Freedom Folks

Sunday, November 19, 2006


Source: dallasnews
Ruling: Classes divided by race

For years, it was an open secret at North Dallas' Preston Hollow Elementary School: Even though the school was overwhelmingly Hispanic and black, white parents could get their children into all-white classes. And once placed, the students would have little interaction with the rest of the students.

The result, a federal judge has ruled, was that principal Teresa Parker "was, in effect, operating, at taxpayer's expense, a private school for Anglo children within a public school that was predominantly minority."

Judge Sam Lindsay's opinion paints an unflattering picture of the elementary school and a principal who was so desperate to appease the school's affluent white parents that she turned back the clock on school desegregation 50 years.

In April, Hispanic parents sued, claiming illegal segregation. The three-week trial concluded in late August. On Thursday, Judge Lindsay declared that the school's principal violated the rights of minority children by assigning them to classrooms based on race.
Wow! This is really racist right? Maybe, maybe not.

Here's the key statement to me in this piece..." "I began to see something very strange," Ms. SantamarĂ­a said in Spanish."

Now, am I saying I support segregation? No, but, what if there are other elements to the story?

Having read this I popped over to and checked out the stats on the school. Here are some interesting stats...

The school ethnic demographics are 65% Hispanic, 17% Black, 16% White and 2% Asian.

Limited english proficiency students comprise 53% of the student body.

Economically disadvantaged students comprise 81% of the student body.

Here's where we enter the sticky wicket. The GreatSchools site offers a student performance rating by race, a 10 is scoring in the highest percentile a one the lowest score...




Hmmm, so was this racial segregation or was it academic segregation? It is known that "english learners" take up proportionately more of a teachers time, so is it unfair to segregate out the english speakers?

I don't want to draw too many conclusions from this data, but it does appear suggestive of deeper issues and problems.

Now here's the second half of the story...
Judge Lindsay also criticized Meg Bittner, the school's PTA president, who wanted to lure more affluent white families out of private schools and back to Preston Hollow.

More white families would result in a healthier PTA, she testified, bigger fundraisers and, ultimately, more money for the school. The best way to lure back white families, teachers and others testified, was to put white children together in the same classrooms.

Teacher Janet Leon told the court that "neighborhood classes" were predominantly made up of white students because "the people who live in the Preston Hollow neighborhood, who are the majority being white, would want their children grouped together."

To aid in the recruitment of more affluent whites, the school's PTA created a brochure for parents that featured almost all white students. Hispanic parents had shown up at the school the day photos were being taken for the brochure, but the principal blocked their entry into the classroom where the photos were being taken, the judge's ruling states.

Additionally, the PTA, in conjunction with the school, held separate open houses and kindergarten recruitments for white parents. And when PTA members gave prospective parents tours of the school, they were never taken down the "Hispanic halls" where the minority classes were housed, teachers testified.
What kind of segregation is this? Previous to the schools efforts to recruit whites my understanding is that whites were even fewer that their 16% showing today. So the white parents were self segregating, as they had the resources to do so.

Yet, these comments are from what I presume to be (possibly liberal) white parents at the school (from GreatSchools)...
While the population is very diverse

Ethnic diversity

The diversity is good

The posted demographics should not scare-off neighborhood families

Interacting with a diverse student population has considerably enhanced the maturation of our children's social skills
Of course this diversity clearly wasn't a draw previously so why is it so lovely now? Be reminding yourself that the facts of the case are in little dispute, the school does appear to have been racially segregating students...
they were never taken down the "Hispanic halls" where the minority classes were housed, teachers testified.
So what is the true segregation? Why did the whites flee? Were they seeing their kids test scores plummet? Were "English learners" taking up too much of the teachers time? And now that the school is to be "desegregated" will the white parents and students 'flee' again? Don't parents have an obligation to their kids to provide the best education possible?

Considering the number of English language learners here is illegal immigration a factor in this equation? Again, let's recall that the Dallas School District was seriously considering hiring illegal immigrants as bilingual teachers due to the overwhelming numbers of non-English speaking students in the district and I'm sure you recall the story of the young lady who was verbally abused for carrying an American flag at one of the massive pro-illegal marches held in Dallas.

As this parent said..."The academic excellence is somewhat obscured by overall test scores but
evident when one examines the demographic subgroups separately

Yes, that was the issue, wasn't it?

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