She said, “What if an important reason African-American students were being disciplined more often than white or Asian students is that more African-American students were misbehaving? And what if the cost of failing to discipline those students primarily falls on their fellow African-American students who are trying to learn amid classroom disorder? Will unleashing the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights and its army of lawyers cause those schools to eliminate only that portion of the discipline gap (if any) that was the result of race discrimination? Or will schools react more heavy-handedly by tolerating more classroom disorder, thus making it more difficult for students who share the classroom with unruly students to learn?”
Another member, Commissioner Abigail Thernstrom also noted the specious nature of the Obama administration’s argument. She wrote in comments in the report, “We can all agree that, proportionate to their school population, black children are much more likely than their white or Asian peers to be disciplined for behavior the schools find intolerable. I hope we can also acknowledge that whites are twice as likely to be disciplined as Asians.”
But the most scathing criticism came from Commissioner Todd Gaziano. He is very familiar with the Obama administration’s penchant for unequal enforcement of civil rights laws, having battled Attorney General Eric Holder’s stonewalling of the New Black Panther voter intimidation case that the USCCR tried to conduct.
Gaziano wrote, “As Deputy Assistant Secretary of Education for Civil Rights Ricardo Soto explained in his statement to the Commission, the Department’s regulations prohibit ‘race-neutral policies, practices, or procedures that have a disparate impact on the basis of race, color or national origin.’ Although this phrasing has been part of the executive branch’s lexicon for some time, it is still worth pausing a moment on the Orwellian doublespeak of anything having a ‘disparate impact on [a] basis’ to show how hard the Department must strain to use some of the words of the statute in service of the opposite of what they provide. Because a disparate impact is usually understood as an unintended effect, and may include many unintended effects, this formulation awkwardly attempts to equate unintended ‘impacts’ with the actual basis (or ground) for the action. Putting aside this nonsensical use of the English language, Soto’s testimony accurately described the Department’s disparate-impact theory …”
Gaziano also observed that the statistical disparity argument applied to school discipline is just as hollow as it is in the field of criminal justice. He noted the deleterious effects of that policy.
Liberal education policies have already damaged public education tremendously. This policy will make the damage irreparable for minority students.
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