If The Last Post (About Emerson College Promoting Anti-White Racism) Bothered You, Samuel L. Jackson Has A Suggestion Before You Read This One…[UPDATED!]

In Illinois, Oak Park and River Forest High School administrators will now require teachers to adjust their classroom grading scales to account for the skin color or ethnicity of its students. Let me repeat that…

Oak Park and River Forest High School administrators will now require teachers to adjust their classroom grading scales to account for the skin color or ethnicity of its students.

This is called “Transformative Education Professional Development & Grading.” It’s transformative, all right. It is a great way to transform black students into societal cripples who cannot master what many behavioral scientists believe are the most crucial skills for life success, because they are given an institutional pass.

This ridiculous and divisive concept is, of course, yet another effort to eliminate persistent discrepancies between racial groups by pretending that they are caused by racism, and lowering standards so everyone has an equally low bar to clear.  OPRF will order its teachers to exclude from their grading assessments variables it says disproportionately hurt the grades of black students, like for missing class, misbehaving in school or failing to turn in  assignments. This will, you know—don’t they know?—set up black students to skip work, misbehave in other settings, and fail to complete their assigned jobs and tasks.

“Traditional grading practices perpetuate inequities and intensify the opportunity gap,” reads a slide in the PowerPoint deck outlining its rationale and goals. This is exactly backwards. Longer ago than I care to think about, I oversaw a study by sociologist Amitai Etzioni, then University Professor at George Washington University. Etzioni’s research indicated that

”The assumption is that kids are machines and that all you have to do to get more output is to increase the input of books, teachers and time. They are neglecting the development of the children as human beings.”

He believed that it was crucial to train students to develop self-discipline, integrity, responsibility, and respect. I oversaw the publication of his paper, and was and am convinced that his thesis was both logical and supported by the data. But OPRF leaders want to do the exact opposite of what Etzioni recommended by attaching no penalties or consequences to students’ failure to develop those skills. White students are better at them, after all, so it is racist to accord them any value at all.

According to the Illinois State Board of Education, 38 %t of OPRF sophomore students taking the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) failed, with a 77% failure for black students, 49% for Hispanics, 27%or Asians and 25% for whites.

How will allowing black students to skip class and homework assignments remedy the disparity while they get higher grades than they deserve? I have no clue. “Equity based” grading practices seek to deceptively raise the grade point averages of black students and lower scores of higher-achieving Asian, white and Hispanic students because that’s how to achieve the  mission of “Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice.”

“By training teachers to remove the non-academic factors from their grading practices and recognize when personal biases manifest, districts can proactively signal a clear commitment toward DEIJ,” said Margaret Sullivan, associate director at the Education Advisory Board, which sells consulting services to colleges and universities.  She gets paid to convince school that grading based on traditional classroom testing and homework performance are “outdated practices” and foster “unconscious biases.”

The Associated Press interviewed woke science teacher Brad Beadell of Santa Clara, California (you know: California) who is an advocate of “Equity based” grading practices. He said he has “stopped giving zeros and deducting points for late work” as well as allowing students “unlimited retakes for quizzes and tests.”

Because in life, you always get do-overs until you succeed…or at least black citizens will. In the interest of diversity, equity and inclusion…

UPDATE:

The school administrators are denying the account:

It has come to the District’s attention that a recent article in the online West Cook News inaccurately states that at the Board of Education’s May 26 meeting, Oak Park and River Forest High School announced that it will implement a race-based grading system in the 2022-2023 school year. This is not true. 

OPRFHS does not, nor has it ever had a plan to, grade any students differently based on race. The article contains a variety of misleading and inaccurate statements. The article’s mischaracterization of the Board meeting is unfortunate and has caused unnecessary confusion.

As part of the Board of Education’s strategic plan, the OPRFHS Grading and Assessment Committee was formed to examine national research on objective, unbiased practices for determining whether students have mastered academic content.  At the Board of Education’s May 26 meeting, the administration’s representative to the OPRFHS Grading and Assessment Committee provided an initial report that included a progress update on the committee’s examination of grading practices. 

At no time were any statements made recommending that OPRF implement a race-based grading approach.

Prior to implementing  grading changes, if any, recommendations will be made to the Board at a public meeting. Again, contrary to the title of the article, the district has not implemented, and has no intention of implementing, any grading and assessment policy based on race. 

As the OPRFHS Grading and Assessment Committee continues its work, the district is committed to keeping the community updated to any changes. We encourage the community to seek information directly from the district or other reliable news sources rather than internet sources that continue to share inaccurate information.

I don’t trust journalists and I don’t trust school administrators. It may be that the story was hyped and fabricated. It may be that the school got caught, got cold feet, and is covering up. Margaret Sullivan is real, and so is “equity based grading,” unfortunately. As is now often the case, it is not easy to determine what really is going on.

31 thoughts on “If The Last Post (About Emerson College Promoting Anti-White Racism) Bothered You, Samuel L. Jackson Has A Suggestion Before You Read This One…[UPDATED!]

  1. In the name of anti-racism, all standards will be lost. The assumption underlying all of these things is that black students can’t do it. That is just as racist as the KKK.

  2. Query: How does one “fail” the SAT or PSAT? I thought the scores just distribute the takers on a curve.

    • OB,
      You can’t fail the SATs. You can get a score too low to get into some or most colleges. I believe you can get an SAT score of 400 (200 math & 200 reading and writing) for just filling in your name correctly.

  3. “This will, you know—don’t they know?—set up black students to skip work, misbehave in other settings, and fail to complete their assigned jobs and tasks. ”

    Of course then they will claim racism againg when they get fired from work or arrested. It’s almost like the left wants them to fail. That couldn’t be because they want to keep them as their pawns, could they?

    • In a cynical way, this could be true because some on the left want to accelerate the “collapse” of capitalism in order to usher in socialism. This could be an underhanded way to try to do that. I’m not that cynical, but a large chunk of the left will justify any action if it furthers their goals.

    • Of course then they will claim racism againg when they get fired from work or arrested. It’s almost like the left wants them to fail.

      It’s been suggested that the point is not to push low-achieving minorities into prestigious positions, but to kneecap high-achieving minorities who would, on an objective individual basis, outcompete the mediocre offspring of the current elites. As measures of individual merit are abandoned, obscured, or adulterated, the gems among the disadvantaged get folded into and hidden among the great mass of disadvantaged, while the mediocre privileged get carried along by the privileged herd. It’s a way of preventing class mobility.

  4. Boy, those kids from suburban Chicago are sure going to flourish when they are ushered into their Ivy League school of choice.

    This is “Ferris Beuhler” territory, isn’t it?

  5. This sort of thing has been tried before. For instance, some jurisdictions have banned employers or landlords from asking about an applicant’s criminal history. African Americans were more likely than whites or Asians to have a criminal history, so it was thought that eliminating the question would equalize these groups in the eyes of employers and landlords.

    However, that’s not the way things worked out. You see, people knew the question was banned because of this racial disparity. Now lacking the ability to gain this important information about individual candidates, they resorted to playing the odds – they avoided hiring or leasing to African Americans. The effect was that, by hiding the sins and virtues of individuals, the net advantage went to whites with criminal records, at the expense of African Americans with clean records. This is the same sort of outcome you can expect here.

    • Of course they turned all African-Americans down STRICTLY on the merits, right? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

      • They weren’t allowed to see their merits. That’s the point. The policy incentivizes the use of racial stereotypes, because it denies access to individualized facts.

  6. This is how spoils get distributed in shithole countries. I’m beginning to think that’s the left’s objective: to turn the US into a shithole country. Forget the Nordic model, the left is going for bringing Somalia and Zimbabwe here.

    • I was thinking more the Soviet model – a one-party state where no one is allowed to criticize the leaders and dissent is suppressed as “disinformation.”

      • Much the same. The guys in power get to hand out all the goods they can’t keep for themselves and everybody else scrambles for the few crumbs that fall off the table. I think African shithole governance is more apt a model given all the “Africana Studies” and anti-colonialism and anti-white and “heteronormative” hegemony and wearing dashikis stuff. So, I’m sticking with the shithole country analogy.

  7. This is not a new trick for the democrats. How will you keep your slaves tied to the plantation if you let them get educated and free from dependence on your handouts?

  8. Here is my best defense of the policy:

    If the goal is to teach substantive matters to the kids so that they master the material (e.g. they come out of math class knowing how to add, subtract, etc.), it does not matter if they miss class, don’t do homework, or do it on time, or take a test three times. Those things: attendance, homework, timeliness and the ability to pass on the first try is not relevant.

    The only thing that is relevant is: can they complete the tasks. In fact it really makes no sense to allow someone who fails a math test to move on to the next chapter. They need to pass the material before moving on because the next chapter is going to build on the last one. They should be able to take the tests until they pass.

    And, these are not race-based characteristics. However, these are characteristics that disproportionately affect certain racial groups. These groups are being penalized by non-substantive considerations. If the goal is to learn the substance, we should not be flunking someone who learns the substance, just because they missed too many classes.

    Okay, here is my rebuttal:

    That is all well and good. However, there are two problems with this.

    One: part of school is learning non-substantive things. Show up. Be on time. Do homework (i.e. completing tasks assigned to you on your own time and initiative). Stand in line. Keep your mouth shut. Listen. Those are all valuable social skills that you learn while learning the substantive things. Those components have to be taught as well and taking those requirements away does some disservice to the children.

    Second, if the goal is to get the kids to learn the substance, the best way for them to do that IS for them to show up in class. Be exposed to the material. Do homework that lets them practice it. Homework also gives the teacher a means for monitoring progress so that students with problems can receive help BEFORE the test. And, the test sets a deadline so that the student has an incentive to prepare. They KNOW they can’t procrastinate beyond a certain point. That is one incentive behind the POP QUIZ; it rewards ongoing preparation.

    There is one group of people whom these policies will not harm: the A students who really don’t need to go to class to learn the material; they don’t need homework because they catch on to everything in class; they probably don’t even need written tests the way the other students do. Of course, even for these students, we must require them to come to class–just to key an eye on them!

    -Jut

    • Jut, I’m pretty sure the last group you describe are total outliers. They are the kids who should have (or may in fact have) skipped one or two or three grades. There really very few of these. They are one or two standard deviations from your average kid in the 90th percentile. I’d guess most A students get there because they show up and put in the work and do the homework and study. The policy under discussion seems to be to encourage the kids who are fuck ups and need the most structure, for whatever reason, to fuck up even better and faster.

      • First, I would say that there are way more kids passing without trying, OB. I remember my high school days and studying was not exactly in the cards. I did my homework, but only what was required. Studying is a skill I have never really had to apply in my life and most people I knew were the same. My podunk high school had all straight A students be valedictorian, which lead to more than 5% of my class to be valedictorian and not a one of us (yep, I was one of the ten) worked for it. Schools have made passing grades insanely easy to obtain.

        Second, I think that you are missing a key point in your rebuttal, Jut Gory. I have no issue with what you said, but I think you missed the biggest item.

        If one wants to understand a students understanding of the material, tests are one of the worst ways to get that in some subjects, especially math. Generally speaking, a math test cannot cover understanding in the necessary depth in the time allotted. One digit misplacement (writing 314 instead of 341) or (in algebra) mistaking a t for a + or an x for a * can throw your entire assessment into the wrong direction. Homework actually provides a superior measurement tool as it can be far more intense and in depth.

        In addition, in math fields, where the training is not only in mathematical functions, but also in proper step writing and logic, practice is not helpful, it is necessary for learning. If you don’t do homework, you are faced with an impossible task of figuring out what steps of your work to write and as any good math instructor will tell you, if there is no work, the answer is wrong. Math isn’t just about 1+6=7, but about using a variety of logical thought processes to determine unknown items. There is one right answer, but if you don’t take the right steps, you just got lucky. That is also measured best through homework, not tests where luck can go a long ways towards making you seem better or worse than you are. (Ex Calvin is daydreaming about Spaceman Spiff crashing and when surprised by Mrs. Wormwood, shouts out 3. He was lucky and 7-4 was three but Spiff was making a three point landing. No logical thoughts were occurring.

  9. This, as a matter of precise guarantee – will make poverty and community collapse *worse* for the populations it hopes to help.

    By pushing off learning until the child who has been set back actually hits the work force – these individuals will not be hired for *anything* but the most menial jobs as they now have to scramble to learn what their left-wing educators did not teach them at the same time as trying to hold on to jobs they are not qualified for.

    What a despicable policy.

  10. Apparently, the “West Cook News”, while purporting to be a local newspaper, isnothing of the sort. Observers on Twitter have pointed out that staff photos on other “publications” in the LGIS network appear to have been skimmed from sports team rosters on the web.

    • Checking…Real Clear Investigations reported this, and that is usually reliable, but West Cook News was the source. The source of the quotes about “equitable grading processes”, however, is solid.

      I’m updating the post

  11. Now just a gosh darned minute! Nobody (except me) has done the research to learn that one of the people pushing this new policy is a “Doctor”! Just like “Dr. Jill”, Laurie Firenza has a ” Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership and Administration, General” from Concordia University – Chicago. How dare we argue with her?!
    https://www.linkedin.com/in/laurie-fiorenza-5755b654

    Full disclosure: This really isn’t doing anything to improve my opinion of Ed. D. degrees…

  12. How is it even possible to make something like this up? No, this has a ring of truth, and I am inclined to disbelieve the school system’s response. But hope springs eternal…

  13. It would take more thought and more time to articulate a reasonably comprehensive response to all this than I currently have at my disposal. Executive summary: from looking at the Powerpoint (which certainly appears to be authentic) linked in the article, I’d conclude the following:
    1. the district does not trust its teachers to teach, preferring instead to rely on so-called expert consultants, many of whom have likely never taught a single class.
    2. jargon sure is fun, isn’t it? The less comprehensible, the better.
    3. the article is intentionally misleading if not outright mendacious
    4. the school district is indeed well on the way to flat-out lunacy, but there are still a couple of exits along that highway before they actually get there. The likelihood that they might pull over at a rest stop or maybe stop for a burger so they’re not making decisions on an empty stomach is uncertain. (A cup of coffee to help them wake up wouldn’t go amiss, either.)

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