UPDATE 8.14.19: As our Keiki head back to public schools, I found a cute meme that aptly demonstrates the sex bias and discrimination in our education system today. There’s an adage: More Truth in Jest than Just in Truth. Young girls can be and are encouraged to be defiant. Young boys are punished.
In my comments regarding the ACLU charge of Hawai’i Department of Education (below), I challenged their assumptions about discrimination. I do not believe educators are fundamentally racist. I am a third-generation teacher and have quite a bit of classroom and institutional experience.
In response to their research, I offered an alternative hypothesis, which I label, “Institutional Defiance.” Boys are sent to detention and suspended at higher rates than girls. This is statistically proven. This “funny meme” I found on social media explains this in part.
Educators up to high school level are nearly 100% female today, including most support and administrative staff. The meme above is titled, “Laugh Of The Day.” The young girl is openly defiant. As a teacher, I needed to STOP all my students — boys and girls — from talking when class activities required their attention. Here’s a young girl rejecting that authority, and likely, her family would back her up if I sent her to detention for talking when not appropriate.
This is an example of the BIAS found in female-dominated education today. Females who defy authority are applauded and praised. Males are punished and form the school-to-prison pipeline. My hypothesis and examples are not popular … as women serve the positions of leadership at this time.
Like to extend a warm welcome from ClearHealthLife to my good friends at the University of Hawai’i School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene, Hawaii Keiki: Healthy & Ready to Learn Program. I know these ladies are doing everything in their power to reduce sex discrimination in both our public schools and workplaces in Hawai’i.
Margo Lalich, MPH, BA, RN, CDPM, Executive Director
Cortney Crocker, MSN, APRN-Rx, CPNP-PC, Director of Clinical Operations
Amy Brenner, MBA, HOA Training & Development Specialist
Sarah Mercado, BSN, RN, NCSN*, Program Manager
Wendy Suetsugu, JD, MSN, RN, Practice Director
Mary G. Boland, DrPH, RN, FAAN, Dean & Professor
Hawaii Keiki: Healthy & Ready to Learn
School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene
University of Hawaii at Manoa
2528 McCarthy Mall, Webster 402
Honolulu, HI 96822
Phone: (808) 956-8522
School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene
University of Hawaii at Manoa
2528 McCarthy Mall, Webster Hall 402
Honolulu, HI 96822
Update 7.31.19: Suevon Lee, writing in Civil Beat, pointed out the federal government found Hawaii Still Comes Up Short Meeting Special Education Needs. In an interview with Margo Lalich (July 25th), Executive Director, Hawai’i Keiki program, she reported their biggest challenge is “lack of sophisticated staff” in so many agencies and programs across the state. Incompetence and corruption!
At issue is the generations of illegal, unethical and inappropriate hiring practices, as localism, nepotism, friendism, patronage and other discriminatory biases dictate who is selected for a position — not merit or the one who has the best qualifications.
Fifth year in a row, Hawaii Department of Education fell short of meeting requirements of a federal law governing special education services for school-aged children with disabilities.
The DOE needs assistance implementing Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The federal admonition means Hawaii requires technical assistance to improve performance results for children with disabilities. The DOE is failing our children. They have hired unqualified personnel for too long.
Based on 2017 data, only 14% of fourth graders with disabilities scored basic or above in reading on the NAEP, compared with 30% for special ed students nationally. For eighth graders, only 17% scored basic and above versus 35% nationally.
When it came to math, 30% of fourth graders with disabilities scored basic or above on the NAEP compared to 45% nationally among special ed students. Only 19% of eighth graders with disabilities scored basic or above compared with 27% nationally.
Ms. Lee also pointed out:
“In the 2017-18 school year, special education students in Hawaii were suspended at a rate three times that of the general student population, according to SEAC. One recent analysis by the ACLU found that Hawaii’s disabled students were suspended for more days than average than other disabled students around the country and that the state had the highest arrest rate in the nation for students with disabilities.”
As I document in the research below, the ACLU failed to conduct a professional study. Their research design only included one single school year. A high-quality, professional review would generally look at ten years or more. The DOE system is broken; ACLU researchers are not highly trained, and our children suffer.
Last week, I posted a research documentary, ACLU Destroys Hawai’i Public Education, condemning a fraudulent claim by Black activist, Amir Whitaker. He’s a civil rights attorney with the Southern California district of the ACLU.
Along with Darcia Forester, Hawai’i Public Defenders Office, Heidi Armstrong, Hawai’i DOE, and Rae Shih, who served as panel moderator, the group perpetrates a dangerous deception to media and leading officials in the state of Hawai’i.
Their position is a common narrative today. It is accurate People of Color have suffered tremendous pain and tragedy in America and around the world. It’s convenient and popular to indict White people and our nation. These accusations are generally false and misguided.
For example, African Americans blame White people for slavery. This is inexact and distorted. My great, great grandfather, Robert A. Lower, did not own slaves. In fact, he and the 110 White neighbors and friends in their union regiment volunteered to fight Southern Democrats who had formed the Confederacy to continue the immoral practice of enslaving human beings.
I write frequently about my grandfather. He was one of only 19 survivors in his regiment after the Siege of Vicksburg. These men died valiantly. Apparently he acted heroically. He earned the Congressional Medal of Honor.
Leading politicians now seek to win African American votes by joining a growing number of Black Americans calling for reparations from the U.S. government. Their claim may be just — but their grievance is against the Confederacy who fought to continue enslavement.
The United States of America paid in blood and cash to earn their freedom between 1860 and 1865. Our government and current taxpayers should not be billed a second time.
An Inconvenient Truth
Borrowing Al Gore’s phrase, Mr. Whitaker and the ACLU peddle a similar unjust and misguided claim today. The ACLU team used fancy business intelligence software, Tableau, to create a stunning visual presentation for less-informed readers.
As I pointed out in my critique, there are two major flaws that demonstrate the lack of professional standards in their work:
(1) Whitaker used only one year of data for the analysis. Frustrated Principal Amy Martinson, Highlands Intermediate, pointed out the 2015-16 school year (data used for Whitaker’s research) included a high number of suspension days, as administrators had busted a group of students selling marijuana on campus.
(2) Whitaker relied on a simple cross tabulation of the data, including only race and number of days suspended. As I showed in my re-examination, there are many other variables to consider. I used three more just to provide an example.
Simple models are for simple minds and they simply lead to inaccurate conclusions in most cases.
The most dangerous flaw in the ACLU work is their underlying assumption. They believe the model of causation flows like this:
Incorrect Causation Model: Institutional Racism
American institutions, they claim, such as education and criminal justice systems, business community, and majority White society as a whole are racially motivated to oppress and systematically deny opportunity and/or punish People of Color.
Teachers and administrators in our public schools, in their opinion, target People of Color, discipline them more harshly and frequently with both in-school detention and out-of-school suspension, deny these youngsters educational opportunity, which directs more People of Color, primarily male students, to the school-to-prison pipeline. This is incorrect.
More Appropriate Causation Model: Poor Child Development
As a third-generation educator, I worked with Behavioral Developed (BD) students. My mother taught first grade in an underprivileged school in a concentrated African American area. My observations and experience lead me to have a different worldview.
Kids of Color and BD students are less likely to be prepared for first grade. They have fewer books in the home, for example. Their families may use traditional English less. And, they are more disposed to be defiant to authority, in this case, majority White culture. BD kids suffer ADD, ADHD, bipolar and more. They in turn read less effectively, if at all.
In my criticism of the ACLU work, I tested this model using one expert on social development in both Hawai’i and mainland. Relying on only one expert is not advanced research. This example is for demonstration purposes only.
I asked the expert her perceptions on average about the groups included in the ACLU study concerning expected grades, number of books in the home, and sex of the suspended students. She was unaware the assigned number of days suspended. Results are shown below.
The first demonstration example supports the hypothesis that poor child development — particularly in regard to boys — leads to institutional defiance here in the islands. Frustration with White culture is well-acknowledged due the overthrow of the Hawaiian kingdom in 1893.
The second demonstration example supports the hypothesis poor child development — particularly in regard to boys — leads to institutional defiance on mainland. Frustration with White culture is highly-accepted due the history of slavery, Jim Crow, and Civil Rights movements.
All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten
The classic work by Robert Fulghum is prescient. He states:
ALL I REALLY NEED TO KNOW about how to live and what to do and how to be I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate-school mountain, but there in the sandpile at Sunday School. He lists some of the things he learned. [MORE]
A study published in JAMA (Journal of American Medicine Association) Psychiatry this week found an association between 6-year-olds’ behavior and annual earnings three decades later. Researchers looked at teachers’ social behavior questionnaires for 2,850 kindergarteners in Quebec, Canada in 1980 – 1981, and compared to the now adults’ tax returns through 2015. [SOURCE]
Children who were more inattentive had on average lower annual earnings between ages 33 and 35. Researchers controlled for for IQ and family adversity. Inattentive students can be considered to suffer Behavioral Development issues.
Most importantly, boys who were physically aggressive or oppositional — disobeying, refusing to share, blaming others or being inconsiderate and irritable — were associated with lower earnings as adults. Girls didn’t follow the same trend.
The study was discussed in Fox Business. They focused on the way children behaved in kindergarten as a predictor of how much money they would make as adults. Over the course of a career, the difference would theoretically add up to more than $73,000 for men and $45,000 for women.
Considering the data from the other direction supports my hypothesis that boys who are physically aggressive or oppositional, i.e., defiant, and who were more likely to disobey, refuse to share, blame others or act inconsiderately and be irritable would suffer more student detention and suspension. This would lead to less education opportunity and greater probability of falling into the school-to-prison pipeline.
The ACLU study was flawed professionally and inaccurate in their underlying assumption. This is a dangerous deception for America. It divides us and does not address the root problem: as a society, we struggle to manage our young boys. Our prisons are full of men — some 90 percent.
National media reported a mother, Stacy Rupp, dropped her son off at a McDonald’s restaurant around 8:30 last Wednesday evening. Employees not only noticed the child unsupervised, but was also “dirty and disheveled.” They called police. Rupp reportedly told authorities, “He drives me crazy and steals my money.”
Many women can’t handle boys. We have TOO MUCH energy; ask TOO MANY questions. We drive them crazy. Many of these women are kindergarten and primary school teachers. They simply can’t handle us.
They push us into detention; send to the principal’s office; put us on ADHD or other drugs. They call us problem children. We become defiant. We become the delinquent boys. We use illicit drugs. We steal. We do many negative social behaviors. We eventually end up in YOUR prisons.
We simply need a woman or man who can properly direct our energy. This woman didn’t have the time or patience. Society doesn’t have the time. The ACLU shows they weren’t interested in taking the time to do their research properly.
The ACLU wanted to make a claim that is not supported by the research data or social behavior. They wanted to drive a false and divisive political agenda.
Sad, isn’t it? Reading in fundamental. Teach your boys to read. Their future depends on it. So does ours.
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Ko’olau of Kaua’i. I am the Defiant One
“I Believe We Can”