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Stanford study shows link between achievement gap and racial disparities in school discipline

Original post made on Oct 30, 2019

A new Stanford University study has documented for the first time at the national level a link between achievement gaps and disproportional discipline rates for black and white students: as one gap widens or shrinks, so does the other.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, October 30, 2019, 11:09 AM

Comments (20)

12 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 30, 2019 at 2:42 pm

It is hard to comment on this without being thought of as racist.

However, it should be taken seriously because school discipline issues often follow a person into adulthood and criminal activity.


47 people like this
Posted by Back to basic
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 30, 2019 at 3:45 pm

To Francis Pearman: please read "Why Has PAUSD Failed in Closing the Achievement Gap or Reducing Stress?" Web Link. It comes with rich hard evidence gleaned from Palo Alto Online.

Please watch Barry Garelick's 30-minute talk on how your colleagues--the elite math education revolutionaries at Stanford Graduate School of Education have effectively ruined U.S. K-12 math: "Math Education in the US: Still Crazy After All These Years." Web Link

Please read Diane Ravitch's "Hard Lessons" to learn about how English, History and other subjects had been dumbed down over the past century. Web Link

Citizens, please watch out! the Stanford Graduate School of Education math reformists are putting AMERICA AT RISK -- they are compaigning to get rid of Algebra 2 from high school curriculum and to replace it with so-called data science! They call themselves math-education professors, but they are from an education or psychology background. Steeped in progressive education doctrines but primitive in real math knowledge, they have led astray U.S. K-12 math for decades!

Data shows that high school graduates equipped with Algebra 2 have a mere 2 percent chance to attain a STEM degree in the future. Removing Algebra 2 out of high school graduation requirements will shut the doors to a future STEM career for most students. How can one learn real data science without the foundation of Algebra 2?

The dumbing-down K-12 education with low standards, low expectations and false pedagogy for disadvantaged students is the utmost racism and severest social injustice!


47 people like this
Posted by Family Friendly
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 30, 2019 at 7:29 pm

In other words, failure in school correlates with misbehavior in school.

Glad to see our tax dollars being spent on valuable research.


6 people like this
Posted by 2e 2
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 30, 2019 at 8:28 pm

This same phenomenon explains our district's abysmal outcomes with disabled students overall, too. The district is also more likely to discipline disabled students of all races, especially disabled students of color.

We experienced adults in school going beyond just being more likely to discipline, there were several incidents of bullying BY teachers and administrators, including threats of suspension (where the child did nothing wrong and was literally set up by administrators), singling out the child for ridicule as part of an "accommodation" they didn't want to provide (affecting the child's whole social life in school), teachers pressuring child with misinformation about child's disability (for which child's doctor said they "should be shot" it was so egregious), ignoring bullying of the child, underplaying child's successes and ridiculously magnifying any silly behavior to claim child was a discipline problem.

Our district culture is still so unhealthy. Did you see the separate editorial recently by a school board member wondering why we have fewer first graders. No surprise here.


19 people like this
Posted by Back to basic
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 30, 2019 at 8:58 pm

Citizens, please watch out! The Stanford Graduate School of Education math reformists are putting AMERICA AT RISK -- they are compaigning to get rid of Algebra 2 from high school curriculum and to replace it with so-called data science! Web Link
Web Link

Their romantic, child-centered progressive approach could never conquer Algebra 2, so they desparately want to annihilate it!

Such a move will effectively dismantle American high school STEM education while further weakening the dismal math attainment of disadvantaged kids--currently merely 5% of African kids and 7% of Latino kids in California met the mediocre math standards!

Citizens, please read watch Barry Garelick's talk Web Link and read his essays Web Link. Since the early 20th century, generations of progressive educators have gradually transformed the traditional K-12 math into a sort of “alternative math” featuring deficient content, incoherent structures, and convoluted methods. Over the past decades, the Stanford Graduate School of Education reformists have been at the helm in misguiding U.S. K-12 math education via their deceitful "conceptual understanding," "higher-order thinking," "21st century skills" fads. They have sent countless kids onto the K-12 math-science death march!

Citizens, please speak up! America is in danger! The wrongheaded education is depriving our youth of their future! We are at a Dark Age of American K-12 education. When will a Renaissance of traditional (real) math dawn in America? In fact, math is not a peculiarly difficult subject if taught in a traditional approach. But the math-education reformists have made real math formidable for everyone!


50 people like this
Posted by Really?
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 30, 2019 at 9:28 pm

You wonder if these Stanford education profs/grads ever get embarrassed by this stuff. Kids who gets suspended more do less well in school; kids who do less well in school get suspended more. This is right up there with the self-esteem "research" of 30 years ago. I seriously wonder if these ed schools actually provide any value at all. They may sometimes be right, but on they are tremendously obtuse in other areas.


30 people like this
Posted by Statistician
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 30, 2019 at 11:27 pm

Is this a causal relationship or a correlation! That is, misbehaving causes failure in school, or failure in school causes misbehavior, or they are just correlated as when the student misbehaves, s(he) does not have any energy left to study. You expect a better reporting of a research work from a Stanford group.


18 people like this
Posted by StatGuy
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 31, 2019 at 7:14 am

I know nothing about this space and I am glad that it is being studied.

I do know something about science, studies and statistics. One famous maxim of statistics is this "correlation does not imply causation." In other words, just because two variables move together in your data tells you nothing about whether one causes the other. This is a good summary of the maxim along with some interesting data sets:

Web Link

This Stanford study shows correlation, but makes no scientific statement about causation. With careful observation, correlation is easy to demonstrate and prove. Causation is much harder to prove and is not present in this study. As a result any prescriptive solutions from this study assumes a correlation that is not present in actual science.


Like this comment
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 31, 2019 at 10:27 am

>> This Stanford study shows correlation, but makes no scientific statement about causation. With careful observation, correlation is easy to demonstrate and prove. Causation is much harder to prove and is not present in this study. As a result any prescriptive solutions from this study assumes a correlation that is not present in actual science.

I didn't see much in the way of "prescriptive solutions" in the study. The study "confirmed" certain correlations and stated that certain causality-type things were "suggested". The main conclusion that I would draw from it is the need for more study.


25 people like this
Posted by Back to basic
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 31, 2019 at 11:33 am

The wrongheaded progressive education championed by Stanford Graudate School of Education reformists is responsible for misbehaving and poor performance of disadvantaged kids.

My friend was a sub teacher in Chicago public schools. She was amazed and very touched by all the wonderful traits--cooperation, bravery, fraternity, perseverance, sympathy...--exhibited by her black students in basketball plays during PE classes. She concluded that every kid cares for his future. When he sees his future in sports, he strives his best to pursue it. As he sees dim hope in academic attainment, he gets bored, spiritless, irritative in classes.

But the misguided K-12 math by progressive educators extinguishes academic hope for disadvantaged kids, as they rely exclusively on school education.

But the disadvantaged minority kids CAN be high-achievers, if they receive a truly high-standard education.

In the 1980s, Jaime Escalante, a math teacher of an East Los Angeles high school in an impoverished neighborhood, got hundreds of his students—sons and daughters of day laborers, seamstresses, house cleaners—to pass the AP Calculus exam, and many of them have performed remarkably well in college and later in their careers. Some time around the 1990s, 14 of Escalante's students were attending Harvard, Yale, or MIT. Amar Bose, the late MIT professor who founded Bose Corp., paid a one-week visit to Escalante's classroom to study his teaching style. A 1988 Hollywood film Stand and Deliver and a 2016 Forever stamp immortalized Escalante.
Web Link

In 2016, at Lincoln High, a Los Angeles school where 80% of the students are Latino, the young math teacher Anthony Yom got his whole class to pass the AP Calculus exam, and a student named Cedrick Argueta was one of the twelve students in the world to earn a perfect score.
Web Link

In 2018, at New York City’s Success Academy schools, 98 percent of the students passed state math tests and 91 percent passed reading tests, and Success Academy schools occupied the list of top city schools in math proficiency. This achievement comes from a student group made up of 95 percent children of color and whose families have a median income of $32,000.


18 people like this
Posted by Family Friendly
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 31, 2019 at 11:38 am

@Anon: They pretty strongly hinted at a prescription, based on the phrase "racial disparities in discipline."

The claim is that punishing misbehavior is causing failure in school, and not punishing it would increase math and reading abilities. Obviously, the opposite will happen. Crime- and violence-plagued schools and student groups will be even more crime- and violence-plagued, and no one will be able to concentrate on their studies. Serious students in bad schools are being thrown under the school bus in the name of political correctness.


4 people like this
Posted by Member
a resident of Palo Alto Orchards
on Oct 31, 2019 at 1:15 pm

In case you're just reading the news article, may I provide you the actual link behind the article.

Web Link


6 people like this
Posted by Mary
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 31, 2019 at 1:50 pm

It took a Stanford study to figure this out? *rolling my eyes* Duh! The study should be on why isn't there more counseling and help in the schools to address these issues. Everyone has a right to an education no matter what is happening at home or anyone's situation!


12 people like this
Posted by Strange Study
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Nov 1, 2019 at 2:25 am

This was indeed a very strange study and some very odd conclusions. The authors even say: "the patterns described should not be interpreted as causal. " But then, this article quotes a bunch of remedies which seem at odd with this emphasis.

For the next study, I believe the authors will be looking at the relationship between roosters crowing and the sun coming up, and describing how we can train our roosters to crow earlier so that we can have more daylight.


7 people like this
Posted by Bob
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 1, 2019 at 12:04 pm

This issue of introducing "ethnic studies" into the classroom in order to teach, say, mathematics has resonated in the Seattle school system. The following is from the proposed Math Ethnic Studies framework:

Definition of theme: Origins, Identity and Agency, as defined by ethnic studies, is the ways in which we view ourselves as mathematicians and members of broader mathematical communities. Mathematical theory and application is rooted in the ancient histories of people and empires of color. All human endeavors include mathematical thinking; from humanities to the arts to the sciences.

Origins, Identity, and Agency Power and Oppression History of Resistance and Liberation Reflection and Action Definition of theme: Origins, Identity and Agency, as defined by ethnic studies, is the ways in which we view ourselves as mathematicians and members of broader mathematical communities. Mathematical theory and application is rooted in the ancient histories of people and empires of color. All human endeavors include mathematical thinking; from humanities to the arts to the sciences.

Definition of theme: Power and oppression, as defined by ethnic studies, are the ways in which individuals and groups define mathematical knowledge so as to see “Western” mathematics as the only legitimate expression of mathematical identity and intelligence. This definition of legitimacy is then used to disenfranchise people and communities of color. This erases the historical contributions of people and communities of color. Definition of theme: The history of resistance and liberation, as defined by ethnic studies, is the stories, places, and people who helped liberate people and communities of color using math, engineering, and technology. Access to mathematical knowledge itself is an act of liberation.

Definition of theme: Student action, as defined by ethnic studies, is fostering a sense of advocacy, empowerment, and action in the students that creates internal motivation to engage in and contribute to their identities as mathematicians. Students will be confident in their ability to construct & decode mathematical knowledge, truth, and beauty so they can contribute to their experiences and the experiences of people in their community
#---

Really hard to understand how students exposed to math cloaked in this framework will ever really learn much about math, or chemistry, or biology, or anything that involves computation and logic.


Like this comment
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 1, 2019 at 1:57 pm

Posted by Bob, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood

>> This issue of introducing "ethnic studies"

Do you have an original source link for your quotation?

On the correlation vs causality thing: yes, it is very difficult to "prescribe" a solution for something like this. In an entirely different realm, is it actually bad for you to be just a few pounds overweight? While the impact of severe obesity is actually pretty well understood, linear correlations involving both small and large amounts of overweight can be controversial and misleading: Web Link . Likewise, in a classroom setting, it might be obviously bad for a student, and, a group of students, to be overtly, constantly stigmatized, ridiculed, and punished. But, maybe a small amount might just make you stronger, like the cliche says.

Can we agree on the, "Further research is needed." ;-)


4 people like this
Posted by Math Ethnic Studies
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 1, 2019 at 2:05 pm

@Anon, here you go. Seems legitimate.

SEATTLE PUBLIC SCHOOLS
K-12 Math Ethnic Studies Framework (20.08.2019)
Web Link

Other tidbits:
Where does Power and Oppression show up in our math experiences?
How is math manipulated to allow inequality and oppression to persist?
How has math been used to resist and liberate people and communities of color from oppression?
How can we change mathematics from individualistic to collectivist thinking?


4 people like this
Posted by Bob
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 1, 2019 at 2:14 pm

@Math Ethnic Studies

Thanks .. that's the link. Really interesting (or scary) reading if you want your child to be proficient in math and STEM-related areas.


1 person likes this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 1, 2019 at 2:42 pm

Thanks for the link!

I still can't tell what the context is. This could just be random verbiage generated by bored teachers at one of those dumb "in-service" workshops, or, it could be an actual, misguided policy document. Does anyone know if teachers are actually being required to do something with this document?

Because, of course, if someone actually is interested in teaching the history of mathematics, the material has been available for a long time, but, well, not that many people really are that interested in the history of zero. e.g., the Indian mathematician Brahmagupta in the 7th century: Web Link . I would be interested if it turns out that K-12 students actually are interested in such things.


6 people like this
Posted by pinball
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Nov 2, 2019 at 11:34 pm

pinball is a registered user.

There's lots of ideology in the performance gap, but not much data.
How about math boot camps instead of juicing the minority student scores with automatic As in ethinic studies?
When ever educational methods instructors come up with new course work, it ought to be actually tested as to how it boosts or degrades performance in students short and long term.

The fear is of couse, that they'll dumb down courses or add dumb courses to make the gap seem less. This does indeed happen. I graduated way back from Paly and found that my "A" in math courses in high school were lot deeper and harder than other people's "As in math courses in their high schools". But, the world needs lots of high intelligence, well trained. We shouldn't degrade education to be politically correct. Upgrade the training of minorities and all students, but if the gap remains ... there's many other things where "ought" doesn't match "is".


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