Since at least the 1980s, Evanston Township High School—the only (and extremely large) high school serving the suburb directly north of Chicago—has been both incredibly diverse and incredibly two-tracked. There was a lunch cafeteria for white people and a lunch cafeteria for black people—also, to its credit, an (at least somewhat) more integrated cafeteria for the freaks. That is where the smoking courtyard used to be, today's young people may be astounded to hear! Likewise, in classes there's a track for white people and some other non-black people and then a track for pretty much everyone else. Summer school classes, for instance? Nearly entirely black. Now, the school's superintendent wants to try to cut this problem off at the root, by not sorting incoming ninth-graders into tracks via testing, and not having all-white honors English classes for freshman. Just like Cathie Black, I'm not an education professional, so I'm not qualified to comment on whether this is a solution or a maybe terrible idea! But something has to happen. For decades now, hundreds, probably thousands, of high schools just like this across the United States have actively tracked black students to not succeed, to not go to college and to not achieve success. Someone needs to shake it up somehow.
Wednesday, November 24th, 2010