Saturday 27th November 2021

Home » Featured Today » Currently Reading:

Neither Left Nor Right, But Catholic . . . Skewed Ideas About Education And Minority Groups

September 19, 2018 Featured Today No Comments

By STEPHEN M. KRASON

(Editor’s Note: Stephen M. Krason’s Neither Left nor Right, but Catholic column appears monthly [sometimes bimonthly]. He is professor of political science and legal studies and associate director of the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at Franciscan University of Steubenville. He is also co-founder and president of the Society of Catholic Social Scientists. Among his books are: The Transformation of the American Democratic Republic; Catholicism and American Political Ideologies, and a Catholic political novel, American Cincinnatus. This column originally appeared in Crisismagazine.com. His views, of course, are his own.)

+ + +

A recent article in Washington Lawyer magazine, which is sent to members of the District of Columbia Bar, discussed what it said was ongoing segregation in public schools six decades after the Supreme Court’s landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision. Brown declared de jure racial segregation in public schools an unconstitutional violation of equal protection; the decision reversed the Court’s Plessy v. Ferguson decision of almost six decades before that, which had given a constitutional imprimatur to forced segregation so long as a standard of “separate but equal” was upheld.
The article followed the typical narrative of the current political left about racial questions, education, and economic disparities and embraced confused notions about education found even more broadly in society.
It claimed that since Brown “the roots of racial prejudice . . . have worsened due to poverty and class divisions.” It said that “de facto segregation . . . regularly operates in lockstep with racial discrimination.” It claimed that school districts with substantial minority student populations faced “inequitable funding” and so a lack of equal opportunities for their students.
It quoted a recent report of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission — most of whose current members are somewhere on the political left — that contended that students in these districts “lack equitable access to teachers, instructional materials, technology and technology support, critical facilities, and physical maintenance.”
It cited a book that claims that the one key to improving schools is integration — even while never saying why that would be the so. In fact — despite the seeming implication here — elsewhere the article quotes a source at a leftist think tank who emphatically makes clear that this does not mean that minority students in any way “need” white students. The upshot of the article was that income inequality — which it said has a substantial basis in racial prejudice — is the culprit in lagging minority educational results.
It asserted that “a comprehensive, national commitment to dismantle racial and socioeconomic disparities” is needed and suggested that part of the solution will involve legal coercion: What is needed is “integrating housing markets and redrawing school districts” and what amounts to forced integration by assigning students to public schools by lottery and setting quotas for the number of students in schools from different income levels.
This sounds like something similar to the forced busing of the 1970s.
Many comments can be made about what’s said in the article. The first is that it curiously nowhere addressed the most basic question that has to be considered whenever one is thinking about education: What is its purpose? One readily and clearly gets the sense that the writer had no idea that education ultimately is about discerning truth, which traditionally was the purpose of the liberal arts.
Actually, the article didn’t say anything about what education is supposed to do, except to refer to Chief Justice Earl Warren’s statement in the Brown opinion that it’s necessary for a child to be able to go on to “succeed” in life. It never, of course, told us what it means to succeed.
Second, the writer almost reflexively seemed to buy into the current leftist narrative that race prejudice is pervasive in America. The problems identified are caused by income inequalities between the much better-off (Caucasian) population, ensconced especially in the suburbs, and minority populations — and race prejudice in some fashion is behind this.
I always think that the people making these claims about racism — which they seem to see around every corner — should take the time to read the abundant past literature and historical accounts of what the racial situation was like in the Jim Crow South. Their claims of racism today seem to trivialize the genuine race prejudice and maltreatment of blacks that existed at that time.
Third, the article could not get past the claim that supposedly insufficient funding of schools in minority districts was the sole reason for inadequate education. It went on to contradictorily acknowledge that, according to recent data, per pupil expenditures increased in all fifty states and the District of Columbia. If one looked further into it, one would find that some of the highest per pupil spending in the U.S. tends to occur in urban, heavily minority districts.
In fact, more money started to flow into some of these districts in recent decades because of state court decisions around the country requiring more equitable funding. Still, much commentary over the years has pointed to the fact that even though more funding has been provided student achievement has continued to lag and research has often disputed the connection between funding and academic achievement.
Actually, the article admitted that minority students are doing better today academically than their parents’ generation, but still claimed that “opportunity gaps persist.” So, according to the article minority students are doing better but they’re not doing better.
Money was simply the issue, as far as the article was concerned. It nowhere mentioned the fact that a student’s family situation is a major factor in academic achievement. It seemed oblivious to the reality, for example, of the 70-80 percent illegitimacy rate nationally in the black community (even higher in some major urban areas). It said nothing about the massive, corresponding problem of fatherlessness. It said nothing about the quality of instruction, about good teachers and teaching.
As mentioned, it referred to the Civil Rights Commission’s claim of “equitable access to teachers,” but didn’t say what that meant. Did it mean that the schools didn’t have enough teachers? That seems odd, since as mentioned so much funding is poured into big urban districts. If these schools are understaffed, could it be because of top-heavy administrative spending or poor administrative decision-making?
This, too, has often been commented about in writing about education, but the article had nothing to say about it. If it meant that the quality of teaching was poor, it didn’t say that. It rattled off the Civil Rights Commission’s claims of “low-quality school facilities,” including the particulars mentioned. There was never any further exploration of these, or even an explanation of what such things as “critical facilities” means.
None of these things, of course, guarantee or are necessarily even central to learning and, in truth, many urban districts abound in brick-and-mortar facilities. The article seemed fixated on the appurtenances of education. Perhaps the writer should have paid some attention to the successes of the one-room schools of the past, or of the home-schooling of today.

Intact Families

The article didn’t even mention student commitment and motivation as a factor in academic achievement. Every instructor at every level of education will readily tell you how this is right at the crux of learning. This, of course, gets to perhaps the most central factor in the problems in minority student achievement — but it’s something that I’m sure was nowhere on the writer’s radar screen, and probably wouldn’t even have occurred to the writer.
This is poor personal formation, what the great classical philosophers would have called the right ordering of the soul. This, of course, takes us back to the raging problem of illegitimacy and the poor family situation in in the black community and certain other minority communities.
In an era when our opinion-makers don’t even want to consider that there may be such a thing as sexual morality and, in fact, make sexual liberation the centerpiece of their thinking, minority communities have experienced the disastrous consequences of this. It has been noted that even in bad neighborhoods, riddled with crime and a range of immoralities, children who grow up in intact families where they receive solid personal formation are likely to thrive.
An intact family also means a better possibility of religious formation. There was a time, for example, when the black church was at the center of that community and its membership was made up mostly of intact families where religion was strongly stressed in the home. And, by the way, the pastors were devoted to their flocks and were not racial opportunists for whom politics crowded out religion.
Speaking of religion, I’m sure it didn’t in the least occur to the writer to consider whether the legally imposed official neutrality between belief and unbelief in public schools — which has actually meant a rigid regimen of secularism, and a resulting atmosphere (in varying degrees) of moral relativism that necessarily affects the way students think and act — may have something to do with educational failures.
Education is not just or mostly about funding and facilities, and minority students will not be helped by a continuing — largely false — leftist narrative about racism. It’s not possible to think about education without thinking about its purpose and how that is intrinsically tied up with human ends. Nor is it possible to talk about solving the problems of minority education without objectively looking at the problems and pathologies that grip those communities.

Share Button

2019 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Twitter Feed

Pro-Life Group Calls for Removing Fauci After He's Caught Funding Aborted Baby Parts - https://t.co/kqxQXGgoG8

LifeNews.com - The Pro-Life News Source

.

LifeNews.com

Load More...

Biden says Pope Francis told him to continue receiving communion, amid scrutiny over pro-abortion policies

President Biden said that Pope Francis, during their meeting Friday in Vatican City, told him that he should continue to receive communion, amid heightened scrutiny of the Catholic president’s pro-abortion policies.  The president, following the approximately 90-minute-long meeting, a key…Continue Reading

Federal judge rules in favor of Gov. DeSantis’ mask mandate ban

MIAMI (LifeSiteNews) – A federal judge this week handed Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis another legal victory on his mask mandate ban for schools. On Wednesday, Judge K. Michael Moore of the Southern District of Florida denied a petition from…Continue Reading

The Eucharist should not be received unworthily, says Nigerian cardinal

Priests have a duty to remind Catholics not to receive the Eucharist in a state of serious sin and to make confession easily available, a Nigerian cardinal said at the International Eucharistic Congress on Thursday. “It is still the doctrine…Continue Reading

Donald Trump takes a swipe at Catholics and Jews who did not vote for him

Donald Trump complained about Catholics and Jews who did not vote for him in 2020. The former president made the comments in a conference call featuring religious leaders. The move could be seen to shore up his religious conservative base…Continue Reading

Y Gov. Kathy Hochul Admits Andrew Cuomo Covered Up COVID Deaths, 12,000 More Died Than Reported

When it comes to protecting people from COVID, Andrew Cuomo is already the worst governor in America. New York has the second highest death rate per capita, in part because he signed an executive order putting COVID patients in nursing…Continue Reading

Prayers For Cardinal Burke . . . U.S. Cardinal Burke says he has tested positive for COVID-19

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — U.S. Cardinal Raymond L. Burke said he has tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19. In an Aug. 10 tweet, he wrote: “Praised be Jesus Christ! I wish to inform you that I have recently…Continue Reading

Democrats Block Amendment Banning Late-Term Abortions, Stopping Abortions Up to Birth

Senate Democrats have blocked an amendment that would ban abortions on babies older than 20 weeks. During consideration of the multi-trillion spending package, pro-life Louisiana Senator John Kennedy filed an amendment to ban late-term abortions, but Democrats steadfastly support killing…Continue Reading

Transgender student wins as U.S. Supreme Court rebuffs bathroom appeal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday handed a victory to a transgender former public high school student who waged a six-year legal battle against a Virginia county school board that had barred him from using the bathroom corresponding…Continue Reading

New York priest accused by security guard of assault confirms charges have now been dropped

NEW YORK, June 17, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — A New York priest has made his first public statement regarding the dismissal of charges against him.  Today Father George W. Rutler reached out to LifeSiteNews and other media today with the following…Continue Reading

21,000 sign petition protesting US Catholic bishops vote on Biden, abortion

More than 21,000 people have signed a letter calling for U.S. Catholic bishops to cancel a planned vote on whether President Biden should receive communion.  Biden, a Catholic, supports abortion rights and has long come under attack from some Catholics over that…Continue Reading

Bishop Gorman seeks candidates to fill two full time AP level teaching positions for the 2021-2022 school year in the subject areas of Calculus/Statistics and Physics

Bishop Thomas K. Gorman Regional Catholic School is a college preparatory school located in Tyler, Texas. It is an educational ministry of the Catholic Diocese of Tyler led by Bishop Joseph Strickland. The sixth through twelfth grade school provides a…Continue Reading

Vatican observes ‘Earth Hour’

On Saturday, along with the Vatican, symbolic monuments of cities all across the globe turn off their lights, to demonstrate the serious global climate crisis. By Vatican News staff writer Vatican City State took part in the traditional international initiative Earth…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Catechism

Adopt A Center

Today . . .

Fr. Altman torches bishops

BALTIMORE (ChurchMilitant.com) – A fiery persecuted priest is calling U.S. bishops to account for corruption and abuse within the Catholic Church. Wisconsin priest Fr. James Altman sent a scorching message to Catholic prelates today at Church Militant’s “Bishops: Enough Is Enough” prayer rally in Baltimore. The rally is within throwing distance of the location of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ annual fall meeting.

Is It Impossible?

Cindy Paslawski      The media pundits were off and running at the mouth and pen about the US Bishops who are holding their annual fall meeting. In all their theological expertise, writers from Savannah to Los Angeles were proclaiming that Joe Biden should not be forbidden to receive the Holy Eucharist.      I do not recall a Bishop telling members of the secular media what to write, so where do these media theological “experts” get…Continue Reading

Catholic Bishop Slams Biden for Supporting Abortion: “63 Million Babies Have Been Murdered. It’s a Bloodbath”

Catholic Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone called out President Joe Biden this week for supporting the abortion “bloodbath” that has destroyed nearly 63 million unborn babies’ lives in the United States. The San Francisco archbishop has been outspoken in his criticism of political leaders like Biden who profess to be Catholic while openly advocating for the killing of unborn babies in abortions. In a new interview with America Magazine, Cordileone pointed out that Biden no longer even claims…Continue Reading

Barrett and Kavanaugh Supply Majority to Deny Religious-Liberty Claim on Vaccine Mandate

Late Friday, Justices Amy Coney Barrett and Brett Kavanaugh joined Chief Justice John Roberts and the Supreme Court’s three progressives in denying a preliminary injunction to a group of medical professionals who sought to be exempted from Maine’s vaccine mandate because of their religious convictions. Justice Neil Gorsuch filed a compelling dissent in the case, John Does 1-3 v. Mills, joined by his fellow conservative justices, Clarence Thomas and Sa

Catholic Politicians and Non-Admittance to Holy Communion

Praised be Jesus Christ! Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, For the past several months, the intention of the Church in the United States of America has been very much in my prayers. At their coming November meeting, the Bishops of the United States will be considering the application of Canon 915 of the Code of Canon Law: “Those who have been excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declaration of the penalty and others…Continue Reading

Wisconsin Parents Sue School District… For Shutting Them Out Of Children’s Name, Pronoun Changes

MILWAUKEE — The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (WILL) and Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys representing two sets of Wisconsin parents have filed a lawsuit against the Kettle Moraine School District to challenge its policy that allows minor students to change their name and gender pronouns at school without parental consent.One of the Wisconsin couples…Continue Reading

The End Of The Liturgical Year… Remembering That All Faith Is Local, In Our Hearts

By MOST REV. JOSEPH STRICKLAND (Editor’s Note: Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas, delivered this homily on November 14, 2021, the Sunday before the USCCB Fall General Assembly. The text first appeared on the website of the St. Philip Institute on Catechesis and Evangelization.) + + The end is near. You might be thinking, “Oh,…Continue Reading

Kyle Rittenhouse, Both Right And Righteous

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN In judging the actions of Kyle Rittenhouse, set aside for the moment Wisconsin law under which he is being tried, and consider the natural law, the moral law, the higher law written on the human heart.In terms of values demonstrated and the deeds done that night that Rittenhouse shot the three…Continue Reading

Adorned Like A Bride For Her Husband… The Cartuja Monastery Of Granada

By JAMES MONTI When we think of the Carthusian Order, the imagery that comes most readily to mind is that of a life of profound and utter austerity — a demanding life of self-denial lived in stark surroundings and in much silence. Yet within the Carthusian tradition, there developed over the centuries a recognition of…Continue Reading

A Book Review . . . Debunking A Plethora Of Myths About Michelangelo

By JAMES BARESEL Michelangelo, God’s Architect: The Story of His Final Years and Greatest Masterpiece by William E. Wallace, Princeton University Press, 2021. Popular memory treats Michelangelo simply as a man of the late fifteenth and early sixteenth century Tuscan High Renaissance that was centered on Florence and Rome. That was the time that he…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: Kudos to Catholic League President Bill Donohue on his new book The Truth About Clergy Sexual Abuse (available at Ignatius.com). In a statement, Donohue says that his book demonstrates that “the sexual abuse scandal effectively ended decades ago.” This is confirmed, he said, “by the 2020 Annual Report on clergy sexual abuse published by the National Review Board…Continue Reading

Our Bishops Can Learn From Kyle Rittenhouse

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Some things are worth defending.Kyle Rittenhouse, a young man at 17 years of age, knows this fact quite well. He was forced to defend his own life because others threatened to take it away. Kyle is now, as of November 18, awaiting the verdict from his trial but, as is so often the case today,…Continue Reading

Multitudes In The Valley Of Decision! A Meditation On The Dramatic Battle In Which We Live

By MSGR. CHARLES POPE (Editor’s Note: Msgr. Charles Pope posted this column on November 15 and it is reprinted here with permission.) + + A grave deficiency of modern times is the loss of the sense that our lives are caught up in a tremendous, epic battle. Yet here we are living in the midst of a great drama —…Continue Reading

Be Vigilant And Pray For Strength

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER First Sunday Of Advent (YR C) Readings: Jer. 33:14-161 Thess. 3:12-4:2Luke 21:25-28, 34-36 In the first reading, the Prophet Jeremiah tells us the days are coming when the Lord will fulfill the promise He made to Israel and Judah — that is, He will raise up a righteous shoot to David. That Shoot, of course, is…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. I am an avid reader of your column. A few years ago, you published an excellent piece on how to gain indulgences for the souls in Purgatory during November. I had used that column for years, but now can’t seem to find my copy. Would you be able to run it again? It’s the best article on that subject…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Margaret Of Castello

By DEB PIROCH “Again the kingdom of heaven is like to a merchant seeking good pearls. Who when he had found one pearl of great price, went his way, and sold all that he had, and bought it” (Matt. 13:44-45).The other famous biblical reference to pearls is in The Gospel According to St. Matthew. Christ says: “Give not that which…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Hildegard von Bingen

By DEB PIROCH O leafy branch,standing in your nobilityas the dawn breaks forth:now rejoice and be gladand deign to set us frail onesfree from evil habitsand stretch forth your handand lift us up — St. Hildegard. She was a German saint, a mystic, an abbess, a poet and composer. Her writings included the first morality play, illustrated medieval manuscripts of…Continue Reading

Advertisement(2)