The Tucson Unified School District (TUSD) has adopted a militantly aggressive affirmative action plan which will essentially require that student suspensions and expulsions be in the same proportion as the racial makeup of the district. The presumption is that any disparity in suspensions or expulsions against Black and Hispanic students is automatically attributable to "racism" rather than behavior. Information from the Arizona Republic (a follow-up column is published HERE) and the Council of Conservative Citizens website. A September 23rd Arizona Daily Star editorial column defends the district's plan. Discussion on the Vanguard News Network Forum.
The 52-page plan is entitled "The Tucson Unified School District Post-Unitary Status Plan", and is a seething cauldron of bureaucratic gobbledy-gook. The district's cited justification is that they've been under a Federal desegregation court order for 30 years (although segregation by law ceased long ago) and that they need this program to extricate themselves from court supervision. Thus they've developed a status plan that mirrors the Federal presumption that any disparity in race that underrepresents or under-benefits Blacks and Hispanics, who are the Federal government's pet minorities, is inherently "racist" regardless of the behavior behind it, and the disparity must be eradicated regardless of the impact upon public safety or efficiency, or any resultant burden imposed upon Whites or Asians.
Thus whenever diversity conflicts with competency or safety, the conflict will always be resolved in favor of diversity.
The plan calls for disproportionate outreach and/or attention to be lavished upon Black and Hispanic teachers and students in every phase of district operations. But most troubling is the impact upon discipline. The plan calls for the reduction of suspensions of Black and Hispanic students to the same percentage as their proportion of the student population - regardless of whether or not their behavior warrants this change. The segment on discipline begins on page 26; I have cross-posted this segment of the plan below:
II. Discipline. The purpose, background, and action plan, with three different goals and expected outcomes are set forth.
A. Purpose: TUSD will administer discipline in a fair and equitable manner, striving for no ethnic/racial disparities.
B. Background: TUSD recognizes that there are ethnic/racial disparities in student discipline actions.
C. Action Plan: Beginning in 2009–10, with annual review for continued improvement:
-- 1. As appropriate, the Department of Student Equity will interact with each school to review suspension data (in-school and out-of-school). School data that show disparities in suspension/expulsion rates will be examined in detail for root causes. Special attention will be dedicated to data regarding African American and Hispanic students.
-- 2. The assistant superintendent and director, or both, will receive monthly
suspension/expulsion data and will confer with the school about action steps to be taken to address disparities.
-- 3. The Equity Team will ensure that disciplinary policies focus on improving students’ future behavior, rather than inflicting punishment, and that they represent a commitment to social justice for all students. [Ed. Note: The term "social justice" is a radical left-wing Marxist term used to describe vigilante justice.]
Goal 1: To change the punitive nature of TUSD discipline policies and practices.
1. Background: Students who are suspended lose learning time. The goal is to shift from a culture of punishment to one of discipline that focuses on teaching students how to behave responsibly when confronted with conflicts and to learn appropriate problem-solving strategies that will help them become responsible and caring adults.
2. Action Plan: Beginning in 2009–10, with annual review for continued improvement:
-- a. Teachers, administrators and staff will be trained in establishing meaningful and authentic relationships with students.
-- b. Students will be surveyed each semester to gauge student perceptions about teacher-student interactions. Staff will be surveyed to gauge effectiveness of “Capturing Kids Hearts,” which is being implemented at Hohokam, Valencia, Wakefield, and Maxwell Middle Schools.
-- c. The DSE will work in partnership with administrators and teachers to design, implement, and evaluate protocols that minimize referrals and suspensions, especially those of African American and Hispanic students.
-- d. The DSE will work with schools to ensure that alleged race and racism issues are resolved through a constructive and justice-based orientation.
-- e. Administrators and staff will be provided training on conducting accountability conferences with misbehaving students.
-- f. The DSE will provide professional development support and training to schools regarding bullying, so that school personnel are able to identify and minimize bullying among students.
3. Expected Outcome: A decrease in student discipline referrals in school year 2009–2010 and thereafter, especially with regard to African American and Hispanic students.
Goal 2: The district will reduce the disproportionate number of suspensions of African American and Hispanic students.
1. Background: Factors that contribute to reducing students’ suspensions include positive adult relationships with students, restorative practices, student-centered learning environments, and school-community networks that support student and family.
2. Action Plan: Beginning in 2009–10 with annual review for continued improvement:
-- a. Sites with racially/ethnically disproportionate or excessive student disciplinary events will have as part of their comprehensive school improvement plan (or plan to develop a First Choice school) strategies to address student management. Sites will be directed to use restorative practices or a comparable model.
-- b. Training in restorative practices will be provided to school administrators beginning in the second semester of 2008–2009 and continuing through the first semester of 2009–2010 and with annual review for continued improvement.
-- c. DSE will offer professional development training to school staff on restorative practices in the 2009–2010 school year and thereafter.
-- d. All long-term suspensions will be reviewed by the Director of Student Equity.
-- e. TUSD will use data reports to identify schools with unusual patterns or rates of discipline, in order to determine the causes of these patterns and take immediate action in collaboration with the school to correct them.
3. Expected Outcomes:
-- a. Decline in out-of-school suspensions, both short-term and long-term, beginning in the 2009–2010 school year and thereafter especially with regard to African American and Hispanic students.
-- b. Reduction in the number of students suspended more than once.
-- c. Increase in the number of students referred to Alternative to Suspension Programs.
Goal 3: To reduce in-school suspensions and to change the punitive nature of in-house suspension programs.
1. Background: In-house suspension programs for too long have been places where students were sent to be ostracized in a sterile environment. There has been little or no emphasis on character building and restorative practices that teach students about using appropriate behavioral strategies. The goal of the in-house suspension program should be to reintegrate students into the general learning environment as soon as possible.
2. Action Plan: Beginning in 2009–10 with annual review for continued improvement:
-- a. Schools will train in-house suspension teachers in restorative-based or similar practices and require them to integrate these practices into in-house suspension programs.
-- b. Schools will use reporting of student placements in in-house suspension programs as a basis for examining the efficacy of the program. Prior to returning students to the regular classroom, opportunities will be provided to better equip them to remain in their classroom.
3. Expected Outcome:
-- a. In-house suspension programs will see a decline in overall student placements by the end of the first semester of the 2009–2010 school year, especially with regard to African American and Hispanic students.
-- b. The nature and scope of in-house suspension will become more restorative and redemptive.
-- c. The number of students with multiple in-house suspensions will be reduced, in particular among African American and Hispanic students.
D. Monitoring and Reporting: Student discipline data, disaggregated by school and by race/ethnicity, on referrals, out-of-school suspensions, in-school suspensions, abeyance contracts, and expulsions will be provided to the internal compliance officer each semester, or as necessary.
But supposing the district can't reach their goals of eliminating racial disparity in suspensions and other forms of discipline under current rules? Why, they'll have to start gaming the system. This would mean one disciplinary code for Blacks and Hispanics, and another disciplinary code for all other students. Blacks and Hispanics will be allowed to get away with much more misbehavior, all to appease the jealous God of Diversity.
This is coming to Utah. In fact, one principal has already been targeted with a discrimination suit. Northwest Middle School Principal Roderick Goode is accused of disproportionately targeting Latino girls for disciplinary action and is quick to suspend members of that minority group. He confiscates large hoop earrings from female students because they present a safety concern; they can be easily yanked by other students and cause injury to the student's ear lobe. Except...hoop earrings are a favorite among Latino girls. Consequently, the majority of earrings confiscated are from Latino girls.
But the multiculturalists demand that diversity be allowed to trump safety.