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Re: “School integration is more than enrichment

On July 5, 1852, Frederick Douglas asked: "What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July?" Today, nearly 163 years later, I ask: What, to the African American is your bleeding-heart rhetoric? Douglass answered his own question by stating that, where black people were concerned, celebration of the 4th of July represented "fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy — a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages." With regard to the history of public education in this nation, state, county, and city, and ongoing, rampant, bleeding-heart-rhetoric about so-called "equality" --- my answer today is exactly the same as Douglass' was in 1852, which brings us to the article at the link below.

With regard to the historic, intentionally-created, and intentionally-maintained, dual, race-based, unequal, public education system --- the article (at the link below) easily ranks among the biggest bunch of bleeding-heart, super-liberal, hogwash that I have ever read. The content is nothing more or less than puffed-up, super-rhetoric of the highest order, which is so filled with fundamental contradictions, conflated distortions, and abstractions --- that the author ends up undoing some of his own arguments. Let us examine my claims.

1. There is absolutely no evidence --- nothing that substantiates the authors fairy-tail-theory that "most parents in the Spencerport school district would welcome participation in the Urban-Suburban program." In fact, if history is an accurate indicator, the exact opposite is likely true. Nor is there one single iota of evidence that "the voices of opposition [are] few" in number.

2. "Urban-Suburban [might be] a [so-called] low-maintenance integration plan," but way more importantly, is the fact that it is a thoroughly ineffective, miserably failed, so-called "integration plan." Let's examine the facts: a) The program is 50 years old; b) there are 18 suburban school districts in Monroe County (excluding two, overwhelmingly white BOCES districts) --- only 7 of which have participated in the urban-suburban program (over a 50 year period), which means the other 11 have made it clear that they want no parts of racial, so-called "integration" ; c) it's difficult (to say the least) to make a credible case that 500 students of color, spread out over 7 suburban school districts (while their own home district remains at least 85% students of color), and the districts that they are being "integrated" into remain, in most cases, over 90% white --- represents some type of effective model of so-called racial "integration." What a joke; d) Monroe County has some of the most racially segregated schools in the nation, and that's how the overwhelming majority of white people intend to keep it --- period. http://www2.monroecounty.gov/government-sc…

3. It's exceedingly easy to detect phoniness within the author's argument. For example, as a so-called benefit of the program, he touts the superficial, and largely irrelevant idea that "thousands of suburban kids get to know classmates whose lives are very different from their own." So what? By the way, since it's supposedly significant that "thousands of [mainly white,] suburban kids get to know classmates whose lives are very different from their own" --- is the opposite not also true, and/or important, i.e., that 500 urban students of color "get to know" white students whose lives "are very different from their own" --- or is this a one-way 'benefit'? And then there's the important question of how well most of them really "get to know" each other.

4. A classic, and extreme example of a fundamental contradiction, conflated distortion, and abstraction is contained in the author's claim that "our own experience [has] made it absolutely clear: socioeconomic integration of our schools is essential, though not sufficient to reverse the catastrophic outcomes in the city schools." What? The guy is literally making it up. There has been no local "experience" that involves, on any significant level --- "socioeconomic [and certainly not racial] integration of our schools." Thus, any claim regarding relational impact on "outcomes in city schools" is a matter of total fallacy.The writer is also very careful to shroud his argument in the cloak of "socioeconomic," as opposed to racial "integration" (even though we know that the two are as closely correlated as they could possibly be, especially within deeply-entrenched, thoroughly segregated, Monroe County).

5. Another conflated distortion is the idea that it "matters where you go to school, or who you sit next to." Of course, it "matters where you go to school" --- in the sense that some schools are much better than others (for many complex reasons), but there is no evidence what so ever, that it "matters who you sit next to." That is to say, just as in the case of good schools that are overwhelmingly, predominantly white --- good, overwhelmingly black or brown schools, don't become any less 'good' --- because few or no white students attend. Thus, again, in part, the latter quote represents a false dichotomy or fallacy, and really seems designed to skirt a critically important, historic issue, and question: 'Why are so many predominantly white, suburban schools good, and so many predominantly black and brown, urban schools bad (based on measures such as orderly classrooms, and general environments, modern, high-tech facilities and equipment, graduation rates, parent and community involvement, etc...)? This is NOT just one huge coincident. So, what (specifically) has produced this condition?

6. It is most interesting that, in the process of attempting to validate the 'significance' of the miserably-failed urban-suburban program, the writer extracted a totally de-contextualized quote from "the 1966 Coleman report on equality of educational opportunity." The full truth of the matter is, the Coleman report raised more questions than answers regarding widespread, educational improvement for black and brown children attending public schools. And clearly, with regard to public education, where the masses of children of color are concerned, in some respects, since the time of the original 1966 Coleman report, overall conditions have grown worse. For example, I'm quite certain the author would shy away from discussing the facts that: "The Coleman report gave rise to mass busing in public schools. As a work of sociology, the Coleman Report was full of subtleties and caveats, but the mass media and makers of policy focused on one prediction--that black children who attended integrated schools would have higher test scores, if a majority of their classmates were white. That last point is key because in 1975 Coleman concluded in a new study that busing had failed, largely because it had prompted white flight. As white families fled to suburban schools, the report concluded, the opportunity for achieving racial balance evaporated. Political support for busing quickly waned. Many civil rights leaders, educators, policy-makers, and sociologists who had embraced Coleman's earlier findings now were outraged.They blasted him for abandoning his earlier commitment to desegregation. Some members of the American Sociological Association even moved to have him expelled, albeit unsuccessfully. (Coleman was elected president in 1991)." http://pages.jh.edu/~jhumag/0400web/18.htm…

7. Of all the many illogical, nonsensical, abstract notions contained in the article, the following takes the cake: "If we are going to give the poorest children in our community a chance to succeed in school, we need not just Urban-Suburban, but a family of urban-suburban prodigies to bridge the gap." What?

8. The author is obviously speculating relative to when or how "socioeconomic [/racial] integration works." Since it has not existed on in any large, or even medium scale within Rochester, and certainly not within Monroe County --- none of us know for certain how, or even IF it works.

9. IF it is true "that good schools teach students how to care for each other, and about our obligation to work for the common good" --- then how do we logically explain that, as stated in the article --- according to "Chris Widmaier, a science teacher and the swim coach at the city's World of Inquiry School --- suburban kids don't even make eye contact with my swimmers. The fact is many of them have no idea how to talk to people who are different from them?"

10. Based on a very long, and clear history of well organized, well financed, and thoroughly effective resistance, I would urge urban parents and families to categorically, unequivocally reject (as totally unrealistic) the old, old, hyper-liberal, bleeding-heart, rhetoric regarding the assertion that: "If we truly believe in equal opportunity, we must break up the segregated schools that have preserved inequality for decades." Socioeconomic / racial inequality was built into the fabric, foundation, and structure of the public education system (from day one), and there is absolutely no evidence that the vast majority of predominantly, but not exclusively, white parents have the least bit of interest in "breaking [it] up." In fact, nearly all available evidence seems to indicate the exact opposite. Thus, my humble, but staunch recommendation would be focusing with laser-like precision on fixing urban schools as they currently stand --- as opposed to chasing an integration-pipe-dream for another 50 or 100 years. Our children can't afford to wait --- period. http://blackagendareport.com/content/publi…

4 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by Howard J. Eagle on 01/13/2015 at 2:03 PM

Re: “The race issue – again

As an anthropology student this past year, I learned something I never really thought about before. The term "race" was fabricated by us to separate groups of people by color and levels of society. Here we find the term penetrating our daily lives. People use it to distinguish themselves from those oppressed or those doing the oppressing. I guess where I'm going with this is that if "race" was not taught to our upcoming generations, we'd find more in common with each other on a human level. Perhaps then we might at least see some respect from one person to another; some more precaution and more thought out actions on the street.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Curtis Lotsawater on 01/13/2015 at 1:49 PM

Re: “Liberté. Solidarité.

Red-letter day! The local left-wing paper and the vocal local right-wing talk show host agree! Specifically, that much/most of what Charlie Hebdo publishes is pretty disgusting. And much would properly be denounced as hate speech and/or bullying in this country.

See Bob Lonsberry's column from Jan. 12:
http://lonsberry.com/writings.cfm?story=37…

Although I'm sure Bob (and I, and I'm sure many other people) would not agree that mocking the pope is less disgusting than mocking Islam.

4 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Rochester Musician on 01/13/2015 at 1:04 PM

Re: “Rochester's big growth area: poverty

It's folly to spend more to fight poverty. Let's put people to work at 40 hrs/wk minimum. In addition, we need a government that encourages people to save more and to be responsible. Leadership by example is ALWAYS in good taste.

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Mike Bruton on 01/12/2015 at 3:02 PM

Re: “Finger Lakes' fuel, tourism industries clash

"The company says that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission wouldn't have signed off on the natural gas storage project if it wasn't safe."

Are there any rational people left who believe this type of statement? Our government told us Hanford, Rocky Flats and Love Canal were all "safe".

1 like, 2 dislikes
Posted by Tom Janowski on 01/11/2015 at 11:48 AM

Re: “Some City Council members want say in RHA appointments

And what does the city charter have to say about what you propose, Mr. Haag?

Steve Bathory
Rochester, New York

1 like, 4 dislikes
Posted by Istvan Bathory on 01/10/2015 at 10:19 PM

Re: “Parent makes tough decision concerning RCSD

Teacher here. I will keep this short and sweet. I found out that pretty soon our building won't have paper to make copies on , and students and staff will NOT have toilet paper. The district didn't have the decency to properly fund our schools. Look no further than the recent D&C article outlining the embarrassing, inept way our district budgets our schools. Shortchanging our students must stop. Again and again we see blatant examples like this. I applaud this parent. Why would I keep my child in a highly dysfunctional , unsafe environment that doesn't hold its high ranking officials accountable? Why?

13 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Scorsese93 on 01/09/2015 at 6:51 PM

Re: “Finger Lakes' fuel, tourism industries clash

Expanding on this great article a little, the fight to preserve our Western New York State environment should not simply be characterized as one industry vs. another.

As Roland Micklem (86), stated at the "We Are Seneca Lake Pre-Arraignment Press Conference at the Town of Reading Court, November 5, 2014", and I transcribe a portion: “…this action that we are doing is far more than trying to protect Seneca Lake. The actions we are taking now has cosmic implications. I look upon what we’re doing is the action to help save perhaps the only planet in the Milky Way galaxy that supports life. I want you to really think about that. This is much, much bigger than our local battle here to save Seneca Lake. Climate Change is now pretty well accepted by the world scientific establishment, and it seems like in this country is the only place in the world where there are still naysayers. And this is something that will sure do us in unless we take very strong and meaningful action. So if I’m going to jail, I look upon it as going to jail to save the planet….” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oeh_Hcqs_H…

That was a cold, cold evening listening to the speakers speak, but Roland’s talk warmed me up. We are all part of something very big going on at this time in history and we need to continually connect the dots.

2 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Frank J. Regan on 01/09/2015 at 2:38 PM

Re: “Wellness and Psychic Faire

Free Admission to come in to shop, eat and check out all the options. Lots of interesting and unique items for sale. Get a chair massage, balance your chakras, get an aura photograph to see how your energy displays. Lots of fun plus veggie soups and sandwiches with Hettie's Delites.

Posted by pam on 01/09/2015 at 8:11 AM

Re: “Mystical Moon and Healing and Hemi Sync

Pick either class. The Mystical Moon will be looking at the historical and religious aspects of the moon. How it has defined culture such as references to Wolf and Blood Moon. Or Choose the Hemi Synch and Healing Class, learn how it can train your brain to work better. Using hemi synch along with healing techniques can provide better outcomes. Class is taught by Dr. Sergei Sorin who travels the world teaching this to other health care professionals.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by pam on 01/09/2015 at 8:08 AM

Re: “Marina may miss a season

I've noticed that Greg Weycamp is nowhere to be found. Oh yeah; He's not from here. If he was, he'd be doing some of the project management for the city. Is Edgewater concerned that the bedrock may be too deep to anchor a high-rise?

If Greg Weycamp wants a marina, then shouldn't he at least be here helping build one? It was a BIG mistake to hire an out-of-town developer for the port. Weycamp makes grand promises for Rochester's port and then flies back to Chicago to balance the books.

1 like, 3 dislikes
Posted by Mike Bruton on 01/08/2015 at 3:52 PM

Re: “Parent makes tough decision concerning RCSD

We all know about the poverty/behavior issues that bring RCSD down. But badly behaved staff? Are you kidding? No other business or service industry would survive a year with a prickly front office. There is NO excuse for that. Shameful.

9 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Dawn Wendt on 01/08/2015 at 12:45 PM

Re: “Marina may miss a season

After failing miserably with his Less-Than-Fast-Ferry and losing tens of millions of tax dollars in the process, Bill Johnson was hired as a Distinguished Professor of Public Policy by RIT. Perhaps Ms. Warren believes that a similar failure on her part with the marina will yield a similar result.

3 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Mona Mitchell on 01/08/2015 at 12:43 PM

Re: “Finger Lakes' fuel, tourism industries clash

COLLEENANN,
Thanks for your comment and for bringing the matter of the websites to light. That's a fair point and this morning I added the links into the story.

Jeremy

4 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Jeremy Moule on 01/08/2015 at 9:51 AM

Re: “Marina may miss a season

Went to the bidders conference, Tuesday afternoon. One of the bidders asked the obvious question, "How come Pike and the City split?" Basically the City staff had this blank stare, but no information. When it came to comments about how to finish the job of opening the marina to the river, The city staff was again not helpful in their comments, "We would rather leave it to you the contractors to figure/decide how to best do the job." This leaves the contractors on the hook, if something goes wrong, even if Pike realized the issues and shared them with the city when they parted. I personally asked two questions. First why did the City focus on listing a series of five 1982 test boring points as the best of their research see "Subsurface Investigation Summary Package", they offered no answer. This report would appear to take the focus away from the reality that bedrock in many areas is 100 feet or more and is supported by newer boring tests by Hadley and Aldrich. See the Predevelopment Subsurface Conditions Analysis investigation Report pages 301 to 391. I believe there is a serious risk in opening the marina to the river causing the river to erode the marina area via the flow of the river. Second question was "Why did someone doctor Figure 3 of the Environmental Management Plan showing the overview of the boring and test pit sites to make it look like many more tests were done". The answer was the it was not doctored. I had in my possession at the meeting, copies of the figures blown up proving my claim. This again would lead someone to believe plenty of test borings had been done. One can compare that diagram to the one on page 256 of the Predevelopment Subsurface Conditions Analysis investigation report and see a drastic difference in the number of test points. Likewise if you have a good enough copy of Figure 3 that you can blow the image up, you see the same label for test sites used multiple times to clutter the document. Again, the City engineer denied any changes have been made as to "doctor" the document. I have requested a better copy of the document from Labella to allow them prove their point.

I will be the first to agree that most of the information provided seems very complete and helpful, but why did the City/Labella not provide good information which they had in regards to the boring tests on these documents makes no sense.

To not provide all the known information about why Pike walked away is at best not allowing good contractors to know what the problems are. If I were any of them, I would walk away due to the unknowns and the risk.

4 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Bill Brown on 01/07/2015 at 10:19 PM

Re: “Finger Lakes' fuel, tourism industries clash

Thank you for covering this vital issue. As the commenter stated above, for more independent, non-industry influenced information, please go to:
www.gasfreeseneca.com or
www.wearesenecalake.com

An entire region, drinking water for 100,000 people, and a $4.8 billion dollar -and growing- agri-tourism industry are depending on you to learn the facts and get involved. The Finger Lakes stands to assume all of the risk with no reward, just to line the pockets of Texas-based Crestwood Midstream.

Not on our watch.

5 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Yvonne L Taylor on 01/07/2015 at 8:23 PM

Re: “Finger Lakes' fuel, tourism industries clash

I was pleased to see a article on Crestwood's fuel projects. More people should be informed! I was very disappointed that the article gave (twice) the website for the supporters of Crestwood and did not give the website for the ones who opose.
Please check out these websites if you would like to know more (non-corporate) information of why people oppose Crestwoods operations.
www.wearesenecalake.com
www.gasfreeseneca.com
colleen

6 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by COLLEENANN on 01/07/2015 at 7:38 PM

Re: “Parent makes tough decision concerning RCSD

I respect Raethka's opinion and more than this, I applaud the DC for publishing it. There are some good things happening in the RCSD but as a whole it is failing and this goes way beyond simple academics. Anyone who says that speaking honestly about how bad things are is making things worse is out of touch. The only way the district will be fix even in a small way is to make everyone aware of how pitiful things are. If school videos were shown (both good and bad) for a week, I guarantee there would be national attention. As bad as it appears to those on the outside, the situation inside the system is unimaginable. Only the kids, their parents, the teachers, school staff and in many cases the principals really understand. Everyone else in on the outside and this includes Board President White, Superintendent Vargas and all of the union leaders. No one with power locally cares including the Mayor but essays like Raethka's might get Albany's attention.

19 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Gotta Say It on 01/07/2015 at 3:40 PM

Re: “Reserving judgment

I'd be interested in seeing if this is middle school age appropriate. I'm gonna try to make it for one of the shows. We are always looking for venues to help the students learn about this part of history.

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Nancy Ruffing DeGaugh on 01/07/2015 at 12:46 PM

Re: “Reserving judgment

Michael, thank you for pointing that out. The story has been updated to reflect those corrections.

0 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Jake Clapp on 01/07/2015 at 11:30 AM

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