.

  103. Great and Small

    DHS student-

    You and the teachers are not to blame for someone else’s non-achievement. Davis is an affluent community and many of the failing or poor performing students come from affluent families. They fail due to choice. However, there are students at DHS, King, independent study who do not come from affluent backgrounds. Maybe they have to watch their siblings, or maybe they have to work to help their family, but their family’s income level affects their academics. And in America income and race are intertwined, not as much as much as it use to be, but there is still a connection.
    So when people start discussing the achievement gap, race and income play a powerful role, especially in determining who has opportunities and who doesn’t.
    In an ideal world race and “groups” would not matter and every individual would be judged based on the “content of their character”. However, this is not an ideal world. Historical, economic, and social factors stack the deck in favor of certain “groups”. In a town like Davis this achievement gap and the factors that contribute to it are difficult to grasp – as Davis is an affluent town. Thus, my assertion that you suffer form Davis Bubble Syndrome. I graduated from DHS and know the mentality.

    Davis definitely does not have as severe an achievement gap problem as many other cities do, but it still exists. Because it exists and because it is less severe, maybe Davis can create a solution. However, the first step is acknowledging the problem exists which many Davis residents won’t do.
    Keeping the idealism that every person should be judge based on the “content of their character” only, is great. However, we won’t get there unless we deal with the reality of today’s inequalities.

  104. Great and Small

    DHS student-

    You and the teachers are not to blame for someone else’s non-achievement. Davis is an affluent community and many of the failing or poor performing students come from affluent families. They fail due to choice. However, there are students at DHS, King, independent study who do not come from affluent backgrounds. Maybe they have to watch their siblings, or maybe they have to work to help their family, but their family’s income level affects their academics. And in America income and race are intertwined, not as much as much as it use to be, but there is still a connection.
    So when people start discussing the achievement gap, race and income play a powerful role, especially in determining who has opportunities and who doesn’t.
    In an ideal world race and “groups” would not matter and every individual would be judged based on the “content of their character”. However, this is not an ideal world. Historical, economic, and social factors stack the deck in favor of certain “groups”. In a town like Davis this achievement gap and the factors that contribute to it are difficult to grasp – as Davis is an affluent town. Thus, my assertion that you suffer form Davis Bubble Syndrome. I graduated from DHS and know the mentality.

    Davis definitely does not have as severe an achievement gap problem as many other cities do, but it still exists. Because it exists and because it is less severe, maybe Davis can create a solution. However, the first step is acknowledging the problem exists which many Davis residents won’t do.
    Keeping the idealism that every person should be judge based on the “content of their character” only, is great. However, we won’t get there unless we deal with the reality of today’s inequalities.

  105. Great and Small

    DHS student-

    You and the teachers are not to blame for someone else’s non-achievement. Davis is an affluent community and many of the failing or poor performing students come from affluent families. They fail due to choice. However, there are students at DHS, King, independent study who do not come from affluent backgrounds. Maybe they have to watch their siblings, or maybe they have to work to help their family, but their family’s income level affects their academics. And in America income and race are intertwined, not as much as much as it use to be, but there is still a connection.
    So when people start discussing the achievement gap, race and income play a powerful role, especially in determining who has opportunities and who doesn’t.
    In an ideal world race and “groups” would not matter and every individual would be judged based on the “content of their character”. However, this is not an ideal world. Historical, economic, and social factors stack the deck in favor of certain “groups”. In a town like Davis this achievement gap and the factors that contribute to it are difficult to grasp – as Davis is an affluent town. Thus, my assertion that you suffer form Davis Bubble Syndrome. I graduated from DHS and know the mentality.

    Davis definitely does not have as severe an achievement gap problem as many other cities do, but it still exists. Because it exists and because it is less severe, maybe Davis can create a solution. However, the first step is acknowledging the problem exists which many Davis residents won’t do.
    Keeping the idealism that every person should be judge based on the “content of their character” only, is great. However, we won’t get there unless we deal with the reality of today’s inequalities.

  106. Great and Small

    DHS student-

    You and the teachers are not to blame for someone else’s non-achievement. Davis is an affluent community and many of the failing or poor performing students come from affluent families. They fail due to choice. However, there are students at DHS, King, independent study who do not come from affluent backgrounds. Maybe they have to watch their siblings, or maybe they have to work to help their family, but their family’s income level affects their academics. And in America income and race are intertwined, not as much as much as it use to be, but there is still a connection.
    So when people start discussing the achievement gap, race and income play a powerful role, especially in determining who has opportunities and who doesn’t.
    In an ideal world race and “groups” would not matter and every individual would be judged based on the “content of their character”. However, this is not an ideal world. Historical, economic, and social factors stack the deck in favor of certain “groups”. In a town like Davis this achievement gap and the factors that contribute to it are difficult to grasp – as Davis is an affluent town. Thus, my assertion that you suffer form Davis Bubble Syndrome. I graduated from DHS and know the mentality.

    Davis definitely does not have as severe an achievement gap problem as many other cities do, but it still exists. Because it exists and because it is less severe, maybe Davis can create a solution. However, the first step is acknowledging the problem exists which many Davis residents won’t do.
    Keeping the idealism that every person should be judge based on the “content of their character” only, is great. However, we won’t get there unless we deal with the reality of today’s inequalities.

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