The Globe’s Shirley Leung Trying To Have it Both Ways on Boston Latin School:

() HareShirley Leung of the Globe the former president of the Asian American Journalist Association and a graduate of Princeton wrote an article yesterday the first sentence of which read: A lot of us didn’t go to Boston Latin, but what’s going on at the prestigious public high school should matter to everyone.”

She tells us how at the black enrollment is at 9% down from “nearly 22 percent two decades ago.” She does not mention that the Asian percentage at BLS has increased at probably the same rate over the same period of time which may account for the drastic decrease in black enrollment. But let us not dwell on that.

Now I’m getting prepared to read about the problems at Boston Latin School (BLS).   She writes that the small percentage in enrollment is: “a damning message sent to black families that they don’t belong or are not entitled to the best education and opportunity the city has to offer.” She follows by suggesting that makes it appropriate for the U.S. Attorney to conduct an investigation of BLS.

Then we get a confused message. She tells us that black kids in Boston have better options than the white kids with: “Metco, a state-funded program that buses students to the best suburban public schools. Black kids can get scholarships to private schools. Black kids are going to charter schools.”

On one hand some are not getting the best education but on the other some are receiving it. But she writes: “It all works out. Does anyone really believe this? Now I expect her to tell us why it does not work out. But she doesn’t. She throws in a curve ball moving from education to economics.

She explains: blacks and Hispanics have the “highest rates of unemployment in the city and the lowest levels of education.” It is surprising that out of the blue Hispanics are pulled into the issue when we are talking blacks. Even so, it seems she is stating the obvious that those with the lowest educational levels will have the highest unemployment levels. I’m sure that applies uniformly across the United States so what is the relation to BLS?

She then writes about the median income level of whites (51,000), blacks (29,000) and Hispanics (21.300). (She omits Asians again.) The median income levels in 2006 in the United States for Asians 57,500, whites 48,900, Hispanic 34,200, and black 30,100 seem to roughly approximate the Boston rate.

So I’m sure you are wondering what this has to do with BLS.  If you thought “absolutely nothing” I would not say you were wrong.

Now keep in mind Leung told us that the small percentage of black students at BLS justifies the U.S. Attorney’s investigation. Now she says after writing how great BLS is that: “No one is asking Latin to lower its standards in order to diversify.” Then, if you asked what was the point of the article you would be thinking along the same line as I was thinking.

Now she switches to tell us, despite the introduction, BLS is not the problem. It is that: “What needs to change . . . is everything else before sixth grade, the year kids start to apply to Boston Latin and other exam schools.” If that’s the case why is the U.S. Attorney investigating BLS?

Leung tells how many are going about “helping black families navigate the system and expanding the free test preparation program to prepare for entrance exams” That’s good and as it should be but again it has nothing to do with BLS but everything to do with the preparation of black students for BLS in the first six grades.

She ends her column with this: “But to really get there, we have to first recognize that Boston Latin is everyone’s problem.” How does it get to back to being a problem right after she said it wasn’t?

Knowing where she worked and how it is mau-mauing the BLS issue, knowing the community of which she is a part, it seems she was directed by the powers-that-be to write a negative story about BLS but her heart wasn’t in it. As an Asian she knows how valuable BLS is to her community. That’s the best I can figure  — especially seeing she is no dummy having graduated from Princeton -– but the tragedy is some people reading her article will think there is a problem that justifies a federal investigation when she is stating the exact opposite.

Nevertheless, you have to admit she did a good job disguising her true feelings from the bosses.

7 thoughts on “The Globe’s Shirley Leung Trying To Have it Both Ways on Boston Latin School:

  1. Has any government agency,state or federal,conducted any form of oversight into the Metco programs funding ? Why should taxpayer money subsidize one segment of the populace. Are those most in need being accepted into the Metco program ? It Seems to me that the same lack of diversity that is being decried by the Globes urban warriors as it relates to Latin school goes on unchecked at Metco. Doesn’t this program drain the best and brightest from Boston public schools .Shouldnt those who can’t get into Metco be given an equal opportunity by enrolling in a charter school?Would the millions spent on sending kids to Sudbury and back be better spent on enrichment programs in our city schools?

    1. P:

      METCO has always been a strange problems. It was only for blacks to escape the Boston school system while whites were not welcome into it. I’ve said I don’t understand why blacks have to be bused from the city and whites in the suburban schools do not have to be bused into the city. Why is it black children have to travel such long distances away from home to receive a decent education?

      I’ve also suggested that if METCO receives state funding then those schools in the suburbs who participate in it should have been part of any Garrity busing plan. Why was it only white kids in Boston being bused within the city; black kids in Boston being bused within and without the city; and white kids in the suburbs not being affected by the program. Of course, any suggestion that suburban white kids have to go to the city schools was a non-starter in Garrity’s court. He could point to a Supreme Court decision giving him a pass on that but the Supreme Court case did not deal with a situation like in Boston where blacks were already part of the suburban system through a METCO-type program.

      METCO does give the black kids whose parents are interested in them getting the best available free public education a chance to escape from the Boston schools. That METCO exists points to failure of education in most of Boston public schools. I’m not sure that more money thrown at the Boston Public Schools is a solution. Sudbury spends around $14,200 per student while Boston spends $18,300.

      As you know schools can only do so much – it doesn’t take a village to educate a child it takes dedicated teachers, a strong disciplinary system, and parents and family who care – Boston has a lot of dedicated teachers, they are hampered by parents who are indifferent and a weak disciplinary system.

      I see that you are coming up upon a significant anniversary from your high school. I’d have to guess the school has really put out the red carpet for you and your class mates on such, as then Archbishop Cushing said at your graduation, “this auspicious occasion.” How do I remember what he said? I went home and looked up the word “auspicious”.

      1. Has any government agency,state or federal,conducted any form of oversight into the Metco programs funding ? Why should taxpayer money subsidize one segment of the populace. Are those most in need being accepted into the Metco program ? It Seems to me that the same lack of diversity that is being decried by the Globes urban warriors as it relates to Latin school goes on unchecked at Metco. Doesn’t this program drain the best and brightest from Boston public schools .Shouldnt those who can’t get into Metco be given an equal opportunity by enrolling in a charter school?Would the millions spent on sending kids to Sudbury and back be better spent on enrichment programs in our city schools?

  2. I have a friend Jane Leung who runs the program called YES
    in Boston Chinatown.
    It was set up the help at risk chinese kids.

    in other news

    May 3 2016

    Men Say Heroin-Addicted Agent Put Them in Prison
    Courthouse News Service-

    http://www.courthousenews.com/2016/05/04/men-say-heroin-addicted-agent-put-them-in-prison.htm
    WASHINGTON (CN) — After the downfall of a heroin-addicted FBI agent upended their drug convictions, three men now want damages from the U.S. …

  3. To MTC9393
    My graduation was more miraculous than auspicious. I still to this day don’t know why the Jesuits held on to me with my academic record plummeting as it did in my senior year.But they did and I am forever grateful to them. Happy 60th .

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