Racial Politics and The Elusive Quest
1. For reactions to the arguments and evidence cited in the Bell Curve see The Bell Curve Wars, edited by Steven Fraser and Inequality by Design by C. Fischer et.al.
2. To provide support from researchers to the work of MSAN, the College Board convened a Research Advisory Board chaired by Dr. Edmond Gordon of Teachers College.
3. Several of the districts in MSAN are located in states where "high stakes" testing has been adopted. For a discussion of these policies and their impact on schools and students see High Stakes, Testing for Tracking, promotion and Graduation by J. Heubert and R. Hauser, editors, 1999.
4. To review articles that have appeared in the news media on MSAN go to www.eths.k12.us/MSA/msanetwork.html
5. For an analysis of how affluent parents can exercise their power to oppose and resist educational reforms aimed at producing equity in schools see "Outreach: Struggling Against Culture and Power' by Jeanie Oakes, 2000
6. Educational researchers have long recognized that cultural and class differences among students often require that different educational strategies be employed to meet the needs of different students. For a discussion on this topic see "School Failure and Cultural Mismathc: Another View" by Maria Villegas and "transformation and School Success: The Politics and Culture of Educational Achievement" by Frederick Erickson.
7. Recent research by Marcello and Carolla Suarez-Orzoco indicates that immigrant students are more likely to be over-represented among both high achievers and low achievers. See Children of Immigration, 2001.
8. Literature describing confusion on identity and achievement
9. The lack of data on the performance of students at Berkeley High Alternative School prompted the Diversity Project to undertake an extensive study of the school. See the Final report of the Diversity Project 2000 for an analysis of the school.
10. An indication of how many former private school students enter BHS is provided from the Diversity Project survey on the Class of 2000. Nearly 25% of the ninth grade students responding to the survey reported that they had attended private school prior to entering BHS. Also, whereas the percentage of White students in elementary and middle school in Berkeley is approximately thirty percent, the White student population at BHS is over 40%.
11. I have heard this sentiment expressed to me on numerous occasions by White parents in Berkeley. One Berkeley professor who was aggravated that her son entering kindergarten had not been assigned to the school she preferred informed me that "I would think that the District should be happy to have White middle class kids like my son. For heavens sake, I want to do all I can to support the public schools myself, but they've got be more flexible in how they apply their rules." (Interview April 16, 1998)
12. For a discussion on the history of these separate schools and the reasons for their eventual demise see Just Schools by David Kirp, p. 123-147.
13. The Diversity Project was established in the Fall of 1996 as a collaboration between researchers from the graduate School of Education at UC Berkeley, and parents, teachers and students from Berkeley High School. The focus of the project was to use research to understand and address the factors that contributed to racial disparities in the academic performance of students. See The Progress Report of the Diversity Project, 1999 for a detailed discussion of the goals and findings of this research.
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Published in In Motion Magazine September 30, 2001
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