Monday, January 28, 2008

Slouching Towards Balkanization

We are witnessing the final throes of a failed attempt at social integration in America's schools. We need to face the fact that federally enforced integration through social design hasn't worked, will never work. Human nature will always trump man's attempt to effect social, political and economic equality among diverse groups.

It is past time for Americans to cast off the slough of utopian ideas behind the take-over of our governance as a nation. The choice to segregate is a matter of survival, and the need to be associated with one's own includes both immigrants and the former slave-class, known currently as "African-Americans". The name itself, which seems to be the preferred nom de plume, further indicates a special status, setting them apart from Americans, and guaranteeing the cherished mantle of victimhood.

The natural choice of preferring one's on kind is determined by many factors, but let's not intellectualize this phenomenon beyond the obvious: we prefer our own kind because we are more comfortable with our own, build better communities, and thrive better among our own. Diversity at every level of interaction is not man's best means of survival, socially or economically. As long as we continue to allow the socialist designers to influence how we interact with one another, we as a nation, will continue to drift toward balkanization.

Our school system, largely controlled by stale Gramscian/Friereian methodology, out of which comes the doxology of "outcome-based education" (OBE), and the deceit of NCLB, is experiencing the final breakdown of common sense.

The need for a core curricula free of political ideology and dogma has never been greater than today. Schools need to adopt a content-based pedagogy of science, mathematics, English, and the arts; need to become much more flexible and responsive to developing minds. Our youth must be taught, shown how to think and reason for themselves.

OBE must go, along with the misguided concept of No Child Left Behind. There will always be children, as well as adults, who are "left behind"- where they will perhaps be in a better place to meet their destiny as human beings. Yeah, I know: life sucks.

Here is yet another report of the break-down of the Utopian social design...

Resegregation of U.S. schools deepening

Districts in big cities of the Midwest and Northeast undergo the most change.

By Amanda Paulson | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

Jan 25, 2008

At one time, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District in North Carolina was a model of court-ordered integration.

Today, nearly a decade after a court struck down its racial-balancing busing program, the school district is moving in the opposite direction. More than half of its elementary schools are either more than 90 percent black or 90 percent white.

"Charlotte is rapidly resegregating," says Carol Sawyer, a parent and member of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Equity Committee.

It's a trend that is occurring around the country and is even more pronounced than expected in the wake of court cases dismantling both mandated and voluntary integration programs, a new report says. The most segregated schools, according to the report, which documents desegregation trends, are in big cities of the Northeast and Midwest. The South and West – and rural areas and small towns generally – offer minority students a bit more diversity.

Suburbs of large cities, meanwhile, are becoming the new frontier: areas to which many minorities are moving.

These places still have a chance to remain diverse communities but are showing signs of replicating the segregation patterns of the cities themselves.

"It's getting to the point of almost absolute segregation in the worst of the segregated cities – within one or two percentage points of what the Old South used to be like," says Gary Orfield, codirector of the Civil Rights Project and one of the study's authors. "The biggest metro areas are the epicenters of segregation. It's getting worse for both blacks and Latinos, and nothing is being done about it."

About one-sixth of black students and one-ninth of Latino students attend what Mr. Orfield calls "apartheid schools," at least 99 percent minority. In big cities, black and Latino students are nearly twice as likely to attend such schools. Some two-thirds of black and Latino students in big cities attend schools with less than 10 percent white students; in rural areas, about one-seventh of black and Latino students do. Although the South was the region that originally integrated thenmost successfully, it's beginning to resegregate, as in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg district.

While resegregation has been taking place for some time, Orfield says the latest numbers are worrisome both for the degree to which they show the trend is occurring and in light of the US Supreme Court's most recent decision on the issue last June, which struck down several voluntary integration programs and made it more difficult for districts that want to work at desegregating schools to do so.

"If you [as a district] are going to ask your lawyer what's the easiest thing to do, it's to just stop trying to do anything," Orfield explains. "That's a recipe for real segregation."

Not everyone feels that way. Some groups applauded the Supreme Court's decision last summer as another step toward taking race out of school admission policies and allowing parents to send their kids to the schools most convenient for them. If schools start reflecting neighborhood makeup – which often means nearly all-white or all-minority – that doesn't have to matter, they say.

"Segregation means people are being deliberately assigned to schools based on skin color," says Roger Clegg, president of the Center for Equal Opportunity in Falls Church, Va. "If it simply reflects neighborhoods, then it's not segregation."

Mr. Clegg questions some of the resegregation research, noting that the percentage of white students in schools is often going down simply because they're a decreasing portion of the population. He also quibbles with the notion that an all-black, all-Hispanic, or all-white school is necessarily a bad thing.

"I don't think that the education that you get hinges on the color of the person sitting next to you in the classroom," Clegg says. "What educators should focus on is improving schools."

That sounds great in theory, say some experts, but the fact is that segregated schools tend to be highly correlated with such things as school performance and the ability to attract teachers.

"Once you separate kids spacially from more privileged kids, they tend to not get the same things," says Amy Stuart Wells, an education professor at Columbia University's Teachers College in New York. "And we need to start thinking about how a school that's racially isolated can be preparing students for this global society we live in."

Still, many of the programs that worked to achieve integration – such as busing – have been highly unpopular over the years. And in big cities, real integration is often virtually impossible: Many cities have largely minority populations, and the districts don't extend to the suburbs.

Suburbs, though, offer potential. The Civil Rights Project report noted that big-city suburbs educate 7.9 million white students along with 2.1 million blacks and 2.9 million Latinos. "This is the new frontier for thinking about how to make diverse schools work," says Professor Wells.

But so far, the data for suburbs are not encouraging, showing emerging segregation. Some integration advocates say this shows a need for more diversity training for teachers and students and for policies that encourage integrated housing, not just schools.

"Each affects the other," says Erica Frankenberg, the co-author on the Civil Rights Project study. "Unless we think about this jointly, we're probably not going to be able to create stable racial integrated neighborhoods and schools."

Vanishing American gives voice to Reason:

Liberals would, in their tiresome way, blame the outsider-ness of many immigrants on 'racism'. If only white Americans were better indoctrinated into being 'inclusive' and 'tolerant', then no immigrant need ever feel an outsider. I don't buy this rationale. Most of the immigrants of today self-segregate, and prefer to be among their own kind. I also see a new arrogance and sense of entitlement that I don't remember in past eras among immigrants.

And can they be blamed for self-segregating? At one time, a more liberal time, in my life, I would have said: they should assimilate. Shame on them for preferring to stay among their own. But now I see their choice as natural and primal. Each to his own. The problem arises only when we mingle various peoples within a geographic space and order them to associate and adapt to each other. And how can this be reconciled with our supposed dedication to liberty and freedom in America?

The right to freedom of association is an important one, and it's one that has been taken away from us for 40+ years, because of the enforced liberal ideas of 'equality'. As we've seen, equality and liberty cannot coexist, in many cases.

Equality is not a normal state of things, and must be brought about by coercive means.

I see no reason to suppose that this tendency toward immigrant 'outsider' status will reverse itself. The liberals of both parties prattle about 'assimilation' and English only, but those things can often be superficial. It is possible to be outwardly assimilated and to speak good colloquial English and yet be an outsider victim with a chip on one's shoulder toward the host country.

And as long as the regnant liberal philosophy exalts and rewards and coddles those with 'victim' status, many will exploit this for all it's worth. The rewards and the reinforcements for playing the victim are too numerous. We will have to shed liberal ideas and return to traditional American habits, in which people are judged on their merit, before we can break the cycle of this unhealthy dynamic.
The choice is ours to make.

Related story: Supreme Court Rejects School Racial Diversity Diversity Plans