Sunday, July 19, 2009

Paul Moore on the "Narrowing" Achievement Gap

Ed Notes wrote about this item (The Study That Should Make Milwaukee Famous)
the other day and we mentionned "poor" Kati Haycock. Nice to see this piece from Paul in response to a posting by Leonie Haimson.

Achievement gap in NYC has not narrowed in any grade or subject since 2003 according to the NAEPs. The new report is here:

Miami teacher Paul Moore's response to the NY Times article:

Back before the US Civil War, standardized tests would have measured an "achievement gap" between white children and children of color. But the abolitionists would never have allowed it to be described in such absurd terms. The Quakers, Frederick Douglass, and Harriet Beecher Stowe put the blame for the testing disparity where it belonged, on slavery! That vicious racist institution made it a crime for a child of color to pick up a book and even attempt to learn to read.

In this day and time, those of us who seek to meet the corporate attack on the public schools should be very careful about fighting that battle on the enemy's terms. The slaveholders would have loved to debate over an "achievement gap" while the existence of slavery was ignored.

Today, chattel slavery is a historical relic but its racist underpinnings are very much alive. The masters of US public education oversee an apartheid-like system where teachers of color are steadily disappearing from the classroom and a second-class education for children of color has been institutionalized. Little wonder they are so determined to make their stand on the "achievement gap" while the society's fundamental racism and the profound and disproportionate effects of severe poverty on children of color are ignored.

Look at the all-star line-up of public school bashers who publicly cry crocodile tears over the "achievement gap" and pose as civil rights crusaders before deciding to play the game on their terms.

George W. Bush
Rod Paige
Margaret Spellings
Ruby K. Payne
Eli Broad
Joel Klein
Michelle Rhee
Arne Duncan
Bill Gates
Paul Vallas
Jeb Bush
Wendy Kopp
Newt Gingrich
Rush Limbaugh
Michael Bloomberg
Armstrong Williams

Judging by the New York Times article of today, you can add the name of someone named Kati Haycock to the list. She apparently makes a lot of money pretending that something called the Education Trust gives a hoot about Black and Latino children.

Paul A. Moore

NY Times, July 14, 2009: Regional Shift Seen in Education Gap


Chaz said...


He forgot Barak Obama!

PaulMoore said...

Chaz, I held off as long as possible on that out of a desperate but irrational longing for a man with great power to side with the children. I teach children of color and they adore and respect the new president so.

But alas after his speech to the NAACP, with the lauding of Bloomberg, Gingrich and Sharpton, the excoriation of children living in poverty and the blame heaped on the African-American victims of racism for their own oppression, Barack Obama slammed shut the door on any dreams he may be a defender of our children. He richly deserves a place on the list in question.

Maybe the list should be amended thus, "George W. Bush/Barack Obama", to express that nothing has changed in the corporate attack on public education with the historic election of 2008.

Ghost of Boss Tweed said...

The spirit of Obama's campaign is obviously on life support. No "change" has taken place, the middle class is still stressed beyond belief, everyone's hands are still in their pockets, and education is still for sale to the rich and more powerful. The latter use buzzwords and propaganda, and since those among them like Bloomberg control the media, they control the information available to us.