SJ2020: A Civil Rights Challenge

For the number one civil rights issue of our time, there was a distinct lack of passion at the rollout of SJ2020 last Thursday at City Hall. However, the singular goal of the initiative is very bold. Just the fact the event was held at the Council Chambers in the 10th largest city in the United States was significant.

Congratulations to San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed and Superintendent Chuck Weis for pulling together the community to embrace the mission of becoming the first large urban region in the United States to eliminate the achievement gap in 10 years.

I invited my 35 SJSU graduate students to attend the invitation-only event, all of whom are becoming K-8 teachers. These wise adults in my Educational Psychology class have been thoughtfully and articulately blogging on my written rants here each week since the fall semester began. When we as a class debriefed the launch of SJ2020, it was clear some of us felt that there were not enough voices from the Latino or African-American community at the podium for the launch. Some students felt the messaging was not as much about the moral and ethical issues involved in the achievement gap, but rather the message was about the economic issues for Silicon Valley brought about by the academic gap. 

According to the SJ2020 timeline, many groups of stakeholders will be meeting during the next eight months to chart an action plan for San Jose to eliminate the achievement gap by 2020. To accomplish the goal there must be consistent bold and courageous leadership to sustain the mission. The initiatives must be audacious and as John Porter, Superintendent of Franklin-McKinley, said, we must place children first, as though they are national treasures—or in this case City of San Jose treasures. Porter implied that those countries that have improved their educational system in the last few decades did so only when the lens through which children were viewed changed.

One of my students wrote to me after the debrief session and said, “I think the biggest part of the problem is that we’ve become so used to white culture/values dominating so many arenas that we fail to see how prevalent it is and how much it clashes with other cultures. We see our schools as presenting curriculum that is objective and free of any cultural perspective but it’s not.” Another student wrote, “Why not offer an incentive to talented, experienced teachers to take positions in our most struggling schools and classes. Pay them for their expertise.”

In our class discussion we listed additional ways to accomplish this valiant goal: quality dual immersion classes in all schools for Spanish; performance-pay for the best teachers; ending tenure; attracting and retaining the best teachers for San Jose by offering affordable housing; growing our own teachers from our local high schools and offering them scholarships at the local universities; developing teachers by having them intern with pay for one year with the best teachers in the district; and making certain school leaders are able to lead, inspire, govern and build parent, community, and staff support.

In addition, we must provide all students who are struggling academically and socially with community mentors. Building academic language skills and reading skills to grade level is imperative.  We must implement an all-court press to make certain that by 3rd grade all children read on grade level, even if it takes an extended day and year.

What ideas do you have to support this goal of SJ2020? It will take our entire village working tirelessly for 10 years to eliminate the achievement gap. It is a moral imperative. I am very honored to live in a city that is charting a new course. To get there we must turn up the passion. Remember the garbage strikes in Birmingham and the grape boycotts in Salinas? Are you fired up and ready to go?

Joseph Di Salvo is a member of the Santa Clara County Office of Education’s Board of Trustees. He is a San Jose native. His columns reflect his personal opinion.

100 Comments

  1. “quality dual immersion classes in all schools for Spanish”

    I think this is a tremendous mistake.
    1.) Children will learn English faster being fully immersed in the language instead of babied in multilingual classes.
    2.) This adds unnecessary costs to schools.
    3.) Why only Spanish? San Jose has over 100k Vietnamese residents, large Indian communities, etc.  Are we going to start offering dual immersion classes in all languages or provide preferential treatment for Spanish speakers? This sets an unnecessary precedent for San Jose schools. Living in a multi-cultural world is fantastic (I grew up speaking Portuguese as well), but schooling in a separate language should be an added program (e.g. after school class) instead of replace core curriculum.

    “performance-pay for the best teachers; ending tenure; attracting and retaining the best teachers for San Jose by offering affordable housing; growing our own teachers from our local high schools and offering them scholarships at the local universities; developing teachers by having them intern with pay for one year with the best teachers in the district; and making certain school leaders are able to lead, inspire, govern and build parent, community, and staff support”

    Excellent. All great ideas.

    • You need to check your research. A longitudinal study by Ramírez et al (1991) showed that English immersion is less successful for minority language students than bilingual education with native language support. Another study showed that English language learners who did not have primary language support showed large decreases in reading and math achievement by Grade 5 as compared to students with primary language support.
      These are not “unnecessary costs”. The unnecessary cost is the one society must pay when these undersupported students perform poorly in their classes and drop out of school. The cost of making education available to all of our students is a necessary one.
      As someone who was lucky enough to grow up speaking more than one language, you especially should appreciate the benefits of additive bilingualism rather than subtractive bilingualism (as accomplished by English immersion “sink-or-swim” programs).
      Your only valid point is that there should be primary language support for all English Language Learners, regardless of language.
      If you think that it is fantastic to live in a multi-cultural world, why do you want to whitewash it by causing English Language Learners to become illiterate in their primary language?

      • First of all, Whitewash? Excuse me?? Why don’t we start by changing that word to Americawash because believe it or not we live in a place called America and the language of choice here is English.  When my parents came here, they didn’t speak a word of English, but they learned so that they could integrate in American culture (again, we live in America here).  Both became very successful grade school teachers, so I’m a bit familiar with the K-8 educational system here.

        Did I ever say that I wanted English Language Learners to become illiterate in their primary language? No. And it is rude of you to try to put those words in my mouth.  I believe that it is CRITICAL for those that come from a different culture to try to maintain that culture.  As a child my first language was Portuguese and I was very connected to that culture, so did I become illiterate in my primarily language or lose touch with my culture? NO. How did I manage to do that when 100% of my schooling was in English? I went to AFTERSCHOOL PROGRAMS that taught the Portuguese language and the Portuguese culture.  And guess what, I managed to maintain a presence in 2 different cultures.

        This is the right way to do it.  K-8 schools should be focusing on teaching English because that is what will get immigrant children ahead in America (and I can say this from personal experience).  Those that are lucky enough to grow up in multiple cultures SHOULD also continue to learn about their own culture after school.  Yes it add a few more hours of work each week, but that is what it takes to maintain multiple cultures and not half-ass either one.  School should make after school cultural programs available, but this should not replace core curriculum… and I believe that your 1991 case study is out of date.

        • First of all, English is a language that is forced in this country and not the language of choice. American Indians, specifically the Navajo, were chained to desk in their classrooms if they refused to speak English.  It wasn’t until WWI when the U.S. Army needed code talkers that their language was valued. 

          Second, I am happy for you that your family has been successful.  However, have you ever considered the fact that your family had a “clean break” from Portugal and thus were able to assimilate to American culture? Where it may take you almost one full day and a couple of thousands of dollars to return back to Portugal, it would only take me a few hundred bucks and a nine hour car ride to see my family.  Do you see the difference?  Also, have you spoken to your parents about any injustices they might have endured when they first arrived here, or was their life like an episode of Leave it to Beaver? 

          Third, having second language enrichment courses offered afterschool is a privilege.  These children have the right to learn both languages, no one language is more important than the other.  If you disagree with that statement then it wouldn’t be wrong for me to assume that you believe one race is better than the other.  Language, like you stated above, is linked to culture, and culture is linked to race. You are Portuguese-American, I’m assuming, therefore you are partially European meaning white.  Your language is not thought of as the language of the poor or low class, but mine is…and that’s the honest, brutal truth. 

          I am happy that you did bring up that Spanish overshadows other languages.  The API community is at a tremendous disadvantage due to the fact that it is more difficult to find teachers who speak these languages to teach bilingual courses. 

          Lastly, why should we continue with immersion courses if they are not working?  I advise you to step into an EL course and see how damaging these classes can be.  (Keep in mind you would need to observe more than one class to have a well researched opinion)  Improving such courses would not be a waste of money due to the fact that there are more school aged Latinos than any other race.  Furthermore, the welfare of this country depends on Latinos receiving quality education that is reflective of both cultures

        • Having attended the San Jose 2020, I was left with multiple thoughts regarding the achievement gap, language learning, and the deficiencies that have pervaded education for some time.  Let me preface by stating that I love acquiring knowledge about cultures different than my own and traveling to remote locations of the world.  I agree completely with many of Mr. DiSalvo’s propounded methods to promote a better educational environment and situation for children.  I believe, as DiSalvo does, that “…by ending tenure, attracting and retaining the best teachers for San Jose, offering them scholarships at the local universities, and developing teachers by having them intern with pay for one year with the best teachers in the district”, the city can more fully address deficiencies in the classroom. 

          Although I am in accord with these proposals, I feel that they make rather divisive statements and would have various repercussions.  Moves to remove tenure would most likely be opposed vehemently by educators already enjoying the protected euphoria that tenure provides.  In addition to this, attracting the best teachers to San Jose implies that the city does not already boast the best around.  This may ruffle a few feathers in the halls of schools and district offices.  The sheer fact that there is an achievement gap to begin with should imply that blame be deposited on some front, right.  Does this blame rest with politicians?  Does it rest with administrators?  How about teachers?  Or, does it belong with parents who put their children in difficult and often foreign situations?

          It is not my intention to blame any particular group for the achievement gap or the lack of success in education in recent years on this blog.  Besides, many of you have done that already.  It is, however, my intention to demonstrate that all those involved seem to blame others for present problems and weaknesses in our public education system.  I plan on becoming a K-8 teacher.  I wonder if future credential students in the next 10, 15, or 20 years will participate in similar conversations about my inadequacies.

          In conclusion, I need to point out that during my years abroad I have often witnesses other Americans (U.S. citizens) deride their native land and their compatriots as backward and ignorant.  These same Americans love to learn about foreign lands and feel that they have fully immersed themselves in these nations’ cultures by staying at bilingual hostels, backpacking with English speaking friends, and visiting a few monuments here and there.  Most of these travelers attempt to learn the language, even if they speak it less than fluently.  Despite all of this cultural sensitivity, these same culturally understanding individuals fail to recognize any value in foreigners, immigrants, or tourists obtaining knowledge on common U.S. values, culture, and language.  Please be cognizant that I do speak Spanish and I have spent ample time with culturally diverse populations abroad for extensive periods of time.  I am not racist; I just believe that we expect more of ourselves as Americans and often denigrate our own culture and identity while elevating foreign cultures in order to somehow demonstrate our affinity for political correctness.

        • Hey Melissa, It was World War II that we used Navaho code talkers, not World War I. Maybe a typo on your part but it taints any other self proclaimed expertise on your part as “questionable”… Get your facts straight please BEFORE pontificating. Journalism 101

  2. << One of my students wrote to me after the debrief session and said, “I think the biggest part of the problem is that we’ve become so used to white culture/values dominating so many arenas that we fail to see how prevalent it is and how much it clashes with other cultures. We see our schools as presenting curriculum that is objective and free of any cultural perspective but it’s not.” >>

    That’s a hard core racially-charged message—any specific evidence to back it up?  Otherwise, congratulations on a new divisiveness in civic life.  I’m sure it’ll do wonders for the remainder of your program.

    • This was old news when we got it in the early nineties from Larry Aceves when he was superintendent of Alum Rock.  He advocated publicly the dismissal of all the “old white anglo teachers” for this same reason.  His purge of teachers didn’t help the Alum Rock students at all, and now we see it advocated on the county board level!

      • “Warner, an immigration attorney who would represent San Jose’s District 4 if elected, founded the European-American Issues Forum. An NAACP newsletter claims, “The EAIF routinely posts, sends press releases and letters, or has some presence with white supremacy and Anti-Semitic web-based organizations.”

        Besides condemning Warner on their Report Card, the NAACP is calling for Warner to drop out of the race.

        Rick L. Callender, chapter president of the San Jose/Silicon Valley NAACP, wrote Warner a letter which said, “As you know, the population of District 4 is a staggering 77% people of color. Your current and past affiliations make you ineligible to represent such a diverse population.”

        http://www.stanford.edu/class/comm273/archive/articles/0228/naacpavital.html

  3. I think the entire class, or at least I did, came out of SJ2020 with a higher sense of motivation, with the idea that it can be possible to one day end the achievement gap.  As we mentioned in class, there seemed to be a lot of missing aspects.  One speaker mentioned the word BOLD many times, yet everything discussed kind of grazed the surface.  We need to come up with BOLD ideas because obviously what we’re doing now isn’t working.

  4. Joseph,

    You and your cohorts continue to turn a blind eye to what’s likely the prime cause of the achievement gap: instructing millions of illegal aliens who have little in the way of education and virtually no comprehension of the English language. 

    Until you deal with that, your mission is nothing but a pipe dream.  Being “PC” will get you absolutely nowhere – the first step to success is recognition of the problem.

    • Maybe I am misunderstanding you, but it seems to me that you are saying we have an achievement gap because there are illegal immigrants here who are struggling to learn in the form that we are teaching. Do you then think that because they are illegally here and in our government funded schools that their education is less important to us?

      • Katie,

        Thanks for your comments.  Thanks too for understanding my message – the answer is yes, the education of illegal immigrants is far less important that that of our legal residents.

        Illegals cause a huge drain on our education resources.  Every time an illegal alien student enters a classroom and speaks no English, it greatly impacts the success of our own citizens and legal residents. 

        You’re the first one to question me on this subject.  Joseph and others won’t touch this politically sensitive issue with a ten foot pole.

        • Erika,

          Selfishness… I don’t think so.  It’s much more a matter of priorities.  Resources with boundaries will always be accompanied by priorities. 

          While life, liberty and happiness may be inalienable rights, who is to choose the manner and degree by which receipt of those rights are measured?

        • Greg, your comment, to me, spells selfishness.

          Ever heard of the American Dream? The idea of the American Dream is rooted in the second sentence of our Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”. The American Dream is an expression of the belief that America is a place where people can achieve a “better, richer, and happier life”.

          Is it not a compliment then, that people from all over the world choose to immigrate, whether legally or illegally, to the United States? a place where they feel they can build better lives and find better education? I am the daughter of immigrants and the American Dream was the very reason my parents chose to leave their native country. Have you heard the stories of families giving up their life savings just to send their children to the states by whatever means they can? hidden away in a shipping container, or the hold of a ship…and the risks and perils they face? There are more people than you think out there who would give an arm or a leg for a chance to come to America.

          Our Declaration of Independence promises equality, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We are to provide equal education to all, including immigrants, whether legal or illegal. Their citizenship, by no means, gives us the right to deprive them of quality education. Perhaps it puts a strain on our education resources, but is that not one of the things that is so great about the United States? that we provide education for all? QUALITY EDUCATION for all?

      • Well said, Katie. It’s not the kids’ fault, and all students in our classroom are deserving of our efforts, regardless of where they came from, their ethnic background, their socioeconomic status, or the decisions their parent have made. I’m guessing it wasn’t their call on whether or not to start a new life in a different country. Our job is to teach kids, period.

    • Greg,

      So what do you suggest we do Greg?  Do you think that we should continue doing nothing?  What is your solution to what you are suggesting is the problem?

      Do you suggest that we just deport every illegal alien here, and their children who may have been born in the U.S.?  Or do you suggest breaking apart families and sending only the parents back?

      I agree that people should come here legally, but there are humane ways of dealing with this problem.

      I would like to hear in more detail your solution to this problem.

      Kirk

      • Kirk,

        I think the first step is to recognize, as you note above, that people should come here legally.  Joseph and others are terrified to even discuss the matter for fear of being identified as racists.

        Next, our borders and ports of entry need to be secured to prevent further illegal immigration.

        K… now it’s your turn – how would you solve the education gap dilemma?  Would you simply raise taxes and throw yet more money down the drain?  Would you continue to allow any and all to enter our country illegally, driving the gap even wider?

        I look forward to reading your solution.

    • So apparently this is a hot topic for many people. Everyone is getting into it on this blog, and I wrote something on my facebook about it (thats right on facebook, I admit it) and I got more hits and comments than I had expected. People from both points of view commenting on it.

      First of all, Greg, some of your points are very valid, and really got me thinking about the political issue this brings up for us teachers. I have been told for years that if I want to teach I better get into politics, and this is why! This is an important issue, and its true illegal immigrants do cause some financial problems for our schools and many other areas that our tax money goes to.

      BUT, once they are in my classroom I cannot assume how or why they are here. I was told by a professor today that a law was passed saying that all children in the public school system, whether they are in it legally or not, should be given equal education opportunties (I wish I remember what the law was to really support my point).

      And I am not becoming a teacher to give a wonderful education to those students who are here legally, I want to give that opportunity to every student I have. But outside the classroom I will support Greg’s point, that America does have a problem with illegal immigrants not being taxed but getting the benefits like public schools.

  5. GAAAACK!!!

    Is there anything—ANYTHING—new in these warmed over educrat platitudes.

    We’ve heard all of this high minded flapdoodle over and over again.

    “eliminate the achievement gap”

    “not enough voices from the Latino or African-American community”

    “consistent bold and courageous leadership”

    “we must place children first”

    “community mentors”

    The main problem with education is that there are:

    1.) Too many people with education Doctorate degrees.

    2.) Too many education bureaucrats.

    3.) Too many education unions.

    4.) Too many tenured educators.

    5.) Too many politician mandates.

    6.) Too many special programs.

    7.) Too many bigoted education grad students who think the problem is “white culture”.

    7.) Too many incompetent teachers.

    8.) Too few competent teachers.

    • Doofinator,

      Although your persona on this forum is somewhat obnoxious, you do make a point I somewhat agree with.  The San Jose 2020 meeting left me feeling that there were lots of special interests at work.  The Mayor wanted to discuss how dropouts cost San Jose money when a percentage turn to crime.  The School District leadership, a PACT representative, a Charter school proponent and a Silicon Valley business representative all stood at the podium to pledge their support of the push to eliminate the gap.  But its obvious these groups all have self-interests that they will be seeking from moving forward with this program.  California’s Education budget is $ 50 Billion with a B!  That is a huge number, and where numbers like that exist, there are all kinds of hands grabbing to get a piece.  That is where the problem lies.  In this regard, I agree with your assessment that there are too many hands in the till.  But you go too far describing “tenured educators” part of the problem.  That would be like saying all Cisco engineers with a couple of years under their belt are robbing the technical system.  You’re misguided.

      • > Although your persona on this forum is somewhat obnoxious . . .

        My magnificent persona is testimony to the success of the public school system’s “self esteem programs”.  Are you against high self-esteem?  The gubbermint paid lots of money for this.

        . .  .

        > But you go too far describing “tenured educators” part of the problem.

        The only educators who need tenure are the ones who deserve to be fired.

  6. I agree with Melissa when she says that the class “came out of SJ2020 with a higher sense of motivation, with the idea that it can be possible to one day end the achievement gap.”  I learned a lot from SJ2020 but would have liked to heard more on the issue.

  7. Mr. Di Salvo;

    I’m having trouble decoding your student’s statement … perhaps you can help me out.

    If someone says we have a problem due to “brown culture”, they’re called “Ebil White Waycists”.

    But if someone says we have a problem due to “white culture”,  they’re helping solve the achievement gap, get a degree and a job as a teacher.

    Perhaps your student can explain this for us?

  8. << One of my students wrote to me after the debrief session and said, “I think the biggest part of the problem is that we’ve become so used to white culture/values dominating so many arenas that we fail to see how prevalent it is and how much it clashes with other cultures. We see our schools as presenting curriculum that is objective and free of any cultural perspective but it’s not.” >>

    That horribly dominant white culture built this country and invented almost everything of value -medicine, spaceflight, airplanes, automobiles, etc – in it.

    Show some respect!!!

  9. I hope our leaders and fellow community members who are working on the mission of SJ2020 are having more constructive conversations. Let’s focus.  What can we do now in this imperfect world to help our kids?  All of our kids.  It is too easy to be critical and far more difficult to be innovative.

  10. Everyone seems to be saying we have a RACE PROBLEM.

    Everybody says this RACE problem will be solved when the third world pours into EVERY white country and ONLY into white countries.

    
What if I said there was this RACE problem and this RACE problem would be solved only if hundreds of millions of non-browns were brought into EVERY brown country and ONLY into brown countries?

    
How long would it take anyone to realize I’m not talking about a RACE problem. I am talking about the final solution to the BROWN problem?

    
And how long would it take any sane brown man to notice this and what kind of psycho brown man wouldn’t object to this?

    When ALL white countries and ONLY white countries are flooded with millions of non-whites, it’s not solving a “race problem”, it’s solving a WHITE PROBLEM.

    It’s GENOCIDE.

  11. The “racial achievement gap” will never go away, because IQ is partially determined by genes, and different races have dramatically different mean IQ’s.  Do you propose to close the skin-color gap or the lactose-intolerance gap, or the malaria-sickle-cell immunity gap? 

    Nothing you can do can make MesoAmerican Indians or Africans as smart (on average) as Japanese or Jews, because of genes, the same way that Japanese will never make good NBA basketball players.

    Each racial group differs slightly, but significantly genetically, giving each racial group certain advantages and disadvantages.  That’s called Diversity, and we should celebrate it.  Of course every individual should be given equal opportunity to achieve.  However, ignoring the primary reason for the persistent “academic-gap” is a costly fool’s game, which only leads to frustration.

  12. San Jose is over 30% Asian,maybe blacks and hispanics are failing to do their work and study because of them?Is anyone going to write an article on how we can improve White students performance?

  13. Typical tripe coming from a typical lemming.

    While no race of people has a monopoly on virtue or vice, and while no race of people has a monopoly on worth and value, contrary to popular misinformation that doesn’t mean they are all interchangeable.

    People are now questioning their white self hate and trendy saps like DiSalvo are worried. They are worried because more and more of our own demography are implicitly and overtly resisting defamation. We have to attack our enemies the way they attack us. We have to humiliate our enemies the way they have humiliated us. Guilt, fear and humiliation are the origin and the motivation of all anti white racists who are disguised in the robes of “tolerance.”

    Anti racist is code for anti white.

    • Frank Roman:
      Your website states:

      “We believe that European Americans have a right to decide how they will live, and that an eventual geographic separation is necessary for the preservation of all unique cultures and values. Our fundamental interest is what most benefits European Americans as a people, and the preservation of our genes and our lands is undoubtedly in our best interest.”

      Wow, that’s scary stuff!

        • Um, yes it is still quite scary.

          -geographic separation?
          -preservation of our genes and our lands?

          Sounds like it’s advocating segregation and racial purity.  No matter which race is the focus, that is scary stuff.

      • Scary?

        If I remember correctly the Founding Fathers said that this nation was established for ‘…US and for OUR Posterity.’  Need I point out that the ‘US’ was White Anglo-Saxon Christian European Males? And ‘their posterity’ are all the DWEM and non-dead DWEM’s who just kicked butt in two states, and started taking our country (not yours) back via the 9/12 Tea parties??

        Now, to deny THAT historical delimiter, is what is really ‘scary.’

        Christus Vivat.
        Christus Regnat.
        Christus Imperat.

  14. There is no way you are going to be able to hire the best teachers. If the best teachers end up being all white there will be an outcry of racism.They will insist on a certain percentage of the teachers being from different races which again means that the best qualified will not be hired.You are only playing games and the world knows it. You white liberals are all liars. I could hook any white liberal to a lie detector test and ask them if they believe in the equality of the races and not one of them would pass the test.White liberals just tell minority groups what they want to hear in order to be praised and told how virtuous and enlightened they are.Try to have a little pride. You don’t have to prostrate yourself to minorities in order to feel good about yourself. Try being truthful once. It really will make you feel better.

  15. It is great that our city is taking a step forward to fix this problem.  It was great to hear some of the main people talk and for them to motivate others to take a stand and sign up to be a part of this history.  It will be great to see what our schools will be like in 2020.  If we can achieve this goal, then it will have a great and positive impact on our city and youth.

  16. Maybe if these morons don’t like White countries and “white culture/values”, they should stay in their own Third World cesspools?

  17. To me it seems, that not only do we need to get more minority leaders to help eliminate the achievement gap, we need the community as a whole to be involved. Not only educators, but business owners, and parents as well. We should all be aware of what is happening in our schools, and work together to create an environment that is successful for all of our students.

  18. “White values”? Would that be the white values that led to the end of slavery in Europe and North America or the white values that led to women’s rights?

    Perhaps it’s the white values that created representational democracy and rule of law? Maybe it’s the white values that led to productivity and the industrial revolution? No, I know, it’s the white values that make the West spend billions on Third World aid and on receiving millions of refugees – real or imagined – every year.

    Those are the evil white values that must go, right?

    No, I’m NOT saying that white people are always better than others and I understand that between historical racism and current social problem, some groups feel “left out”.

    My point is that liberty, democracy and prosperity originate with white values and ideas. All are free to share in those values (that’s liberty!), but to seriously claim that they are bad is not only stupid, but also dangerous for the future of mankind.

    • Dale Warner, a member of the Resisting Defamation Caucus (RDC) The RDC, based in San Jose, California, is dedicated to countering negative stereotypes of whites in the media.

      You racists are pathetic.

  19. Joseph DiSalvo sayeth:

    “I invited my 35 SJSU graduate students to attend the invitation-only event, all of whom are becoming K-8 teachers. These wise adults in my Educational Psychology class . . . .”

    “One of my students wrote to me after the debrief session and said, “I think the biggest part of the problem is that we’ve become so used to white culture/values dominating so many arenas that we fail to see how prevalent it is and how much it clashes with other cultures.”

    I’m curious, Mr. DiSalvo.  Did you as an important and influential education bigwig not recognize this as a potential “teachable moment”?

    Could you have put on your Socrates toga, adjusted the laurel wreath on your brow, and initiated a truth seeking dialogue with the wise adult in your Educational Psychology class asking: what exactly are “white culture/values?”

    How are they different from YOUR culture/values?  And by the way, what ARE your culture/values?

    Are white culture/values something that future K-8 teachers need to worry about exposing their students to?

    Should students by shielded or protected from white culture/values?

    Are white culture/values repugnant, obnoxious, or damaging in some way?

    What concrete proposals do your have for addressing the problem of K-8 children being exposed to white culture/values?

    Has the past exposure of students to white culture/values already done irreparable harm to yesterday’s K-8 children.  After all, we all agree that “we must place children first, as though they are national treasures—or in this case City of San Jose treasures.”  And we wouldn’t want our national treasures exposed to toxic and malignant influences like, oh say, white culture/values.

    I’m curious also, Mr. Salvo, about your reaction to your wise adult student’s identification of white culture/values as a “problem”.  Did you admonish the student, and remind him (or her) that “some of my best friends embrace white culture/values?”  (Or, is that in fact NOT a true statement?)

    On the other hand, were you appropriately non-judgemental at the student’s express antipathy toward the culture/values of the majority of people living in America?  Did you just smile knowingly, and encourage him (or her) to let their albinophobia blossom and fluorish as just one more valid perspective in the garden of multiculturalism?

    • Obviously, people miss the point of the “white culture/values” statement.  Nobody suggests “shielding” anyone from “white values.”  The point is that schools need to recognize that there are other values and make sure that education is presented with multicultural values.  If students of color cannot identify with the perspective presented, they will not be able to learn effectively. 

      Of course, I imagine that an intelligent discussion about multi-culturalism cannot be had on this forum.  Thank goodness leaders like Chuck Reed and Charlie Weis are the ones leading this program in San Jose.  I expect real progress to be made in closing the achievement gap.

  20. The achievement gap is simply a reflection of society’s balkinization. White culture respects education and individual responsibility. Asian culture similarly respects the value of an education, as well as core family values. Black and Hispanic culture however seems dysfunctional at both the individual and family level, and as a result educational achievement lags behind whites and asians. The solution is not to be found in paternalism and condescention, or by punishing success. Rather I think the focus should be outside the schools and instead on the larger communities that foster dysfunction. Blame the black/brown culture and work to change it.

  21. SJ2020 was interesting but I was disappointed. I thought it would be more encouraging with actual ideas and would have talked more about the issue. I think it is difficult to help all students who are struggling but I think with money it can be done. It seems that money can do anything. If education keeps getting cut back I don’t think achievement gaps or any educational issue will be resolved easy.

    • > It seems that money can do anything.

      Problem solved.

      The Obama regime is printing it as fast as modern laser technology allows.

      Go outside and look up.  A government helicopter should be flying over real soon and dropping a bail or two on you.

        • Good catch!

          I actually composed the right word in my mind, but my typing fingers malfunctioned.

          Fortunately, not as serious or consequential as a wardrobe malfunction.

          Also fortunately, my self esteem remains intact and respect for me among the masses remains as high as ever.

    • I’m not sure that “money can do anything.”  Can you pay parents to nurture their own child?  As a society, we take out ads on buses to encourage people to read to their child, feed them fruit and vegetables, etc. (unbelievable)
      I believe that the education problem is less about bucks and more about committment and engagement.  And, we need to promote just one culture in our schools… a “culture” of learning, achievement, and responsibility.

  22. In terms of bold initiatives for SJ2020, I think that educators need to reconstruct the current curriculum mandated in schools.  For one of my classes this semester, I performed a textbook analysis. I used a current 8th grade history textbook, and I started by counting the representation of people in pictures and people named for study, by race and sex. Whites received the most attention and appeared in the widest variety of roles, dominating story lines and lists of accomplishments. In particular, white males heavily predominated every category. For instance, there were 411 White American males mentioned by name in the textbook. In stark contrast, there were 41 African American males named, 31 Hispanic American males named, 23 Native American males named, and 4 Asian American males named. The textbook analysis was an eye-opening and disheartening experience. I did not expect to find such startling contrasts and egregious biasness. Based on my findings, teachers clearly cannot assume that textbooks will be free of prejudice.

    If we continue to present history in this manner, we are greatly shortchanging our students, and are also likely alienating many of our students who cannot identify with the white male population.  If we continue to teach out of such textbooks, we are essentially perpetuating the idea that one group (white males) has more value and significance in our society than the others, which is simply unacceptable. We are lucky enough to live in San Jose—an area of great multicultural diversity. Such diversity makes it imperative to transform our curriculum and the current standard body of knowledge. We need to show all students that the curriculum has relevance in their lives, which if done thoroughly and properly, will likely substantially lessen the achievement gap.

    • Kaela Mulvaney, I wonder if you would be so kind as to state the name of the text, the publisher, and the year of publication.  I would like to follow in your footsteps and independently verify the evidence of bias you have reported.

    • “For instance, there were 411 White American males mentioned by name in the textbook. In stark contrast, there were 41 African American males named, 31 Hispanic American males named, 23 Native American males named, and 4 Asian American males named.”

      This is the same kind of complaint we hear when incarceration rates are mentioned: “African-Americans are incarcerated “n” times more frequently than Whites”.

      In both situations, it’s the circumstances that are important; not a strictly racial one.

      Whites are less likely to be incarcerated than non-whites because Whites are less likely to cause violent crime. It’s not to say certain Whites aren’t criminal – I’m not saying that – but as a proportion to their numbers, non-whites commit more crime. It’s just a simple fact.

      It’s a similar fact that Whites are mentioned more frequently in textbooks because Whites have been more involved in academic pursuits (as opposed to athletic ones) and in discovery; Whites have explored more of the world than non-Whites. We STILL stand as the only race to to ever set foot on the Moon. There is no nefarious conspiracy among Whites to ensure they are mentioned more in textbooks!

      When disingenuous White Liberals like DiSalvo lead the push for more representation by minorities than the minorities themselves feel obliged to enact by their own efforts, his push seems hollow.

      Here is a disingenuous White Liberal showing his true colors: “I know non-whites are upset at the lack of achievement of their children. And I know it most likely has to do with a lack of concern and involvement from non-white parents…but I am too politically correct to make mention of this. Therefore, I will mask my condescension of these poor, poor non-whites by being their champion.”

      “I will “lead the charge” like the well-meaning, disingenuous White Liberals before me have: I will blame my own kind. Yes, by publicly excoriating everything ‘White’ in the public forum, people will think I am truly not a racist who thinks non-whites are lazy or incapable. They will praise ‘ME’, ‘ME’, ‘ME’ as an example for dutiful White Liberals to emulate…but none of my efforts are about ‘me’! Oh, NO! It’s about…‘the children’!”

      The poster above, Mr. Roman, is correct: ‘anti-racism’ IS politically-correct codespeak for ‘anti-White’.

  23. Some Chinese kids arrive in San Jose knowing virtually no English, and in a few years are at the top of their class.  These Asian kids fill Berkeley and Stanford.  Likewise, check on the race of the kids who won the last few rounds of spelling bees. 

    Unfortunately, the different races differ in many traits, including average IQ.  We need to put a stop to the lie that all races are equal in all things and thus all races should achieve equally.  Because all truths are interconnected, it is bad for our society to propagate untruths.  You educators need to base programs on reality.  For example, in both Japan and Germany, low-IQ students are channeled toward the trades.  In “Utopian” USA, we expect all students to go to college.  It’s not going to happen!  Already inner-city Blacks and Mexicans have a 50% high school drop-out rate. society would be better served by identifying low IQ, less motivated students early, and teaching them a marketable skill.

  24. Are educators in China scratching their heads about bringing in millions of Central Americans and Africans and spending vast resources on the futile attempt to get them to do as well as Chinese kids in school?  Could you imagine the Chinese whining about “Chinese cultural hegemony” and that there are “too many chinese faces” in their kids textbook.  If they did anyone in their right mind would think they’ve gone insane and recognize a terminal, self loathing sickness must have taken over their culture.  The only reason Asia still lends the Treasury so much money to keep this floundering “multicultural” experiment afloat is because they can’t really fathom just how badly infected western minds have become with this suicide pact.

  25. There are thousands of school districts in the US, each one trying to unlock the mystery of racial academic achievement gaps to no avail. How much longer until somebody finally says enough. This is degrading and grossly unfair to Black/Hispanic children to constantly be held to standards they simply cannot maintain?

    Real racism is placing Black/Hispanic children among White/Asian children and demanding that they perform equally in every endeavor. Knowing they won’t!

    The unfortunate truth that dares to be said is that Brown v Board has been an unmitigated disaster for the education of Black American school kids. The majority simply weren’t ready for it and would have faired better with Black educators inside Black schools.

  26. What do you intend to do about the intelligence gap between people, or for that matter the unequal distribution of good looks?  You will never close the gap in anything.  Have you ever considered simply learning a marketable skill and working hard at it to achieve prosperty?  Thanks for your attention………..

  27. One of the pitfalls of the internet is it allows individuals troll forums espousing racially charged garbage.  From my experience, posters like these are anti-social, small minded individuals seeking empowerment through their anonymous internet keystrokes.  Abusing the original topic of bridging the educational achievement gap, these posters have spewed the mantras of white separatism, genetic explanations for intelligence differences, and a “whites built this great country” series of posts.  These people are rarely challenged as they roam from forum to forum, getting a hard-on from talking tough, and running away.  Well, I’m posting to call you out.  You should take a long look at the legacy you’re leaving with these messages of hate.  How will it feel when your time is up?  Will you feel good about the legacy you leave?  I seriously doubt it.

    • Relax Mr. Patterson. The “legacy” you’re implying is not at hand just because you believe the original topic has been “abused.”

      >>It will take our entire village working tirelessly for 10 years to eliminate the achievement gap. It is a moral imperative.<<

      Actually, it’s been more like 50+ years that this “moral imperative” has been in place, specifically following the 60’s Civil Rights Act and the breakdown of our immigration laws wherein fewer people from Europe were allowed in in favor of more folks from the Third World.

      Moreover: “To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical” – Thomas Jefferson

      Understandably though challenging irresponsible declarations such as Mr. DiSalvo’s CAN be upsetting to people who are—shall we say—of genteel constitution.

      Unfortunately for you Mr. Patterson, not everyone (European Americans) take at face value multi-culti feel-good tripe for the sake of some pie in the sky ideology; an ideology that was an alien concept in education during this nations’ formative years but is still in place in most of the non-white world.

    • @Chris Patterson:

      Please remember that DiSalvo injected racism into this thread from the get-go when he just HAD to make mention of his “wise” student complaining about “white culture” (the culture of the Founders of our country) and how it “clashes” with other cultures.

      Some Whites refuse to flagellate and prostrate themselves (and their culture) in order to “prove” to the multiculturalists that THEY aren’t racist.  If that makes them, in your eyes, “supremacist” then you’re just going to have to get over it.

      White self-hate is SO-O-O 20th century!

    • “Abusing the original topic of bridging the educational achievement gap”

      Tell me why thousands of school districts across America have not figured this out yet Chris? It’s not for lack of trying rest assured. The sad part is that you think your efforts are unique. As if nobody has tried this yet. It’s been “puzzling” leftist educators now for nearly half a century.

  28. Wow, Joseph, you’ve done it now.  Amazing how the racists have come out from hiding.  Even have somebody claiming that IQ is genetic and therefore students of color cannot be expected to match the achivement of white students.  I thought the “Bell Curve” theory was debunked year ago.

    Scary crowd.

    • I think the scarier crowd are the Marxists and their fellow travelers who seek to force everyone to be exactly alike in every possible way, and don’t care what race or culture is destroyed thereby.

  29. To me, one of the biggest and most important issues surrounding the achievement gap is second language learners.  This was not mentioned at the SJ2020 launch event.  California has an enormous Spanish-speaking population whose needs are consistently not met.  We expect ELLs to take the same standardized tests as native English speakers, but without the support and instruction needed to succeed.  In fact, California teachers are mandated to instruct ELLs using methods that have been proven to be less effective than others.  Our current system leads such students to drop out of school and to be deficient in confidence and self-motivation.  As a society we hold the future of the young population in the palm of our hands and it is our duty to help them succeed.  I truly hope that when community members come together and chart out a plan to meet the goals of SJ2020, they consider the needs of ELLs and, in fact, all students.

  30. You know, I can only thank people such as yourself Mr. DiSalvo. Without the constant and unabated anti-white hatred of disingenuous self-loathing racists such as yourself I might still believe in the self deluded fantasy that multiculturalism is anything other than the systematic and calculated replacement and eventual genocide of the diverse white peoples and their cultures. It is shameful apologists such as yourself that have created an environment in which all problems and failures of the non-white world are blamed on whites and it is your thoughtless and brazen hatred for all things European which has also made violence against whites by non-whites some kind of sanctioned form of “get back”. While cowardly suck ups like you pander to ethnic minority shakedown groups and marxist community organizations, those who would be oppressors in your eyes are in reality the oppressed. For example..

    [United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (CPPCG) in Article 2 defines genocide as “any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life, calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; ([and] forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.)”]

    Now let’s be honest, this is what you are advocating. I’ll ask you to think carefully about the section on imposing negative mental conditions upon a people.

    Have you no shame sir?

  31. Chris (above) states that “these posters have spewed the mantras of . . . genetic explanations for intelligence differences . . “

    Chris, you are obviously ignorant of modern science.  Geneticists have now discovered the genes influencing literally hundreds of racial traits.  We now know, for example, that IQ in children is ~ 50% genetic, but in adults is ~ 70% genetic.  This is similar to skin color, which is about 80% genetic (i.e., individuals can alter their skin color a little via UV radiation, and even diet). 

    This is the problem:  Since 1960, we have turned our society inside out and spent Trillions of $ trying to equalize achievement among the races.  Yet, the gaps persist, and in fact, Black and Hispanic social pathologies are actually worse now than then.  For the last 50 years we have been attempting to treat the wrong cause.  We need a new (honest) paradigm. 

    I know that you think that the world will end if our society admits racial intelligence difference.  Not true.  We already admit racial differences in skin color, body height, disease immunity and athleticism, and we survived. Once we admit the truth about AVERAGE racial IQ, then we can start to realistically solve that problem.

    • < Chris, you are obviously ignorant of modern science.  Geneticists have now discovered the genes influencing literally hundreds of racial traits.  We now know, for example, that IQ in children is ~ 50% genetic, but in adults is ~ 70% genetic.  This is similar to skin color, which is about 80% genetic (i.e., individuals can alter their skin color a little via UV radiation, and even diet). 

      An interesting analysis, and one that shows that the universe of politics is curved and folds back on itself.

      According to conventional Political Correctness “thought”, the notion that there is any connection between intelligence and race is, well, “racist”.  And unthinkable.

      Evil, awful “right wing” people like Hitler, Shockley, Herrnstein, Murray, etc. have suggested this.

      At the other end of the curved universe, Karl Marx asserted that reality is discovered through science, and only science.  Marx was all about science.  His “dialectical materialism” was described as “the science of sciences”.  His prescription for the perfect society was “scientific socialism”.

      What, then, do Marxists make of the findings of genetic science that intelligence is, to some extent, determined by genes, as are “racial” characteristics such as skin color, morphology, etc.  And, the way that genes work, it is entirely possible that science will discover that racial and intelligence attributes are on the same chromosome, on linked genes, of even the same gene.

      So, what does a believer in “scientific socialism” do with this scientific information? 

      Maybe he challenges scientists to do more research, and discover WHICH races are more intelligent than which other races.  And then designates the most intelligent race as being in charge of designing and managing an advanced society based on scientific principles.

      The most intelligent race might be designated as the “master race”.

      An advanced society, founded on scientific principles, managed by a master race.

      Mr. Marx, meet Mr. Hitler.

    • Great video, David. Thank you for sharing it. Ken Robinson is right about education. Children are capable of so much more than what we educate to them.
      As for SJ2020, there is much to be done for this to happen. Though I am very glad that this social problem is being worked at. I am shock at what this discussion has turned into though.

  32. I wonder if Chris Patterson realizes he actually has no possible response to the “racists,” so he can only spout some cliches?

    How has he answered any of the criticism leveled at the article? He has not. He cannot. Instead, he can only claim “abuse” and “hate.” He cannot address ANY fundamental problem. He cannot even elucidate what these non white values and cultural traits are, because he knows these values and cultural traits are so at odds with his multiracial ambitions of equality and achievement.

    What, Chris, are you calling out, except your own desperate lack of a cogent response? What part of these “racist” posters assertions can you confound as being false? Why did you not use your opportunity to expand upon and elaborate the values and cultural traits of non whites?

    I submit the reason was you could not do so. You can only attack white people. You are still stuck with an underperforming and, dare I say, inferior stock of non white, non European peoples who just can’t seem to perform up to par.

    It must be frustrating for you to gradually realize your cherished dreams and ideals are failing to materialize. But such dreams were only a chimera to begin with.

      • Chris Patterson,  Stop being so infantile and hateful!  If you have evidence (data, facts or logic) to support your claims, then please present them.  Name-calling is the last resort of a small mind.

      • I suppose the Idaho SS punk request was aimed at me.

        First, I need to point out that you, Chris Patterson, as well as virtually every other poster on the Internet is and will most likely remain anonymous, the posting of a proper name aside. I still have no idea who, what or where you are, even though you have posted with the name Chris Patterson.

        Even plugging that name in an identity check website will avail me nothing at all. I’m sure there are literally hundreds, perhaps thousands of Chris Patterson’s nationwide, to say nothing of worldwide.

        This cute little ploy of some Internet posters of trying to act like you have identified yourself by posting with a full name is sometimes amusing, and sometimes annoying.

        Now, as it happens, my name is Robert Burns. Does that help you in the least in identifying me? Of course not. I remain an unknown and anonymous to you as Chris Patterson remains for me. Needless to say, your 1 in 50 chance of guessing which state I reside in resulted in a loss. I do not live in Idaho.

        I must also point out that, once again, you wasted your opportunity to attempt to rebut the criticism leveled by “racist,” choosing instead yet another line of attack; and as I have showed, a thoughtless one at that.

        I shall therefore assume you are unable to effectively answer any point brought up by the “racists.” This was expected, and I shall now consider you a vanquished foe now decisively defeated.

        • Jolt (Robert Burns)writes:

          “dare I say, inferior stock of non white, non European peoples who just can’t seem to perform up to par.”

          Inferior stock?  Like bred cattle? Are you kidding?

          Jolt, drop the J and add a D.

  33. I think of closing the acheivement gap like I do the war in Vietnam. Unwinnable! I can say that because I watched both play out waaay back when. I was a boy of 9 or 10 when “Head-start” came out. Over forty years later, what?!? Nothing but more money, more so-called great ideas and more generations of trying under the bridge. With no success. If the definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over again with failure as the result, this idealistic quest fits the bill. The solution, quit trying… Ethnic seperation may be the answer. Each group responsible for making their way in the world, no matter how unfair the results may seem…

    • Closing the so-called achievement gap is an unobtainable goal.  There isn’t enough time, money or enough teachers to make everybody equal in achievement.

      Closing the opportunity gap may be achievable, however.  But in the end it’ll have to be funded by those white folks so many of you seem to despise, including the white self-loathers who have posted here.

      This thread reminds me of the United Nations—many people who look down on the USA, which provides the site and most of the funding so those who hate us can come here and rail against us.

  34. Natalie says that: “To me, one of the biggest and most important issues surrounding the achievement gap is second language learners.” 

    But if that were the primary cause for academic failure, then African Americans (who have been watching American TV since age 0, and who speak English) would have no academic problems. 

    Note also, Spanish is very close to English.  In fact, many of the words are almost identical.  In contrast, Chinese, Korean, and Japanese are about as far from English as you can get.  Yet, Chinese and Japanese native speakers have no problem outscoring European-Americans on standardized tests. 

    I’m not saying that language, poverty, and culture don’t play a role.  I’m simply saying that we also need to acknowledge the fact that racial differences in native intelligence also plays a huge role, and we need to include that fact in our pedagogy.

  35. Mr. DiSalvo wrote …

    “One of my students wrote to me after the debrief session and said, ….

    “I think the biggest part of the problem is that we’ve become so used to white culture/values dominating so many arenas that we fail to see how prevalent it is and how much it clashes with other cultures”. “

    Here we have a GRADUATE student in “Education” indulging in anti-white bigotry.

    How is that?  He/she is basically saying that the achievement gap this tour-de-force program seeks to solve is caused by the culture and values of the diverse white european peoples in the area.

    Then the writer points out how “IT clashes with other cultures”, as if there’s something inherently aggressive and evil about “white culture/values”.

    With this kind of anti-white bigotry being embedded in graduate students’ mindset, is it any wonder there’s an “education problem” in the Santa Clara valley?

    You’ve just displayed your “anti-racism” as a codeword for Anti White.

  36. “People are now questioning their white self hate and trendy saps like DiSalvo are worried. They are worried because more and more of our own demography are implicitly and overtly resisting defamation. We have to attack our enemies the way they attack us. We have to humiliate our enemies the way they have humiliated us. Guilt, fear and humiliation are the origin and the motivation of all anti white racists who are disguised in the robes of “tolerance.”

    Anti racist is code for anti white. “

    I totally agree with Mr. Roman, also , eliminate the achievement gap? Pleeaase. How about eliminating the “hate” gap?  @ The Respected Doofinator, great points too.

    • > Anti racist is code for anti white.

      This is absolutely true. 

      And everyone should be reminded of this EVERY TIME some nihilist zombie tries to play his or her race card.

      One of my former co-workers was a Japanese American graduate of Stanford (MBA) and extremely racist.

      He regarded it as an unarguable truth that all whites were racist, and ethnic minorities could not be racist.  It’s just basic Marxist analysis:

      “Only people who have power can be racists”

      “Only whites have power”

      “Only whites can be racist”

      So whenever you hear this analysis from the lips of some obnoxious drone, bear in mind that the speaker is just a ventriloquist dummy and the words are really coming from the nihilist elites at Stanford, Berkeley, the New York Times, CNN, the Democrat National Committee, ACLU, Socialist International, CPUSA, etc. etc.

  37. G. Day is right on the mark.  We need to raise the education levels of ALL of our students.  In fact, I’ll even go further.  We need to especially concentrate on our very brightest students.  The reason is that we now live in a technological world where our society and economy absolutely depend on advances in physics, chemistry, medicine, agriculture, and technology.  Such advances are made almost exclusively by really, really smart, high IQ, Ph.D. people.  Yet, for the last 50 years we have concentrated on the lowest-achieving (low IQ) groups.  We have poured Billions $ into improving our dumbest students.  Meanwhile, we have reduced or even eliminated Gifted Programs, Nation-wide.  We even demand that low and high IQ students be in the same classroom.  This is insanity!  If we want to maintain our economy and high standard of living, we must pump massive resources into our very brightest students, because only these individuals will make the scientific discoveries.  Basing our education system on the lowest-potential students is a recipe for National disaster.

  38. The SJ2020 goal is ambitious but is it bold enough?

    In her book, Un-Standardizing Curriculum, Christine Sleeter points out that “fixation on the achievement gap can limit one’s thinking by setting the current average achievement of White native English speakers as the goal for everyone, while in many international comparisons their academic performance is actually mediocre.”

    Why not go beyond eliminating the achievement gap? Why not focus on raising the education and achievement of all our students so they can compete with the rest of the world?

  39. This America and English is this country’s language if you don;t like it hope your Arse back over the border and stay in your 3rd world country we don’t want you here!