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What can we do to address race-relations and solve racism?

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posted on Oct, 28 2006 @ 10:08 PM
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Originally posted by HarlemHottie


Originally posted by jsobecky
Have the admissions policies at NEST been discriminatory?



According to city statistics, 52.6 percent of NEST students in the 2004-5 school year were white, compared with 15.1 percent in public school citywide.
...
A look at the population of the Census Tract for the school's address and zip code 10002, Hispanics outnumber whites by 47 to 1. That's right , 47 to 1 and the school is 51 percent white.

Based on these statistics, which I haven't verified independently, it would appear that over half of the kids who attend NEST are white. That's unusual because, the neighborhood itself is overwhelmingly Hispanic.

This is a talented and gifted school. That doesn't necessarily mean that the racial composition should automatically reflect the neighborhood. Many other factors play into a child's learning success, including nutrition and parental involvement.

And it still didn't answer the question:
Have the admissions policies at NEST been discriminatory?




At NEST, 18.9 percent of students qualified for free lunch, compared with 57.4 percent citywide.


Based on this, the kids who attend NEST are wealthier than their city-wide counterparts.

So, it's looking like well-off white kids are the only children deemed talented enough to go there.

I don't know what the income guidelines are to qualify for a free-lunch, so I don't think you can say the white kids are well-off, much less conclude that they are the only children talented enough to go there.




There is a whole other discussion that could take place over whether TAG kids should be encouraged to reach their limits, or made to work at the pace of students that are less academically inclined.


That is a red herring. The question here isn't whether TAG programs are fair to the not-so-smart. The question here is, is NEST discriminating against qualified poor kids and/or children of color?

I did say "There is a whole other discussion that could take place over whether TAG kids should be encouraged to reach their limits, or made to work at the pace of students that are less academically inclined."

Whole other discussion. Not a red herring or an attempt to derail.




posted on Oct, 29 2006 @ 04:12 AM
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Originally posted by Harlem Hottie
The question here isn't whether TAG programs are fair to the not-so-smart.

Minor clarification: my concern was not whether TAG programs are fair to the not-so-smart. It was whether talented students should have a governor placed on their learning experience by having to learn at a slower pace.



posted on Oct, 29 2006 @ 04:49 AM
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Originally posted by jsobecky
This is a talented and gifted school. That doesn't necessarily mean that the racial composition should automatically reflect the neighborhood. Many other factors play into a child's learning success, including nutrition and parental involvement.

Are you saying that, because the school is for really smart kids, its administration may have to go outside the local population to fill its classes?



That's not at all true. As I said in my post to Semper, I attended a Tag school in a largely Hispanic neighborhood. My class of about 20 was made up almost exclusively of black and Hispanic kids, with one single white girl. The school did not lower its standards in order to create these demographics. The kids there were smart, even if some of them were foster kids, or really poor. That didn't make them stupid.

The school's population most certainly should reflect the composition of the neigborhood. There's no good reason why a TAG school should have to go outside of the community to fill its classes.

So now, I ask you, in a district with a population that's 47-to-1 Hispanic, "Have the admissions policies at NEST been discriminatory?"



I don't know what the income guidelines are to qualify for a free-lunch, so I don't think you can say the white kids are well-off...



A household’s eligibility is based on income eligibility guidelines issued annually by the federal government.

The income guidelines are based on a national poverty index. Children from families with incomes at or below 130 percent of the poverty level are eligible for free meals. Those between 130 percent and 185 percent are eligible for reduced price meals. Those households with incomes over 185 percent of poverty pay a full price.

NYC Department of Education:Food and Nutrition

The DOE says that you have to be at or below 130% of the poverty level to qualify for free lunch. Here's info on the poverty line. It's my amended version of a chart at the link cited. I didn't know how to insert the image.



(1)Persons in family or household (2)January 2006 poverty guidelines
1 $9,800

2 13,200

3 16,600

4 20,000

5 23,400

6 26,800

7 30,200

8 33,600


US Department of Health & Human Services:Computations for the
2006 Annual Update of the HHS Poverty Guidelines
for the 48 Contiguous States and the District of Columbia



In a family with a minimum-wage-earning mom and two kids, she would have to earn $21,580 or less to qualify for free lunch. The minimum-wage here is $6.75. At 40 hr/wk, for 52 weeks/year, she would earn a $14,040, before taxes. This hypothetical mom would definitely qualify.

To respond to your point, that the kids who go there might not necessarily be "well-off", you could be right, but they're doing a heck of a lot better than those other kids.



...much less conclude that they are the only children talented enough to go there.

I'm basing my conclusion on empirical evidence. I'm looking at the numbers. The majority of kids who attend NEST are white(52.6%) and don't qualify for free lunch (80.1%), unlike the majority of their city-wide peers who do qualify (57.4%).

So, based on the numbers, the majority of the kids "deemed talented enough to attend" NEST are white and much better off financially than the rest of the city.

I would like to know what evidence you're basing your opinion on.



posted on Oct, 29 2006 @ 07:53 AM
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Great Research and I agree with your conclusions...


ou have voted HarlemHottie for the Way Above Top Secret award. You have used all of your votes for this month.


Though I have been at odds on this thread with many claims of racism, the evidence that HH is presenting here is at the very LEAST suspicious and at the most, BLATANT.

As for her school lunch figures, I believe that is 100% as well.

I think that we should also examine what we are teaching our children in creating this atmosphere. We are simply perpetuating the "Upper Class" system and all of the negative connotations that are included. It's bad enough when this sort of "Class System" develops with the Adult Societal Unit, but when it is ingrained in the minds and lives of our children, what damage are we doing there?

Semper



posted on Oct, 29 2006 @ 06:50 PM
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Originally posted by HarlemHottie

Originally posted by jsobecky
This is a talented and gifted school. That doesn't necessarily mean that the racial
composition should automatically reflect the neighborhood. Many other factors play into a child's learning success, including nutrition and parental involvement.

Are you saying that, because the school is for really smart kids, its administration may have to go outside the local population to fill its classes?



No, I never said that. That is what you said. But it may very well be true.


That's not at all true. As I said in my post to Semper, I attended a Tag school in a largely Hispanic neighborhood. My class of about 20 was made up almost exclusively of black and Hispanic kids, with one single white girl. The school did not lower its standards in order to create these demographics. The kids there were smart, even if some of them were foster kids, or really poor. That didn't make them stupid.

Why would you say something like that? Who ever intonated that poor kids were stupid?


The school's population most certainly should reflect the composition of the
neigborhood. There's no good reason why a TAG school should have to go outside of the community to fill its classes.

And every school should be able to field a championshipship football team.



So now, I ask you, in a district with a population that's 47-to-1 Hispanic, "Have the admissions policies at NEST been discriminatory?"

I don't know. Neither do you, but you ask that as if your anecdotal evidence and assumptions established it as fact.

How can you possibly come to that conclusion without even seeing the admissions policies?


To respond to your point, that the kids who go there might not necessarily be "well-off", you could be right, but they're doing a heck of a lot better than those
other kids.

$30K in NYC is a heck of a lot better?

Are the white kids (I use that term for brevity) not getting free lunches because of income or because of parental choice?



I'm basing my conclusion on empirical evidence. I'm looking at the numbers.
The majority of kids who attend NEST are white(52.6%) and don't qualify for free
lunch (80.1%), unlike the majority of their city-wide peers who do qualify (57.4%).


So, based on the numbers, the majority of the kids "deemed talented enough to
attend" NEST are white and much better off financially than the rest of the city.

I would like to know what evidence you're basing your opinion on.

Being white and not receiving a free lunch are not part of the admissions criteria, are they? That's where your premise is flawed.

You're basing your entire argument on the fact that there are more white kids that don't receive free lunches at the school than there are poor minorities that do receive free lunches. Therefore, the school admission policies must be discriminatory.

Here's another example of where you reached an incorrect conclusion:


So, based on the numbers, the majority of the kids "deemed talented enough to attend" NEST are white and much better off financially than the rest of the city.

"Much better off financially than the rest of the city"? Where did you get that data? I would bet that most of the kids who are "much better off financially than the rest of the city" probably don't go to NEST, but attend private schools. This probably applies to many middle and lower class kids, too.

So, how do I reach my conclusion? Based on the lack of evidence. Certainly not on anecdotal evidence or preconceived conclusions.



posted on Oct, 30 2006 @ 12:09 AM
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Originally posted by jsobecky

Originally posted by HarlemHottie
Are you saying that, because the school is for really smart kids, its administration may have to go outside the local population to fill its classes?

No, I never said that.

Yes you did. Here are your words.

Originally posted by jsobecky
This is a talented and gifted school. That doesn't necessarily mean that the racial
composition should automatically reflect the neighborhood."

Jso, this issue is too important to play semantic games. You said it and I asked if that was what you meant. Instead of answering simply and explaining what you did mean, you attempted to put the comment off on me.

I really don't have the time for this, jso. I'm aware that our opinions are diametrically opposed when it comes to race. When I engage you, I am prepared to back up what I say and debate intelligently. You respond with word games.


$30K in NYC is a heck of a lot better?

Yes. According to the Census Bureau, in 1999, 29.5% of families living in Manhattan brought in less than $24,999 annually. That's almost 1/3 of families. Of course, these stats are from 1999. Since then, the country has experienced the outsourcing of our jobs, the insourcing of cheap labor to drive down the already-disappointing minimum-wage, and massive inflation.



So, how do I reach my conclusion? Based on the lack of evidence.

I would love to have this debate with you, but you're going to have to get some sources of your own. You cannot simply disagree. That's not how it works here.



posted on Oct, 30 2006 @ 12:18 AM
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Originally posted by semperfortis
Great Research and I agree with your conclusions...


ou have voted HarlemHottie for the Way Above Top Secret award. You have used all of your votes for this month.


Thank you, Semper. That means a lot to me, especially coming from you.




I think that we should also examine what we are teaching our children in creating this atmosphere... when it is ingrained in the minds and lives of our children, what damage are we doing there?

You are absolutely right. That's what I was trying to explain to BH when we were talking about public schools and the teachers. Children of color know very early that their chances in this world are limited. I expect that it affects white kids negatively too. A lack of competition can only instill a false sense of superiority.



posted on Oct, 30 2006 @ 06:37 AM
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HH,

I can appreciate talent and hard work even if it's in opposition to my view point...


And this is a tender spot with me, the Children I mean..

They are what it all has to be about... We have either made or lives, or screwed them up whatever is the case, but they are the REAL future, ALL of them and they all deserve a decent chance and a lot of them are not getting it...

That is where we are failing as a society.....

Not Bush, the War, 9/11 or any other issue that will be forgotten next decade. It's the Children that is our best and brightest hope....

Semper



posted on Oct, 30 2006 @ 09:33 AM
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Originally posted by HarlemHottie
Jso, this issue is too important to play semantic games. You said it and I asked if that was what you meant. Instead of answering simply and explaining what you did mean, you attempted to put the comment off on me.

I really don't have the time for this, jso. I'm aware that our opinions are diametrically opposed when it comes to race. When I engage you, I am prepared to back up what I say and debate intelligently. You respond with word games.


OK, no word games. You still haven't proven that the school policies are discriminatory.


Originally posted byjsobecky
So, how do I reach my conclusion? Based on the lack of evidence.


I would love to have this debate with you, but you're going to have to get some sources of your own. You cannot simply disagree. That's not how it works here.

No no no. You made the allegation. Now prove it. That's the way thing work in the real world.

Prosecutor: Judge, that man stole my lunch.
Defense attorney: Prove it.

Edit typos

[edit on 30-10-2006 by jsobecky]



posted on Oct, 30 2006 @ 10:25 AM
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Originally posted by HarlemHottie
Jso, this issue is too important to play semantic games. You said it and I asked if that was what you meant. Instead of answering simply and explaining what you did mean, you attempted to put the comment off on me.

And I also said that it may very well be true.

My own kids were TAG kids. There weren't enough kids in our town that qualified for a class, so we combined forces with 3 neighboring towns. When they cut the bussing for these kids, we parents drove them ourselves. When they tried to cut out the extra-curricular seminars for the kids, we hauled them in our station wagons down to MIT or Harvard or Tufts on the weekends. Our own time and our own dime. Finally, they cut the classes out altogether, saying that TAG kids will naturally succeed because they are smarter, so they don't need "extra attention". They then doubled the resources for the SPED kids.

So please, the attitudes that the kids are the real losers here is true, but not only for the reasons that are politically correct.


I really don't have the time for this, jso. I'm aware that our opinions are diametrically opposed when it comes to race. When I engage you, I am prepared to back up what I say and debate intelligently. You respond with word games.

And you could start by not being so condescending and by addressing all my comments instead of cherrypicking one that makes you look victimized. You don't know my attitudes toward race. But that is an argument I will not engage with you.


$30K in NYC is a heck of a lot better?


Yes. According to the Census Bureau, in 1999, 29.5% of families living in Manhattan brought in less than $24,999 annually. That's almost 1/3 of families. Of course, these stats are from 1999. Since then, the country has experienced the outsourcing of our jobs, the insourcing of cheap labor to drive down the already-disappointing minimum-wage, and massive inflation.

I would counter by saying that the poor have resources not available to the average person, such as welfare. "Better off" is a relative and highly subjective term.

And I would question your usage of terms such as "massive inflation". The current rate of inflation is nowhere near that definition. When I bought my first house, the banks were charging 15% interest. That's closer to massive inflation compared to today's rates, typically 5% or less.



posted on Oct, 31 2006 @ 12:06 AM
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Originally posted by jsobecky
And you could start by not being so condescending and by addressing all my comments instead of cherrypicking one that makes you look victimized.

Why would I address all of your comments? Most of them have not been especially pertinent to this discussion. It's not "cherry-picking"; it's ignoring the nonessential.

And another thing: this is not about me being a victim. I'm grown. I no longer attend any school, so this is certainly not about me.



I would counter by saying that the poor have resources not available to the average person, such as welfare.

This is a comment that I would consider nonessential to this particular conversation. It's irrelevant whether "the poor have resources not available to the average person" because, at the end of the day, they're still poor and, back to the point, they still qualify for free lunch.



And I would question your usage of terms such as "massive inflation"... When I bought my first house...

You know, jso, I've noticed that, instead of providing a single piece of evidence to support your own opinion, you prefer to pick apart every word I say.

Interesting.

And then, you provide anecdotal evidence to 'support' your point,

Originally posted by jsobecky
as if your anecdotal evidence and assumptions established it as fact.

Do your prior admonishments about anecdotal evidence apply to you as well?



posted on Oct, 31 2006 @ 05:08 AM
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Forget it, HH, you're not ready to hold this conversation. And I'm not willing to take your back-handed insults.

Edit to add:

You know, jso, I've noticed that, instead of providing a single piece of evidence to support your own opinion, you prefer to pick apart every word I say.


This is the essence of your thinking. You make an allegation and expect others to disprove it, when you haven't proven it to begin with. When called on it, you resort to personal attacks.

I pointed that out in a previous post, but I guess that was just "non-essential", eh?

[edit on 31-10-2006 by jsobecky]



posted on Oct, 31 2006 @ 10:44 PM
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Originally posted by jsobecky
...back-handed insults.

... personal attacks.

Prove it.

Quote me.

Report me.

Whatever, just stop this incessant bitching.

Please.

I would like to get back to the actual topic.

Thanks.



posted on Oct, 31 2006 @ 10:48 PM
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The one thing that I don't understand in any of this is that if all these differing people are the same or better than us then why is their countries a disaster? There are things here that do not add up in this debate like average abilities across groups and the inability of groups to manage their own societies at a high level successfully.



posted on Oct, 31 2006 @ 11:07 PM
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I looked around a little bit and found a website that reviews NYC schools. Each school has a profile, and there is space for parents to leave comments.

Here are a few:



"NEST+m is a fantastic school," writes parent Helen Liang, whose 4th grader loves the school. "He often comments that there should be classes held on weekends too! He enjoys the subjects taught, the school clubs (fencing and chess) and his wonderful teachers and coaches. We have a kind and dedicated principal, Celenia Chevere, and a knowledgeable and helpful administration, supporting parent coordinator with an incredible teaching staff. We also have a strong PTA and many fine parent volunteers." (October 2005)

A parent writes: "I think most parents have mixed feelings about NEST. The parents who are true believers are a small number, as are those who are vocal detractors. Most parents are happy with the resources, the facilities, and the families, but have very mixed feelings about the administration. Rules are imposed from on high without debate. For example, the administration decided -- overnight it seemed -- that children would no longer be allowed to talk or go to the bathroom during lunch." He continues: "Also, parents should understand that if your son or daughter does not do well in the exams given in late March or April, the child will be asked to leave or repeat the grade, even kindergarten. April is a pretty tough time to get this news, since it's way past the deadline for private schools and too late for a variance, so you can get left high and dry with this school policy." He concludes: "Unquestionably, the school has gotten some great word of mouth and they've got some resources, but this is not necessarily the best option out there. NEST has a high turnover -- 7 kids out of my daughter's class of 21 are leaving -- and parents should factor this into their thinking about this school." (April 2005)

"Two of my children recently applied to NEST+M, one for middle school and one for high school. They were both called for interviews, but we 'bailed out' of the process at that point," writes a parent. "I have to echo the earlier comment on the arrogance and general "stuck-up" behavior of administrative personnel." At an orientation, this parent writes, he was given the impression that "if you can't make a substantial contribution to the school, you shouldn't consider enrolling your children. We were called after 4pm on a weekday and told that we had to bring our children to their interview the next day at 2:30! We were also told that it was the last opportunity for the interview and admission test, only to find out later that there are still tours and interviews being scheduled. The final straw was that they gave us a phone number to respond to that wouldn't take a message! I understand that the school offers an excellent education and we know other families whose children attend NEST+M and are doing very well. Also, a parent volunteer who contacted us and one of the admissions counselors who returned one of our calls (when we finally found a way to leave a message on our own, did try to help us work things out. But, by that time, we had concluded that dealing with NEST+M was not worth whatever educational advantage it might offer versus other schools with equally strong programs who treat their students and families with more respect, consideration, and efficiency." (December 2004)

A middle school parent who transferred her daughter out of NEST complained of the "maximum security tone" and maintained that the administration is "condescending, aggressive if parents are anything less than worshipful, and uninterested in dialogue. " This parent complained of "draconian discipline" and said some teachers "belittle students." This mother said the "school operates like a military academy" and "anyone who questions this, however carefully and respectfully," is labeled a troublemaker who is looking for their child to be "coddled." "Teachers demand an unrealistic level of silence in classrooms and hallways, refuse to respond to requests for clarification by students, and grade harshly," this parent said. (December 2004)
InsideSchools.org

Please note that these comments were made while Celenia Chevere, NEST's founding principal, still worked there. She has since been replaced by Olga Linavis.

I'm hearing echoes of the same elitism noted in that blog and the NY1 article.



posted on Oct, 31 2006 @ 11:09 PM
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Originally posted by denythestatusquo
... then why is their countries a disaster?

Wrong thread.



posted on Jan, 22 2007 @ 10:27 PM
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There will be more to say in the future, but I would like to keep up the discussion now that the tension has decreased.


There's still room for questions and comments. And this time, let us discuss this topic in a civil manner and with understanding of one another. A qualification of communication skills need not apply.

I appreciate the well wishes of donwhite and HarlemHottie as expressed in the thread. I read them, along with a few others.


I am also indebited to HH for her continued interest in this thread.



[edit on 23-1-2007 by ceci2006]



posted on Jan, 22 2007 @ 10:46 PM
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WELCOME back CECI!!!!!!

Great to have you back around again.....

Semper



posted on Jan, 22 2007 @ 10:50 PM
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Awwwwww, thank you Semper. It's nice to be back.


Thanks for your well wishes,

Ceci



posted on Jan, 23 2007 @ 03:50 AM
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Here is an article I had read in response to Paula Zahn's special about Race in America last Tuesday. I'll post a couple of excerpts that are quite useful for everyone to read. This article is by Glenda Overstreet:


Overstreet: Talking about racism
Although many — or a few with many comments — have voiced that bringing up differences among people of different races is simply stirring the pot or being negative, there are just as many — or a few with many comments — who say when we don't discuss such observations we continue to perpetuate ignorance and the status quo and thus no progress is made.

Whichever view is taken, it seems the world shares this responsibility. It isn't just a Topeka matter, a Wichita matter, a Kansas City matter or any other small-town or city matter. It's a worldwide matter.


[...]


Zahn [during her show] offered the suggestion that perhaps it would be helpful if we were all colorblind. Sharpton noted in response: "We don't need to be color blind. We need to be color respectful and while doing so unlearn the learned behavior of racism."

I'm glad to know that Topeka is helping to reach this goal — helping to unlearn the learned behavior of racism — through the efforts of the NAACP, the YWCA and other organizations. Many live with racism. Simply put, it doesn't help when we choose not to talk about it. Just keeping it real.


Just food for thought.




[edit on 23-1-2007 by ceci2006]



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