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Separated By Race


The March 30 PEN Weekly NewsBlast points to
a story in the Contra Costa Times
in California that makes you ask: What was the principal thinking?

The principal of Mount Diablo High School in Concord, Calif., apparently organized separate assemblies for students of different races in an effort to pump up their motivation to perform better on upcoming state exams. According to the story, jazz music and images of Martin Luther King greeted African-American students, flags from foreign countries greeted Asian students, and Latinos and whites had separate events.

The principal said the race-based assemblies were held to prevent one racial group from teasing another one based on test results.

Still, some experts suggested the segregated assemblies might actually have been illegal.

Reporting test scores by race and ethnicity is one thing, but actually physically separating students based on race as a motivational ploy seems, at least from this vantage point, ridiculous and insulting.


Don't Judge! We have no idea the importance of the principals motivation. I think it was Malcolm X whom said,"By any means necessary!" Educators(teachers) just want their students to acheive.

I'd be interested to see how the test scores come out this year. It is no secret that African Americans and Latino students score lower on these standardized tests, and it is also no secret that most PEOPLE tend to be more comfortable with their own ethnic groups. So allowing the students a safe and non judgemental time to reflect on their testing scores and to motivated. I'm all for.

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