These are the ringing words of the Montgomery County, Maryland Superintendent of schools, Joshua P. Starr. What is the apparently non-negotiable educational problem in Montgomery County? Why, according to this story in the Washington Post, “disproportionality.”
In English, this means that all racial and (presumably) identifiable ethnic groups (but only the right sort of ethnic groups) must perform in all aspects of school in direct proportion to their presence in the student population.
That is, if a school is 15 percent black, then no more than 15 percent of disciplinary actions may be handed out to blacks. I don’t know if the bien pensants of Montgomery County would be incensed or even care if blacks were disciplined at a rate lower than their presence in the population. But if more than that magic percentage are disciplined, then there is a major, major problem.
According to the great minds who run MoCo’s schools, as it is (un)affectionately called, this can only be the result of racism. And, in classic lefty fashion, the reductio ad absurdum racism of the Bull Connor, KKK variety. Jim Crow is in full force, there in upscale and progressive MoCo in the 21st century.
Look, we all know that some students get picked on. And there’s no doubt in my mind that there is some racism. But perhaps the MoCo worthies could step back, take a deep breath, and perhaps, just perhaps, acknowledge that race is no longer a controlling factor.
What may be controlling is socio-economic status. In simplest terms, children from poor homes, from homes without two parents, from homes that don’t provide safety and comfort, are going to be much more likely to get into trouble. White, black, or any color or creed.
Thus it was when I went to school; thus it will always be. To say that an unequal result in “absolutely unacceptable” is to proclaim that the schools will do anything to eliminate it. Right now, it appears the MoCo’s actions are to simply reduce punishment across the board. And then to declare victory if the “suspension gap” is narrowed. Nevermind that there is still a gap, and that it got smaller only by changing some disciplinary actions.
Akin to making standard tests easier if the wrong people fail them, I would suggest. Also, although I’ve no direct evidence, common sense tells me that certain students more leeway than others. Based solely on their race.
Such is it always with those who are offended by the fact that we are not all equal in every aspect of life. That root causes may not lie in racism for every perceived or actual wrong.