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Heather Mac Donald
Undisciplined « Back to Story
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Heather's view of the world appears much more realitic than your own.
Such a distorted world view of a Koch backed con.
Kent: "overcrowded classrooms"? This is a talking point, not reality. Slashing education budgets? That's absolute and utter nonsense - in my state the City of Newark spends over $29,000 per pupil. The state also gives billions of dollars to the major cities for capital improvements.

The result of all this money? Zero, as far as education. All that money and NOTHING is the result.

So perhaps money isn't the problem? What is then? Well, if you take the population of minority children where both parents are home, the kids are equal to white children. Hmmm. So maybe the key is family?

But, family and keeping families together is a REPUBLICAN issue. Besides, Democrats have no problem with government dependence and single parent families. After all that kind of dependence leads to voting for Democrats - the Democrats get close to 100% of the inner city vote. So, Democrats don't want to change a thing - what possible motivation would they have to do so?

By sticking to the myth of classroom size and education budgets as the problem, you ensure that the real problem, the destruction of the two parent family gets no attention. Facts are meaningless to discussion, you have your talking points.

So another generation of children gets robbed - forced to live in an area run by gangs (since gangs replace family), where there is no will to be educated, where the culture is against education. The blame falls squarely on the Democrats - the one party system in the cities that ensures that money fills the pockets of the race hustlers while children are doomed to grow up in a place that puts zero importance on education. How about you go to these places and look at what's really going on? Start with Juvenile Court - it's a real eye opener.
Wow. It was tough to get to the end of this. Now, as I try to absorb it I feel mixed regarding it's actual purpose. Is the author offering any useful criticism? Where is a creative offering to solve the dilemas that exist? I agree that the black kids that have migrated into my suburban town are very troubled youth. I have broken up three gangs of kids, girls, that were preparing to physically fight each other. I take my camera out and they scattered twice. But the last time I was screamed at that I was harassing them by filming them, they said they would report me to the police (I told them I know all the cops!) and lastly, they told me they were going to get one's mother. I replied that I would love to talk to an adult, a parent, whomever should be in charge and preventing the violence. The cool part was that one kid, on a bike, came whithin ear shot and thanked me for breaking it up.
This article might have had some useful effect if it weren't such an obvious hatchet job against the current Executive Branch of the US Government, and against the Democratic party. Where, for example, is the appropriate laying of blame for overcrowded classrooms that promote behavioral conflict, on the GOP state and federal education budget slashers?

Whew! Nobody does it better!
Heather Mac Donald is truly remarkable. I was on a "School-to work: committee of a large metropolitan school board and she knows so much about so much -- the many serious problems facing American society, including public education today, which she adroitly explains with such clarity. There are few others in her league (Beverly Eakman, e.g.) but at the top, Heather Mac Donald is probably without peer.
Allow me to describe the problem according to its fundamental element: The quality of students' educations are directly proportional to the efforts they put into it.
The solution, therefore, lies in how to infuse all of American society with a cultural climate that places a high value on education. Focusing on disparate classroom disciplinary practices misses the mark, but so has nearly all other governmental efforts to improve learning. Despite all the money and social programs that have been thrown at this problem for decades, there has been little overall progress in student achievement.
Alexis de Tocqueville, in his 1830s study of American democracy, came to many conclusions that are as pertinent today as they were then. One such conclusion is this: "The nations [democratic]of our time cannot prevent the conditions of men from becoming equal: but it depends upon themselves whether the principle of equality is to lead them to servitude or freedom, to knowledge or barbarism, to prosperity or to wretchedness."
I subscribe to the City Journal, and recently renewed for two more years--bravo!

Keep up the good work--even if the news you report isn't good. We need to know what the American people are up against!
I hate these stupid people running the government with the heat of a thousand Suns.
If ostriches were as stupid as Arne Duncan, they would have become extinct ten thousand years ago.
Remember, Arne, if you see racism, IT MUST ALWAYS BE THERE! And we must spend any amount of money to eradicate it, no matter what! If everything else is destroyed in the process so, be it. Arne has spoken. Hmm. Where have I heard this line of logic before?
Don't let any, you know, actual data or evidence sully your perfect world vision.
Thank God I did not become a teacher!
Very good and truthful argument proposed by Ms. MacDonald. But I warn those who talk about the need of these children's fathers and marriage. Unfortunately much of this unruly behavior was the result of young men imaging their fathers and the unstable relationship between their parents.
Good fathers badly needed. Marriage badly needed.
yuval Brandstetter MD September 07, 2012 at 10:39 AM
Its because these kids have no fathers. I know, i took care of them in Milwaukee
Kind of agree with the author...
American C.L. Union, Jr. August 31, 2012 at 3:44 PM
A study or drama could be written tracing the elements that overlap between the behavior of this article's naughty children and the motivations of their adult champions. Heather Mac Donald identified one of those elements: enjoyment of bullying. Some others: swagger, grandiosity, confrontation for the sake of confrontation, addiction to adrenaline and addiction to sentimentality, all of which can probably be reduced to an intolerance of boredom.

A similar study from 1970 is Tom Wolfe's wildly accurate satire "Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers," which is still in print in the book RADICAL CHIC AND MAU-MAUING THE FLAK CATCHERS.
Together my colleagues and I have published hundreds of peer-reviewed studies. Imagine our surprise when we tried to publish a study on teacher race and student disciplinary practices---a study that found NO differences between the disciplinary practices of teachers by race. Good news, right? Of course not. Multiple education journals scoffed at the publication....with reviewers often accusing us of trying to undo the gains of the civil rights movement. Research in education is highly politicized, which casts substantial doubt on its credibility.
Heather, I propose you read The Atlantic, September 12, 2012 piece on "Fear of a Black President":
This piece will give some insight on issues that stand behind your assessments. The Atlantic goes beyond just what the title suggests regarding "negrophobia" to address underlying systemic issues of continuing racism. The Atlantic article might be a good context for having a substantial discussion.
Herbert A. Perkins
St. Paul, MN
Sadly, because of such antics in the classroom, school districts; a) can not attract nor retain quality staff, and b) will not be able to recruit teachers of minority races, because a Black teacher has a non-PC way of dealing with Black students. This has been coming for a LONG time...parents are going to have to take responsibility for their own children.
Why do you assume that teachers are as "progressive" as the faculty of Education departments at colleges? Usually it's the teachers who have been, at most, a few years actually teaching who often "explore other options" by getting an Education PhD and never entering a classroom to teach again. There are Education professors who have never been in any classroom with a percentage of non-White children greater than 10% who preach "Celebrate our diversity!" and go over curricula and praxis looking for signs of "White power methodologies". After work, they go off to the suburbs or small towns where 99% of their own kids go to school. If they have to live near a "diverse" community, their own kids go to private schools. If called on this, they will wring their hands and protest their good hearts and lament the "tough choices some parents are forced to make". The other professors, certainly the staff and professors "of color" know they are never going to change and consider that so long as they sing from the same "Diversity/Progressive" hymn book that they've been told to, they can be safely ignored.
The only "classrooms of color" they enter are to visit student teachers or with the principal.
Get a teacher who's been "in the trenches" at least ten years and you'll most likely get a very different politics.
Thank you for your enduring willingness to tell uncomfortable truths, Ms. MacDonald. Arguing for equal disciplinary statistics is akin to saying young white Chicago men should be arrested at precisely the same rate as young black men, whether or not they are guilty of crimes.
Leave it to the Manhattan Institute to do a lazy slipshod drive-by condensation of the scores of empirical studies conducted by Indiana University, ACLU,Southern Poverty Law Center, The Advancement Project, Johns Hopkins University, CADRE etc. etc. that conclude that disparate discipline for Afr-Am students for committing lesser or similar offenses to white or non-black students is an irrefutable reality in urban school districts. If you are going to trot out the neo-con "black pathology" 101 lens at least do an analysis of the data in the field, rather than dismiss it with one lazy citation-less paragraph ("The research base for the Obama administration’s claim that minority students receive harsher punishment than whites for 'the same or similar infractions' is laughably weak. None of the studies alleging disproportionate discipline actually observed students’ behavior or examined students’ full disciplinary histories").
I taught high school in inner city schools for over a decade, before leaving to teach at an overseas private school. In part, I did this to escape the exact situation described in this article.

However big the average citizen things the problem is, the truth is is even worse.
The black community used to strive to prove its humanity and worth to a white community that was largely indifferent and sometimes hostile to it's plight. Now that they have been fully accepted by society, the black community has become largely indifferent and someitmes hostile to the values established by the majority white culture. The lack of disipline and acceptance of lower standards for blacks only guarantees the majority of them will fail in life. Ironic, that our bending over backwards not to be racist has resulted in damage to the black community beyond even the wildest dreams of the Klan. The liberals have managed to replace real chains with invisible ones and stand back and watch the blacks destroy themselves rather than get their hands dirty doing it. To top it off, they get to be percieved as the "good guys" fighting for social justice above all. The black community will continue to tear itself apart and blame the white devils for its problems until it realizes it's REAL problem is the little white liberal devil on their shoulder that has been whispering into their collective ears for the past 50 years or so that is its real enemy.
I utterly agree with Benner's profound resolutions, but it usually gets worse, before appreciation of education can ever be implemented in this country. ARISTOTLE and PLATO would be rolling over in their graves right now, with this travesty puppetry of present education. But the government controls the masses with this sort of hegemony. Trade schools ought to be utterly indoctrinated and have more INS, And DYFUS, as well as Abortion for unwed mothers, for it's the bastards that quite often ruin it for the rest. We are all the victims if there's no sense of just discipline and it starts with the parents in this majority pill-popping drug infested society -- of Rated R' and X' Chaos We Live In. It's just another micro-trend of sub-humans looking for instant gratification and without caring a damn about it, nor displaying so much indifference to each other that only promotes more dire consequences that children enact from S.E.S. parents. Although, tomorrow is another day, but will we stand for calamity to be repeated? For the Innocence of education, I hope not!
Chapter 9 ("The Living Constitution")in Myron Magnet's book "The Dream and the Nightmare" offers great historical insight into this situation. He explains how originally Brown v. Board of Education set it up so that kids could transfer to any school without regard to their race, which I think is right in itself and where it should have ended.

But then some federal judge decided that wasn't good enough and that results should be forced through busing. Busing made parental involvement impractical and unlikely, removing an important element for maintaining student discipline.

Then the ACLU decided that due process applied to schools, not just courts, and more judges agreed. When that made discipline difficult and complicated, there it all went.

I realize with regard to racial discrimination there had been serious problems, but it's too bad busybodies had to screw around with simple, sensible procedures (letting kids transfer on their own and leaving due process to the courts). Some people are just full of themselves.
A new Malcolm X must arise within the black community. He must train a vast cadre of young black volunteers to visit parents on a regular and intensive basis, and train the parents to modify their behaviors with regards to their school children. The problem lies in the anti-social, dysfunctional behaviors of the parents. Until that is changed, articles like this will appear in responsible journals, decade after decade, ad infinitum.
For a time I taught at a college in England and although thankfully there were very little race related discipline issues in the place I was it was becoming clear the students knew the system was titled in their favour. One or two students said to me that no matter what they did or didn't do, we had to pass them as the college demanded the highest possible success rate. "In fact," said one young man, "you tutors could do the work for us. We don't have to do anything now we are here."

But one thing I learned was that there is not a single administrator in education who would willingly step into a class and take lessons, no matter what the demand. They are above the trivial matter of actually teaching, but not above telling the teachers what to do and how to do it. Passing instructions down to the ones at the 'chalk face' is a position they will not relinquish.
Rather than bemoan the dismal state of inner city schools, Heather MacDonald could have applied her considerable insight to America’s majority culture and analyzing our pathological obsession with solving every social problem. There is no feasible solution for improving inner city schools, nor for greatly increasing graduation rates within inner city schools nor for actively supporting ghetto dropouts in returning to complete their course work. More importantly, solving the inner city school meltdown is of no importance when measured against other problems facing our nation – it’s equivalent to a broken shoe lace amidst a devastating hurricane. Yet, time and again, Americans rush into this emotional hog wallow to spend some quality time with both their collective and individual guilt trips.

And we lovingly embrace those hackneyed phrases related to this problem such as: “Every child deserves a good education.” Possibly true, but how do you force every child to pursue this good education when offered?

And our teachers shouldn’t have to physically enforce classroom discipline in order to teach – more common wisdom endlessly repeated. It would be sublime if all teachers could work within the Elysian fields of academe where every student is polite, attentive and obedient. However, university students majoring in education realized what our schools were like before earning their teaching certificates so entering classrooms resembling war zones should have come as no surprise. And presumably these same education majors didn’t train to become police officers, correctional facility guards or parole officers so why do they stay within these hostile environments? Why not quit and get a real job?

The state of inner city schools is not a tragedy when measured against the all too real problems burdening our nation. As a civilized culture should, we’ve provided adequate physical plants, taxpayer funding for every conceivable theory of education, teachers with 5 to 6 years of formal training and a legal system grimly determined to enforce equality of opportunity. How much more can we do in providing the fertile ground leading to a good education? Let’s stop this self-flagellation and spend our mental and emotional energies on more worthy problems.
Insanity like this (and No Child Left Behind) is why my kids have always gone to private school though I am not wealthy. Yet I am still forced to pay property taxes to support the failing government schools. Public schooling is arguably the greatest failure of any undertaking by our government in this nation's history. Generations and generations of kids barely literate and knowing little to nothing about anything. I speak as a college professor who witnesses the appalling ignorance of our young people on a daily basis.
"in 2010, for the record, blacks’ SATs in Georgia were 279 points lower than whites’ on a scale of 2,400"

Actually, although the SAT adjusted score tops out at 2,400 points, the lowest possible score is 600, so that's really 279 points out of a range of 1,800 points. Also, the lowest scores require doing worse than one would by picking answers at random. Only 2% of test-takers score under 890; the real effective range for students is no more than 1,600.
Great story needs to be told, but why does it stop there? After it is read it will be just another story that infuriates people then fades away. This should not fade away for two or three more generations to try and figure out, it may be to late. There are root causes, and they should be talked about. Mike
Hi Heather,

I heard you on WGN this morning and was elated to hear someone else sharing these ideas. I have been arguing this point for the past 20 years with people.

The source of society IS the family. Also, when you look at the Ten Commandments as the guide to creating an managing a family. Take them away their religious roots and use the commandments as practical, no-nonsense guides to parenting, keeping a family cohesive and raising good children to take our places when we pass on.

That said, what I have seen happening in Chicago and other areas of the world, where supposed "black leaders", use race and the breakdown of black families to enrich their power and positions in life and then lie to people's face denying that they are doing it, is the most sickening lie on earth.

It perpetuates murder, agony, poverty, despair, depression and the darkest evil.

People like Obama, Jesse Jackson, Al Shapton, Arnie Duncan, Pelosi, Reid, Durbin, the local teacher's unions, the national and black organizations that support these policies should be thrown in the deepest and darkest pit available.

To not do everything we can to help lift the black, white and minority families....families a position of respect this digusting merry-go-round will just keeep on spinning.

Thanks, again, for a great interview and great insight.
As a long time educator(now retired) who has been an administrator in predominately black inner city school, in a predominately white suburban school and who taught in a school with three ethnic groups I would like to say that this article is absolutly accurate. It is always the tough kids that you discipline in school who come up to you at a ballgame after they have graduated with a big smile on their faces, shake your hand and talk with you. They know, as all these kids know, that what you were doing when you disciplined them was not personal and was intended to get them to change their behavior to enable them to be successful in life. The race hustlers who try to make excuses for these kids are the biggest enemy they have...and the know it. But, like kids everywhere they are going to take advantage of the free candy.
The feral black population that is already overrunning the inner cities, destroying the schools, and breeding at an uncontrolled rate, courtesy of welfare, WIC, Medicaid and food stamps,will eventually become the Democrat Party's SA, creating mass chaos and social unrest that will culminate in a call for a return to law and order.

What happened in Germany can happen here, too.
Obama intends to collapse the US in every way possible. He has already destroyed much of what has made the US great. The Imposter knows no shame and no limits to his destruction of this country.
An article that is insightful, honest, and interesting. It's not easy to see the connection between Zero-Tolerance policy and the diversity racket.

It won't be long before the race hustlers and MSM whine "it's racisss" and demand Ms. MacDonald's head.

Thank you for being so brave. I hope you're ready for the torrent of hate and lies you'll soon be receiving.
I did my year in an urban school, and the biggest barrier to good education was the youngsters' lack of socialization. Many of them just didn't need to be there. They would have had more fun in an apprenticeship or vocational training center. We need to eliminate Departments of Education at the federal and state levels. We need to eliminate unions from any job that is taxpayer supported. We need to drop the romance and face the truth that an 8th Grader who's hurling hard, solid objects at another student's head in the hallway is not going to magically transform into a successful college graduate.

In short, we need more reforms that we'll probably get in a single lifetime. And it's all been self-inflicted!
Do these suspension statistics take into account the reasons for the suspensions? If one white boy, or girl starts a fight in class, or the hall, compared to 3 black boys, or girls, then the suspension discrepancies are warranted.
Why are these limited to the classroom? Are there any sanctions for sports teams that are out of the correct percentage racially? Will the schools need to ensure that there are equal numbers if Asians as blacks and Hispanics on the football or basketball teams? Are there sanctions if one race has basketball fouls out of proportion??
The first thing that really starts to make me shake my head in wonder is why the rank and file teachers still allow their unions to guarantee this is their future. By blindly supporting the Democrat ticket they will always fall victim to the "unintended results" of the social engineering set. The civil rights movement is no longer a movement seeking justice for the people. It is a business or more corectly; an industry desperatly trying to continue its existence. Racism for most of america is in the rear view mirror. The only people seeing everyone wearing sheets are the hate mongers seeking to justify their existence.
Blacks 3.5 times likelier to be suspended? what a coincidence- they are 3.5 times likelier to come from fatherless homes. The hard truth is that a lot of black women get pregnant to cut to the front of the welfare line. If the government is looking for a scapegoat for the result of incentivizing single mothers it needs to look in the mirror. If they won't stop this policy then have single gender education where males are guided by male role models.
Canadian Educator August 10, 2012 at 12:48 PM
I've read the comments here and, as a teacher with several decades' experience, could have written almost all of them myself! This problem is HUGE and teachers hate what's happened to their authority and the (worst) kids' entitlements and behaviour.

We also HATE the double standards and rank hypocrisy of the posturing bureaucrats/politicians, who perpetuate this massive fraud. They sit in their cushy offices, pulling down huge salaries, while leaving teachers in the trenches with both feral miscreants and impossible expectations. In short, the regulations of the educational establishment, policed with gulag-like zeal, make it impossible for even the most dedicated and skilful teachers to do their job. This educational malpractice is a scandal of gargantuan proportions.
I've been waiting so long to se this article! It's great; courageous too. Do you think the NYT will pick it up?? Not a prayer. I'm just glad I don't have kids in school. Thanks Heather, once again. Keep up the good work.
It's good to see that some conservatives are finally beginning to notice the real cause of the decline of public education: the dismantling of any type of disciplinary system and allowing students to call the shots.

Who has done this to the schools? Not the teachers, who are constantly being blamed for all of education's ills; rather, it is all due to government regulations granting all kinds of "rights" to students while relieving them of any responsibilities or consequences for THEIR actions.

As a conservative urban (now laid off) high school teacher, I could tell you stories beyond belief, none of which are due to teachers. Delinquent students rarely get expelled or even suspended (which is only a vacation for them anyway) because principals are pressured to keep those numbers down. A student caught with a gun in his locker only received a 10 day suspension. Students who have assaulted teachers are simply moved to another building.

Teachers WANT to teach and want to do a good job and get great results; unfortunately, we are prevented from doing so by a maze of laws (IDEA and civil rights) that guarantee disorder in the class rooms and poison the environment for learning.

And speaking of IDEA laws, don't get me started on the inflated number of "disabled" students we see in the cities: fully 1/3 of our kids are under IEPs requiring special (expensive) services, and most of these students are severe behavior problems disrupting entire buildings. Also, they are protected by more laws that prevent most disciplinary action. Besides making most inner city schools uninhabitable, these "students" are a huge drain on the entitlement system, each one getting government checks in the range of $500-700.
Mac Donald’s intro reads like a rebut to the regular claim that conservatives are stuck in the past – relying on Mid-Century norms to drive current social policy.
Only one solution. Abolish the Department of Education.
One of the most depressing articles on the state of education I've read, and I'm in the field, a high school biology/science teacher. (Though in a private school, not public, so the pressures are less, though the action of social osmosis causes some of this to cross the public-private barrier.) Federal government involvement in education is proving to be a disaster. Oh, how I wish Reagan had succeeded in eliminating the Department of Education! At every level, in every way, even the best-intended actions, laws, and regulations are resulting in further rot and deterioration of our schools.
Ms. Mac Donald,

An excellent article that tells it like it is. I spent 27 years working in the Office for Civil Rights in education at the federal level (DHEW/ED) and carried out or supervised dozens of investigations into the potentially racially discriminatory practices of school systems in the late 1960s until the mid-1990s. I can say without reservation that racial discrimination is not the cause of disproportionate discipline rates between black and white students. DOJ's witch hunt on this matter (as well as many others) is shameful, and a waste of federal civil rights resources. Jim Littlejohn, California
This same principle applies to race riots when police and politicians refuse to recognize black racism. The problem will escalate due to the teens knowing they will not get arrested for their egregious harms. See Colin Flaherty's new book, White Girl Bleed A Lot; and Harry Stein's new book, No Matter What . . . They'll Say This Book Is Racist. Also Eric Holder's refusal to enforce civil rights laws in a race neutral manner adds to this notion of unaccountability. See, J. Christian Adams' new book, Injustice. The unsubstantiated claims of the Education Czar is the same pattern of diverting attention from the serious abuses of the Teachers' Unions. Like US Sen. "Dingy, Whorehouse" Harry Reid, they make outrageous claims which right minded school administrators spend their efforts disproving. What a waste of time by these government subversives who steal taxpayer funds and keep young people uneducated.
When my daugher was in elementary school I helped out 2 times a week in the classroom and witnessed this first hand. One day when a student (black girl) threatened another child to put his eyes out with scissors nothing was done. When I asked the teacher why not she said she had already disciplined her quota of minority students for that week. She could not send the child out of the classroom, to the principal or anything because the quota was up. If she did she herself would be discplined for being biased.

My child went to private school from middle school onward.
Great article. Very true and quite accurate. You simply cannot legislate equality.
Civil rights attorneys, teacher unions, federal education bureaucrats, the President – what do any of these individuals have to do with local schools? School boards are local, teachers are local and parents are local. Is it possible the problem might be local, not national? Inner city schools are mired in constant violence. Has anyone noticed that, not coincidentally, Chicago or Detroit are also mired in constant violence among the general populace? But journey into the surrounding suburbs and what do you witness? Marching band competitions, paper-mache volcanoes winning classroom science projects and endless book reports are everyday activities – while beatings, murders, cursing your teachers and producing bad graffiti are as scarce as Democrats at Tea Party rallies.

America is a land of diverse cultures, some are functional and some are dysfunctional. And the functional culture preaching to members of the dysfunctional culture won’t result in change – just resentment and hostility on both sides of the divide. In a nation of “separate but equal” cultures, the surefire blueprint for positive change doesn’t exist except in the imagination. You can’t change a sub-culture without changing the people and you can’t change the people without first changing their culture.

Ask yourself if smoking crack holds any sort of personal appeal or seriously contemplating stabbing your next door neighbor for “dissing” you or producing two or three babies from different fathers before the age of 25. If your cultural perspective rejects such accomplishments, is it conceivable your 9 to 5 white collar existence is similarly rejected by other Americans? The notion that every social problem has a solution is merely an article of faith held by Americans within one of our many sub-cultures and perhaps the time has come to stop funding the futile search for elusive and wholly imaginary fixes.
So we shouldn't punish people BECAUSE of their race now, even if they really deserve it? Why punish anyone at all? Why not just let the students run around like wild animals and do whatever they want? Why make them come to school at all? I'm sorry, but this is WAY over the edge.
It is nearly too late, but concerned partents of all races need to remove their children from the government's school systems. There is not going to be any positive change or improvement in the public schools as the "revenge element" in the state and federal governments continue their otherwise irrational assualt on common-sense school discipline. What other possible purpose could be contemplated for the government actions and rules set out in this article, apart from revenge based entirely upon race. Get your children out, while you still can and before some minority child kills them as an expression of his or her culture.
Just when you thought that Democrats could not do anything more to destroy the black community they come up with this. What is described in this article reveals not only desperation - after all it is Democratic policies that have led to the discipline problems - but also an utter contempt for the community itself.

I'll not go into how Democrats have destroyed the black community through destruction of the family via enforced government dependence. However, having destroyed the family, and any possible restraints against anti-social behavior, Democrats are now desperate to blame the results on something other than their own policies. So, even though anyone with half a brain understands that the destruction of the family caused high crime and lack of will to be educated, Democrats believe that as long as they can still point their bony fingers at racism as the cause they will somehow be free from criticism.

It is an insane notion - that somehow the disciplinary problems and high crime are as a result of racism. But what else would you expect the corrupt people at the Democratic Party to say - that their policies have caused the insane levels of crime and discipline problems?

And we know from the high crime statistics that Democrats will never, no matter how bad it gets, ever admit that they and the policies they have adopted are the problem. Conditions could be much worse and you will NEVER see this admission. Heck, when you realize how very badly blacks are doing in terms of crime and education - if this isn't enough then what is?

It's like the emperors new clothes - every one knows what the problem is, everyone is aware of what's going on, but everyone is also totally cowed into silence by Democratic media. Isn't anyone going to speak up - are we to endure this insanity until the Democrats have destroyed the Latino community as well?

As for bullying...that allows Democrats to put money into the pockets of "consultants" who are, of course, Democratic supporters. Another way to funnel tax money to party coffers.
The problems you describe here are solved by the tax deduction "Cash In The Hand" at the web site This deduction gives you a dollar off your taxes for every dollar you spend educating your child. If you enroll your child in private or parochial schools and spend $5,000 on education, then you would save $5,000 on your tax bill. This results in you not paying the government to educate your child. You and your private educator can determine when and how your child should be disciplined. The parent is back in charge of educating their child, and government takes a supporting role.
As a black man, I can state that most of
these problems come from black kids growing
up in homes without fathers present.
I am a huge fan of Heather MacDonald's unvarnished exposés. As she doubtless knows, Mr. Duncan's civil-rights initiatives have very little to do with education and a great deal to do with getting Obama re-elected.

Even before this latest DOE broadside, which will have the immediate effect of further diminishing order in the classroom, it should be noted that, for all practical purposes, there is no "education" being dispensed in inner-city schools. The entire enterprise is being conducted as a sinecure for useless teachers' unions, a deep-pockets target for vulpine trial lawyers, and a convenient warehouse for little savages between 8:30 and 2:00. This is kabuki theater defined, and the voters seem quite content with it.

Meantime, here's some practical advice for teachers and those who would be teachers:

1. You cannot conduct a class in the middle of chaos. If there's uncontrollable pandemonium (e.g., erasers whizzing by your ear) while you're trying to get across the concept of dangling modifiers or Pythagoras' Theorem, take immediate stock of your situation. Then quit and try to get a job as a barista.

2. If you know your stuff but are in no immediate danger, and the shop steward says to you, "Don't work past quitting time," then you may not find fulfillment in your chosen profession. Quit and go for that barista opening.

3. If you are assaulted by one or more students, you are in the wrong place. Baristas are seldom victims of a right cross.

4. If anyone with whom you work says, "Are we asking the right questions?", don't wait for the bell to ring. Baristas know who they are and why they're there.

5. If you don't really know anything and simply have a degree in "education" ( "I partied for four years") and, yes, are built like a linebacker...make friends with the shop steward. You have found your calling. But don't park your car in the student parking lot.

Teaching isn't for everybody. Many are called, but, thankfully, few are chosen.
As long as Obama is in office, nothing is going to change with our education system getting worse. In my opinion, the federal government should not be involved in education. There should not be a Federal Department of Education. And, I am not convinced that Romney will make a difference.
Great article. Our high school has 30% White, 30% Black, 20% Asian and 10% Hispanic students. When my son graduated in 2009 there was not one Black student in the top 15%. I'm amazed they still graduate the top 15% in the order that the student finished in the class. I'm sure this will stop soon because it really showcases the differences in the races. When I volunteer at the school I have heard kids telling me and administrators that they are telling them to behave because they are black. One principal asked to see a hall pass and the student said it was because he was black. There is a fight in the lunch room at least once a week and it is usually black girls. It is only going to get worse.
The unfortunate result of such policy is that it further encourages race and class segregation. In particular, it will push more tax-paying families with means out the city’s doors for the suburbs and exurbs, as well as steer quality teachers away from certain school districts. The silent truth is that a school is only as good as the kids who attend them and their combined respect for education and desire to learn (and thus behave and follow instruction). Teachers can only do so much. This, in effect, makes it official: White/Asian neighborhood schools have (or will have) higher behavior standards and are thus a better educational environment for your child.

The biggest victims of this “path to hell paved with good intentions” policy, sadly and ironically enough, will be the Black and Latino students with academic promise who want to learn, but can’t, because of the kid sitting next to them will not allow teaching to take place.
I teach in an urban school district. Our school is about 80% Hispanic, 15% Black, and 5% White. The white kids come from middle class parents trying to "make a go" of public education; the Hispanics and Blacks are from low-income families. ALL of the kids have potential and talent--every last one of them.

What's weird, though, is that student misbehavior seems to break down along racial lines instead of economic lines. Kids of all racial groups misbehave, but it is the TYPE of misbehavior that distinguishes them.

Whites and Hispanics tend to misbehave under the radar, while the Black kids tend to be loud and disruptive.

Unfortunately for the Black kids, the yelling out, the singing, the yelling to others in the hall, the taunting (Come at me, bro!) and the fighting are on open display for all to see. Any disruptive kid will get written up, but it seems that more Black students exhibit the disruptive behavior.

And here's another downside to allowing them to clown: the other kids are drawing stereotypes of Blacks. Once, a top Hispanic student said to another Hispanic student, "Why do Black people have to be so loud and annoying?"

It's sad to watch perfectly capable kids behave so self-destructively.
Most people who run schools are liberal. They must be 'racist'.
More boys are disciplined than girls are. SEXISM!

More young people are locked up than old people are. AGE-ISM!
Good job Heather! This is the same crowd that deals with illegal immigration by suing law enforcement agencies for "racial profiling."
It's not a school to prison pipeline . It is a womb to school to prison pipeline . Like the man said , " Give me the first five years and you can have the rest ." The research , real empirical long term study research , demonstrates that the quality and quntity of verbal interaction in the first few years of life determines , and that's determines with a capital D , the individual's cognitive abilities . Compare " Jamal stops you beatin ' on your sister or I'll whack you good this time " with " Look at a the mommy duck and her babies . Aren't they sweet " But aside from the racist cant , the effect on language and cognitive abilities of early verbal interaction is a scientific fact . Choose your weapons : compare maps of dendritic arborization or compare Wechsler's . After five years , it's pretty much done . That this research has been suppressed does wonders for liberal guilt , but leaves the children still stuck in the pipeline to prison . So it's not a race thing or a schools thing , it's a biology/psych thing . And facts are just real, real stubborn things .
In response to the commenter who asserts that only kids in private schools will be able to get a good education -- home school. charter school and church-sponsored schools are becoming hugely successful in my part of California. These schools are either free or nominal in cost. Home school families need to factor in the absence of a second income, but everyone I know is happy with the results,
Worthwhile reading though Heather MacDonald is merely stating what any reasonably intelligent person knows. Unfortunately, the mindset she describes is so embedded in our society that even a well-intended new administration in Washington is unlikely to change the situation substantially.
The last sentence in the article is generally true; however, as MacDonald described the reality of the what liberals have done to schools, things would be still be better for these students regardless of family and community if the schools did not reward improper behavior which the liberals have forced them to do.
Do you think that your kids can learn in public schools that are operated under these Obama Administration dictates?
I've read biographies of at least several more-or-less famous Britishers. Most recently Neville Shute ("On the Beach", among others) and David Niven. To a man, they describe the torment of going through the British "public school" system. Corporal punishment was the norm, not the exception. That school system produced Britain's "greatest generation", one that fought WW II against great odds.

If a teacher cannot control a classroom, very little teaching, very little learning will take place. The same is true of a family. There are times when you just have to "get their attention", or drive home the notion that there are somethings you may not do without serious consequence. Ideally, that's help to a minimum, but in either the home or the classroom, once things start to get out of hand, they will only continue.

Justice is supposed to be blind - that goes for the classroom as well.

Obviously, they try to keep suspensions to a minimum, because every student out of class for a day means a loss of Federal and State funds.
Seamus, please read become making such silly comments about white people and religious schools.
My family moved from Hong Kong 30 years ago to this wonderful country so my sister and I can have the great education and opportunities to succeed. It saddens me to see liberalism destroys everything that is good and decent in this country for the sake of "fairness" and "equality".

When it is all said and done, the only ones who can get a decent education will be those who are rich enough to send their kids to private schools.
There are no Catholic schools for white kids only. In most places, they're a refuge for black parents trying to avoid subjecting their children to the sort of poisonous school environment Ms MacDonald describes here.
In New Jersey we just reward the schools doing the worst by throwing more money at them. They are called the Abbot Districts and our Supreme Court in its stupidity thought this up and it is bankrupting the state while those who want to learn are robbed of a good education.
"...and make sure we siphon off as much money as possible to religiously affiliated schools for white kids only..."

Prove it.
We can hope to raise the morale of these teachers by attacking their unions, which often are their only defenders against charges of racism. And let's not forget, pay them as little as possible, decry their benefits asa burden to the taxpayers, and make sure we siphon off as much money as possible to religiously affiliated schools for white kids only, thereby increasing the proportion of minorities and trouble makers in the public schools. The genius of this plan is that when the public schools do in fact collapse, Ms. MacDonald and her ilk can stand back and say: "See, I told you so."

The teachers get no support in their efforts to stop the kind of thuggish behavior reported in this article, and then get abused in the right wing press for failing to achieve their testing goals. What a joke. But, hey. We do get to blame Obama for this failure.
Brilliant. I vividly recall from high school the "random drug searches" of AP classes where they'd round up as many whites and Asians as possible for having cell phones (classified as drug paraphernalia for some reason only a racist bureaucrat could understand) and suspending them with glee to boost their numbers. Meanwhile, guns were casually being brought to school and lunchroom fights started by students of a certain color...and nobody raised a finger.

Arne Duncan and his pals in the Obama admin are morally equivalent to the worst of the segregationist scumbags. Someone has got to take a stand against them and their race-baiting chicanery.