TSBOLE is real and pervasive. It has done major harm to minorities

My thesis is that the soft bigotry of lowered expectations is a real problem. It arises subtly in many manifestations. E.g. [ul][li]Social promotion. Promoting students without expecting them to learn the material. Many inner city school systems have simply given up.[/li][li]Affirmative Action (certain aspects) When minorities are accepted by colleges without the usual qualifications, they are given the message that they aren’t as good, don’t have to be as good, and can’t be as good. High schools are given the message that they don’t have to teach effectively.[/li][li]Head Start Head Start is ineffectual at helping kids learn to read. Nevertheless there is great resistance to changing the program to fix this problem. Many influential educators actually oppose teaching these young children reading.[/li][li]Media support for inappropriate leaders Decades ago the media focused on moral giants, like Martin Luther Kink and Cesar Chavez. Today they promote moral pigmies like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton.[/li][li]Bi-lingual education, multilingual ballots Immigrants, particularly Hispanics, are encouraged NOT to learn English. This is good for certain politicians who pander to non-English-speaking constituents. It’s terribly limiting for the people affected.[/li][li]Ignoring dreadful leadership of some African nations The international community, and especially the United Nations, have been harsh at attacking bad leadership in Western nations, e.g. the former Yugoslavia and Israel. But, they have been tolerant about bad leadership in Africa. This is fine for the tyrants, but it’s terrible for the people. [/ul][/li]
In some of these situations, the proponents claim that they are helping minorities or being kind to them. I disagree. Although TSBOLE isn’t as bad a overt racism, it’s subtle and hard to eradicate.

We should support efforts (such as President Bush’s) to fight the soft bigotry of lowered expectations.

Must… fight… urge…


Martin Luther Kink?

Are you suggesting something? :wink:

Okay, december, I’ll bite.

Social promotion. I may be totally naive, but the only instances I’ve run into of institutionalized social promotion are within the accounts of right-wing critics of public education. This requires a cite.

Affirmative Action Colleges don’t admit “minorities”; they admit students who fall into minority status. It’s been my experience that a lowered academic standard for admission of a student who passes a high standard as regards potential compensates for the fact that often minority-group students have been victimized by substandard educational programs, an environment not conducive to learning, etc. As between two kids of equal potential, one with his own room and a Britannica in the home, and one studying next to two fighting toddlers and with no reference material, which do you think will score higher on academic ratings?

Head Start I don’t want to get into a rant on what early childhood education should or should not be. Suffice it to say that I don’t think that any three- or four-year-old should be pushed into learning to read. If he or she begins to learn to read on his or her own, that should be fostered, of course, but Head Start IMHO has other (and laudable) functions to fulfill.

Media support for inappropriate leaders Forgive me for saying this, but I read newspapers extensively when not online, and of the last ten times I’ve seen Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson mentioned, nine of them were in this forum, mostly in posts with your name at the left. In addition, while I think very highly of the impact of MLK and a number of other figures of the 40s, 50s, and 60s, I was quite aware of public affairs from about 1958 on, and many of the figures now ensconsed in people’s pantheons were highly controversial in their own day, including JFK, MLK, FDR, DDE, George Marshall, Dean Acheson, John Foster Dulles…

Bi-lingual education, multilingual ballots As has always happened in America, non-Anglophone immigrants obtain resources in their native tongues while learning English to deal with their surroundings as a whole. Nothing has changed except that with a somewhat more pervasive and more considerate government, instead of having Aunt Ida or your smart tenth-grader do the translation (often poorly), you as an immigrant get the government document in your own language from the government. Stop beating that dog; not only won’t it hunt, but it’s lying down with terminal injuries right next to the dead horse.

**Ignoring dreadful leadership of some African nations **: This country has always tried to balance a need to provide ethical leadership to the world with the need to deal with those in power in other nations, even when we didn’t much care for how they got there. This runs from the Bey of Tunis and Napoleon through Salazar and Gomulka right up to the present. IMHO the Bush administration (and the Clinton) could have exerted a bit more moral leadership to the world on this, but when Jimmy Carter did, he was considered an ineffectual idealist. (Of course, he was a Democrat, so no good Republican could back his efforts.)

**I think the SBOLE here is the assumption that every minority student who doesn’t achieve is failing because of racism. Thus a black kid with his own room and a PC who pulls Ds gets into college ahead of white kids with their own rooms and PCs. And that the compensation you mentioned comes at the expense of those who had no part in the racism that caused failure even when that is the cause. Innocent whites get screwed for something they didn’t do. And colleges do admit minorities. The Bakke case happened because the medical school being sued held a certain number of slots open for blacks. Not any specific students, just anyone with the required melanin.

The SBOLE can also be found in the assumption that certain minorities are presumed capable of overcoming their deficiencies, and others are not. Jews, Asians, and left-handers can make it on their own. Blacks can’t. Or so AA programs presume.

** As regards bi-lingual education, I find it hard to believe that some recent immigrant’s children had a native English-speaker at their elbow as they made their way thru the education system. And wasn’t it illegal to take someone else with you into the voting booth during the great wave of immigration in the early days of the twentieth century?

By hook or by crook, somehow or other, they had to learn English. Naturally, some failed. But they didn’t have any option. I think the basic assumption is "You chose to come to this country. The adjustment is going to have to be on your part, not ours. Tell us when you are ready to be a fully functioning adult. " The SBOLE here is the assumption that learning English is too hard. Why not print a ballot in Spanish instead?

I think Carter’s failures came mostly from his misunderstanding of the Soviet position, as well as Iran and Central America, not Africa. I see the SBOLE more in cases like electing Idi Amin as chairman of the Organization of African Unity with a straight face, or the unfortunate tendency of many African dictators to blame everything under the sun on colonialism. Or something like Mugabe attacking white farmers in his country in ways that would have been labelled “apartheid” or worse if inflicted by white rulers against blacks.

I also think you are being a bit disingenous in your response to the SBOLE on American black leaders. It seems the media can dig up someone to defend anyone if they are black, but not if they are white. David Duke is (thank God) a goner, but Louis Farrakhan still gets press. Marion Barry gets re-elected after smoking crack on tape, and black leaders of all sorts get behind Mike Tyson even after he commits rape. Not difficult to see the SBOLE here.


couldn’t help but notice that there wasn’t a single piece of support for any of the points made in the OP.

'afore I start my googling, I’ll just sit here and wait for december to submit support for his allegation that TSBOLE is “real” and that it’s “pervasive” in the areas that he’s outlined.

By cite, I’m looking for something **other ** than a columnist suggesting that it exists.

Opinions are wonderful things, however, in a civilized debate, one needs to be able to ‘support’ it with data, otherwise, it evolves into a “nuh-huh” “yea-huh” sort of thing.

thank you.

Tea and crumpets while we’re waiting?

Oh, please, yes! Do you have any lemon?

For example Shodan makes the assumption that it’s because of SBOLE that Marion Berry got re-elected, rather than other possabilities (one being that, gasp, more voters actually wanted him in office even if he had a substance abuse problem), please note that his most recent campaign has ended.

and I submit that rather than ‘black leaders’ being supportive of Mr. Tyson, it’s more boxing commissions who are looking at their bank accounts. (evidence to support this thesis - after the Las Vegas/Nv boxing commission removed his license, other boxing commissions were lining up to have him box in their jurisdiction).

In other words, in order to prove the hypothesis, we would need examples where plausable, and more likely explanations for the phenomenon didn’t exist. Remember, generally speaking if you see a horselike creature, it’s less likely (tho not impossible) to be a zebra.

and Guin of course there’s lemon. what do you think of the scones?

The real world is rarely as black and white as republican solutions. There is considerable middle ground between schools which have given up and failing large numbers of students who fail to meet arbitrary expectations. Many of the most important lessons learned in school cannot be graded on standardized tests and failing kids just encourages them to drop out. Those who graduate do to social promotion will still do better in life than those who give up.

That schools sometimes fail to teach basic skills is a problem, though I think it is debatable how large a problem, but it is not synonamous with social promotion. Ending social promotion may increase final test scores, which in itself is an accomplishment of dubious value, but it may accomplish it at the cost of those who fail to complete school at all.

Does anyone care to point out which conservative Op-Ed piece december is cribbing from today?

(And what’s TSBOLE, anyway? I seem to have misplaced my acronym-to-English dictionary)

Educators don’t boast about their use of social promotion, to say the least. Google offers over 1.7 million cites. (OK, wring? :wink: ) Here’s a quote from one the first:

Carter deserves credit for at least trying. The ones I’m blaming for TSBOLE are those who should make greater efforts, like the UN.


What qualifications are you referring to?

You know, december, I’m about tired of you blaming AA for everything wrong with those “minorities”. Especially since you rarely provide evidence–anecdotal or otherwise–that support your claims.

My SATs were below average relative to the pool of applicants for my undergraduate university. Because of this and the fact that I entered an enginnering school without ever having taken calculus, you would probably conclude that I had been unqualified for my college environment. Well, while all those qualified, deserving, non-AA beneficeries flunked out or passed along by the skin of their teeth, I did wonderfully. I graduated with honors from the toughest school in my state. Did AA fail me? Does it fail the thousands of other people with experiences like mine? No.


Head Start wasn’t put into place to help kids learn to read. We’re talking three- and four-year-olds…most children in this age range DO NOT read.

Head State was designed to get at-risk children prepared for school. And there are many success stories (including my own). Where’s your data to support your claim that it doesn’t work?

december the data you post doesn’t support your hypothesis of “TSBOLE” at all. The concept that ‘some’ students may be passed w/o merit doesn’t demonstrate that:

  1. Those students fell into any particular category, to the exclusion of other categories.

  2. That it was indeed an example of ‘lowered expectations’ that caused them to be passed w/o merit.

for example - it wasn’t unheard of in my day (early 70’s) for certain students to get passing grades w/o merit. Of course, my school was neither innercity nor minority laden (as a matter of fact, I think there were at most 4 minority students in my graduating class.) as a matter of fact, most of them were of the sub set ‘jocks’, but of course, not all.

So, please submit data that demonstrates, (in this example) that minority students (in particular, as opposed to say, ‘inner city’) are being passed w/o merit, and that the reason is because of a lowered expectation (that is, of course **your ** hypothesis)

I certainly don’t mean to blame AA for all the problems. This country has suffered from pernicious racism which has led to sub-standard education for too many minorities.

I congratulate you, monstro. As I’ve posted, my cousin became a fine doctor. Of course, one doesn’t know whether the two of you would have succeeded anyhow, even without special preferences. My guess is that you would have.

Right. I should have written, preparation for reading.

Studies have shown that Head Start students do no better than others after about the 3rd or 4th grade IIRC. It’s called “fade-out.” by E. D. Hirsh

Where TSBOLE comes in is that Hirsh’s recommendations for improvement have been opposed more than supported by groups involved with early childhood education. They have lowered their expectations for Head Start, and are content to leave it as is.

december, any idea who wrote the “guide” to ending social promotion that you linked to? It doesn’t seem to be credited to any specific person(s) or organization.

While it’s certainly disgusting and/or laughable that a certain percentage of recent graduates cannot balance a checkbook, count their fingers and toes accurately or perform a decent mime, have you good evidence that such failures are more common than, say, in 1950 - and that if they are, subtle racism is the overwhelming cause?

december , is there any chance that you actually read the stuff you post?

(emphasis mine)

And this:

These two quotes directly conflict each other. Black students (by the statistics given in the above quote) are more that twice as likely to be held back than white students.

So december is you theory flawed?

Your guess is as good as mine. However, there are those other 1,739,999 cites one could look through…

I haven’t looked for cites comparing 2002 to 1950. However, I believe things are different. Recalling letters written by my late father-in-law, they would have done justice to a college graduate of today. One difference is that a lot more students dropped out in the old days, but those who graduated could read and do arithmetic. Anyhow, that’s my perception.

I agree that social promotion is not the same as racism. They’re two separate issues. However, I believe the cite that minorities are disproportionately affected.

For me, the key is that social promotion removes the pressure to fix systems that aren’t working. That’s why home schooling and vouchers are such big issues. It’s embarassing when 2 million parents without educational training or materials can do a better job of teaching than professional teachers with the full support of the school system.

That’s a good pick-up, bio-brat. However, there’s no contradiction, because, sadly, more Black students are doing badly in school. More are held back AND more get social promotion. Clearly we need better education in the first place. That’s why a majority of African Americans are in favor of school vouchers.

Of COURSE there’s a contradiction there december. if TSBOLE is as ‘pervasive’ as you claim, then why ‘hold blacks back’?

with all these black children being held back and all those others being passed w/o merit due to TSBOLE, it’s a wonder we have any blacks at all that can do anything.

Or maybe, just maybe it’s your assumptions that are wrong?

and, once again, we’ll have to hit the ‘Nyaaaaaah’ buzzer on the ‘well in my memory, this was what it was like when I was young’ answer to jack’s question.

data man, we’re looking for data.

demonstrate that SBOLE exists and is ‘pervasive’ and responsible for the phenomenon that you espouse in your OP (well, after you demonstrate that the phenomenon that you espouse in your OP actually exists, as well )

They are indeed different December, the dropout rate in 1950 was about 50%. Schools face different challenges today and now you want them to devote even more of their limited resources to the bottom achievers by holding them back longer.