Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Disparate Impact Strikes Again

Disparate Impact Strikes Again:

In January, I posted regarding an absolutely idiotic Justice Department mandate that school punishments would be subject to disparate impact analysis to make sure that one racial group at school is not punished at higher rates than other groups. If one racial group makes up one-third of the student body, it should, according to the Justice Department, receive one-third of the punishments meted out for bad behavior, regardless of how much bad behavior that group was actually responsible for. Of course, since it is highly unlikely that bad behavior will occur at the proper ratios, implacable logic demands that either some students will get off scot free, or innocent students must be punished to make the numbers come out right.

Now, Minneapolis Public Schools has signed a deal with the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights. It had been under investigation for two years because minority students had been being punished at much higher rates than white students. So now:

Moving forward, every suspension of a black or brown student will be reviewed by the superintendent’s leadership team. The school district aims to more deeply understand the circumstances of suspensions with the goal of providing greater supports to the school, student or family in need. This team could choose to bring in additional resources for the student, family and school.
In other words, if you’re white and you get suspended, you’re suspended. If you’re black or brown and get suspended, you get an automatic appeal. How that squares with quaint notions regarding equal justice under law is quite beyond me.

It gets worse:

MPS must aggressively reduce the disproportionality between black and brown students and their white peers every year for the next four years. This will begin with a 25 percent reduction in disproportionality by the end of this school year; 50 percent by 2016; 75 percent by 2017; and 100 percent by 2018.
Translation: Either there will be a miraculous transformation in the behavior of minority students or more and more of them will be let off the hook over the next four years, while their white classmates will feel the full wrath of the school’s displeasure.

As George Orwell would have said, the students are all equal, but some are more equal than others.