BOE Race Selection Committee
It’s going on now but I missed the notice, unfortunately: maybe I should start reading the newsletter sent out by the GAR Evil Princess each week, but this is the first thing of substance I ever missed out on, so that’s a bad time allocation.
I’m hoping a colleague will report the gist of the discussion.
No, you can’t see it
On June 26th, 2013, our School Board retained a Stamford law firm to research and opine on the vulnerability of Hartford’s racial redistricting law to a constitutional challenge. That research was estimated to take no more than ten hours. Having once suffered the indignity of working as a law firm associate, I can practically guarantee that the associate assigned this task did not stuff it in a desk drawer while she decamped to the Vineyard for the summer, so the opinion is done.
Where is it? Given the BOE’s stated disinclination to challenge this law, it’s a fair assumption that, had the legal opinion advised against it, we’d have heard about it by now. My suspicion is that it’s Dr. McKersie who’s stashed it in his desk, in the hope that we’ll forget about it.
I haven’t. I asked where it was at a public BOE meeting last month and it’s probably time to do so again.
I have what you paid for, but you can’t see it!
Back on July 5th, our BOE retained independent counsel to study and give an opinion on the constitutionality of Connecticut’s racial redistricting law and the likelihood of a successful challenge to that law (I have the emails setting forth the retainer, including the legal fees of both the senior partner overseeing the research and the (named) associate he’d be assigning the work to; I’ll release them down the road, if necessary). The retainer agreement anticipated a fairly modest cost – $8,000 tops, 10-20 hours of an associate’s time, 5-10 hours of a partner’s – so shouldn’t that memorandum of law be finished by now? Where is it? Aren’t we, the taxpayers of Greenwich, the clients of this outside counsel? Let’s see what we paid for.
From the Greenwich Time article I link to below:
When asked to comment on the test-score disparities, Board of Education Chairman Leslie Moriarty instead responded Monday with an overview of the board’s evaluation of the results. That process will include an in-depth review at the board’s Sept. 19 meeting.
“These discussions will include an interpretation of outcomes, implications for current academic strategies and action plans as we look ahead,” she said.
I have the suspicion that Chairman Moriarty doesn’t plan to include possible legal action as part of her board’s discussion of “strategy and action plans” at that September 19th meeting. I think she should.
Greenwich Dems: “make every day a field trip for the Riverside elite.”
Greenwich: Black and Hispanic students rack up dismal test scores.
Greenwich Hispanic and black students’ 2013 state standardized test scores trailed their white and Asian peers’ results by wide margins, a trend highlighted by foundering performances among Hispanic pupils at the school district’s two racially unbalanced schools.
In every grade and in each of the four subjects tested by the Connecticut Mastery Test, the percentage of black and Hispanic pupils reaching the goal level fell short of rates for white and Asian pupils. Hispanic pupils also lagged well behind Asian and white students in goal-level scores on the Connecticut Academic Performance Test given to 10th-graders. Black students’ CAPT results were not available because the state Department of Education does not list score data for testing groups of fewer than 20 pupils.
Stark gaps differentiated white and Asian students’ scores from those for blacks and Hispanics in many cases, including the following examples:
In third-grade math, about 89 percent of Asian students and 83 percent of white students reached the goal-level, compared to 62 percent for Hispanic pupils and 38 percent for black students.
In fifth-grade reading, 87 percent of white and Asian pupils hit the goal range, compared to 66 percent for Hispanic pupils and 52 percent for black students.
In seventh-grade writing, 87 percent of Asian students and 84 percent of white students attained goal-level marks, compared to 53 percent for Hispanic pupils and 37 percent for black students.
In CAPT science, 79 percent of white students and 64 percent of Asian pupils scored in the goal range, compared to 44 percent for Hispanic students.
Minority students — including black, Hispanic, Asian and multiracial pupils — make up about one-third of the district’s population. At Hamilton Avenue and New Lebanon, the district’s two racially unbalanced schools, minority pupils account for about 70 percent of the populations.
We know Greenwich Time’s proposed solution to this: they hint at it twice in just the first few paragraphs of their editorial, but are other town Democrats on board? We already spend far more money on these schools than the rest, what’s next? Democrat School Board appointee Ramadamadingdong Tamm made herself unavailable for comment.