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Evanston IL High School Offers Classes Separated by Race To Shrink Learning Gap

School leaders in this college town just north of Chicago have been battling a sizable academic achievement gap between Black, Latino and white students for decades. So a few years ago, the school district decided to try something new at the high school: classrooms voluntarily separated by race.

Nearly 200 Black and Latino students at Evanston Township High School signed up this year for math classes and a writing seminar intended for students of the same race, taught by a teacher of color. These optional so-called affinity classes are designed to address the achievement gap by making students feel more comfortable in class, district leaders have said, particularly in Advanced Placement courses that historically have enrolled few Black and Latino student.

“Our Black students are, for lack of a better word…at the bottom, consistently still. And they are being outperformed consistently,” Monique Parsons, Evanston school board vice president, said at a November board meeting. “It’s not good.”

Evanston is taking the strategy one step further, offering courses for Black and Latino students in core math classes: algebra 2, precalculus and AP calculus, as well as an English seminar. Evanston’s classes for Black students are known as AXLE, an acronym for Advancing Excellence, Lifting Everyone, and those for Latino students are called GANAS, from a Spanish expression that means “giving it all you’ve got.” School districts across the country have sometimes struggled to find ways to boost the performance of Black and Latino students, who, nationwide, tend to enroll in fewer advanced classes and score lower on standardized tests than white students.

Leaders in Evanston’s high-school district, board members and teachers declined or ignored repeated requests to comment on the courses over several months. When a Wall Street Journal reporter arrived at a public meeting for parents of Black students, a district spokeswoman said she would cancel the meeting if the reporter didn’t leave.

Evanston’s 3,600-student high school is 44% white, 24% Black, 20% Hispanic and 5% Asian. The community, home to Northwestern University, is a mix of wealthy families and lower-income households. (Full article can be viewed at link.)

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by Anonymousreply 97November 28, 2023 7:09 PM

“Hey Glencoe families, we got classes for your kids!”

by Anonymousreply 1November 27, 2023 12:10 AM

[quote]“Our Black students are, for lack of a better word…at the bottom, consistently still. And they are being outperformed consistently,” Monique Parsons, Evanston school board vice president, said at a November board meeting. “It’s not good.”

Don't worry hon, when you segregate them they're still going to be outperformed. Consistently.

by Anonymousreply 2November 27, 2023 12:14 AM

Segregation Works!

by Anonymousreply 3November 27, 2023 12:18 AM

School segregation, separate but equal: It's the Progressive way!

Next up, the water fountains. Turns out black children are unable to drink freely because the white children make them uncomfortable. Wait till you hear the solution the school came up with!

by Anonymousreply 4November 27, 2023 12:19 AM

Juan plus Juan equals Dos Two Over There

by Anonymousreply 5November 27, 2023 12:19 AM

Imagine what would happen if a school administrator in any state in the US announced that their white students needed to be sequestered from blacks because they felt they'd perform better academically in an all-white classroom.

by Anonymousreply 6November 27, 2023 12:21 AM

Voluntary Special Education

by Anonymousreply 7November 27, 2023 12:23 AM

The solution is to give poor POC kids an extra 20 points for trying. That’s next.

by Anonymousreply 8November 27, 2023 12:26 AM

Diversity benefits everyone!

by Anonymousreply 9November 27, 2023 12:27 AM

I honestly think they want their classes separated from whites so they can more openly spew their militant anti-white propaganda and incentivize their black students to engage in radical, racist thinking. It's brainwashing, plain and simple. Obviously not all black people think this way, but the ones who have been indoctrinated and are promoting ideas like this are a threat to civilized society.

by Anonymousreply 10November 27, 2023 12:27 AM

Why the dumb class be all black?

by Anonymousreply 11November 27, 2023 12:29 AM

What’s cool in the past is now acceptable again.

by Anonymousreply 12November 27, 2023 12:33 AM

Eh I don’t care anymore. If it works, it works.

by Anonymousreply 13November 27, 2023 12:36 AM

R13 it's definitely not going to work

by Anonymousreply 14November 27, 2023 12:38 AM

Let’s see how real estate prices change in the first couple of years after the decision.

by Anonymousreply 15November 27, 2023 12:39 AM

This stupid experiment will result in two Outcomes:

1) Increased Racism as each student assigned to their appropriate*Color- Specific* group, naturally devolves into a "Me vs. Them" ideology.

2) It will become highly apparent in the Minority-exclusive classes, that although there may be small increases in mean scholastic scores, what will be even MORE evident are the contributing factors of Socio-Economic disparities etc, to the disparity of academic performance in these groups. NOT RACE.

What will schools do then? Promulgate Social-Welfare/Mental Health services specifically directed to the minority students and their families? At what point do schools schools draw the line at addressing all problems of society as a microcosm of it themselves?

It will be a long drawn-out and expensive lesson for that school to learn what experts in Sociology and Education have known for the past 40 years.

by Anonymousreply 16November 27, 2023 1:12 AM

What r13 said.

by Anonymousreply 17November 27, 2023 1:15 AM

You think I, as a suburban white boy enjoyed being educated by the “urban” Mr. Roscoe? And the way he would hiss after provoking me into an epithet “They call me Misssster Tibbs!”

by Anonymousreply 18November 27, 2023 1:31 AM

Black people encouraging segregation. I never thought I'd live to see the day.

by Anonymousreply 19November 27, 2023 1:32 AM

No mention of Asians in the article except they amount to 5% of the school population.

by Anonymousreply 20November 27, 2023 1:34 AM

There has always been a set. In Atlanta they supported Lester Maddox because black small businessmen in the segregated areas were run out of business by integration.

by Anonymousreply 21November 27, 2023 1:36 AM

Ignoring the kneejerk reactions here.....

Those interested in this topic should read this book, which discussed how intimidated, judged etc students of color felt around white teachers.

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by Anonymousreply 22November 27, 2023 1:36 AM

It’s separate to fight racism.

I grew up in the city. Very small white population in my high school and they were favored by the predominantly white teachers.

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by Anonymousreply 23November 27, 2023 1:39 AM

As a teacher in a school with very few black students, I feel how hard things are for them. If this program is successful, more power to them.

by Anonymousreply 24November 27, 2023 1:40 AM

It’s very hard to be taught by racists.

by Anonymousreply 25November 27, 2023 1:42 AM

There's always and still a number of teachers who will view black students differently, and usually in a negative way.

Just like the fact that yes, even in 2023, there are doctors who believe that black people don't feel pain.

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by Anonymousreply 26November 27, 2023 1:55 AM

Asians are students of color. Are they intimidated by white teachers?

by Anonymousreply 27November 27, 2023 1:57 AM

Depends on how Asian and dark skinned they look.

by Anonymousreply 28November 27, 2023 2:00 AM

Notice they don't create a separate class for Asians only...

by Anonymousreply 29November 27, 2023 2:03 AM

[quote] 1) Increased Racism as each student assigned to their appropriate*Color- Specific* group, naturally devolves into a "Me vs. Them" ideology.

Just like West Side Story! (the good film version not the Spielberg version)

by Anonymousreply 30November 27, 2023 2:05 AM

There are many studies that show having a teacher of the same race has little effect on student achievement. I know it feels like it should make a difference but it doesn’t. We can meet back in a few years and see if this improves outcomes.. My prediction..not much. But good luck anyway. .

by Anonymousreply 31November 27, 2023 2:08 AM

R29, they do. It's called AP. The joke was previously that it was only Math and Science but as Asians have assimilated and they're more than second generations, they're also overrepresented in the Humanities as well.

by Anonymousreply 32November 27, 2023 2:12 AM

Not to be shady, but if they put all the POC together, won’t the other classes be mostly white. That might actually lead to more unequal results.

by Anonymousreply 33November 27, 2023 2:17 AM

I guess it's worth a shot, even if it feels regressive.

At the end of the day, I just want to see as many students reach their academic potential - however that might happen.

by Anonymousreply 34November 27, 2023 2:37 AM

The all-black, low-achieving classes will quickly resemble any inner-city school.

by Anonymousreply 35November 27, 2023 2:51 AM

Remember that fat cow Mary Anigbo in DC? She was the principal at the Marcus Garvey charter school in the 90s and was arrested after attacking that reporter. She’s a complete Afro-centric nut and I’m sure she would love this.

by Anonymousreply 36November 27, 2023 3:04 AM

Schools can only do so much if the parents are not emphasizing education.

by Anonymousreply 37November 27, 2023 3:40 AM

^ But a job’ll mess up your welfare check yo!

by Anonymousreply 38November 27, 2023 3:42 AM

R6, it’s my understanding that race plays a bigger role than socio-economic class in test score disparities.

by Anonymousreply 39November 27, 2023 3:45 AM

R16, I mean.

by Anonymousreply 40November 27, 2023 3:46 AM

the home and neighborhood matters as much as the school - improving education requires big investments in many other sectors of public life.

by Anonymousreply 41November 27, 2023 3:52 AM

Exactly what r34 says. The Chicago area has researchers at DePaul, UIC, and Loyola and Northwestern right down the street who would pee their pants with glee if they could set up a program that evaluates this across time and help to identify variables that contribute academic success beyond the students socio-economic status (so glad r16 brought this up). I did my internship in Chicago and was already collecting. If I'd done a post doc in Chicago, I'd be beating down their doors. Any faculty in Community Psychology or Education should be interested.

by Anonymousreply 42November 27, 2023 3:54 AM

My uncle is black and extremely good at math chemistry and anything else he chooses to focus on. A lot can be attributed to culture.

by Anonymousreply 43November 27, 2023 4:11 AM

^already collecting data.

by Anonymousreply 44November 27, 2023 4:15 AM

As a white person I would Lov this policy.

by Anonymousreply 45November 27, 2023 4:18 AM

[quote] As a white person I would Lov this policy.

As much as you love correct spelling and capitalization?

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by Anonymousreply 46November 27, 2023 4:47 AM

Jesus Christ, I fear for this country and the vileness that Donald Trump has unleashed.

by Anonymousreply 47November 27, 2023 4:54 AM

Evanston is now openly segregating. As opposed to just corralling the undesirables inland and towards Rogers Park.

by Anonymousreply 48November 27, 2023 6:20 AM

Can’t be as bad as West Virginia which has the worst education, Alaska has the highest college drop out rate, New Mexico has the highest high school dropout rate - all states where blacks are non-existent.

Just in case people want to talk about how “everyone else” values education so much.

by Anonymousreply 49November 27, 2023 6:35 AM

Washington DC's teacher/ admin force is roughly half black, which matches student demographics. Achievement gap there is 82% of white students are proficient in reading compared to 23% of blacks. This is from a September 2023 Washington Post article. We need to stop blaming everything on racism.

by Anonymousreply 50November 27, 2023 7:37 AM

Evanston, the home of Northwestern University, is Woke Central.

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by Anonymousreply 51November 27, 2023 10:35 AM

The only type of separation of students should be by achievement level. The more advanced students should be in classes taught by teachers who are qualified to teach kids at that level. Lower achieving students should be in classes taught by teachers who can help them build their achievement scores. Putting lower achieving students together with higher achieving students is a disaster for the lower achievers as they won't be able to keep up unless all the students are taught at their level. The higher achieving students are cheated out of an education that helps to advance their abilities and better prepare them for college.

by Anonymousreply 52November 27, 2023 11:15 AM

[quote]No mention of Asians in the article except they amount to 5% of the school population.

r20 And likely comprise 100% of the highest test scores in the entire school district.

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by Anonymousreply 53November 27, 2023 11:51 AM

R52 is correct. Low achievers don't learn, start wanting to be better students, or giving a damn by osmosis. If it worked out that way, every non-Asian student who had classes with Asian students would improve their grades, have better manners, and get higher test scores.

by Anonymousreply 54November 27, 2023 12:23 PM

I went to an all-boys, Jesuit high school for high achievers. One of my close friends who is straight said that the environment helped us form close friendships, which he believes would not have been so had there been competition amongst us for the attention of female students in the school. I don't know.

As an educator, I want to say if this works, more power to the program. Yet, I also believe there are so many factors besides race holding students back...socio-economic background, parental involvement, home and family environments, dealing with one's sexuality, to name a few.

The French ignore race. Americans believe it's all about race. We need to steer a course between the two extremes.

by Anonymousreply 55November 27, 2023 1:27 PM

The question of whether black Americans should seek to assimilate or self-segregate has been debated in the black community since Emancipation.

It was W.E.B. Dubois against Marcus Garvey, it was the NAACP and SCLC against Malcom X and the Black Panthers.

This is nothing new and, if history serves, the pendulum will likely swing back in a decade or two.

by Anonymousreply 56November 27, 2023 4:00 PM

This is not going to help black students perform any better. It is just supposed to make them feel better because everyone in their class will be a low-achiever as well.

by Anonymousreply 57November 27, 2023 4:39 PM

Will they have a choice to be in the white kids class?

by Anonymousreply 58November 27, 2023 4:47 PM

I couldn't access the OP's article.

I don't seem to have any luck with "archive" articles these days. Anyone else have the same problem?

by Anonymousreply 59November 27, 2023 5:19 PM

"Anyone else have the same problem?"

Yes, the kids in the AXLE program do.

by Anonymousreply 60November 27, 2023 5:27 PM

Properly called the ASKLE program, of course, R60.

by Anonymousreply 61November 27, 2023 6:17 PM

[quote]AXLE program

Stop axxing me to learn shit.

by Anonymousreply 62November 27, 2023 7:45 PM

I have sympathy for every white high school and college instructur whose classroom included a clique of Black students who were disrespectful, did almost no work and basically made the teacher's life a hell on earth. I only had this happen twice, but it's an awful experience and there's no one you can complain to about this kind of bullying.

by Anonymousreply 63November 27, 2023 8:33 PM

Typo above: instructor

by Anonymousreply 64November 27, 2023 8:34 PM

R63 karma comes to those kids in the end, I'm sure. Doubtful they went on the any kind of success in life.

by Anonymousreply 65November 27, 2023 8:35 PM

The black community doesn’t value education at all. This is why every other immigrant group surpasses them within one generation. I don’t see anything changing over the next century.

by Anonymousreply 66November 27, 2023 8:42 PM

"Judge me NOT by the content of my character, but the COLOR OF MY SKIN!"

by Anonymousreply 67November 27, 2023 8:42 PM

R66 That is African Americans of course. Funny thing, I remember being in community college years ago before transferring into a 4-year university. The contrast between Africans and African Americans was mind blowing. The African-Americans acted stupid and ghetto and the Africans from Africa acted like every other group - normal.

And Africans are incredibly education-oriented.

by Anonymousreply 68November 27, 2023 9:15 PM

Yes black Americans have a completely different mindset from Africans and even older black Americans.

Older black Americans begged for education, the younger ones shun it. What changed?

by Anonymousreply 69November 27, 2023 9:19 PM

It's a poorly kept secret that in general, both Africans and Caribbean black people look down on American black people. They don't feel a kinship with them at all.

by Anonymousreply 70November 27, 2023 9:20 PM

[quote]The black community doesn’t value education at all. This is why every other immigrant group surpasses them within one generation. I don’t see anything changing over the next century.

Well, you have the Democrats wanting us to lower our standards, because blacks are too lazy and can't keep. Look at what California, Oregon, and Washington have already done disregarding test scores and such.

[quote][R66] That is African Americans of course. Funny thing, I remember being in community college years ago before transferring into a 4-year university. The contrast between Africans and African Americans was mind blowing. The African-Americans acted stupid and ghetto and the Africans from Africa acted like every other group - normal.

That's because African-Americans are coddled by Democrats, who tend to treat them like simple-minded children who desperately need the guidance of a white savior.

by Anonymousreply 71November 27, 2023 9:25 PM

I teach in an unusually diverse school, although the largest demographic is Hispanic. It’s About 20% AA and African, the rest is Asian and White. The Black people are middle and upper middle class and have involved educated parents. They score high and are on point academically. It’s the Hispanics who struggle, most of the parents aren’t educated and don’t know how to help their kids. It’s not 1960 anymore, there are plenty of affluent black people in major cities. They’re just as high achieving as Asians. I don’t know what the actual statistics are, but I’ve noticed a big change in just the last ten years in terms of middle class blacks living in affluent, formally white, areas. This is the DC area, I don’t know how it’s like elsewhere.

by Anonymousreply 72November 27, 2023 9:29 PM

[quote]Wait till you hear the solution the school came up with!

Firehoses for the little colored children, R4?

by Anonymousreply 73November 27, 2023 9:33 PM

r68 -- Same here. Ages ago I taught ESL on Chicago's north side at Truman College. The African immigrants or those on visa here to study are a gulf apart from their African American contemporaries.

And, r70, the feeling is mutual. I had a student from Senegal who arrived to class visibly shaken. He had just been harassed on the bus by a group of young AA men. He was always neatly dressed and looked slightly nerdy though he was over 6' and well built. "You think you're better than us?!" They surrounded him and he was legitimately scared. He kept repeating "I don't understand." I felt so bad for him.

by Anonymousreply 74November 27, 2023 9:39 PM

Sometimes you have to wonder if the programs are being set up on purpose to impede development.

by Anonymousreply 75November 27, 2023 9:44 PM

I think conservatives are behind these supposedly "liberal" ideas and mindless liberals go along with it. It's a conservative agenda, brought to fruition by modern day liberals who make the perfect sheep because they aren't allowed to criticize any group whatsoever without being labeled a bigot.

by Anonymousreply 76November 27, 2023 9:50 PM

This nonsense all started when “Ebonics” was accepted as legitimate speech. Immigrants from all over the world have no problem learning English within one generation, yet African-Americans who were born in the US are unable to conjugate the verb “to be”… which is typically mastered by most Americans by third grade.

Instead of being told to learn proper English, the African-American community was coddled and told that their ghetto nonsense-speak was its own language. Everything else devolved from there.

by Anonymousreply 77November 27, 2023 9:56 PM

If it works, great. They're putting people in a remedial class while pretending it's about racial justice. Maybe that's easier on their egos.

by Anonymousreply 78November 28, 2023 12:03 AM

Looking into my crystal ball... my magical crystal ball where I see occult visions of the incredibly, crashingly obvious future....

The school will spend itself silly, hiring classroom aides and trying every metric under the sun to make the black students' achievement seem higher. Reading and writing scores... P/SAT scores... Regents scores... math scores. They will even measure the number of "disciplinary incidents," using an incredibly liberal definition of "incident."

By any and every metric, achievement levels will remain the same in the black cohort. The achievement levels may rise slightly in the white/Asian cohort, just because achievement always rises when the least capable and/or most disruptive are removed from the classroom.

These facts will be used to prove that segregation is a disaster, an evil plan that was forced on the school by whitey, who is once again deliberately suppressing black excellence because slavery and white supremacy.

The new plan will be: The worst-performing black children will be put into the class with the best-performing white children, so whitey can't continue to hog all those resources and good test scores for his own kids.

Wait for results.... then repeat the entire cycle after a few years.

by Anonymousreply 79November 28, 2023 12:22 AM

This is great for the white students. It prevents their parents from having to move to the suburbs to escape low-performing majority-black schools.

by Anonymousreply 80November 28, 2023 12:29 AM

Evanston is a suburb.

by Anonymousreply 81November 28, 2023 12:31 AM

R79. Illinois doesn’t have Regents Exams—don’t be so provincial

by Anonymousreply 82November 28, 2023 12:44 AM

R77. While I am in favor of all US students learning Standard English, as they will be expected to communicate in it is most workplaces, you are wrong (and racist) in your characterization of AAVE or BVE. Linguists long ago identified consisted, logical rules governing phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics and pragmatics in AAVE. You could learn it the way you would any language or dialect and produce an infinite number of consistently formed sentences in it.

by Anonymousreply 83November 28, 2023 12:50 AM

[quote] logical rules

Of what did they consist?

by Anonymousreply 84November 28, 2023 1:03 AM

R81 Not suburban enough for certain kinds of people.

by Anonymousreply 85November 28, 2023 1:50 AM

R39, go FUCK YOURSELF.

by Anonymousreply 86November 28, 2023 1:51 AM

[quote]It's a poorly kept secret that in general, both Africans and Caribbean black people look down on American black people. They don't feel a kinship with them at all.

I've known and worked with many African immigrants and Caribbean immigrants and they say all the same things about Black Americans that racist white people say. When I first heard some of them talking about Black Americans, I couldn't believe the things they were saying.

by Anonymousreply 87November 28, 2023 2:18 AM

Aside from the education thing what do they complain about?

by Anonymousreply 88November 28, 2023 2:30 AM

Yeah it needs to be a teacher they trust.

They trusted Jasmine Escalante in Stand and Deliver.

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by Anonymousreply 89November 28, 2023 2:38 AM

[quote]Instead of being told to learn proper English, the African-American community was coddled and told that their ghetto nonsense-speak was its own language.

r77 It's called Black vernacular. It's not too dissimilar from "Spanglish." Believe it or not, most of us do, in fact, know how and when to employ its use. It's called "code-switching." Gauging one's intelligence level from how they speak is low-hanging fruit and rarely accurate. I have family members who have degrees from MIT, Harvard, and University of Michigan who speak like they stepped out of The Color Purple when amongst family and friends, and turn into "refined dignitaries" in professional settings.

On the other hand, I've run across quite a few Whites who speak perfect standard American English, but didn't know that Independence Day and July 4th are the same fucking day. I wish I was joking.

by Anonymousreply 90November 28, 2023 7:09 AM

^ The Color Purple was a good movie, although it would have been more believable if Whoopi had made out with Oprah.

by Anonymousreply 91November 28, 2023 7:16 AM

Segregating girls from boys in highschool advanced math helps girls achieve more.

by Anonymousreply 92November 28, 2023 8:22 AM

So I guess George Wallace should have stuck with "segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever!"

by Anonymousreply 93November 28, 2023 1:03 PM

When I left Chicago in '83, Evanston was majorly white. When did that shift? I've always assumed Evanston was more expensive to live in.

by Anonymousreply 94November 28, 2023 1:21 PM

[quote]The Color Purple was a good movie, although it would have been more believable if Whoopi had made out with Oprah.

If The Color Purple were made today the lesbian stuff would be in the movie, but in 1985? No way.

by Anonymousreply 95November 28, 2023 3:02 PM

I just feel bad for the black kids who don't opt in. I would have been one of them. When I was going to school, there were a group of black kids bused in to my middle school. I was terrified of them. But of course all of my white classmates saw us as the same. I did very well academically, btw, thank you very much. 4.0 GPA at a private Jesuit School, 5 on my AP English Exam, 4 on my AP European History Exam, 4 on my AP French Exam - which all allowed me to skip freshman requisite courses in college. I got into the first college of my choice - the best Foreign Service school in the country. But I was just smart and I had smart parents. And I took typing in the second grade, ha!

by Anonymousreply 96November 28, 2023 3:21 PM

R95, the Color Purple remake comes out in December, and it will have the lesbian content!

by Anonymousreply 97November 28, 2023 7:09 PM
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