The Boston Public School System Deserves Praise and Not an Investigation

() wisecatI have a great fear that the Boston Public Schools (BPS) are going to be torn apart by a federal investigation. I rue the failure by anyone in authority in the City of Boston, its schools, or its media to object to these outsiders who are on the cusp of destroying what many have labored hard over a dozen or so years to build up.

The same group that brought about the busing debacle, the NAACP and ACLU, seek to again use the federal government to interfere with those hard at work in the BPS. Their interest has never been in the school children of Boston. They merely seek self-aggrandizement. They set the houses of others on fire while sitting comfortably in front of their own home fires.

Using less than five specific incidents that may have occurred over several years at Boston Latin School (BLS) among the 2600 students who gather there each school day and adding many unsupported generalities they have convinced the Carmen Ortiz, the  Boston U.S. attorney, to do something that is not usually done unless a court case has been filed. Her actions based on such sparse allegations are unprecedented.

There are things to keep in mind about the BPS. It is not the same system that existed in the 1970s when over 90% of the teachers, principals and staff were white. At first take that may sound a little unbalanced. It isn’t when you consider that in 1960 the white population exceeded 90% while the blacks numbered 9.1% and the employees of the BPS would reflect the city’s population.  In 1970 it was 81.8% white and 16.3% black.

Nor is the City of Boston the Boston of 20 years ago. In 1990 Boston was 62.8% white and 25.6% black. Now it is approximately 53% white, 24% black, 17% Hispanic and 8% Asian. A look at what is happening in the BPS system today compared to twenty years ago is set out here.  It has been improving year in and year out. Right now is about the worst time for it to be subject to federal interference which is about to begin.

While the black population remains steady at around 22 to 24%  the 2014 year statistics of the BPS shows that: 21% of the teachers, 38% of the principals; and 32% of the central office are black. The black student population is 35% black.

The corresponding figures for Hispanics is teachers 10%, principals 11% and staff 13%. Hispanic students representing 40%; for whites is 62% teachers, 48% principals and 47% staff. White students represent  13% of the BPS. In considering that no teaching staff will reflect the present day because many may have worked for several decades it is a well-balanced school system that slowly reflects the students being educated.

When Judge Garrity first started examining the BPS he was dealing with a 1971 enrollment of 61% (59,300) whites and 32% (30,600) blacks. It was right after a significant increase in the black population going from 63,1655 (9.1%) in 1960 to 104,707 (16.3%) in 1970. As noted in 1970 the white population was 524,709 (81.8%) but by 1980 after the turmoil it was 393,937 (70%). As shown by the numbers of employees in the BPS the school system has slowly kept up with the changes.

By any objective measurements it would seem the BPS is sensitive to racial matters and the civil rights of all students. Those who have been superintendents, including two black women, have given particular attention to ensuring that an equal and excellent educational opportunity for all?

The five-page letter does not just go after BLS. It alleges: “a broader history of racial insensitivity, harassment and discrimination that has existed for many years at BLS and possibly through the Boston Public Schools.” The objective evidence shows otherwise.

Boston has three examinations schools: Boston Latin Academy, Boston Latin School and the John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics and Science where admission is based entirely on a student’s grades and test scores from the Independent Schools Entrance Exam. It has several other high schools. To get a sense of the education I added to the exam schools seven others I remember: English High, Jeremiah E. Burke, Dorchester High now called Dorchester Academy, Brighton High, East Boston High, Charlestown High. I planned to add South Boston High but found it no longer existed.

Strange that other sections of the city have high schools named after them except Southie. Upon further research I found it is now Excel High School. That no one seemed to complain about the change tells much about the state of affairs. Sadly, the old Southie/Eastie rivalry is ended after 98 games. We will now begin the Excel/Eastie game, a name that truly lacks the old pizzazz.

After I assembled the ten schools I examined the backgrounds of the valedictorians of each school over the past three years. For the exam schools three were born in Vietnam, two in China, one the Dominican Republic, and three in the USA, one black and two whites.

The other seven schools had as valedictorians three born in China, three from Vietnam, two from the Dominican Republic, one from Pakistan, El Salvador, Morocco, Peru, Cape Verdi, Nigeria and Haiti. Of the six born in the United States, two were Hispanic, two were black, one Vietnamese and one white. Almost all planned to go on to top colleges.

The Asians seem over represented in the top level while it seems the rest is an eclectic gathering from all parts of the world including every race. Only one group, the blacks, are claiming “racial insensitivity, harassment and discrimination.” Exclude the 11 kids born in China and Vietnam who have English as a second language of the 19 remaining 8 would be considered black and three white which approximates their percentages in the student body.

Why before launching an investigation did the Boston U.S. attorney not examine these facts? Shouldn’t she have sat down with city officials, the BPS people, the BLS staff and informally looked at what was happening first? It seems extraordinary to put a public school system under a federal investigation within one week of receiving a half-baked request to do. Something is clearly wrong.

8 thoughts on “The Boston Public School System Deserves Praise and Not an Investigation

  1. If we had a volunteer civilian review police board
    with subpoena powers to set and enforce standards
    for the taxpayer owned criminal justice system
    then accountability would change from a noun
    to a verb.

  2. Matt — Won’t you or some of your bloggers bring these amazing statistics to the attention of the US Attys ofc, the MA Atty General , Suffolk DA, NEWS MEDIA (Including the detested H Carr). The truth will set us free only if the truth is known. Great job of statistical investigational analysis !!!

    1. JP:

      They know these statistics since they are readily apparent. The people pushing this are interested in tearing down Latin school. The head of the NAACP said in relation to charter schools which would apply to Latin that they don’t care about the few but only the many. It is a socialist philosophy of depriving those who work and study hard of any benefits from it. It is a tearing down of what made America great. It is like the Marines advertising they want “The Many” rather than the few who want to do the job. Unfortunately they have the ears of those like the Boston US attorney.

  3. Matt, clearly this country has seen a decent number of blacks who have been successful in one or more ways. Despite that, I’ve often imagined that blacks born in this country generally are resentful of the well-known success, academic and otherwise, of _other_ minorities. I would venture to say that such resentment fuels the actions of USAG, NAACP and ACLU. All they need to set the country ablaze is a spark coming from the likes of one or more blacks who feel compelled to remain aggrieved, lack of justification notwithstanding.

    1. GOK:

      The blacks have been poorly represented by the NAACP and the ACLU which is a white group. I write about this on Wednesday. These groups teach the blacks to be resentful rather than proud. They teach them to think like victims rather than achievers. They teach them to blame whites rather than telling them hate will accomplish nothing and that they have the same abilities and chances as all other Americans. The blacks were on the cusp of understanding this with the “black is beautiful” movement where they recognized that being black was as good if not better than being anything else. They had pride in themselves and were not going to let anything stand in their way. This was a threat to the groups that benefit by teaching blacks to feel like victims so the movement was squelched. Hopefully the blacks will catch on to this game by recognizing that people who sit in the comfort of their homes in upscale neighborhoods deciding how blacks should act do not have their true interests at heart.

  4. Matt:

    If you are limiting your argument to the Boston Public Schools, I would abstain because I am not knowledgeable on the subject.

    However, for a well seasoned and experienced attorney, who I believe is extremely bright, I’m surprised at your naivete on the overall subject of racial matters, vis a’ vis the US Attorney’s office of “pretend” justice.

    You can write books and present statistics all day long. The plain fact is that
    “racial insensitivity, harassment and discrimination” is an absolute certainty of life and shall continue so long as no one is willing to take real and actual measures to stop it.

    It should also be pointed out that the NAACP, the ACLU and others also do nothing to stop racial discrimination. Period.

    The best takeaway line in your column is accurate when you write: “They set the houses of others on fire while sitting comfortably in front of their own home fires.”

    In my view, the question you raise is: Who are they?

    Based on my direct knowledge, one “they” is the US Attorney’s office which has been a participant in well-planned discrimination designed to cheat minorities (mostly blacks) and females out of merit-based promotions for decades, with the knowledge of the court, and no one can or will do anything to stop the pattern and practice which harms us all. The collateral damage and the cost cannot be quantified, so let’s just say it’s devastating.

    If I had to guess, I would say there is credence to the old saw, “Children Learn What They Live.”

    Who will investigate the US Attorney’s office?

    Anyone’s response?

    1. Doug:

      For someone who disclaims no knowledge on the subject you hit most of the high notes. i agree with you. The NAACP and ACLU, the latter a mainly white group, are interested in fostering the concept of discrimination sine it gives them a reason to exist. Blacks will never be properly represented by these groups because they have other goals which have a higher priority, one being keeping the blacks angry rather than empowering them. As for who will investigate the U.S. Attorney the answer is no one because no one can. The problem is that the idea of our government was that when things like the DOJ existed the media, our free press, would act to keep them accountable. In Boston our media works with the US attorney. Go back over the coverage of that office to the time of Ortiz’s appointment and see if you can find one article critical of her. There is more free press in North Korea than in Boston when it comes to that.

      1. Matt:

        You’re right on the money.

        Discrimination is a trillion dollar business in America and it will stay that way.

        At my request, I was invited to make a presentation to the Boston Chapter of NAACP Board, Lenny Alkins presiding, in 1998 with regard to the promotion fixing at the Defense Contract Management Agency, East designed to cheat blacks out of merit-based promotions.

        I explained to the NAACP Board that, in addition to my primary function as Title VII EEO Complaints & Investigations Specialist, my collateral duty was as the “Black Employment Program Manager” and advocate for equal opportunity matters for the black employee population at the agency and that I was prevented from doing my job.

        I explained to the NAACP Board that the EEO Manager was well rewarded for her direct role in rigging investigations and was the primary participant in unlawful and egregious discriminatory practices and the “gaming” that was occurring at taxpayer expense. I also explained that her rewards were commensurate with unlawful discrimination. In a short time span she received three promotions, awards and bonuses. She was also awarded the annual “Superior Performance Award” for her “outstanding performance.”

        The retaliation against me for attempting to do my job is an entire story in itself, but that’s history.

        My repeated requests to the US Public Corruption Officer to intervene regarding conduct, actions and behavior that defies imagination were ignored.

        As to the Boston Globe, in a June 23, 2011 column, (“Power Hitter – US Attorney Carmen Ortiz gives no cover to corruption”) Joan Venocchi quotes Ortiz: “If you use your position to line your own pockets, you are not going to be above the law.” “We will investigate and prosecute to the fullest extent of the law.” I think Ortiz and her subordinates must have forgotten my numerous requests to that office, including my 30-page affidavit.

        The “truth is known”, but they just don’t care.

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