Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Questions on Diversity

Everyone is talking about diversity, ethnic vs socioeconomic, the supreme court ruling, and student achievement. I am going to chime in, in the new couple of days, but first I wanted to raise some questions that I haven't seen addressed.

1. Everyone acknowledges that diversity, whether by income or race, does raise achievement of targeted groups, but only if the targeted group is in the minority. Is the purpose of diversity efforts to expose students to another culture, or is it to supplant their current culture?

2. High achieving majority minority schools such as Achievement First and KIPP seem to impose a new school culture on students. Is this their way of eliminating the need for diversity, but just creating a middle class boot camp?

3. Is their a logical reason for white flight? Most diversity advocates say that middle class students academic achievement isn't hurt by diversity, but you never ever see numbers to back this up. Are white parents racist or looking out for their children?

4. Why do I get the feeling that the Supreme Courts decision won't really have any large scale effect on diversity efforts. Seattle doesn't even use their system any more, and its not like we read about x number of cities that are now going to have to change their policies.

I am still pondering these questions and more, but if you want to read some honest thoughts on the subject, go check out Teaching in the 408.