Challenging Structural Racism in New York City Schools: Horatio Alger, RIP — Why Korean immigrants succeed
There is a link between the state and the interests of capitalists. …The state, especially in organizing and directing the educational system, trains bureaucrats, technicians, executives and workers for the economy…the state’s educational system does not merely train personnel in the skills required for production. The ideological structure necesssary to maintain the hierarchy and absolutism of factories, businesses, and banks, is part of the state’s educational curriculum. ..the state socializes the population into an ideology that makes the existing class structure, the distribution of wealth and political power, wholly legitimate. (Gil Gonzalex, Progressive Education. p13)
Still not recognizing minority-majority era is here and it requires quality education for the deprived (even in richest city in the country)…. Meanwhile law suits have to be filed to force states to equalize funding (latest in Texas and Colorado) and still they drag their feet as (New Jersey reveals).
How do these test scores lead to disparate results that are so unbelievably extreme? More affluent families can stick their kids into “test prep” courses. Remember the test prep courses to get your kids prepared for the SATs and GMATs? Now they offer test prep all the way down to the level of training four-year-old kids to take the “gifted and talented test”—at a cost of $1,350 or so, according to CSS staff. Preparation courses for specialized high school admissions tests can cost $1,500 or more. Jones writes, “these test preps aren’t shown to make students any smarter; they just help them to score higher on the tests.”
The results are all too telling. Take New York City’s “gifted and talented” program of elite kindergartens — 29 percent of the pupils are black or Latino even though they comprise two-thirds of the city’s overall elementary school population. For the city’s eight specialized high schools, out of 5,229 students admitted this year, only 618 were black or Latino—a decline of 16 percent from the previous year.
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This is an obvious example of what we have referred to in the NPQ Newswire as structural racism—the imposition of ostensibly race-neutral policies that lead to hugely racially disparate results.”
Blacks, Latinos, Underrepresented at NYC’s Most Selective High Schools
Blacks and Latinos make up less than one in four students at top schools.
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NY Graduation Rates for Black, Hispanic Boys Lowest in Nation
Study: Only 37% graduate high school in four years
The Miserable Odds of a Poor Student Graduating From College (in 2 Graphs)
Just 29 percent of the poorest students ever enroll, and only 9 percent ever finish.
How Colleges Are Making Income Inequality Worse
Higher education is supposed to reduce class division, but it turns out it doesn’t.
Diplomas Elusive for Minorities
Horatio Alger, RIP
Meanwhile, poor schools get less funds and less experienced teachers, so majority of students in NY school system are disadvantaged. These minorities do not know how to work the system (and /or do not have funds to do it) unlike the Koreans:
A new Schott Foundation for Public Education report, “A Rotting Apple: Education Redlining in New York City,” reveals that the communities where most of the city’s poor, black and Hispanic students live suffer from New York policies and practices that give their schools the fewest resources and their students the least experienced teachers
In contrast, the best-funded schools with the highest percentage of experienced teachers are most often located in the most economically advantaged neighborhoods
Schott’s new report documents gaps that have not only long been accepted in New York City but are also institutionalized by city and state policies.”
Why education inequality persists — and how to fix it
Contrast with the Korean immigrants:
The Korean immigrants started test prep schools for their kids so they could get the limited seats available in NYC good schools. In one generation thy moved up and out.
Koreans Are Leaving The Greengrocer Business
Where Did the Korean Greengrocers Go?
The entrepreneurs who nourished New York have moved up and out.
In Korea this commitment to learning results in close to a 100 percent literacy rate and a nearly comparable high school graduation rate. Yet the government allows only 30 percent of high school graduates to enter a university. Competition is ferocious. The primary reason why Koreans emigrate to America is to ensure a place for their children in college, preferably Harvard or Yale—household words in Korea.
Many Korean immigrants have sacrificed white-collar or professional careers, difficult to pursue here because of language and licensing barriers. Often a grocery cashier or dry cleaner is a former engineer or nurse. Retailing requires little English: “There’s no need to communicate,” says Doug Choi. ” If you have good products, the customers know.”
Few Korean immigrants had any previous retailing experience. A 1983 survey of 40 New York greengrocers by Philip Young of Pace University found that only 20 percent had run a business in Korea, none in the produce area. Ninety- five percent had college degrees—a level of education that sets Korean immigrants sharply apart from traditional immigrant entrepreneurs. Koreans’ advanced degrees make up in part for their lack of business experience. “Why have a master’s in engineering to succeed in produce?” asks Young. ”Because small businesses require a lot of thinking to plan and organize.”
Abandoning white-collar professions imposes psychological costs: in Korea, as here, status differences between professionals and shopkeepers are sharp. Some Korean-Americans are bitter that after so much hard work in the United States, their social status isn’t higher. Others hold tight to their former professional identity. Bokyung Kwon, a pharmacist in Korea, opened One Merchandise, a variety store on Broadway at 98th Street, when she got to the city. “I always felt I was a pharmacist,” she says of her ten years selling handbags and mufflers.
The Koreans have followed the time-worn formula for immigrant success—grueling hours, a willingness to work for low wages or profits in hopes of success later, and the extensive use of family labor, essential in a highly competitive market. “If you use someone else’s labor,” explains Kyung T. Sohn, “your profit goes out as wages.” Of the 40 greengrocers Philip Young surveyed, all but three employed family members. “
“All Koreans have the dream of moving out,” says John Lee, a Flushing Realtor. “If they’re making money in the city, they prefer living in the suburbs, where it is quiet, clean, safe, the schools are good, and [there are] no racial problems.” The high earners—attorneys and doctors—go to Long Island; merchants with stores in Manhattan look for lower taxes in New Jersey. The Korean population of Bergen County, New Jersey, increased fivefold from 1980 to 1990; Palisades Park now has a Korean business district. The Chois spent two years scouring the metropolitan region for the best schools before settling in affluent Mountain Lake, New Jersey.
Koreans have triumphed as well by the measure of success most important to them—educational achievement. Korean students dominate the city’s best schools. Stuyvesant High School is over 50 percent Asian, the Bronx High School of Science 40 percent, and the Juilliard School of Music 33 percent. Koreans are the largest Asian group at all three. Members of the second generation and “1.5 generation”—Korean-Americans born in Korea but raised in the United States—are graduating from Ivy League and other top colleges and returning to the city as attorneys, doctors, computer analysts, and artists.
Behind the younger generation’s achievements lies the keen—a few critics argue, overweening-interest that parents take in their children’s schooling. Haesu Choi spends two or three hours each night tutoring her two sons, ages ten and eight. “They complain that their friends get to watch TV, but I tell them because we’re Asian, they have to do better,” she says. During the summer the family spends a month going over math and English. But the Chois don’t regard their family simply as an academic factory. “My kids are having fun,” says Doug Choi with great pleasure. “In the summer they ride their bikes all over. I like to let them grow like Americans.”
Most Korean parents have no time to tutor or even supervise their children due to grueling work schedules. Whereas few wives work in Korea, here most do. But the Koreans brought with them another institution for promoting academic success, the hagwon or prep school. (The popular term—”cram school”—is viewed as derogatory by the schools’ principals.) Several dozen such schools have sprung up in the city.
Kyung T. Sohn founded the first—C.C.B. Prep School in Woodside, Queens—in 1980. The school is in a small, brick building on Woodside Avenue, plastered with placards in Korean and Chinese, as well as large pictures of Sohn. Inside, every available wall is covered with snapshots of students in class and accepting awards—and more pictures of Sohn advertising his English language program on the Korean cable station. The classrooms, mostly in the basement, are unheated in the winter.
C.C.B.’s main purpose is to ensure that younger students get into the city’s competitive high schools and, once there, ace their college admissions exams. In 1994, 95 percent of C.C.B.’s junior high students were admitted to Stuyvesant, Bronx Science, or Brooklyn Tech. Tuition is $595 for eight weeks of Saturday instruction, $695 for eight weeks of Tuesday and Thursday instruction. Half the Saturday students come from the suburbs, dropped off at the school, upon occasion, in Rolls-Royces and BMWs. Most weekday students are Queens residents whose parents are shopkeepers. Parents keep their children in the school for years. Fifty percent of the pupils are Korean; 40 percent are Chinese; and 10 percent Caucasian. “
Why Korean Immigrants Succeed
In the US every State’s State/Local Tax System Taxes the Poor More than the Wealthy–And All Exceed Federal Taxes
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