Only when you consider how BRA influences governing decisions in America will this story make sense. The Grand Rapid Public School System in Michigan must divert money from education to address the disproportionate suspensions of Black students:
The state has cited Grand Rapids Public Schools for suspending a “significantly disproportionate” number of black and special education students -- a move that has forced the district to shift $1 million in federal funds to address the problem.
The district is reexamining policies and creating early intervention strategies, but it has not stopped suspending students for serious offenses, Superintendent Bernard Taylor said this week, seeking to dispel misconceptions.
”It is a misnomer that anyone has been told not to suspend students,” he said.
“Every concerted effort is being made to address issues around safety,” Taylor said. “We have built a support structure around students that is designed to keep them in school -- but not at all costs. We are not talking about weapons violations, bomb threats or fights."
He said the district is under sanction by the state Education Department requiring it to redirect $1 million in special education funds into general education “to deal with the over suspension of special education students and African American males.”
The state monitored Grand Rapids for rates of suspension and expulsion greater than 10 days for black students with disabilities, and for all students with disabilities.
“They were selected for monitoring because the data reported by GRPS indicated a significant discrepancy in the rate of suspensions for all students with disabilities as well as African American students with disabilities,” the state reported.
GRPS was directed to develop a plan and be in compliance within a year.
The state’s findings came in the spring of 2010, but they were disclosed by Taylor this week because of growing public questions about suspension policies.
The report, which reviewed 2008-09 data, revealed that out of 268 special education suspensions/expulsions, 186 were black, 34 Hispanic, 29 white, 18 multi-ethnic and 1 Asian. Ottawa Hills had the most of the high schools with 22, all black students.
The building principal ultimately makes the decision whether someone warrants suspension, administrators said.
The state said GRPS was required to reserve 15 percent of its federal IDEA (Individuals with Disability Education Act) funds for early intervention services.
The state says this is not a financial sanction, but a requirement that more special education funds be used for programs to prevent high rates of suspension and expulsion.
“We began last March doing some pretty comprehensive planning involving principals and departments such as student services, to figure out how we could not suspend as much and also come up with some alternative interventions,” said Veronica Lake, the district’s executive director for accountability and compliance.
For example, she said, intervention rooms were implemented this school year.
Taylor said what gets students suspended often is that catch-all category, disruptive behavior.
’”I think direction from the board is going to have to be obtained in order for us to seriously deal with this issue about over-representation of student groups that comprise the highest number of suspensions,” Taylor told his board Monday.
The district has nearly 19,000 students and blacks represent more than 40 percent of the population.
Taylor said the issue of minority suspension rates has come up in previous decades.We no longer direct money towards advancing the best and brightest in America, but instead allocate money to uplift the obtuse and the miscreants who cause trouble in classes. Worse: schools are punished for punishing those who act out in class, if those punished happen to be overwhelmingly Black.
“It is clearly something that is not a recent phenomenon.”
It should be noted that those who don’t get into trouble in Grand Rapids require bribes from a community initiative called I Believe, I Become where they get free laptops for completing the program, because the graduation rates in this school system that disproportionately suspends Black students is abysmal:
Success stories of high school heroes such as Campbell are being shared by a community coalition launching a grassroots initiative called I Believe, I Become, with the goal of improving high school graduation rates and eliminating the achievement gap between white and minority students.
The campaign -- reportedly backed by the Doug and Maria DeVos Foundation and 50 community partners -- had a soft launch this summer with billboards showing the smiling faces of local students. I Believe, I Become also is rewarding 250 middle school students who complete an extended-day summer school with an $800 laptop computer and 200 high school students who recover credits in summer school with a paid work experience.
The first of four five-week community development meetings kicks off Thursday evening with a forum for residents of central neighborhoods.
Similar series will be scheduled in 2011 in western, eastern and southern neighborhoods, which are home to about 15,000 children, many of them economically disadvantaged and Hispanic or black.
To entice community participation, the organizers are providing dinner, child care, raffle prizes and $25 gift certificates to the first 250 adults, just for attending.
"To use the wisdom of the residents, we've got to respect what will bring them to the table," said Jeremy DeRoo, executive director of Lighthouse Communities, a Grand Rapids nonprofit community development organization.
While the community development planning will be compressed into a few weeks, the commitment to work the plan likely will extend a decade or more, said Joe Jones, of the communications group E.E. Milestone.
"Grand Rapids Public Schools can do a lot, but it can't be expected to do it all," said Jones, noting that only about 25 percent of a child's time is spent in school. "What we're talking about here is everything it takes to teach a child."
The school district is launching several secondary reforms in the coming year with the hope of improving graduation rates, even though the state is imposing tough new graduation requirements for the Class of 2011.
More online: ibelieveibecome.org
Four-year graduation rates from 2009 at the district's alternative schools is dismal -- as low as 8 percent at Southeast Career Pathways.
Graduation rates also are low at the district's comprehensive high schools: Ottawa Hills, 65 percent; Central, 71 percent; Creston, 72 percent; Union, 74 percent.
Graduation rates are 93 percent at City High School and Grand Rapids Montessori High School.
GRPS loses a third of its freshman before graduation. In some schools, over half of freshman have cumulative grade point averages less than 2.0 on a 4.0 scale, she said.
This could never explain why the proficiency of Black male students was found to be much lower than anticipated, right?
The federal government will soon require every school system to be cognizant of Black student’s proclivities for not abiding by the rules governing proper behavior. Their rebellion will be a state-sanctioned form of self-expression.
Money dedicated to teaching and educating will now be diverted for discipline and being tolerant of those who are intolerant of the behavioral guidelines in class.
In Black Run America (BRA) the worst behavior by Black people is protected and ultimately excused by those in power. Black people can never be shown in a negative light and for Grand Rapids School Public Schools to dare defy this decree is grounds for immediate action.
It seems the federal government is demanding a cessation of rule enforcement in schools, because those who disobey and are reprimanded for scholastic infractions have the misfortune of being overwhelmingly Black.
To the tune of $1 million, Grand Rapids Public Schools must now shift money that they don't have to address the problem of Black students misbehaving. Below is a video of The Young Turks (the same people who talked about this Web site back in 2009) addressing the problem of Black students misbehaving.