Un-Fair Response and Achievement Gap Programs

 

We have a response from the Un-Fair Campaign about our new billboard:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/48903469/ns/local_news-duluth_mn/

“It would be weird to not address this on this page. However, we don’t want to be baited into a never ending conversation about what racism is, whether or not white privilege exists, or any of the other circular conversations that have been unproductive here.
So, here’s our stand: “embracing diversity” is lovely and makes us all feel good inside. However, it does not close achievement gaps, it does not lessen health disparities, and it will not end racism in our community. The only way to work towards equity in our Community is to change the systems that perpetuate it. The only way to do this is to have tough conversations. That’s what the Unfair Campaign is all about and we have made a lot of progress. We are working on a report to tell the public what we have done to end racism in Duluth. We have come a long way, but not nearly far enough. Anyone who wants to join us is welcome. “

So there you have it Duluth, according to this new social justice group, white privilege is settled fact and their definition of racism is the only acceptable definition – someone please alert Webster and dictionary.com .

We’re looking forward to this report the Un-Fair Campaign has been promising. We’re especially curious what a $7000+ speaking engagement from racialist, Tim Wise, has done to bring equality to Duluth. More on that later.

The words, “Embrace Diversity,” may not close achievement gaps, however, Duluthians were told the following programs would:
-The Office of Education Equity and their programs: http://www.duluth.k12.mn.us/education/components/scrapbook/default.php?sectiondetailid=11609&
-K.E.Y Zone: School Age Child Care, Academic & Enrichment Program – Knowledge * Enrichment * Youth Development: http://duluth.mn.schoolwebpages.com/education/components/scrapbook/default.php?sectiondetailid=11142&linkid=nav-menu-container-4-62867
-Parents and Students Succeeding (PASS)http://www.northlandsnewscenter.com/news/local/Duluth-Schools-Showing-Progress-in-Addressing-Drop-Outs-Achievement-Gap-139560923.html?m=y&smobile=y
- Youth of Duluth: http://www.northlandsnewscenter.com/news/local/Youth-of-Duluth-Seeing-Better-Grades-143915706.html
-Title 1 – Office of Funded Programs: http://www.duluth.k12.mn.us/education/components/docmgr/default.php?sectiondetailid=21884
-Federal Title Programs: http://education.state.mn.us/MDE/SchSup/EngLearnSup/index.html
-Duluth Public Schools Families in Transition Program
-Sustainable Duluth Public Schools
-American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Grant Program: http://education.state.mn.us/MDE/SchSup/ARRA/index.html
-Statewide System of Support (SSOS): http://education.state.mn.us/MDE/SchSup/AYPStateSys/index.html
-Early Learning Programs: http://education.state.mn.us/MDE/SchSup/EarlyLearnProg/index.html
-English Learner Program: http://education.state.mn.us/MDE/SchSup/EngLearnSup/index.html
-Food and Nutrition Program: http://education.state.mn.us/MDE/SchSup/FNS/index.html
-Special Education Programs: http://education.state.mn.us/MDE/SchSup/SpecEdComp/index.html
-YMCA Out of School Programs: http://www.duluthymca.org/out-school

I’m confident I’ve missed several programs but you get the idea.

In this article, dated 31 October 2010, we learn:

“All but one of the 12 new Duluth school district integration specialists are black, American Indian or Hispanic. Their job is to work with more than 500 students of color from every grade level who are deemed at-risk because of low test scores.
The hiring of these employees is a new effort to close the achievement gap – the big disparity in test scores and graduation rates between students of color and white students. In 2009, the graduation rate for black students in Duluth public schools was 49 percent and the rate for American Indian students was 34 percent. White students graduated at a rate of 80 percent.”

http://www.nativetimes.com/life/education/4496-minnesota-program-aims-to-help-at-risk-students

Are these programs working, Duluth? If they are, why then would we need yet another one? If they aren’t, should tax money continue to fund programs that aren’t delivering what they promised?

This is what happens when social justice money comes available. Many well intentioned and some not so well intentioned people get in the way of that money with some new, great idea. White privilege is the Un-Fair Campaign’s great idea. One that is sweeping the country with expensive workshops and inviting in expensive speakers to deliver the message to the white members of our communities. “If you are white, you have advantages that others don’t even with all of the above programs available.” Equal opportunity is not enough for these Community Organizing groups, they want to see equal outcomes. Duluth, you are an equal opportunity city. But you are also a free city in the great State of Minnesota. How can a free city or a free country guarantee equal outcomes?

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