would you send your caucasian child to an all african american school? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: would you send your caucasian child to the school described below?
Yes. 92 27.54%
No. 137 41.02%
Maybe/ not sure. 90 26.95%
Other. 15 4.49%
Voters: 334. You may not vote on this poll

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#61 of 436 Old 07-01-2007, 02:55 PM
 
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Yay! I'm stupid and classist. :

Look, it's more than I can solve. A school with a very poor population is more likely to have poor test scores, poor facilities, poor achievement, poor teaching, and violence and discipline issues. Those kids are more likely to be living with instability and violence and are coming from a legacy of racism and classism. Their parents are stuggling to keep their heads above water and food on the table. I'm sorry if you don't like it. It's reality. Have you been to schools in the poorest parts of the country? I have. There's not a lot of learning going on. This kid didn't eat breakfast, this kid's mom is in jail, and these three kids are absent again because they're on and off homeless, and these five kids haven't had much adult attention in weeks because their parents are too busy handling various crises. Again, it's not the kids' fault. It's the end result of centuries of inequality and misjustice.

"Test scores" are mainly a stand-in for economic status anyway, so saying you don't want to send your kid to a school with very low test scores is just a fancy way of saying you don't want to send your kid to a school where the kids are very poor. I'm not down with this game of playing "Oh my, shock shock. I just want my kid to go to the best schools. It has nothing to do with class or race." It almost always does, whether or not you want to admit it. You may wish it didn't, and so do I, but that doesn't make it go away.

There are exceptions, but they're mainly that: exceptions. A PP mentioned a school where the kids were mostly on free lunch but the school was good--but it sounds like it was a magnet, yes? If you have to keep certain grades to stay there, that's not an example of a typical very poor school. That's cherry-picking. I can't say I 100% object to it, since it'll probably be the type of school my child attends, but it cannot be generalized.

By the way, I'm no more likely to want my kid to go to a school where 1% of the kids are eligible for free lunch than the one where 99% are. Honestly, I'd very much like her to go to a school that simply represents her city: racially and economically mixed. And I'd sooner vote Republican (hint: hell will freeze over first) than send her to a private school where all her classmates can afford a 10K tuition. I'd actually like her to go to an arts magnet here that's about 50% nonwhite and 40% free lunch. But, you know, that's just classist me.

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#62 of 436 Old 07-01-2007, 03:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by loraxc View Post
I'm not down with this game of playing "Oh my, shock shock. I just want my kid to go to the best schools. It has nothing to do with class or race." It almost always does, whether or not you want to admit it. You may wish it didn't, and so do I, but that doesn't make it go away.
I agree with the honesty of this statement. I also agree that a great deal of students in schools in AA communites are just dealing with survival, with academics on the side, really its systemic- but this does not sound like the case in the school that the op orginally posted about.

I think we simply hold on to preconcived ideas of race because of experience and because of convience/laziness. It takes alot of work in trying to form new ideals/insights, work that some of us simply may be not up to doing.
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#63 of 436 Old 07-01-2007, 03:33 PM
 
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I actually have a hard time relating to the idea of school choice. Living in rural Nebraska my kids don't have choice.

One thing I do know though, is that choice, even when its set up to try and help minorities, ends up helping the white power structure instead. I worked in the KCMO school district in the early 90's in their desegregation compliance area. And there were some really sad and scary schools. In the black areas of town. And some beautiful and creative schools. In the white areas. Just like it was before the 20 some year failed desegregation plan.
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#64 of 436 Old 07-01-2007, 05:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by loraxc View Post
There are exceptions, but they're mainly that: exceptions. A PP mentioned a school where the kids were mostly on free lunch but the school was good--but it sounds like it was a magnet, yes? If you have to keep certain grades to stay there, that's not an example of a typical very poor school. That's cherry-picking. I can't say I 100% object to it, since it'll probably be the type of school my child attends, but it cannot be generalized.
That was me, and yes, it was a magnet school. I couldn't remember the word for it. As I said, it's not a given that every school that provides many free lunches is low achieving. More commonly they are, but not universally.

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#65 of 436 Old 07-01-2007, 05:50 PM
 
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It's not just about race, but economics
Which go hand in hand, unfortunately. (Not addressing you loraxc, sounds like you know that very well).

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If it were just her being an extreme racial minority, that'd be one thing, but even that...I think it's hard on a kid, whether the kid is the only white kid in an all AA school or an only AA kid in an all-white school. It's a lot for your kid to carry, you know? I don't think it's quite as easy as saying that people who would hesitate to do this are racist and sad. The reality is that your kid is going to experience some consequences from this. I'm not saying some kids wouldn't do fine, but it would be a matter for serious consideration.
I agree.

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And in my case--I'm about as liberal as they come, but is it right to make my child a sacrificial lamb for economic equality?
And, I agree with this too. I am not going to put my child in hostile situations for ANY reason, if I can avoid it. What good does that do her, or anybody?

There is a school around the corner from here, the 'poor' school in town. We are poor, and we are zoned for that school. Gee, what a coinkidink! I'm not sending her there, it's hardcore, man. Too rough. This is my baby.

I was planning to send her to the middle class school by her father's place, but the kindergarten teacher there is evil. So I'm not sending her there either, same reason: Too rough, this is my baby.

My primary job as a parent is to protect my child. And that is what I do.
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#66 of 436 Old 07-01-2007, 07:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I would not send my child to a school where there are behavioral problems (which impedes and/or totally prevents learning). But to judge a school based on the economic status of its students, or to assume behavioral problems are going to exist in a school that is poor is a quick and classist rush to judgment.

There are behavioral problems in rich schools and poor schools.

This is the good thing about private schools-- they can dismiss students who have serious behavioral issues, so that the rest of the students are spared their influence.
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#67 of 436 Old 07-01-2007, 07:20 PM
 
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I would not send my child to a school where there are behavioral problems (which impedes and/or totally prevents learning). But to judge a school based on the economic status of its students, or to assume behavioral problems are going to exist in a school that is poor is a quick and classist rush to judgment.
I don't know, honestly. I think there are more likely to be significant behaviour problems in poor schools. No? Maybe this is erroneous thinking. But I tend to think that struggling families, both parents working really, really hard work for little money, kids without full bellies, the sense of shame and non-entitlement and outsider status that can come with poverty... I would think that it would not just be a fallacy to think there may be some serious issues.

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There are behavioral problems in rich schools and poor schools.
Ha! True enough. And ITA with whoever said they wouldn't send their child to a school where everyone could afford a huge tuition. My kid's dad was talking about Waldorf. Well, um, the tuition is $9000!!!! Totally out of my range. And even if he were willing to pay the whole thing, I don't want my kid in that sort of class-privileged environment. Ideally I would love to see her in a school with diversity re: race, economic privilege, etc. Not one extreme or the other.

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This is the good thing about private schools-- they can dismiss students who have serious behavioral issues, so that the rest of the students are spared their influence.
True. But I've never heard of a poor private school. ?? Dismissing students with behavioural issues seems tied to class priv, to me.

All of this is why we're homeschooling.
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#68 of 436 Old 07-02-2007, 12:02 AM
 
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I will be completely honest. I was briefly considering enrolling my son in a parochial school in my community, and he would have been THE only white kid in the entire school. My good friend said to me "Are you crazy? I would NEVER send my children to an all-white school, why would you think of sending your son to an all-black school?" She went on to tell me that he would be singled out immediately as the White Boy, and that she could never in good conscience recommend I do something so foolish. And again, she'd never allow her children to be the only black children (her phrasing here, not mine) in a school environment, why should it be any different for my white son?

This is not the primary reason I didn't enroll, but it certainly did make me think in a different direction.
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#69 of 436 Old 07-02-2007, 09:32 AM
 
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But to judge a school based on the economic status of its students, or to assume behavioral problems are going to exist in a school that is poor is a quick and classist rush to judgment.
Kids with no health insurance, no safe place to live, not enough to eat, and substance abuse problems, homelessness, and incarceration in the family--you think that has no effect on their behavior? Honestly? Then why bother trying to change those things, huh? Since it doesn't hurt the kids.

DD's zoned school had several instances of weapons possession last year. It goes through THIRD GRADE.

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There is a school around the corner from here, the 'poor' school in town. We are poor, and we are zoned for that school. Gee, what a coinkidink! I'm not sending her there, it's hardcore, man. Too rough. This is my baby.
Yeah, that. You know, I find that the people who like to tsk about this the most are usually those who are the most safely ensconced in the "good" school districts. Another funny coinkidink.

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#70 of 436 Old 07-02-2007, 09:44 AM
 
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She went on to tell me that he would be singled out immediately as the White Boy, and that she could never in good conscience recommend I do something so foolish. And again, she'd never allow her children to be the only black children (her phrasing here, not mine) in a school environment, why should it be any different for my white son?
That's exactly the reason that I voted "no" in this poll. I wouldn't send my daughter to a school where she would be the only white child (like at our neighborhood school) any more than I would send her to a school with all or almost all white children (like most of the swanky private schools around here.) Instead we chose a small parochial school that is about even split between white and African-American students. That ratio matches the demographics of our city and gives dd the nice, diverse, accepting environment that we want her to have.

If our decision not to use the neighborhood school -- with its behavior problems, poor facilities, and glass-strewn playground -- makes me a racist or calls into question my liberal values then so be it, I suppose.
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#71 of 436 Old 07-02-2007, 10:29 AM
 
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I voted maybe. I'd have to go visit the school myself to decide.

I know of schools that have high test scores that aren't what I'd want for my children. They just teach to the test. No way.

I know of other schools that are more in line with what I believe, but have lower test scores, so I'd send my children there.

I was one of the few white children in my elementary school. The rest of the population was Latino. Most were lower SES. Super dedicated parents-- the school was public, but a magnet school. Grades were NOT how you got in. It was a lottery system. Great family atmosphere. No real behavior problems. Latino cultures were highly valued-- the goal was to become bilingual AND bicultural. I never felt out of place, except that I cried when I found out I wasn't Mexican.

And FYI-- I've taught at a school where the poverty rate was 98%. And nope, we seriously did not have behavior problems. The teachers/administration were very dedicated to involving parents. I think that is key. Poverty does not automatically = behavior problems, and wealth certainly does NOT guarantee a lack of problems! Family values-- not net worth-- that is what counts.

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#72 of 436 Old 07-02-2007, 11:20 AM
 
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For me it would depend on the nuances of the academic environment. If the scores are not excellent but overall the social environment for the kids is pro academic (ie, there is not significant peer pressure against doing well in school), then that would be fine, I figure the rest would sort itself out. Really, having a pro-academic environment is the most important thing for me with any school with any racial makeup (it doesn't have to be hyper achieving environment, just not really anti-achieving, anti-intellectual, anti-academic).
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#73 of 436 Old 07-02-2007, 11:47 AM
 
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For some reason, maybe I'm totally off base, but if this school was primarily Asian American or some other racial group (besides AA or even maybe Latino) then this whole thing wouldn't be an issue. If this school was primarily a white school, with the same stats as given by the op, I think the poll results would be different, thus it only leaves one to conclude that race is a major factor here. Therefore this has led me to wonder-do economically stressed black children differ (behavioral wise) from economically stressed white children? And if so, why?
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#74 of 436 Old 07-02-2007, 12:02 PM
 
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And FYI-- I've taught at a school where the poverty rate was 98%. And nope, we seriously did not have behavior problems. The teachers/administration were very dedicated to involving parents. I think that is key. Poverty does not automatically = behavior problems, and wealth certainly does NOT guarantee a lack of problems! Family values-- not net worth-- that is what counts.
Great point! I do not like the concept that strong values is something that is bought. If you have more $$$$ then you have stronger ethics-well if that is the case Brittany Spears and Paris Hilton should be off some where doing mission work in the middle of South America .

Yet seriously, in light of this thread I thought that this timely Supreme Court decision maybe pertinent to this discussion:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...oryId=11598422
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#75 of 436 Old 07-02-2007, 12:03 PM
 
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I'm just shocked at some of the responses here .

Imagine how I feel.

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#76 of 436 Old 07-02-2007, 12:04 PM
 
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For some reason, maybe I'm totally off base, but if this school was primarily Asian American or some other racial group (besides AA or even maybe Latino) then this whole thing wouldn't be an issue. If this school was primarily a white school, with the same stats as given by the op, I think the poll results would be different, thus it only leaves one to conclude that race is a major factor here. Therefore this has led me to wonder-do economically stressed black children differ (behavioral wise) from economically stressed white children? And if so, why?

Thank you.

I often find myself in situations where I am the only black. I have been spat on, taunted, teased, and humiliated by some white folks. That has never, nor would it ever make me avoid situations in which I am the minority. Oh what luxury it must be to have white skin privilege

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#77 of 436 Old 07-02-2007, 12:23 PM
 
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thus it only leaves one to conclude that race is a major factor here. Therefore this has led me to wonder-do economically stressed black children differ (behavioral wise) from economically stressed white children? And if so, why?
I would say my experience is too limited to give a good answer except for a few things that come to mind . . .
(1) I would imagine that it is usually easier to be part of the majority group of a nation given = financial status
(2) A minority group that is here voluntarily (here for a better life) typically fares better than one here for involuntary reasons (refugees, for example)
(3) Again, family values . . .if the family's culture and sense of unity can be kept instead of corrupted (let's say by drugs, gangs, little parent involvement), I imagine students would do better

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#78 of 436 Old 07-02-2007, 12:25 PM
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absolutely I would.

I am confident in my ability to parent my children in such a way as to help them through whatever situations life may present to them.

There are so many people in our society (purplegirl said it well, above) that don't have a choice in regards to being a minority or being raised in less than privileged situations. I figure that if MY CHILD doesn't have a chance of doing well in what most people would think of as a less-than-ideal situation, than how in the world do children with parents that don't have the time or energy or want or ability to research and stay involved and be concerned have a chance in hell at succeeding?

I am so sick (this isn't a rant at any of the PP's, just a rant in general) of the general population claiming that it's an equal opportunity world, and regardless of your class or upbringing, that everyone has a chance to "make it" if you are just raised well and work hard enough. If that's the case, then every child should get the same shoddy education as every other child.

I have no problem with the idea of sending my children to whatever PUBLIC, AVAILABLE education happens to be around. I have preferences, to be sure, based on what I wanted and what I hated as a child. But if I were to CHOOSE against any particular school, that's saying that that school isn't GOOD enough for my child, and who the hell am I to say that my kid deserves better, but the kids who go there already DON'T deserve any better?

I'd rather have my children attend a school with some challenges, and do my part to get involved to IMPROVE the school, the teacher-parent relationships, the community overall, than to send them to a walk-in-the-park (re: societal issues) school and not have to worry about what's going on in the other side of town.

ALL of our schools are our concern. ALL of our children are our concern. Making education in our society a priority is all of our concern. And making it a priority even when it's the more difficult or challenging choice is something that I am more than willing to do.
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#79 of 436 Old 07-02-2007, 12:33 PM
 
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Imagine how I feel.
I'm sorry. I can only imagine and I'm sure it doesn't come close. My kids are some of the only POC in their school and frankly, it never occurred to me to move just to change that. And yet people here wouldn't let their white children "suffer" the same circumstance.
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#80 of 436 Old 07-02-2007, 12:35 PM
 
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Imagine how I feel.
I can't know, but I can definitely imagine. I would guess, though, that my imagination doesn't come close.
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#81 of 436 Old 07-02-2007, 12:48 PM
 
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I'm just shocked at some of the responses here :
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#82 of 436 Old 07-02-2007, 01:00 PM
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The schools in my state that have a large AA population also have other students of color....Asian, Latino, Pacific Islander, etc. So that would turn it into a "diverse" school, which I would be interested in sending my children to. In fact, that's exactly what my dd is going to this fall...a diverse school where the white children are under 50% of the overall population. I really like diversity, but it would be difficult if she were the ONLY white child.

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#83 of 436 Old 07-02-2007, 01:14 PM
 
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I know people of color who would not send their kids to an all-white school. Is their behavior shocking, disgusting, abhorrent? I mean, we're lower-middle class...I wouldn't send my kid to a school to a super-expensive boarding school, even without the other baggage, because I think that's a lot for a kid to carry. It's not a question (at least in my case) of my child being "too good for" an all-AA school. It's a question of isolating my child. Like it or not, the current reality is that a child who is significantly different than 98% of his or her peers racially or economically may have trouble at school.

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I have no problem with the idea of sending my children to whatever PUBLIC, AVAILABLE education happens to be around. I have preferences, to be sure, based on what I wanted and what I hated as a child. But if I were to CHOOSE against any particular school, that's saying that that school isn't GOOD enough for my child, and who the hell am I to say that my kid deserves better, but the kids who go there already DON'T deserve any better?
I do understand your POV. I really do. But I'm not sure this is fair to the child. I think the attitude that every child is ordained by God and the universe to attend the school to which he or she is randomly zoned, or else the parents are awful, selfish jerks, is a bit...off. What if your child is literally unsafe at school? What if your child is failing every class, and you know of another school that would suit him/her much better? What if physical discipline is being used at the school (still legal some places)?You keep the child there for the sake of...who?

FTR, the school for which DD is zoned is so poorly rated (it received an "F" from the state last year and is danger of being closed down) that all parents have the legal option of sending their child to a different public school in the city. You have your choice of school, too, although I think there are some numbers limitations.

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#84 of 436 Old 07-02-2007, 01:16 PM
 
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I find diversity to be extremely important on all levels. That school is NOT diverse enough for me. I will be hard pressed to find one that is....hence the beginnings of discussion of homeschooling.
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#85 of 436 Old 07-02-2007, 01:19 PM
 
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No way. Why would I choose to send my child to a school with mediocre or poor facilities and only average test scores?

The teachers can be kind and caring as anything but if my kid is sitting in a classroom with flaking asbestos walls and a floor that is letting off formaldehyde or they don't have enough light or textbooks ~ is there really even a comparison?

I don't care if the student body is harvard-worthy, if the facilities are mediocre I wouldn't choose to send my kid there. I've attended bad schools before, where there wasn't funding for textbooks... where the electricity frequently went out due to bad wiring... and I had some great teachers but I don't think children should ever be put in substandard facilities for the majority of their days, you know?

ARGH this could lead to a rant and a half. If I had my choice ALL children would attend schools like that one strawbale Waldorf school featured in Mothering that one time.....


ETA ~ the poll results are going to look extremely skewed because people who just read the title and not the OP are going to think, "Holy cow 50% of MDC'ers are racist!" whereas, your OP isn't about race as much as facilities and staff and academic performance. Just felt the need to point that out.
I kind of agree. Except that I would send my kids. They want to go back to school and not homeschool this year. They will by far be in a racial minority, which I don't care about, so was I when I lived in Cincy and it was a non-issue.

But to tell you the truth, the school with mediocre scores, etc. is a thousand times better than dd's last school and all of the schools in this area. We can't afford private school. So a school with test scores over 30% sounds fabulous right now.

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#86 of 436 Old 07-02-2007, 01:27 PM
 
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No.... race is a factor in the decision and quite possibly the less than lovely facilities might seem worse than they would otherwise if a parent had reservations about the race issue. Even a poster here read my word "dismal" as "abysmal..." big difference in meaning!

When I first noticed this school I wondered, "What is wrong with this school that all white parents are avoiding it like the plague... surely there is something terrible there."

But when I went to visit I was pleasantly surprised by what I found.

So why are the parents of caucasian children not enrolling their students?

It can't be the facilities because there are white schools with equally blah facilities.

It can't be the location of the school, because there are white families in my neighborhood.

It can't be the test scores because there are white schools with low-to-average test scores.

As I said there are no behavioral problems in the school.

So why are white parents in the neighborhood parents sending their kids to private school further away, that are white? It leaves only the issue of race.
That's a good question. I am from a small town with pretty decent (for rural IL!) racial diversity-I had friends from all walks of life. But urban schools are so much different. If it were a rural school and my kids were the "only" of anything, then I wouldn't care a bit. But I just have issues with urban schools right now from our recent experiences and how much they have changed since when I attended K-2 in one.

They are busing in this city, so it is nearly impossible to get a school near us (we live in a racially diverse part of town but even if you are 2 blocks from the school, they bus). We got lucky with this one right by our house that has some of the lowest test scores (which do make a difference to me-dd's last score had abyssmal scores and she is a gifted student so she was not at her grade level-another rant ), only because they had a 1st grade slot, but ds who will be in K will be in a makeshift classroom because they have too many Kindergarteners.

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Originally Posted by loraxc View Post
Kids with no health insurance, no safe place to live, not enough to eat, and substance abuse problems, homelessness, and incarceration in the family--you think that has no effect on their behavior? Honestly? Then why bother trying to change those things, huh? Since it doesn't hurt the kids.

DD's zoned school had several instances of weapons possession last year. It goes through THIRD GRADE.

Yeah, that. You know, I find that the people who like to tsk about this the most are usually those who are the most safely ensconced in the "good" school districts. Another funny coinkidink.
I agree. It's just reality. And we are in the no insurance, poor group. My job is to protect my children and I am not comfortable sending my kids to ANY school with behavioral or weapons issues. It is a real issue for us right now. I was just reading the paper when we moved here about a "bad" school here who is doing loads better but they still said something about (elem. school) 3 fights, weapons found, 2 expulsions, etc. all in the first day of school at this one school last year. I am not comfortable with my kids in that environment no matter WHAT the school.

The problem is how to fix these things because it will take such a huge social overhaul.

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#87 of 436 Old 07-02-2007, 01:34 PM
 
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I also wanted to add after reading all of the responses that as a mother of 3 almost 4 biracial children it is imperative that I look at situations like this in a "worldly" view rather than the view from this mothers eyes....my dc will be and ARE viewed as black children...a minority and to boot we are economically lower class,poverty level, food assitance....to further my statement below as I said its not diverse enough for me that is MY truth in its rawest form. I would not send my child to a school and please know I am grateful for even the opportunity to consider homeschooling as an option but I would not send my children to an ALL white school.....an ALL black school....an ALL asian school....ALL hispanic....etc etc.....its just not what I want my childrens learning experience to be about....NOR would I send my children to a school where they were the only ones getting the free lunch even if it was DIVERSE enough.....all of these factors are MUCH MUCH more important to me than test scores because I do not adhere or put to much stock in standardized testing....
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#88 of 436 Old 07-02-2007, 01:35 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikki98 View Post
For some reason, maybe I'm totally off base, but if this school was primarily Asian American or some other racial group (besides AA or even maybe Latino) then this whole thing wouldn't be an issue. If this school was primarily a white school, with the same stats as given by the op, I think the poll results would be different, thus it only leaves one to conclude that race is a major factor here. Therefore this has led me to wonder-do economically stressed black children differ (behavioral wise) from economically stressed white children? And if so, why?

I don't know, but there are plently of predominantly white schools that are anti-achieving, anti-intellectual and anti-academic and I wouldn't want my kid to go to one of those either.
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#89 of 436 Old 07-02-2007, 01:43 PM
 
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Probably not, it's hard to socially overcome being the only one who is strikingly different. Being a kid in public school is hard enough. I wouldn't want my child to feel out of place and become so focused on race. The ideal school I would like to send my son to would be very diverse and have many members of many races/cultures.

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#90 of 436 Old 07-02-2007, 02:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I too think that the votes would be different if this were an all asian school.

I still find it strange how the thread turned to it being ok to refuse to send your child to a "poor" school with behavioral problems when I stated upfront that this school has *no* behavioral problems, and, I *never* said the school was made up of children from poor homes... I said only that all the other students are AA. People seem to equate AA with poverty and behavioral problems...
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