Further, the record supports a causal link between these socioeconomic factors and student achievement across the four districts: “There is consistency between the gap in socioeconomic status with the gap in achievement, with Brandywine statistics demonstrating the greatest disparity in both areas, Colonial the least disparity.” Id. With such support in the record, these findings cannot be clearly erroneous. Anchoring its determination on these unfortunate, but uncontroverted, socioeconomic factors, the court found, inter alia, that “[b]ecause the environment outside school is so strong, cumulative, and varied, schools cannot overcome such environmental/differences [sic] among children.” Id. at 819. We agree.
As humans, we acknowledge with melancholy the fact that many socioeconomic factors militate against a completely level playing field in our society. As judges, however, we are powerless to alter formidable social, economic and demographic forces and conditions over which no legal precept has control. Moreover, we are constrained to fulfill an obligation to address only those constitutional questions properly presented to us, and to show fealty to appropriate standards of review, lest we abandon the limits on judicial power that give coherence to our political system. The district court articulated the meaning of these institutional limits for this case:
a. Black households are 2.54 times as likely as white households to have a reporting householder who lacks a high school degree. JA 437, 6567
b. Black households are 6.47 times as likely as white households to have children categorized as being in poverty. JA 548, 6569. * * *
d. 4 times as many black students as white students are eligible to participate in the federally subsided (sic) lunch program. JA 550, 670.
e. Blacks are 2.86 times as likely as whites to be unemployed. JA 549, 6573.
f. Black households with children are 3.21 times as likely as white households with children to be headed by a single parent. JA 551, 6574. * * *
m. The average white student lives in a Census tract where 51% of the adults have some college education; the average black student lives in a Census tract where only 33% of the adults have some college education. JA 669-70.
n. Blacks in the desegregation area are in an inferior position economically to whites, and that gap is wider in New Castle County than it is in the nation as a whole. JA 550.
o. There is consistency between the gap in socioeconomic status with the gap in achievement, with Brandywine statistics demonstrating the greatest disparity in both areas, Colonial the least disparity. JA
Check out the entire court ruling in this historic case. It’s quite obvious the United State Court of Appeals agree that there is a link between socioeconomic conditions and achievement to the extent they limit liability against the school districts who apparently complied with the desegregation order. However, though the school districts complied with the oder doesn’t mean it eliminated the racist working within the system.
As far as the socioeconomic factors impacting achievement I want to make it clear that though a student is poor it doesn’t mean they are stupid. However. the socioeconomic condition they live in does impede their ability to achieve. Delaware Governor Jack Markell’s apparent love affair with the United States Secretary of Education Arne Duncan support Duncan’s notion that tradtional public school teachers are root cause in the failure of high poverty students.
Markell’s willingness to jump on Duncan’s Race to The Top plan demonstrates Markell’s ignorance to conditions and impact poverty has on achievement and question his abilities to lead Delaware’s economic recovery that is fair and equitable to all people. Jack Markell enjoined the minority vote during his campaign and fails to recognized that those vote came on the coat-tail of President Obama.
If Jack Markell gave a dam about our poor students he would step up and ensure free transportation for those students who want to participate in school choice. Currently and supported by Markell’s laws parents must transport their children to a bus stop within their choice school. Many poor parents don’t own reliable transportation and are one care families. Jack Markell’s law supports the charter school admission process that allows charter schools to separate students by intelligent and refuses to demand change. Jack Markell knows dam well that most of the failing charter schools are high poverty and predominately African-American and does nothing about it. Jack Markell stands by and ignores the fact that Delaware has created a psychological concentration camp for Delaware’s poor African-Americas.
I can’t fault Jack Markell for doing everything he can to being revenues to the State of Delaware. But I don’t admire him as a man willing to drop to his knees to give Arne Duncan a political blow job. Duncan takes 4,5 billion dollars of the federal stimulus package and uses it like a pervert on a school playground try to attract naive kids. Duncan is using this money to advance and agenda to privatize public schools to appease the business community. Duncan is sowing seeds for life after Washington and Markell is sowing seeds for life after Dover. Markell seems so willing to swallow everything including his pride to set the stage for political advancement.
If Markell wants to have political orgies with the likes of Arne Duncan that his business. However, when the payment for this political sex is Delaware and public education it’s my business.
Markell needs to take one hard ass look in the mirror before he sells out Delaware’s public school teachers. Jack is smart enough to know inferior weak-ass laws governing Delaware public schools forces teachers to teach to a test and be led by many in competent school administrators who are more concerns with kissing the asses of political leaders than focusing on the needs of students within their districts.
Jack, nothing is stopping you from hammering out a deal with the teacher’s union to weed out those teachers obviously in the wrong profession, provide reasonable retraining of teaches lacking, provide meaningful professional development and to work together as “Delaware” to resolve “Delaware’s” education problems. You have some nerve to line up behind Arne Duncan who is not a teacher, was never a teacher and never held an administration position in a public school and who was a political appointee by Mayor Daley. Duncan couldn’t even make first string in his profession, basketball. He had to move out of the United States to play basketball on a foreign team.
Jack it’s not easy being governor is it? Well Jack, it’s not easy being a Delawarean watching our governor handover the keys to Delaware’s public schools to Arne Duncan. If your not up to leading this state without selling us out to the likes of Arne Duncan perhaps you need to step down.
The failure of governments who can’t improve the socioeconomic factors within their cities and states that impede on children’s ability to participate in public education on a fair and equitable playing filed is an insult to that government’s constitution allowing them to govern.
If Delaware public school teachers are held accountable for socioeconomic factors impeding their ability to teach than Delaware’s governor should be arrested for the deaths of those homeless who die in the streets.