Persistent Racial Gaps Shown in Education Data

Joe Robertson, Kansas City Star, March 16, 2012

They knew when they opened a new portal to civil rights education data that they were opening a volatile box.

The U.S. Department of Education’s statistics on school experiences divided by race and ethnic groups expose communities anew to hard-to-explain disparities.

The Star examined much of the data for Kansas City area districts on both sides of the state line and found gaps as large as or larger than trends seen across the nation.

With few exceptions, black and Hispanic students in area schools are far less likely than white students to be enrolled in gifted programs or accelerated into early algebra classes.

Furthermore, black and Hispanic students are more likely to be held back a grade, and black students in particular are far more likely to be sent to in-school or out-of-school suspension.

“We are not alleging overt discrimination…,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said to reporters earlier this month, trying not to be accusatory while acknowledging that, “for far too many students … inequity remains the reality.”

The data portal, which collected information from more than 72,000 schools in 7,000 school districts covering about 85 percent of the nation’s students, needs to be used thoughtfully and carefully, said John Rury, a University of Kansas professor with the Kansas City Area Education Research Consortium.


In Kansas, in the area’s five largest districts, black and Hispanic students made up 28.4 percent of the total enrollment, but represented just 7.2 percent of the students in gifted programs and 10.3 percent of the students in early algebra.

However, they made up 64 percent of the students who were held back to repeat a grade, 50.5 percent of the students sent to in-school suspension and 63.4 percent of the students sent to out-of-school suspension.


Civil rights leaders who sampled some of the Star’s data appealed for unified efforts to improve the education experience of minority children.

On the Kansas side, numbers generated for the four largest Johnson County school districts clearly are troubling, said James Connelly, president of the Johnson County chapter of the NAACP.


“Some people are going to want to say that black students can’t learn as well as white students, but that’s not what the numbers say to me,” Connelly said.

“I don’t think (the under-representation) is intentional by the schools,” he said. “It comes out of the norms of the community and the values (held by) the students.”


“Schools should also give more attention to cultural gaps, said Gwen Grant, president of the Urban League of Greater Kansas City.

“There is a disconnect between teachers, who are majority white, who are not trained to work effectively with the cultural backgrounds of these students,” Grant said.


Some people put the onus on families and cultures that they suspect too often lack a zeal for pushing their children into a competitive academic environment, Rury said.

Others see persistent tracking by white institutions that, knowingly or unknowingly, expose low expectations for too many minority students.

A combination of all these things, Rury said, established “a historical pattern … tipped against poor and minority students.”


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  • The comments section on the original article reads like the comments section here.  Either a lot of sites like AR have linked to this article, or average people in the heartland are really starting to get it.

    • See my post KC has already thrown tons of money when they got a blank check from a “desegration” settlement.

    • JohnEngelman

      There is obviously a market for AR’s message. 

  • IstvanIN

    There are none so blind as those who will not see.

  • This story is dog bites man.  Man bites dog would be a state, county or school district where there isn’t an achievement gap in academic achievement or suspensions and discipline, and no cheating or statistical or operational legerdemain is responsible for that.

  • holyflower

    The theoretical basis for the American establishment’s understanding of black under-achievement these past sixty years was set forth in Swedish sociologist Gunnar Myrdals’s immensely influential book, An American Dilemma (1944), which went through 25 printings. The books’s essence is captured in this passage:

    “White prejudice and discrimination keep the Negro low in standards of living, health, education, manners, and morals. This, in turn, gives support to white prejudice. White prejudice and negro standards thus mutually ‘cause’ each other.” (Gunnar Myrdal, An American Dilemma, 1944)(Gunnar Myrdal, An American Dilemma, 1944)

    Myrdal’s fashionable theory as to the cause of black underachievement was influential with the judges on the nation’s supreme judicial body. From Wikipedia:

    “Myrdal ‘is best known in the United States for his study of race relations, which culminated in his book An American Dilemma: The Negro Problem and Modern Democracy. The study was influential in the 1954 landmark U.S. Supreme Court Decision Brown v. Board of Education.”  
    Alas for the Myrdal’s thesis and for the United States these past fifty years, correlation is not causation. The white prejudice/guilt narrative, endlessly repeated in various guises for six decades is a proven dead end.

    Expunge white prejudice, remove whites themselves, and “standards of living, health, education, manners and morals” of blacks will scarcely budge.

    • Bon, From the Land of Babble

      Excellent comment, holyflower.

      An American Dilemma is truly one of THE worst and most destructive books ever written!!  Myrdal’s An American Dilemma and John Dewey’s poisonous “secular humanist” philosophy were both used to set educational dogma which took over American education and led to its utter destruction.  We are paying the price for these idiotic, long disproved theories to this day.

      An American Dilemma was written in 1944 and is cited today to explain away the pesky achievement gap even though trillions of White American tax dollars have proved that the gap is not caused by black poverty or White discrimination but by low black IQ and aberrant black behavior.
      The educational system, including teachers’ colleges, the government and the media insist the achievement gap is due to White racism and discrimination and black poverty ( caused by Whites), no thanks to Myrdal’s stupid book.
      NO other explanation is allowed
      And, it’s a no-win situation.
       “for far too many students … inequity remains the reality.”
      “Inequity,”  will be quickly explained as meaning ” black poverty caused by White suppression.”  Count on it.

    • Europeans used to live in terror of the Vikings coming down to rape and pillage and murder.This latter day “Viking” comes to America to rape,pillage and murder not with clubs and spears but with grotesque lies and twisted,cancerous preachings for a death-oriented religion. “Its White prejudice that keeps the Negro down…’ ;was any more evil, and egregious fallacy ever pushed down the throats of a defenseless people than THAT feces??? I loathe the Scandanavians more and more,what a disgusting tribe of vicious hyenas!!

  • I thought Kansas city learned their lesson already.
    Kansas City spent as much as $11,700 per pupil–more money per pupil, on a cost of living adjusted basis, than any other of the 280 largest districts in the country. The money bought higher teachers’ salaries, 15 new schools, and such amenities as an Olympic-sized swimming pool with an underwater viewing room, television and animation studios, a robotics lab, a 25-acre wildlife sanctuary, a zoo, a model United Nations with simultaneous translation capability, and field trips to Mexico and Senegal. The student-teacher ratio was 12 or 13 to 1, the lowest of any major school district in the country.
    The results were dismal. Test scores did not rise; the black-white gap did not diminish; and there was less, not greater, integration

    • And it was such a flop that there are semi-serious proposals to dissolve the KCPS lock stock and barrel and force the neighboring school districts in Jackson County to divide the territory.  Deseg by any other means.

  • Amren missed a story about what blacks are doing instead of learning. 13yo named and pictured. charge teen in rape of 90-year-old woman
    March 16, 2012 3:30 PM
    ShareThis| Print Story | E-Mail Story
    LIMA — A boy who was 13 years old when he allegedly broke into the home of a 90-year-old woman and raped her last summer has been charged.
    Lima police announced the charges against Maurice McGill, who today is 14. He is charged with rape, aggravated burglary, aggravated robbery and abduction. The alleged victim is 91 years old today.
    The alleged crime happened Aug. 13, at 9:30 p.m. at a home in the 200 block of Haller Street.

    • vladdy

      Oh, God, I taught several years in Lima. Sigh. It was always ghetto, and I can’t say it’s a total shock, but…well, yes, it is. God, everything and everyplace is going down, isn’t it?

  • panjoomby

    we need ads like: “You don’t have to have a low IQ to say ‘Yo, Jaquarius, I’ma gonna punch you in the face’ …but it helps.”

  • Again, with all the white privilege and racism, how is it that Asians and Indians kick butt in American schools?  It seems like every year the spelling bee champ is Indian.   IQ is destiny.

    • MikeofAges

      A good point. When I lived in Oakland (c. 1990) the children of poverty-stricken Asian immigrants succeeded in the public schools and went on to the universities. Maybe they were helped too by being out of the loop of America’s racial entanglements. Being conformist didn’t hurt either. But the point is, bad schools didn’t stop them. If the schools were really bad at all. Or just full of bad-performing students until they arrived.

    • PlayingRootsBackwards1

      Dem Asian and Indian stewdents likes that White boy stuff like mathamamatics and stuff. Young bruthas gots better stuff to do. Stuff that don’t make the inside of your head hurt and feel itchy. Dat whut it is.

    • Or a homeschooled white child usually wins the spelling bee.

      • But he be deprived of dat cultural diversity an such! (he doesnt know what its like to get his head bounced off a sidewalk!)

  • Oil Can Harry

    “The US Dept. Of Education’s statistics on school experiences divided by race and ethnic groups expose communities anew to hard-to-explain disparities.”

    About as hard to explain as the recipe for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

  • JohnEngelman

    The U.S. Department of Education’s statistics on school experiences divided by race and ethnic groups expose communities anew to hard-to-explain disparities. 

    – Joe Robertson, Kansas City Star, March 16, 2012     

    They are easy to explain. They are becoming increasingly difficult to deny.

  • JohnEngelman

    The evidence for “The Bell Curve” accumulates. 

  • JohnEngelman

    With few exceptions, black and Hispanic students in area schools are far less likely than white students to be enrolled in gifted programs or accelerated into early algebra classes.
    Furthermore, black and Hispanic students are more likely to be held back a grade, and black students in particular are far more likely to be sent to in-school or out-of-school suspension.

    – Joe Robertson, Kansas City Star, March 16, 2012 

    When facts like these are mentioned, whites are expected to feel guilty.

  • JackKrak

    “Persistent Racial Gaps Shown in Education Data”

    In other news, water still freezes at 32 degrees, puppies are still cute and the sun is expected to rise in the east tomorrow. Stay tuned for updates.

  • ACE2X

    Things are ‘hard to explain’ when the facts don’t support the biases of the viewer.
    The first reaction of the leftist is to question the facts! They must never concede failed assumptions.

  • Shawn_thefemale

    I’m not sure why the monumental, public struggle to give passing grades to the ‘disadvantaged’.
    They are given job preference (if they even desire a job), regardless of grades. They essentially get a free pass anyway, so why bother?

  • All throughout the 70s, 80s and 90s a succession of liberal, activist judges ruled that Kansas City was “racist” against blacks. Black school received literally billions of dollars in money stolen from Whites to the point their schools had planetariums, fencing teams, field trips to places like Nicaragua and Senegal and Olympic size and quality swimming pools.

    Guess what? Not only did black performance not increase to the level of White performance, it didn’t increase at all. As a matter of fact, black performance REGRESSED!

    Black remained black because you can’t fix black. Doesn’t matter if you have forced busing, fencing teams and field trips to Senegal. You can’t fix black.

    • chuck_2011

      many 1 room schoolhouses educated thousands of rural white people who went on the make something of themselves yet the billions poured into educating blacks did not succeed. Its not the trappings of ultra facilities or the best equipment that will make the student learn…this is learned from one’s family, sadly lacking in the ghettos. The gap will never be erased because it is measurable and therefore real. To acknowledge the g ap is to recognize also differences in cognitive abilities…and blacks are at the bottom of the scale. Even hispanics whose first language is not english do better…are blacks more stupid….the facts are there.

  • Insoc

    Or explain how the Irish did so well here.  The potato famine and immediate conscription into the Civil War on arrival in the U.S. were picnics compared to slavery.

    • Speaking of Irish and Jews:Mabe the Jews did well because they saved some of the money they made when they agreed with Cromwell to buy Irish slaves and send them to work in the New World?

      • MikeofAges

         Bullsh*t. Jewish kids in New York in earlier eras grew up in tenements and tiny apartment and won endless Nobel Prizes. Many more, I am sure did work of that caliber and just never got that publicly renowned award. Several of the public high schools in New York City are in top ten of prep schools in the world in producing Nobel Prize winners. Little Brooklyn College, a public colege, has produced more Nobel Prize winners than any undergraduate college in the world. Kids in America in our era just don’t have the drive to accomplish these kind of things. Not in any field of endeavor, actually.

    •  Or explain how the Polish people persevered despite their nation being dismembered for more than a century, then being devastated in World War II, then spending more than 40 years with the Communist boot at their throats. But once that boot was removed, Poland quickly recovered and prospered. Meanwhile, nearly 150 years after emancipation American blacks fall further and further behind, despite trillions in handouts and the dumbing-down of the entire society and culture in a futile attempt to accommodate them.

  • Asians succeed because they work hard. Their parents are interested in their children’s education and do not mind spending money for SAT/ACT prep classes to make sure that their child improves their test scores to get into the best colleges. Blacks on the other hand, do not value education and kids that excel in school are made fun of and their grades start to slip so that they can become part of the gang. They come from single parent homes, where the mother is either busy working or doing her own thing.

    • They dont mind paying for SAT/ACt classess to GAME THE SYSTEN  and get admittance in numbers beyond their abilities. Another Asia-phile crawls in…

    • IstvanIN

      Not entirely true. Remember, Indians get all sorts of SBA loans that are unavailable to white male citizens to make up for the fact that for 200 years we did not allow there people to mass emigrate to the US and enrich us. Remember that they get jobs that are denied whites because they will allegedly work for less (although why any white male out of work for more than 6 months would turn down a job is beyond me). Their parents collect SSI and Food Stamps (SNAP) having never worked a day in the US which supplements the family income. They scam left and right. Please drop the noble asiatic routine.

  •  Eric, you’re right not to want to hand that Web site a bunch of personal info. Fortunately there’s an alternative. You can sign up with an e-mail alias and invent the other data. It’s almost certain the only thing they’ll verify is the e-mail address. I did something similar several years ago when getting a grocery store discount card — I didn’t want them linking my purchases to me, so I left the e-mail line blank and gave them a phony name, address & phone number. It worked since they didn’t ask for ID — if they had, I would have refused the offer.

    I’ve noticed several lamestream media Web sites now refuse to let anyone post comments except through Facebook, which doesn’t allow pseudonyms. The purpose, of course, is to intimidate and/or shut off commentary from the politically incorrect.

  • The_Bobster

    This is what De Niro comes home to every night:

  • vladdy

    Teachers aren’t “culturally trained,” but when workshops are held to supposedly do this, what they teach is for teachers NOT to have high expectations (when not having high expectations is ANOTHER teacher problem) such as expecting them to read about how the government works rlather than making a poster about basketball (which is touted as a “culturally relevant” way to treat minority kids.) Arrrrgghh!

  • Bon, From the Land of Babble

    In all the years I have been in the belly of The Beast, the American educational system and through all the torturous, onerous professional developments touting every “new theory” and “new program” that Once and For All will close the educational gap. Not once NOT ONCE has IQ EVER EVER EVER been brought up as THE cause of the racial achievement gap!!  

    The prevailing dogma in American education is: 1. IQ is meaningless. 2.  All children have equal potential to excel equally.Better to waste another trillion or so White tax dollars trying to “disprove” that IQ doesn’t matter than to admit (despite MOUNTAINS of disprovable,  hard evidence) that IQ REALLY DOES MATTER!!

    To even broach this topic in a meeting or hint at it brings a charge of HERESY! and RACISM!  Career-ending charges.

    IQ is like the elephant in the room — and is only talked about by teachers far off-campus, among trusted family or friends, behind closed doors and in rooms that have been checked for bugs.

    That’s my point.  That’s how bad it’s gotten.

    Ask James Watson what happens and how his career was destroyed when he aired differences in racial IQ. Ditto Larry Summers formerly of Harvard when gender IQ differences are mentioned. Rushton has been physically assaulted for his research.  

    Is it worth it??


  • MikeofAges

     The fact that the gap is not a more manageable number does have root causes. But that still leaves a lot of people on the far left end of the curve. How can we address the one without being prepared also for the other?

  • How long until the gap is accepted? Never, not until the liberal “anti-racist” movement collapses. We all know what their preferred solution is: the amalgamation of white and black into one race, resulting in the total collapse of the measurable poles.