American Elephants


If Your Basic Assumption is Wrong, Your “Solution” Won’t Work by The Elephant's Child

Former President Barack Obama was known for adding civil rights issues to many of his policies, including those involving sexual assault procedures on campuses, public school bathrooms and locker room, and how public schools deal with disciplinary problems.

Social-Justice advocates assumed that racial disparities in the criminal justice system were evidence that police were, at least implicitly, racist. So too the disparities in school suspensions must be evidence that teachers were, at the very least implicitly, racist. Statistics were clear. A greater proportion of minority students were disciplined or suspended than white students. So all was blamed on an incorrect assumption.

This Obama era school discipline policy extended the Black Lives Matter ideology directly into America’s classrooms. The Obama administration’s 2014 “Dear Colleague” guidance said that any school district whose disciplinary measures impacted a disproportionately greater number of minority students being disciplined would soon receive a visit from the Department of Justice and the Department of Education. The Federal Government was concerned with the “school to prison pipeline.”

However, critics of the Obama policy say it essentially placed “racial quotas” on school discipline and is teaching minority students they can avoid consequences for disruptive and violent behavior simply because of their race or ethnic background.

After much speculation about whether education secretary Betsy DeVos would actually take on the Obama-era school discipline policy, she hired former senior attorney for the Competitive Enterprise Institute Hans Bader – a noted critic of the use of “disparate impact” statistics to muscle school districts.

So instead of suspending an out-of-control kid who is threatening the teacher, the Obama administration recommended techniques such as “conflict resolution, restorative practices, counseling, and structured systems of positive intervention.”

Statistics are clear that there are large numbers of single parent moms in inner city communities. Even Obama has blamed a lot of dysfunction on the absence of fathers in the home. Add gangs and drugs. Ben Carson has said the streets where he grew up were getting young men killed and that it was a library card that saved him. He grew up to become a world-renowned surgeon and now the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, trying to do something about the bad streets.

Critics said the Obama policy placed “racial quotas” on school discipline and teaches minority students that they can avoid consequences for bad behavior because of their race or ethnic background. Some news reports would seem to confirm this with more frequent stories of attacks on teachers and injuries. Such reports seldom make the front page or even the mainstream news, but in odd corners of conversations about education it appears that schools are becoming dangerous places for teachers. No school district wants to admit that their schools are not safe places for the teachers—but there seems to be a lot of it under the radar. But that too is an assumption.

Here are some interesting posts at Pinterest, which seem to be by teachers trying to figure things out. On the other hand, it seems like there is not a week when there isn’t a post at Instapundit about some teacher (female) being arrested for having sex with a student.


1 Comment so far
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But then, so much about Obama (and his administration) was an incorrect assumption.

– We assumed he would be honest.
– We assumed he would be, at least, competent.
– We assumed he would make SOMETHING better.

Regardless of politics, that is a very barely minimum standard that all Presidents should meet. And Obama failed all three.

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Comment by Lon Mead




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