Black and white together not working out, says this Lancaster PA principal.
Bill Jimenez said the school noticed that black students were not performing as well as other students, and that research had shown that same-race classes with strong same-race role models led to better academic results.
Mr Jimenez admitted that no other students were divided by race at the school, but he added that academic data dictated the school take a different approach with its black students.
This is old research too. Shelby Steele‘s identical-twin brother Claude at U. of Mich. had results years ago showing that being with whites in class, that is, competing with them, threw black students off their feed. It’s here, I think, in a 1992 Atlantic article.
Or so I understood it at the time. Claude Steele chalks it up to stereotypes that are internalized by black students. A fair translation of that is their fear of competing because they don’t think they can succeed. Better that they be by themselves, at least some of the time, so they can relax and gain confidence.
Same argument goes for same-sex schools, though it’s hotly debated, of course.
The Sean Connery movie about the reclusive white writer who goads a young black kid to write well applies here. The Connery character pushed the kid, stood for no nonsense, and in the end stood up for him vs. white teachers. Standard white teachers, I may add, but the point is still a good one. Everyone has his demons, why not black kids?
The Lancaster principal is calling for a mere six minutes a day, 20 minutes twice a month, by the way. It’s not a full-scale preferential-treatment program in which one thing after another is tried, frantically by school administrators, teachers etc.