State policymakers’ attention to teacher quality–an issue education research shows is essential to improving schooling outcomes for racial minority students–is highly responsive to low graduation rates among white students, but not to low graduation rates among black students, according to a Baylor University study.

The findings are evidence that “the persisting achievement gap between white and black students has distinctively political foundations,” the researchers wrote.

The article, entitled “The Politic Foundations of the Black-White Education Achievement Gap,” is published in the journal American Politics Research. It is co-authored by Patrick Flavin, Ph.D., an assistant professor of political science in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences, and Michael Hartney, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Notre Dame.

The findings come nearly 60 years after Brown vs. the Board of Education, the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case aimed at promoting educational equality by declaring unconstitutional state laws that established separate public schools for black and white students.

But the researchers’ findings show that inequality persists when it comes to education reform. “Instead of promoting equality of opportunity, America’s system of K-12 education — which relies heavily on state and local control — may worsen political inequalities,” the researchers wrote.

Surprisingly, even in states in which policymakers were more racially balanced, legislators were less responsive about closing the education gap, Flavin said.

“You might expect that in states that have more black students, government would be more attentive, but we didn’t find that,” Flavin said. “Whether analyzed at the policymaking level or the level of individual citizens’ political attitudes, white students receive far more attention and subsequent response compared to African-American students.”

He suggested a reason why black policymakers might be less responsive about working toward teacher quality than might be expected.

For the research, racial disparities in student outcomes were measured using National Assessment of Education Progress scores as well as high school graduation rates. While there was a period of dramatic improvement after the Brown v. Board decision up until early 1990s, the gap between the two racial groups has stagnated or even slightly increased since the early 1990s, according to the study.

To analyze state policymaking, the researchers measured 12 state-level reform policies tracked by the National Council on Teacher Quality. Those policies include such actions as paying teachers more for teaching in high-poverty schools (so-called “combat pay”) and tying teacher pay to student achievement.

To analyze citizens’ opinions on education, Flavin and Hartney used a variety of nationally representative public opinion polls and found that white citizens “only seem to be alarmed when white students’ performance drops,” Flavin said.

Whites are less likely to think an education gap exists or to see it as a priority compared to blacks. Whites also are less likely to think that the government has a responsibility to close a gap, the researchers found.

“It’s when white students are doing poorly that you start seeing state legislators pass more controversial bills like linking teacher pay and evaluations to student test scores,” Flavin said.

The study concludes by noting that the most recent and widespread efforts to address educational inequality have come not from state policymakers but rather from federal ones.

Those included the 2002 No Child Left Behind Act, which required states to document and report student test score data by racial and ethnic subgroups; and more recently, the “Race to the Top,” a competitive grant program that makes willingness to decrease achievement gaps, particularly to increase minority students’ access to highly effective teachers, a key factor for states to be awarded federal money.

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  • He suggested a reason why black policymakers might be less responsive about working toward teacher quality than might be expected.

    Because black teachers and their unions, who are key components in the money and ground game for the electoral success of black politicians, often get the blame for the failure of their black students.

    OT

    Where to follow the day to day blow by blow on the St. Louis deseg issue:

    http://countenance.wordpress.com/category/desegregation-in-schools/

    • Creepy as a cracker!

      I have met a few black teachers that spoke English about as well as Rachel Jeantel!

      • MBlanc46

        I’ve known some of them, too.

  • JohnEngelman

    Most quality teachers transfer to a white and Asian public school as soon as they pay their dues. Most of the less skilled teachers give up and quit after a few years.

    • Oil Can Harry

      And when white teachers, even the brilliant ones, fail to turn black and Latino lunkheads into geniuses they get the blame.

      All while “community activists of color” demand the white teachers be replaced by black and brown “role model” teachers.

      • Pamela Kennedy

        Black and Latino “clowns” who don’t want to learn, don’t want to learn from ANYBODY and least of all “one of their own.” That makes it even worse. The behavior and the results REALLY go into the toilet then.

    • bigone4u

      I had an Hispanic/Jewish girlfriend education major some years ago. She loved the idea of teaching, but the Hispanic students she ended up teaching were uncontrollable and basically not capable of learning much. She quit and never held another job in education.

      • The__Bobster

        Was her name Juanita Epstein?

        • bigone4u

          No, that’s a cute name, but once when I took her to Alabama, I was amused when an older white male I did not know, who was clueless since she looked like a pretty young white girl with a very nice figure, babbled on about Jews and Mexicans. She ignored him, but probably thought that Alabamans are all bigots. Most of those who met her thought she was the purtiest little thang they had ever set eyes on, and they knew her ethnic background. I found it interesting that at the time Alabamans were pro-Mexican, constantly spouting the “They do the jobs Americans (translation: blacks) won’t do” nonsense. Hopefully, they’ve woken up to threat of massive immigration.

      • Nick Gherz

        Hispanic-Jewish.
        George Zimmerman’s hot cousin?

      • JohnEngelman

        We all know how her teaching experience could have been quite a bit words.

      • Pamela Kennedy

        Well, hell yeah. Being schlepped into the barrio or the ghetto will do that to a newbie teacher.

    • The__Bobster

      They travel all the way to Asia to get away from the ghetto kids? That’s quite a hike.

      • Teaching in Asia isn’t very hard to arrange if one is a native English speaker with a 4-year degree. I jumped on my recent offer to teach in China because it gets me into genuine professional work again, even though my only prior paid university teaching experience was laboratory chemistry.

  • Oil Can Harry

    These liberal airheads actually believe the achievement gap is caused by discrimination, not by genetics, and can be solved by throwing more $ at the problem.

    Could they be any more clueless?

    • The__Bobster

      They’re not clueless at all. They just want the $.

    • JohnEngelman

      No amount of contrary evidence convinces them of the truth.

  • ncpride

    Did anyone expect anything other than the usual ‘Blame Whitey’? Yeah, me either. You see, we don’t fret enough when blacks continuously fail, and we dare care more about our own children and their education. How evil are we? Sheesh…They keep coming up with the most creative ways to blame us, but perhaps they’re getting desperate after 50 years of excuses..

  • So CAL Snowman

    “To analyze citizens’ opinions on education, Flavin and Hartney used a
    variety of nationally representative public opinion polls and found that
    white citizens “only seem to be alarmed when white students’
    performance drops,” Flavin said.”

    Here we go again, White people just don’t care about black people, that’s the problem. Remind me again WHY do White people have to constantly “care” about the blacks? What is the big deal here, White people are just looking out for our own kind, why is that wrong? Does the black community ever sound the alarm when White students’ performance drops?

    I LOVE how they complain about the lack of quality teachers for the blacks. Well newsflash liberals, quality educators do not want to be subjected to the chaos and anarchy created by majority black schools. Quality teachers do not want to put themselves in harms way or be constantly insulted and berated by black children that have no interest in
    their education.

    It’s pretty obvious what the intention of this “study” is. The states just do not do enough to help black children succeed because of institutional racism. Ergo, the only solution is to have every single facet of K-12 education dictated by the all powerful Federal government.

    • itdoesnotmatter

      My Berkeley neighbor taught junior high chemistry in a black, mestizo, Hmong East Bay suburban community. Unprovoked, a black buck student and his mates threw her down a flight of stairs; the fall broke one of her legs.
      So haunted by the experience, she and husband sold their home, returned to Upper Peninsula Michigan roots.
      Before they left, she was standing next to me at our neighborhood meat market as we waited our turn. This disenchanted woman started to talk to me, and out of the blue, burst into tears. She said, “As a teacher, I cannot fathom why this happened to me.” One would hope her eyes are now opened and able to “see.”

      • MawellAxel

        some stupid liberals never learn

        • itdoesnotmatter

          The experience was certainly shattering for her liberal mind.

          I can only hope it served as an eye-opener, as well.

    • ncpride

      That’s what I’m thinking…… It seems blacks can’t even take a leak by themselves without Whites holding their hand. That’s how absurd their ‘excuses’ have become for black failure. Whites don’t care enough, pay enough, White teachers are ‘biased’, White privilege, White political leaders, blacks need to sit beside White children in schools, blah, blah, blah…For a race of people who are ‘equal’ to us, they sure are needy and helpless, aren’t they?

      • Pamela Kennedy

        The first PhD in Mathematics given by Yale was given to a black man. Yes in the 1800’s Yale only accepted MEN.

  • Nighthawk

    Segregated schools are looking pretty good right about now.

  • bigone4u

    Blacks and other “disadvantaged youth” would learn more if discipline could be maintained in the schools. A young idealistic white female teacher cannot be expected to maintain discipline in a class of 30 black males on the verge of puberty. These white women are not bad teachers, just persons tasked with doing an impossible job. It’s not like the black youths are chomping at the bit to learn–they’d rather be sexting, texting, and tweeting their next mobbing of a mall.

    • IstvanIN

      Hmmm….if they were civilized (the blacks) they could be taught by young white lady teachers, or if they feared the consequences, or if we were allowed to impose consequences, and, of course, if their parent cared. We let the savages run society these days.

  • APaige

    The only place where quality teachers help blacks/browns become good students is found in the movies.

    • bigone4u

      To Sir with Love comes to mind. And the teacher was that “magic Negro,” Sidney Poitier. Some of the sitcoms in the 80s and 90s had good black students too, but I never watched that nonsense. Saved by the Bell, maybe?

      • Nick Gherz

        “A Different World” was a good one, if you liked white students that were borderline retarded and continuously needed “rescue” by jive-turkey maff majors.

      • MikeofAges

        To Sir With Love was a true story. And the lower strata white kids Edward Braithwaite, a Guyanese black with an engineering degree, had to deal with were far worse the kids in the 1967 movie adaptation. He dealt with them by strong, consistent discipline and a strict code of behavior which included using correct language and maintaining an acceptable personal appearance. These kid did have a better outcome in life than many others in similar circumstance. But I’d better keep quiet, or someone will waste millions on a longitudinal study to prove the obvious. Or maybe disprove.

  • MikeofAges

    A place to start. Get rid of the current division of into the eight years of elementary and four years of secondary. Move to a eight-three-three system, or hybridize the present system to issue a secondary credential after three years. This is how a lot of the rest of the world does it, not just Europe, but also Canada. In this system, after a three year secondary program, students, if they stay in school, go into a three-year program which might be preparation for the university or might be a terminal program of training for a specific career.

    Wouldn’t it be a little easier if a three year diploma was enough to get job? The way this system could be hybridized with the present system would be to allow students to take a fourth year of high school for the purpose of athletic participation or additional preparation for four-year college. Other students could leave the secondary system and go to a community college for a pre-college program (i.e. 12th year), or go online-external for the same. Then they could go to four year college or community college.

    Ultimately, students would be at the same grade level. Nobody in education, teaching or administration, would sign on to this idea though, It would introduce some uncertainty into their career paths. Especially, allowing students to leave early without penalty would be unacceptable to them.

    Another advantage of this system is that it would allow very advanced high school students to go to a four year college earlier, without going through the turgid process of early admission.

  • Spartacus

    And of course, Amren deleted my post. And they’ll probably delete this one too…

    • WR_the_realist

      And of course, you were probably blaming everything on The Jews again.

      • Spartacus

        Not a word about jews…

  • sbuffalonative

    So what’s the solution? Hire qualified teachers or hire black teachers?

    • Pamela Kennedy

      What an asshole assumption that anyone black must not be qualified!!

  • Enar_Larsson

    If you tie teacher salary to student performance you will never get another “high quality” teacher in a black school. By the way, for the STL people this will make sense: St. Louis city spends more money per student than Kirkwood, Webster Groves, Ladue, etc.

    • According to late 1990s data, SLPS had the third highest per student per year spending in the metro area, only behind Clayton and Ladue. It’s less now but still significantly above the metro area average.

  • The__Bobster

    The findings come nearly 60 years after Brown vs. the Board of Education, the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case aimed at promoting educational equality by declaring unconstitutional state laws that established separate public schools for black and white students.
    _________

    The only way the spoonies are going to achieve educational equality is by dragging our children down to their level.

  • Luca

    Perhaps researchers can consult with Rachel Jeantel to find out how the educational system failed her. After all, those racist teachers never even taught her to read cursive. How in the world can you expect her to get her PhD and get a good job if she can’t read cursive?

    Personally, I don’t think the educational system failed her, I think evolution failed her.

  • Northerner

    We should take a lesson from the Far East. Over there, students are blamed before teachers (i.e., low grades are attributed to poor student preparation, and not to poor teaching). Here, we blame teachers before students. The former is preferable. You can take the best teacher in the world, but they’ll still be ineffective in helping students who don’t want to learn (e.g., most black students). On the other hand, if you take good, disciplined students (e.g., many White and Asian students) they can still meet expectations despite average or even below average teaching because they’re motivated and self-directed.

    Simply put, changing teacher quality won’t fix anything, because it doesn’t strike the heart of the real issue.

  • IKantunderstand

    O.K. I confess. I did not read this article. It doesn’t matter. The bottom line is : Blacks are stupid.

  • IKantunderstand

    Here is my assessment of this study:Whites are smarter than Blacks. Their assessment:: More money. Newest scientific survey?Negative correlation of money spent and the educational attainments of Blacks. Is anybody else concerned that we are wasting tax dollars on stupid Blacks? We are wasting tax dollars on incompetent Blacks in every facet of the federal government. We Whites are being discriminated against in every way our so called government can do, we are being discriminated against for no other reason than we are White. You think Germans were bad? Most of us have German DNA in our blood. Oh, this is not over, not by a long shot. Fight back, my people. “White Power”.

    • sbuffalonative

      As I say often, it’s just one theory to replace yet another failed theory. Rinse and repeat.

  • MikeofAges

    One solution is to let people go to work at the age of 14, with an eight grade diploma. Much is made of the idea, for example, that childhood ended for slave children in the antebellum South at the age of 12. But in earlier eras children often were put into apprenticeships or otherwise sent to work at the age of 12. Childhood ended before the mid-teens for almost all people back then. If the alternative is to have kids running the streets, better to have them work under close supervision and give them some instruction and training along the way than have them belong to an armed street gang. Given the choices, 14 is not too young.

    Frankly, I’m not sure what to do with the hordes of low IQ people. Not really. A few years ago, I started to realize that society had developed to the point that a person with an IQ of less than 100 could not really live in it. What the people I talked to about this idea thought I meant was that someone with an IQ of less than 100 could not get a good enough job to make enough money to live on. That might be true in and of itself, but that is not what I meant.

    What I was thinking of was the idea that the daily surroundings we now live in had become complicated to the extent that an IQ above 100 was required to understand and function in them. That was irrespective of the person’s occupation or income level, and many people with above average or very high IQs do not have a high incomes. Some have low or sporadic incomes. Some are homeless.

    • bigone4u

      Your theory resonates with me, although I would put the IQ number a little lower. Even most blacks are apparently capable of working a cell phone.

    • MBlanc46

      Many blacks are incapable of supporting themselves in modern, urban, technological society. The solution so far has been to support them with AFDC, Section 8, Medicaid, food stamps, and dozens or hundreds of alphabet-soup programs. It has cost us a fortune and been a disaster. We need to put them to work, see that they work, and pay them a basic living wage. Even if it’s digging holes and filling them back in, it would be better then having them roaming the streets and shooting at each other (not to mention attacking us).

      • MikeofAges

        Go back to the South. White southerners do not want to go back to legal segregation, Jim Crow and no political rights. The southeast quadrant is their North American homeland, not the land north of the southern border of Pennsylvania and the Ohio River. Good fences make good neighbors.

      • MawellAxel

        once again, you are never going to get them to work. Even if you cut off all welfare. Those that you do get to work will not do anything that is remotely worthy of a “basic living wage”. Look we don’t OWE them a job, we don’t OWE them a “living wage”. The SOLUTION, is that you once again have areas that are the “black” areas, and in those areas they fend for themselves. The ONLY time in this history when there was anything close to full employment for blacks was BEFORE the minimum wage, when employers were able to pay them what they were worth. They work was slower and of less quality. They knew this and accepted the pay, in their own parts of town, they were not paying the same rents and property costs. Segregation was a success, desegregation has been a disaster and if it was not for welfare then blacks would not have survived desegregation.

        • MBlanc46

          Blacks worked in this country for 350 years. It’s only in the last 50 years that welfare has become a way of life for them. It won’t be easy, but it can be done and it has to be done if we’re not to sink completely into a morass of black criminality and violence.

    • MawellAxel

      dude, you are not going to get a negro to work at any age, what is wrong with you?

    • The problem with letting kids quit school and go to work at 14 is that there are increasingly fewer things they can do in the workforce with such limited skills. They’d end up competing with illegal aliens, who would always be willing to work for less. Shunting them off into trade schools would be far better. A two-year degree in welding, for instance would get a kid a breadth and depth of knowledge in the field that no employer would get out of a random Mexican.

      • MikeofAges

        Maybe you have to redesign tasks to fit the people you have. Maybe more than that needs to be redesigned. I have my doubts the “economy” will ever create enough jobs to have true full employments. The only time we ever had full civilian employment is American was when we were fighting a world on three fronts, were supplying three major allies and had taken at least 10 million white men between 18 and 40 out of the workforce.

        What I envision is combining paid work with training and instruction in high school subjects, focusing on applied language and basic technology. Many, though, would not be able to absorb that.

        Another problems is that blacks seem to prefer to work for institutional employers, entities that can provide a secure job over a long period of time. So do whites to a great extent, but whites in the aggregate have much wider spectrum of skills and aptitudes. Oops, I said the bad word. Aptitude.

  • IKantunderstand

    Once again, a study that accomplishes nothing. Meaning, it just supports what we Whites already knew. Despite the fact that race is a “social construct”, they spend millions of dollars to alleviate the differences between Whites and Blacks. In other words, they are attempting to decrease the difference between one social construct and another. Why not just banish all talk about socially constructed races? Why don’t you banish “race”. Oh, wait, I’m probably getting head of the curve. You know that is where this is headed: No more Whites, no more national loyalties, no more Christianity, and since there is no way in hell that Islam will achieve their world wide dominion, they are being used as patsys , yeah, let’s spend our time going after these fools. Meanwhile, the people who seek our subjugation, are operating with no boundaries. Understand, they are using Islam, and the threat of terrorism, to validate their spying on Americans. This government HATES us. Any excuse will do. Write “White Power”, everywhere. Remember, the nascent U.S. fought a guerrilla war against the English. They were our kin. Imagine how much easier it will be to fight against people to whom we have absolutely NO ties

  • Jesse_from_Sweden

    But the researchers’ findings show that inequality persists when it comes to education reform. “Instead of promoting equality of opportunity, America’s system of K-12 education — which relies heavily on state and local control — may worsen political inequalities,” the researchers wrote.

    Bullshit.

    What they are complaining of is not equality of opportunity, but equality of outcome.

    They want the results to be same, despite that the raw materials aren’t.

    For the research, racial disparities in student outcomes were measured
    using National Assessment of Education Progress scores as well as high
    school graduation rates. While there was a period of dramatic improvement after the Brown v. Board decision up until early 1990s, the gap between the two racial groups has stagnated or even slightly increased since the early 1990s, according to the study.

    So was that “dramatic improvement” an increase in black students performance?
    Or an “improvement” of the gap because white students performance dropped?

    Again, it seems that the best way to “close the gap” is simply to dumb down white students, since that is much easier to do, than to make black students smarter.

  • Spartacus

    Blacks are dumb. That’s the truth, and nothing you’ll ever do short of genetic engineering will change that fact.

  • Yale2001

    The only way we are going to get this gap to narrow is when we cheat the scores. So go ahead and let them do it so they will quit spending all our tax dollars on this wasted effort. Oh’ wait, they have been caught doing this. Never mind.

  • Pamela Kennedy

    Oh is this part of why because people think I’m “black” instead of Native American, they automatically assume by looking at me that I couldn’t possibly have gone to Yale, Cornell or Johns Hopkins; that I couldn’t have been raised in the suburbs and gone to a college prep school which was the top scoring school in the state at the time; that I grew up in California and not somewhere in the South; that I look too stupid to have a Math teaching license and at best, must be there to teach English or Social Studies. Wow what a bunch of immediately occurring, bat-ass moronic racist assumptions. And these are usually within nanoseconds of laying eyes on me.

  • Pamela Kennedy

    Teaching in Asia IS only for White American or Canadian teachers. Those schools specifically only want Caucasian or Caucasian-looking teachers there – that’s one reason why they make you submit a picture of yourself on your CV. So if you’ve got too-dark skin don’t waste your and their time getting your hopes up.