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PBS: The Hispanic Education Myth

(Text updated on May 5)

Tuesday, April 26, 2005 -- Let's assume you are one of those liberal Oregonians who think public broadcasting is a treasure, and that the Lehrer News Hour is a source of information that is without peer.  Read on.

The second to last segment on that program tonight was about Hispanic school dropout rates.  The conclusion was that President Bush's No Child Left Behind emphasis on determining a school's effectiveness by testing old fashioned academic skills (math, reading, etc.) is part of the problem, here.  One student reported that he had lost interest in academics and joined a gang to hang with his friends and do drugs because it was easier.  A number of kids like this were shown in a "special education" class which the narrative said featured Hispanic cultural studies (in Spanish).  This class, we learned was turning kids from gangs and drugs, and back into regular classes, saving them.

No supporting graduation numbers came with that claim.  The implication left to the viewer was that without such special classes disaster is looming.

As an aside, I enjoyed one quote from the first gang kid.  He said that he didn't like his regular school teacher because that regular school teacher wasn't very tolerant of kids in gangs.  That is, the teacher was obviously biased against gang members.  We'll set aside the fact that the opinions of children who have not finished highschool lack credibility by definition.  What we won't set aside is the fact that teachers who don't want gang members in their class are demonstrating the most uncommonly good judgement in modern educational circles.

But, these are not the central points, here.

What is the central point here is that this segment was a complete joke.  The News Hour team that produced it doesn't meet the basic requirement of journalists, and the "educators" who expressed their learned opinions on it are idiots.  Here is why.

We were told in this PBS report that Hispanic and Black dropout rates are almost equally high, and the answer is these special classes with a low student to teacher ratio, and culturally-relevant studies.  As to the first, low ratio, visit a Japanese school and compute the ratio, there.  Then compare the results to the results we get in classrooms with lower ratios..  That will end your ratio fantasy.  But, what about this "culturally-relevant studies" business?  Does that have any value?

This approach, in the current argot of American liberal education circles, goes under the buzz-word title of "de-colonization."  That is code for "improving" education by eliminating either colonial-American influence (that of the very white, slave-owning, sexist founding fathers and their Constitution) or the detrimental effects of what liberals of the late Sixties called "American imperialism."  (The imperial nations of Europe had colonies all over the world in centuries past.  All evil stems from that colonial presence, even down to this day, long after the European colonial age ended. To liberals, the war in Vietnam was an attempt to create an American colony.  Communist colonies like Soviet-era Poland were different, as is present day Tibet. People are blessed if they live in a communist colony.  I mean, things are great in North Korea.)

The natural question which arises from this "teach them about their native, ancestral, culture" idea is: If the U.S. is where these people came to make a living, of what use is training in the history, culture and government of the place they left because they were starving?  They have voted with their feet by coming here.  They have selected the system which  has a future and rejected the system which did not.  Make up your own mind on this.  For your own future, do you need expertise in what didn't work or in what did work?

I don't really know which of the above, the Colonial founding fathers or the Sixties "imperialist America" charges,  the term "de-colonization" refers to. Perhaps it refers to both.  Whatever the case, in response, I offer the following.  There is a group of people who must be left out of the public school equation if the liberal race-centered approach is to be accepted.

The Asian factor

Whether they are the children of Asians recently come to our shores, or second or third or seventh generation, no matter where they are, Asian children virtually always academically shine.  This is because their parents understand that they now live in America, not in Asia -- and realize the truth of the old maxim: When in Rome, do as the Romans do.

Without special tutors, without culturally-related scholastic programming, without teaching in the language of their ancestors, without coddlng of any kind, they all shine.  In the same schools where black and Hispanic dropout rates are 50%, their dropout rate is zero.  In schools where blacks and Hispanics leave the 12th grade functionally illiterate, they depart with a grasp of English and western literature superior to most whites.  They leave even the worst ghetto schools, and take the SAT tests for college entrance, and even in science and math, are superior to most whites. 

They are so well prepared for higher education, in fact, that -- to use California as an example -- for years they were lumped in with whites when it came to the college entrance quotas of that state.

That is, points of unearned racial advantage were added to other minority SAT scores so that the universities would have a politically correct number of non-white students.  Yet, these points were not, repeat not, added to the scores of Asians, who you may have noticed, are not white.  These added points artifically raised the SAT scores of selected minorities above the SAT scores of whites and Asians so that these more-accomplished students would not get entrance into the top schools. 

The best students were penalized for being the best students, in other words.

(For years, I have wondered why white and Asian mothers voted for the Democrats who created and maintained this biased system.  All I can come up with is that their female sense of "fairness" didn't include fairness for their own children.  And, that doesn't make sense to me either, so it is still a complete mystery.)

The Simple Truth

It was and remains a rape of common sense.  It was and remains the equivalent of awarding the game ball to the team that scored fewer points, on the basis that the lower scoring team went to schools in poor areas, and so didn't have the advantages of the richer kids. But, once again, the problem with this liberal baloney is the Asian.  They keep coming from schools in poor areas and outscoring their former public schoolmates, black, Hispanic and white.

Worse yet, they often outscore whites from rich school districts.

But, you ask, "How can these Asians come from the inner city and score higher than everybody?"

So, we at last come to the gigantic omission of PBS and American educators.

Culture.  The way the world is viewed and the dynamics of the family that uses that view to shape their children. From the standpoint of education, Asian culture and family is the cream of the crop. Traditonal white, current black and present day Hispanic culture and family influences come in second, third and fourth in this race. (With black and Hispanic culture and family battling for last place.)  In the case of blacks, a very famous man recently came to the same conclusion I am writing here -- and have been

     ... similarly blaming for the problem for years.  His name is Bill Cosby.

Multiculturalism teaches us that all cultures are equal.  The evidence here proves that the premise is so much hogwash.  As long as our educators and our liberal media continue to push this line of crap, these self-proclaiming champions of the underdog will continue this American tragedy. 

Do you really donate time or money to PBS and OPB?  Then, along with the "modern" american educators they support, you are personally responsible for the myth that is ripping the guts from blacks and Hispanics. 

Black and Hispanic educational failures aren't about money.  They're not about the bogus charges of racist, sexist values promulgated by America's founding fathers. They're about people who believe they are victims without bothering to see if it's true.  About people who dye their hair bright green, or turn it into some bizarre shape, wear clothing and body decorations that frighten normal citizens, and who speak street language so indecipherable to average folks that the average folks can't understand a word -- then who ask for a job as a bank teller and wonder why they were rejected.  

All cultures come with a uniform.  All of them.  From the Masai of Africa to the U.S. Marines, if you ain't in uniform you ain't in the group.  Part of the uniform of the United States of America is accurate knowledge about how the place was built and how it works, today.  If you can't read, you are out of uniform.  If you can't do math, you are out of uniform.  If you can't speak common English, you are out of uniform.

These black and Hispanic educational failures are about culture and how it works within the community and family.  By denying this simple truth, all public broadcasting and the liberal idiots who control American education are doing is supporting the reasons both blacks and Hispanics fail.

Asians, more a minority in America than either of them, are living proof of that, which explains why they weren't a part of this PBS/Lehrer New Hour  report.  The truth would have been politically incorrect.  If truth is the price of success, to the liberal it is better that black and Hispanic children have lives of failure.

(LL)

© 2005 Oregon Magazine