All the seventy-six schools recently listed by the Alabama Department of Education as “failing” are black, and together account for 92 percent of the students in failing schools in that state.
The report, based on the schools’ ACT Aspire test scores—which measures reading and math, also revealed that the number of “failed” schools in Alabama has risen from fifty-six the previous year.
The most “failed” schools were in the Birmingham City School system, where eighteen schools were listed. Next was Bessemer City, where five schools were listed as “failing”—although the report did not attempt to point out the clear correlation between the schools being black and their failure rate.
Only the Al.com, a news site set up to combine the Birmingham News, the Huntsville Times and Mobile’s Press-Register, and the Mississippi Press, dared to point out the racial element of the problem—but backed away from actually defining the cause.
According to the AL.com story, “Alabama continues to fail to educate black students who are schooled in relative isolation,” and there “are just under 37,000 children in failing schools in Alabama. More than 34,000 of those children are African American.”
Typically, the AL.com tried to blame white people for these “failing schools,” saying that these “76 failing schools are the modern face of a legacy of segregation followed by desegregation followed by white flight followed by resegregation.”
In other words, they are “failing” because the whites have left the area and there are only blacks left—as if it is only white presence which allowed blacks to advance academically.
As the AL.com goes on to say: “Most of the schools are predominantly black. What’s predominantly mean? At Hatch High in Perry County, 688 of the 689 students are black. At Hudson Middle in Selma, 465 of the 469 students are black. There are no exceptions. Goodwyn Middle is the by far most “diverse” school on the list, and its student body is 72 percent African American.”
In addition, the AL.com report says, at half of the failing schools, “three quarters or more of the children qualify for free or reduced-price lunch. At all of the schools, more than half of the students get subsidized lunch. To spell that out plainly, every single one of the newly announced “failing” schools is both majority black and majority poor.”
The reason why these schools are classed as failing is because the “accountability rules” label as “failing” any school scoring in the bottom 6 percent on standardized tests for reading and math.
“African American children today account for just one third of the 731,000 students in public schools across the state. Yet last week they accounted for 92 percent of the students in failing schools. But now that lawmakers have mandated this annual expose of racial isolation and inequities within the public system, what are they going to do about it?” the AL.com article concluded.
The real reason for the academic gap is, of course, not related to any “school building” or the absence or presence of whites. It is solely the cause of an unbridgeable, inherited, racial gap in IQ levels.
As outlined in the book, The Black-White Test Score Gap, edited by Christopher Jencks and Meredith Phillips (Brookings Institution Press, 1998), blacks in America score lower than whites on vocabulary, reading, and mathematics tests, as well as on tests that claim to measure scholastic aptitude and intelligence.
This gap appears before children enter kindergarten, and it persists into adulthood. The typical American black still scores below 75 percent of American whites on most standardized tests.
Until this reality is accepted, there will never be a “solution” to the question of “failing schools” and all attempts to solve it by throwing millions of dollars and passing “no child left behind”-type laws, will be in vain.