Uh oh, feds try to legislate fairness

Tue, 03/31/2009 - 3:33pm
By: Letters to the ...

With the report cards that went home this past Friday in Fayette County, there was included a form to be filled out by all public school students to newly identify the race and ethnicity of each student.

This is a new federal guideline from the U.S. Department of Education “to provide a more accurate picture of the nation’s ethnic and racial diversity.” But to what end?

Upon looking this up further on the Dept. of Education’s website, I found that these new designations were being used to report “aggregate information to the government for funding and evaluation purposes, as well as civil rights compliance.”

They (the school district and state) are also “required to maintain this information about each individual in case a civil rights investigation surfaces.”

I found that if a parent or student refuses to give this information that the school can make its best guess based on appearance of the student, previous knowledge of the student, or past records that may give a hint as to the ethnicity/race of that student.

The student or parent always has the right to check and verify, or correct the school’s assessment after their initial refusal to comply.

But the government has determined that it is preferable to have complete data (even if it is a guess) rather than missing data (due to a parent’s refusal to divulge their child’s race).

Does anyone else see something very wrong with this new policy?

I remember that, prior to now, identification of one’s race when applying to school was always OPTIONAL, and certainly was not subject to an outsider’s interpretation should I exercise the option to not identify.

The government titles this new implementation “Managing an Identity Crisis.”

Well, I suggest that as long as you are an American attending public school in the United States that is all the government is required to know.

The funding passed on to state and local government should be passed along to the children of America, equally, based on the population numbers in a given jurisdiction.

Who cares what race or nationality they are? Why should that matter to those in Washington, D.C.?

A question was asked and answered on the website that I found truly telling of my problem with this new policy: ”How do I know I won’t be discriminated against after I’ve told you I belong to a minority group?“

The answer goes on to explain that this is exactly why we need to maintain better racial and ethnic data about our students and staff. And that this data will not be reported elsewhere ... etc.

I would like to know the answer to a slightly different question, however: How do I know I won’t be discriminated against after I’ve told you that I belong to a NON-minority group?

Will the schools where the majority of students are white or non-Hispanic get the same funding opportunities as those with a more diverse racial population?

Or will this become another way the government tries to make things more “fair” by legislating it rather than distributing the funds equally to all, regardless of race or ethnicity, and let the local districts judge how it is to be spent.

I can guess that all of this is being done in the name of fairness and equality. However, fairness and equality is not something to be legislated by our government.

People are so caught up with ensuring that all is fair and equitable in our world that they create a world that is just the opposite.

Now we live in a world where we feel entitled to everything, no matter how much or how little effort we expend. Just because I am black, or Asian, or white, before I even open my mouth, because of legislation like this, I deserve something more (or less) than someone else. What is fair about that?

You cannot make this world a better place, a fairer place, a more equitable place, by giving more or less money or opportunity to any one person because of the way they look or where they come from.

You cannot achieve it in a corporate environment, you cannot do it in a family environment, and you certainly cannot achieve it with federal regulations and policies.

Fairness cannot be forced, it cannot be mandated. The expression, “life is not fair,” is not just something your mother tells you when you claim to be left out, it is a reality that cannot be changed by acts of Congress.

Teaching our children accountability, selflessness and the rewards of hard work no matter where they come from or what they look like is the best gift we can give in the name of bettering this world.

Instead of forming another educational program of entitlement, I would love to see some sort of incentive program put into place by the government that gave more funding or more benefits to educational jurisdictions that actually earned it meritoriously relative to everyone else.

I have had enough of discretionary funding based on achieving nothing. What a waste. What are we teaching our future generations if we continue to give something for nothing?

Wake up, America. Using our racial heritage as a means to categorize and sub-categorize us into those who get more funding from the government is demeaning to us as a nation, and will not improve the level of education of our children.

Incentive-based learning, and rewarding performance over ethnic and racial standing is the more equitable path. It is also the path that will teach self-worth and the pride and accomplishment that only comes from hard work.

I cannot even begin to fathom how many years of work and money and time went into implementing another worthless federal policy enacted to perpetuate fairness that will ultimately result in mediocrity.

What a waste — we are so much better than that.

Beth Pullias

Peachtree City, Ga.

login to post comments

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
grassroots's picture
Submitted by grassroots on Mon, 04/06/2009 - 5:39pm.

Thanks for making this public. Parents should contest this. Personally, I wouldn't send a child to a public school if they paid me. They teach evolution as fact, global warming and bogus environmental science, and rewriting of history. Apparently they don't know their biology either because breakthroughs in the study of genes have concluded there is no race distinction in humans. Google it. Here's an excerpt: "In this book, which is both accessible to the general public and very informative, biologist Bertrand Jordan repeats that no scientific backing can be found for racist ideas. Since the 1970s, geneticists have formally rejected the very notion of races among human beings. Their work has demonstrated that the genetic variability within a supposed race (whether it be white, yellow or black) is greater than the variability between any one “race” and another. In other words, genes have no race."
The Bible says ' "God has made of one blood all nations'" Science has finally proven it.
Therefore Beth, they're asking you for your skin color and shape of your eyes.

Submitted by Davids mom on Tue, 04/07/2009 - 7:59am.

This has been a common practice in the US for years! Most districts have the staff identify from observation if the parent does not care to designate a 'race' identity. Schools do receive funding based on Title I requirements. Fayette County did not qualify for much needed funding - they were short of the required student population that receives extra federal government funds for students considered 'at risk' based on income, etc. Unfortunately, we do have students of all colors who are at risk in our country. It would seem to me that Fayette County would be proud to report the number of minority students that they have who are meeting the standards of No Child Left Behind. Georgia is still looked at with shaded 'eye' because of past wrongs to minorities . . .hence still under the Voting Rights Law. Is Fayette County cutting off their nose to spite their face - or whatever? Teachers here - as throughout the country are under the gun because of lack of funding for education. Is it true that Fayette County could have received needed funding if they had at least .3 more students who qualified for Title I?

mudcat's picture
Submitted by mudcat on Wed, 04/01/2009 - 4:37am.

You are getting worked up about nothing, Beth. Your mistake is believing their cover story that all this profiling has to do with funding local school systems. That is not true.

The real purpose here is gather racial information so the Democrats know who to pander to in each district. The logical next step is to use this data - obtained under false pretenses - to gerrymander Congressional districts so that a certain candidate - black, white, hispanic, whatever can be selected with prior knowledge of what "type" of candidate will automatically get the most votes from that district.

Don't believe me Beth? Many have wondered how a clown like Barney Frank can get elected and stay elected. Check out his district in Massachusetts. Gerrymandering 101 from the most liberal state in the union. Coming to good old Georgia very soon - actually it has already has taken some roots, Exhibit A was Cynthia McKinney's district.

sniffles5's picture
Submitted by sniffles5 on Tue, 04/07/2009 - 8:31am.

I'm sure the financially-strapped, 100% Republican school board went into private session and discussed "gee, how can we make things a bit easier for Democrats to challenge us in the next election".

*rolling eyes*

Perhaps you should use some of Darth Dubious' heavyweight grade aluminum foil when making your next hat.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.