Thursday, June 06, 2002

Racial Gaps in Test Scores

The Seattle Times reports that Seattle school districts have adopted special programs to close the gap in achievement between certain racial minorities and other racial groups like whites. Proposals include, "the district should continue recruiting an ethnically diverse work force," " Students suffering from racial disparities should receive academic and social support districtwide," and "Stereotyping and other biases" should be eliminated in identifying students for special education and highly capable programs." Since the program openly calls for special support for students of certain races it is hard to see how "stereotyping and other biases" can be avoided in identifying students for special education and advanced placement. Of course, what this means in practice is that no benefits from the program should accrue to whites no matter what the need in terms of academic underperformance.