Another Reason To Abolish the Department of Education

Minorities once again are being railroaded by the same system that claims they are helping them. Their test scores are NOT being counted in many states so the states can avoid penalties in the No Child Left Behind law.

2 MILLION test scores are being excluded because the person taking that test is of a minority race! I suppose that the public school system thinks that minorities aren’t capable of producing test scores like their white counterparts? There are not-so-bright white children, too.

Minorities — who historically haven’t fared as well as whites in testing – make up the vast majority of students whose scores are being excluded, AP found. And the numbers have been rising. [...]

Students whose tests aren’t being counted in required categories include Hispanics in California who don’t speak English well, blacks in the Chicago suburbs, American Indians in the Northwest and special education students in Virginia, AP found. Bush’s home state of Texas – once cited as a model for the federal law – excludes scores for two entire groups. No test scores from Texas’ 65,000 Asian students or from several thousand American Indian students are broken out by race. The same is true in Arkansas. [...]

Overall, AP found that about 1.9 million students – or about 1 in every 14 test scores — aren’t being counted under the law’s racial categories. Minorities are seven times as likely to have their scores excluded as whites, the analysis showed. [...]

Less than 2 percent of white children’s scores aren’t being counted as a separate category. In contrast, Hispanics and blacks have roughly 10 percent of their scores excluded. More than one-third of Asian scores and nearly half of American Indian scores aren’t broken out, AP found.

This is a travesty! The leaders of these minority groups won’t do much; they will be very passive on this issue. I’m sorry, but if my school district is following these guidelines, then I will pull my children out of the racist public school system. WE PAY THE SCHOOL TAX, TOO! As long as our money is paying for my children’s education, their test scores should be included no matter what!

Libertarians may not understand the plight of minority issues, but most will agree that the Department of Education needs to go! Many may agree that local control of schools is best; some say privatize the system.

NCLB, which is an underfunded mandate, has been a joke — and the joke is on the minority children. Pull your kids out NOW before it’s too LATE!

posted by chrisbennett
  • http://injeffshead.blogspot.com Jeff

    This is just another example of the failure of government programs. I remember a time not so long ago when it was part of the Republican Party platform to eliminate the Federal department of Education. Now the “conservative” party is adding departments like Homeland Security and increasing beaurocracies elsewhere. Perhaps more republicans will become disenchanted and we can win them over to a pro-liberty mindset.

  • Stephen Gordon

    The Republican removal of that plank is one of the key reasons I finally dropped the GOP and became more active in the LP.

  • http://libertyforsale.com Timothy West

    The best POLITICAL angle ro take would be that federal control of education usurps elected local school boards and turns them into robots for the federal govt. YOU WOULD NOT BELIEVE how receptive voters are to this message. Every time I voice this I get majority agreement out of who I am talking to – they freakin love it.

  • Nicholas Sarwark

    Well, just to be clear, no children from a cohort group smaller than 45 students are counted, so as to keep the reported data statistically valid. This was lobbied for by the teacher’s unions, so they wouldn’t be held responsible if a couple of minority kids didn’t learn.

    Just because there’s a sensible reason for the policy doesn’t mean that the impact is any less racist, though.

  • Sandra Kallander

    I think it’s crazy that anyone would be slighted not to be counted by the government. Count me! Count me! It’s a very weak and victim-minded posititon to take.

    I’m not sure I understand the situation, but I think it is that all the students are being counted as individuals. Isn’t that what we stand for?

    The honor they’re asking for is to additionally be lumped into a minority group so that their score counts in the minority group scores. The only people who want that are the social engineers who think that low scores by group will justify additional government funds.

    I don’t see any reason why a low-scoring student would want to be used in this way: to bring down his group score. And if he’s high-scoring, he should stand as an individual example to all of us.

    Otherwise, people with different agenda are manipulating data to serve themselves. Hardly news.

  • Ian C

    Actually, there’s another reason why the No Child Left Behind act is a travesty, and this is a clear and blatant attempt not at racism, but socioeconomic corrections which wind up unfortunately in our country also having a “racist” impact.

    By and large, in urban centers or lower-income regions, you find a distinct majority of minorities. (Blacks and hispanics traditionally are the ones occupying the ‘ghettoes’ in this country).

    Those areas with less money get poorer education to begin with, and need federal funding all the more. The No Child Left Behind act specifically reduces the funding TO the schools that are struggling the most.

    Let me repeat that: If your school needs more money and is struggling, the NCLB Act *REDUCES* their funding.

    The most struggling urban center schools — where blacks and hispanics dominate — are being punished for being poor.

    It is in these areas I believe that the exclusion tactic is being used most. That will skew the results in race.

  • http://chrisbennettfromillinois.blogspot.com/ Chris Bennett

    the reason I worte this story is because I don’t think libertarians realize what goes on behind closed doors. I think excluding results, even if it’s just one, is unfair and dishonest. I think that it hypocritical that we rant about missing votes or uncounted votes when we vote claiming every vote should count but with our education system shouldn’t every child count no matter what their funding situation may be? It shows that the federal government is now taking over the responsibilities of local school boards. federalizing our education has NOT improved the quality of it. NCLB literally turns bad schools into even worse schools.

  • Ian C

    Hrm. No Child Left Behind proactively tosses poor children into the gutter.

    Fair/Clean elections bills make incredible hurdles for third parties to get onto ballots.

    The Patriot Act is designed to spy on and restrict the activities of American citizens.

    Let us hope that we never see a “Genocide Elimination Act”

    *crossing fingers*

  • http://libertarianyouth.gmail.com Nigel Watt

    Hmm, a clever method of making the standardized tests look like they’re working.

    I take Texas’s Tuesday through Friday. You can bet I care – I’m not graduating, just going off to Cornell, so they have no effect on me.

  • http://www.ongforcuregent.com Daniel Ong

    The Denver Post picked up on this and made it the topic of one of its editorials today, saying “All students should be counted.”

    I’m not familiar with the specifics, but have heard that NCLB has a fundamental flaw in its formulas, that every school will eventually be evaluated as having failed, even the nearly consistently best ones.

    I’m surprised they left out Asian scores. A decade or two ago, Cal-Berkeley had higher admission exam cut-off scores for Asians than even for whites. So much for meritocracy.

  • http://www.ongforcuregent.com Daniel Ong

    Not too off-topic:

    After my previous comment, I came across this April 2006 article over at reason.com titled “The Agony of American Education — How per-student funding can revolutionize public schools.”

    If vouchers are not politically feasible in an area of high support for public education, a plan that has been shown to accomplish much of the same by mimicking an education market is decentralization including the weighted student formula for distribution of school funds, site-based budgeting, and a true open-enrollment student assignment system.

    Higher overall test results have lead to much higher inclusion rates in reporting of standardized test scores. NCLB still applies.

    When I was growing up, my parents were able to choose housing largely due to quality of neighborhood schools. Many of my relatives sent or are sending their kids to private schools because the public schools where they live(d) were/are so bad.