Texas law professor: Single-parent families hurting college prospects for ‘the Blacks’


A University of Texas law professor told a BBC interviewer that he believed growing up in single-parent households compounded black students’ difficulty in completing the college admissions process.

“To me it’s speculation — it’s in no area that I can claim expertise. It is the case that the single-parent household, the childs [sic] born outside of marriage today is approaching three-quarters in the black population,” Professor Lino Graglia said on Nov. 29, The Daily Mail reported Tuesday. “I can hardly imagine a less beneficial or more deleterious experience than to be raised by a single parent.”

He went on to describe the parent as “usually female, uneducated and without a lot of money” and said the average black student’s score on the SAT was 200 points less than that of an average white student.

Graglia made the remarks to columnist Gary Younge as part of a report on affirmative action and U.S. college admissions Younge produced for BBC radio, and appears to be alluding to data from the U.S. Census (PDF) stating that 66 percent of low-income children raised in single-parent families identify as African-American.

“Racial discrimination stopped, and what happened? Very few blacks got into the University of Texas, and that was a disappointment,” Graglia said. “I said, ‘Gee, no more segregation, but where are the blacks? They’re still not here. Why? Because they don’t meet the qualifications.’”

When Younge pointed out that he was black and raised in a single-parent household, Graglia suggested that Younge was an anomaly.

“From listening to you and knowing what you are and what you’ve done, I suspect you’re rather more smart,” Graglia said. “My guess would be that you are above usual smartness – for whites, to say nothing of blacks.”

His remarks were criticized Wednesday by biologist DN Lee in a column published Tuesday at Scientific American:

Let’s not get it twisted. It is not about being Black or Brown. It is about being poor and yes single parent (low income) families have one helluva time supporting students high performance in academics. But we see this across the board, not just in Black Families. Economically disenfranchised communities house poorer School Districts. The tax base that supports the school is small. There tends to be high unemployment, high use of social services, higher percentage of stressed families. Poorer School Districts provide fewer challenging courses in Math, Science or college preparatory courses like Advancement Placement classes. Poorer School districts struggle to keep standardized test scores up. They struggle to keep students engaged and enrolled. Being poor sucks and in today’s economy kids from inner-cities, rural areas or once-productive factory towns see the path out of poverty as a misty-filmed commercial harder and harder to comprehend.

Graglia is listed as the A. W. Walker Centennial Chair in Law at the law school of the university’s Austin campus. The school did not return a call seeking a comment on Graglia’s statements.

Listen to a portion of Graglia’s interview with Younge, originally aired Nov. 29.


(Sex)abled: Disability Uncensored


In other news. A product of my crusade to self-educate via internet. My google-search history right now: awkward.awesome.

(via obscenepromqueen)

"The electoral process has been hijacked by corporations. The judiciary has been corrupted and bought. The press shuts out the most important voices in the country and feeds us the banal and the absurd. Universities prostitute themselves for corporate dollars. Labor unions are marginal and ineffectual forces. The economy is in the hands of corporate swindlers and speculators. And the public, enchanted by electronic hallucinations, remains largely passive and supine. We have no tools left within the power structure in our fight to halt unchecked corporate pillage."

Chris Hedges on why revolt is all we have left (via thepeoplesrecord)

(Source: thepeoplesrecord)

The closing of American academia


In most professions, salaries below the poverty line would be cause for alarm. In academia, they are treated as a source of gratitude. Volunteerism is par for the course - literally. Teaching is touted as a “calling”, with compensation an afterthought. One American research university offers its PhD students a salary of $1000 per semester for the “opportunity” to design and teach a course for undergraduates, who are each paying about $50,000 in tuition. The university calls this position “Senior Teaching Assistant” because paying an instructor so far below minimum wage is probably illegal.

In addition to teaching, academics conduct research and publish, but they are not paid for this work either. Instead, all proceeds go to for-profit academic publishers, who block academic articles from the public through exorbitant download and subscription fees, making millions for themselves in the process. If authors want to make their research public, they have to pay the publisher an average of $3000 per article. Without an institutional affiliation, an academic cannot access scholarly research without paying, even for articles written by the scholar itself.

It may be hard to summon sympathy for people who walk willingly into such working conditions. “Bart, don’t make fun of grad students,” Marge told her son on an oft-quoted episode of The Simpsons. “They just made a terrible life choice.”

But all Americans should be concerned about adjuncts, and not only because adjuncts are the ones teaching our youth. The adjunct problem is emblematic of broader trends in American employment: the end of higher education as a means to prosperity, and the severing of opportunity to all but the most privileged.

In a searing commentary, political analyst Joshua Foust notes that the unpaid internships that were once limited to show business have now spread to nearly every industry. “It’s almost impossible to get a job working on policy in this town without an unpaid internship,” he writes from Washington DC, one of the most expensive cities in the country. Even law, once a safety net for American strivers, is now a profession where jobs pay as little as $10,000 a year - unfeasible for all but the wealthy, and devastating for those who have invested more than $100,000 into their degrees. One after another, the occupations that shape American society are becoming impossible for all but the most elite to enter.

"Many students, especially those who are poor, intuitively know what the schools do for them. They school them to confuse process and substance. Once these become blurred, a new logic is assumed: the more treatment there is, the better are the results; or, escalation leads to success. The pupil is thereby “schooled” to confuse teaching with learning, grade advancement with education, a diploma with competence, and fluency with the ability to say something new. His imagination is “schooled” to accept service in place of value. Medical treatment is mistaken for health care, social work for the improvement of community life, police protection for safety, military poise for national security, the rat race for productive work. Health, learning, dignity, independence, and creative endeavor are defined as little more than the performance of the institutions which claim to serve these ends, and their improvement is made to depend on allocating more resources to the management of hospitals, schools, and other agencies in question."

Ivan Illich, Deschooling Society (via anarcho-fabio)

(via afrafemme)

NC school strip searches 10-year-old over $20 he didn't steal


An elementary school in Clinton, North Carolina says an assistant principal was within her legal rights when she stripped a 10-year-old boy down to his underwear because he had been accused of stealing $20.

Clarinda Cox told WRAL that her son, Justin, was forced to take off everything but his underwear and undershirt earlier this month after several students said he had stolen $20 from another student.

Justin insisted that he had picked up the money and given it back to the girl after she dropped it. The girl later said someone had stolen the money and several students pointed to Justin.

The boy recalled that Union Elementary School Assistant Principal Teresa Holmes took him into a bathroom and ordered him to take off his clothes.

“She didn’t ask me if she could, she told me, ‘Now I have to strip search you,’ ” Justin said.

Clarinda Cox stated if the North Carolina elementary school principal had called her, she would have come to the school and searched her son. The female assistant principal, Teresa Holmes strip searched the third grade student in a private room. After discovering Cox did not have the missing $20 tucked away somewhere on his body, she gave the student a hug. The money was later found near where it was initially lost, under a cafeteria table where the girl had been seated. 

The third-grader’s mother is not satisfied with the North Carolina school district’s response and feels her son was violated during the strip search, according to her statements to WRAL News. inquisitr.com

Sampson County Schools spokesperson Susan Warren told WRAL that Holmes had not violated any rules because a male janitor was present for the search.

“She came up to him and rubbed her fingers around inside of his underwear,” Clarinda Cox explained. “If that isn’t excessively intrusive, I don’t know what is.”

(via eschaton-disaster)



education vs. incarceration

And the prisons are private business. They only profit if crime continues. 
Commodifying the suffering of humanity. 



education vs. incarceration

And the prisons are private business. They only profit if crime continues. 

Commodifying the suffering of humanity. 

(via irresistible-revolution)

U.S. Dept. of Justice Tells Ark. University to Allow Transwoman to Use Bathroom


Jennifer Braly

Jennifer Braly  

A transgender student from the University of Arkansas at Ft. Smith is now allowed to use the school’s women’s bathrooms after the Department of Justice (DOJ) sent a letter to the college telling officials to revise their policy, Campus Reform reported.

Jennifer Braly, 38, a transgender woman, filed a complaint with the DOJ because the university’s officials told her that she could not use the women’s bathrooms on the school’s campus. They did, however, insist that she could use the “gender-neutral bathrooms.”

“Some saw me using the women’s public restrooms and complained,” Braly said. “[O]ne problem to this is there are not unisex bathrooms in every building. Especially the two main buildings where most of my classes are, so I have to go to a completely different building to use the restroom.”

Staff members of the university’s administration, however, claim that they tried to work with Braly. “We tried to make reasonable accommodation and to find a common ground, converting the number of bathrooms on campus to gender-neutral,” Mark Horn the vice president of university relations, said.

The university backed down after the DOJ sent a letter to the school, demanding that they review their policies and allow Braly to use the women’s restroom.

“[T]he office of civil rights basically made its expectations through the attorney and the decision was made to respond to that direction,” said Horn. “[T]he DOJ complaint caused revisiting of our thinking. [T]he office of civil rights basically made its expectations through the attorney and the decision was made to respond to that direction,” he added. “[T]he DOJ complaint caused revisiting of our thinking.”

Allowing transgender people to use the bathroom has been a controversial subject. In January, Tennessee conservative lawmakers introduced a bill called the “Bathroom Harassment Act,” which would fine a transgender person $50 for using a public bathroom or dressing room.

State Rep. Richard Floyd strongly supported the act and even said he would physically assault a transgender person.

“I believe if I was standing at a dressing room and my wife or one of my daughters was in the dressing room and a man tried to go in there — I don’t care if he thinks he’s a woman and tries on clothes with them in there — I’d just try to stomp a mudhole in him and then stomp him dry,” Floyd said.

“Don’t ask me to adjust to their perverted way of thinking and put my family at risk. We cannot continue to let these people dominate how society acts and reacts.”

But the Chattanooga Times Press ran an online poll asking readers if “transgender people should be required to use the bathroom of their birth gender.” Nearly 90 percent of voters said “no.”

Although Braly can now use the women’s bathroom, some female students are not pleased with the school’s decision, the article on the conservative blog notes.

“I disagree with allowing a male to use the female restrooms,” Amanda Shook, a senior at the university, told Campus Reform. “Even if they are a transgendered person, they are still a man, and should have to use the men’s restroom.”

When the ultra-conservative website Free Republic posted the article, many readers also agreed with the female student’s position.

“Whoever approved this ’person’ for admittance to the university should be severely disciplined,” one person wrote. “They’re going to have to add a urinal to the ladies’ room then,” another said.

This isn’t the first time the 36-year-old has been surrounded in controversy.

Not that long ago, Braly was scheduled to give a lecture on gender and sexuality at the school but moments before she was to speak, the event was cancelled, according to the blog the Guerilla Angel Report. Braly received an email from Dr. Rita Barrett - the school’s associate professor of psychology and department chair.

“All of my faculty are now diligently preparing for the closure of the semester. They must be in compliance with their syllabi, grading, final exams, graduation exercises, etc. and it is impossible to afford more class time to accommodate an additional speaker at one week before finals,” the email said. “Therefore, your scheduled speaking engagements in any course in my department (PSYC, CJ, SOCI, ANTH) have been cancelled. This includes the two scheduled for tomorrow Friday April 20th in Dr. Laura King’s classes.”

But the student claims that the lecture was cancelled because she is a transgender person. There is a petition on Change.org asking people to allow Braly to “speak freely about gender and sexuality.” Nearly 700 people have signed the online petition.

(Jason St. Amand, EDGE Boston)

The Free Republic comments are utterly hilarious.  They keep concocting absurd hypotheticals where we’re visiting elementary schools and inadvertently/intentionally flashing young girls and envisaging those damn PC civil rights fascists demanding the installation of urinals in women’s rooms.  It’s OK, I’ll just go risk getting myself beaten up in the men’s room so that you don’t have to give up your paranoid fantasies.  Really, it’s fine.

(Source: transfeminism)

GOP filibustered the student loan compromise, which effectively killed it


Since the GOP refused to raise taxes on the top earners in the country, student loan interest rates are going to double after July 1st. This will affect 7.4 million Americans nationwide. 

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Darnell “Dynasty” Young is another example of the criminalizing of trans and queer people of color for defending themselves.

Young is gay with feminine expression. Other kids bully Young because of this, taunting him with heterosexist slurs and following him home while shouting threats of physical violence, including throwing rocks and bottles at him.

In order to protect her son from becoming another statistic of anti-LGBT violence, Young’s mother gave him her stun gun for protection. And one day when six guys at school ganged up on him he pulled out his stun gun to protect himself. It worked, the bullies backed off and Young was able to go about his day.

That was until the principle responded by suspending Young, who was also arrested. Now he faces expulsion for defending himself in a school environment where the administration gives its implicit endorsement to violence against queer and trans students.

In a classic example of victim blaming,

Larry Yarrell, the Tech principal, said school staff were trying to help Young by suggesting that he “tone down” his accessories. 

“If you wear female apparel, then kids are kids and they’re going to say whatever it is that they want to say,” Yarrell said. “Because you want to be different and because you choose to wear female apparel, it may happen. In the idealistic society, it shouldn’t matter. People should be able to wear what they want to wear.”

There is a common pattern of victim blaming in our schools. Even where anti-bullying laws exist, they don’t provide adequate protections for LGBT and gender-nonconforming students whose sexuality, gender identity and/or expression are considered “disruptive” by heterosexist and cissexist administrators and educational staff. In many cases schools see the students’ deviation from hetero- and cisnormative standards as disruptive and the cause of bullying. These schools think the way to combat bullying is to institute cissexist and heterosexist policies that restrict and police the sexuality and gender of queer and trans students.

In effect, these schools are actually taking anti-queer and anti-trans bullying and instituting it into formal school policies that actually encourage staff to enforce the heterosexual and cisgender norms that often serve as the motivation of bullies in the first place. This is in direct contrast to making schools a safe place for queer and trans students by actively working to address the hostile cissexist and heterosexist learning environment.

(Source: indystar.com, via eschaton-disaster)

43 notes

Sharpie eyebrows and educational expectations

PhD student Iris Lucero presented research showing that media images, like the one above, “promote Chicanas as one-dimensional, inconsequential and unacquainted with Eurocentric standards of beauty.”

Lucero’s research, conducted along with fellow UCLA student Maria Olivares Pasillas, focuses on how teacher perceptions of student styles - specifically so-called “sharpie eyebrows” - impacts their expectation of those students. Basing their study on Critical Race Theory, Olivares Pasillas and Lucero argue that such perceptions put students at a deficit in the classroom, thus impacting their educational potential and opportunities. A similar study at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, “Brains, Brow and Booty: Latina Iconicity in U.S. Popular Culture,” came up with the same findings. Essentially, what both studies revealed is that teachers shouldn’t judge a student strictly by their style.

(Source: tierracita)


Mexican Youth Studying, Working Harder to Get Ahead

Two months ago, Paola Alcázar was counted as one of Mexico’s seven million “ninis,” short for “ni trabajan, ni estudian,” referring those who neither work, nor study. The good news is that, she’ll now be doing both.

A member of Mexico City’s Occupy movement, Paola was selling clothes at outdoor markets, one of millions of Mexicans working in the informal economy, when Al Jazeera first reported on her efforts to find work. In the two months since the first report aired, Paola began working as a teacher on the weekends and is applying to graduate school, while still working as a vendor.

This is the ‘never give up’ Mexican spirit others can learn from.

(Source: thinkmexican)

55 notes

"The problems of American education are not unsolvable, but the remedies must be rooted in reality. Schools are crucial institutions in our society and teachers can make a huge difference in changing children’s lives, but schools and teachers alone cannot cure the ills of an unequal and stratified society. Every testing program—whether the SAT, the ACT, or state and national tests—demonstrates that low scores are strongly correlated to poverty. On the SAT, for example, students from the most affluent families have the highest scores, and children from the poorest families have the lowest scores. Children need better schools, and they also need health clinics, high-quality early childhood education, arts programs, after-school activities, safe neighborhoods, and basic economic security. To the extent that we reduce poverty, we will improve student achievement."

How, and How Not, to Improve the Schools via The New York Review of Books (via sharquaouia)

(via kadalkavithaigal)

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