Race-specific groups take aim at academic disparity

  • Article by: DAAREL BURNETTE II , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 9, 2012 - 8:09 AM

With Woodbury High's "Be the Dream," staff and students tackle racial issues head-on.

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fkieferApr. 8, 12 8:52 PM

Just a thought but going from 50% too 72% of what about 30 kids. i don't see this working at like North High in Mlps. im sure you would have better results by making Parents get more involved with there Kids Schooling.

egraymondApr. 8, 12 9:09 PM

I like what I'm reading. Defeating the soft bigotry of low expectations does nobody any good. It's unfortunate you have to go to the suburbs to find this progressive approach actually working, and I am wondering why our Community Leaders in Minneapolis and St. Paul aren't more demanding of students for performance, effort and accountability rather than pointing fingers at those who can easily be blamed. Doesn't matter what color you are, whether you pee standing up or sitting down, or what God you worship to....we are all perfectly capable as human beings to push ourselves to new limits by understanding that there "is no finish line." It's one generations responsibility to the next to create the opportunity for success by pushing, poking, and prodding young men and women to find success through this type of effort so that they can create lives for themselves that are full of personal liberties and freedoms that draw out the best of everyone.

jarlmnApr. 8, 12 9:32 PM

I was in an interview process awhile ago with a school district and the HR person interviewing me almost accusingly announced that I would have to undergo training in "cultural competency" as part of my orientation. I asked why. She (a young white woman, mind you) said in a condescending tone, "Well, it is because you are an older, privileged white male....and.." Mind you, no questions had been raised in the interview about my social background, where I grew up, who my close friends were, where I hung-out, where I had traveled, etc. No acknowledgement whatsoever that I had professionally participated in "cultural diversity" initiatives long before it was even called that. That I was an older "privileged white male," ... apparently a new brand of "you people," ... was all the assessment needed to send me off to the People's Republic Reeducation Camp. In a country where one is supposedly innocent until proven guilty, it is now acceptable to blithely brand one a racist .. ironically, because of the color of one's skin.

lordhawhaw1Apr. 9, 12 2:08 AM

In thinking further about this program I came up with a couple other thoughts. First, how would a program like this work in inner city school where whites are in the minority? Would the white kids get the same program at an inner city school? Would minority teachers at an inner city have to go through cultural trining? After all, how can we expect a minority teacher to know how to relate culturally to a white kid so that kid can learn?

mcjoe1Apr. 9, 12 3:25 AM

Sad that there are people that try to build comparisons between Woodbury and North Minneapolis. Before you go off and criticize families in one of the state's most underpriviliged areas, I think it's best to actually imagine what it'd be like to live in their shoes. And those dropping the "parents" card, keep in mind that none of us had any choice as to who our parents were. We shouldn't give up on an American youth just because his or her parents are not model citizens.

forfreedomApr. 9, 12 5:22 AM

When you bring up race and connect it to academic achievement, it seems to me that you must be either a statistician or a racist. I am sick and tired of liberals playing the race card and trotting out the holy grail of diversity. Kids, whether black, white, brown, red or purple, all fail academically, not because of the color of their skin, but because of attitudes and values that they bring to the table, most of which are learned at home from their parent or parents. Leave race out of it, for crying out loud. The more you highlight race relations as a problem to solve, the more you highlight differences. "...not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." Get off the race thing. It is destructive to the fabric of our society.

jsens3Apr. 9, 12 5:44 AM

Jarinn's comment is jarring. The statements of the young white woman are reminiscent of the mind-set of Mao's cultural revolution and reeducation camps. Kurt Vonnegut saw all this coming years ago when he described ridiculous measures being taken to achieve equality of outcomes. It seemed funny at the time. Not so now.

Thumper5316Apr. 9, 12 6:11 AM

jarlmn..."it is now acceptable to blithely brand one a racist .. ironically, because of the color of one's color." Hate to say I told 'ya so. I saw this coming years ago. And so many out there buy into the guilt. That's how we ended up with the present POTUS.

Willy53Apr. 9, 12 6:44 AM

jarmn, the problem with your situation is that they should simply require everyone to participate in the program, not just "privlaged white males". We all, no doubt, have deep seeded prejudices, as your story so aptly shows (both you and the interviewer). The results of this program are so dramatic I'm suspiscious. I'd like to know the family incomes of those students of color. Are they dramatically different than those of white students? I also think Woodbury HS and North High School are two vastly different situations. Would this approach yield significant results at inner city schools? I'm skeptical. Regardless, these outcomes are impressive.

turgidApr. 9, 12 6:49 AM

If this helps close the gap in test scores, then it sounds like a good idea to me. A rising tide lifts all boats, and the more kids you can get to buy into education, the better for all of them.


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