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How important is cultural diversity at your school?

Attending a school with a diverse student body can help prepare your child for citizenship in a multicultural democracy.

By GreatSchools Staff

As the United States becomes a more culturally and ethnically diverse nation, public schools are becoming more diverse, too.

A growing trend

The Census Bureau projects that by the year 2100, the U.S. minority population will become the majority with non-Hispanic whites making up only 40% of the U.S. population. No doubt students will need to learn how to interact in a diverse environment. Jean Snell, clinical professor of teacher education at the University of Maryland, believes cultural diversity enhances the school experience, too. "There is a richness that comes from students working side by side with others who are not of the same cookie-cutter mold," she notes.

Students who attend schools with a diverse population can develop an understanding of the perspectives of children from different backgrounds and learn to function in a multicultural, multiethnic environment. Yet, as public schools become more diverse, demands increase to find the most effective ways to help all students succeed academically as well as learn to get along with each other. Teachers are faced with the challenge of making instruction "culturally responsive" for all students while not favoring one group over another. A 2007 study by Public Agenda and the National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality found that 76% of new teachers say they were trained to teach an ethnically diverse student body but fewer than 4 in 10 say their training helps them deal with the challenges they face.

Schools must take a proactive approach to acknowledging diversity

A parent needs to look beyond the numbers to evaluate a school's approach to diversity.  To create a positive environment where students and teachers are respectful of different backgrounds, schools have to be proactive. "Above all, schools shouldn't just do nothing," says Rosemary Henze, associate professor of linguistics and language development at San Jose State University in California and author of Leading for Diversity: How School Leaders Promote Positive Interethnic Relations.

Structured classroom activities can highlight diversity.  She suggests that teachers structure their teaching to acknowledge different perspectives. For example, in a history lesson about the Vietnam War, they should draw attention to the perspectives of North as well as South Vietnamese citizens, the feelings of the soldiers and diverse views of Americans. In a classroom the teacher can structure learning groups that are diverse and devise activities that require each student to contribute to the group. In this way students learn that each person in a group can contribute and has something of value to say.

Mutual respect is part of the equation.  Henze believes teachers should never tolerate disrespect. They should establish ground rules for the class, and even let the kids help to establish these rules.

She also believes the principal has a huge role in creating an environment where people respect the opinions of others and are open to multiple perspectives on any issue. This should be modeled for students, and in relations with faculty and staff, as well.

No Child Left Behind shines the light on achievement gaps among diverse groups of students.  The federal No Child Left Behind law has put pressure on schools to see that all students succeed, regardless of their ethnic or language background. Schools are required to meet state "adequate yearly progress" (AYP) goals for their total student populations and for specified demographic subgroups, including major ethnic/racial groups, economically disadvantaged students, limited English proficient (LEP) students, and students with disabilities. If these schools fail to meet AYP goals for two or more years, they are classified as schools "in need of improvement" and face consequences. A broad approach works best to address achievement gaps.

Belinda Williams, an education researcher and co-author of Closing the Achievement Gap: A Vision for Changing Beliefs and Practices, advises school leaders to implement a broad range of strategies to improve teaching and learning, rather than instituting quick fixes to address the achievement gap. The book argues that educators must become more sensitive to the world views of disadvantaged students — and incorporate this awareness into their day-to-day work.

Henze sees value in organizing special events at the school that raise awareness about diversity but warns that "these events should be built into the fabric of the school, rather than being a one-shot deal."

Schools should strive to create an environment where all children feel valued and all children can learn. Snell says the principal should set the tone by having a policy of "no excuses." If there is a problem with a particular student, she says principals and teachers should ask themselves, "What do we need to do to ensure that this child is engaged in learning?" and "What more can we do?" This may mean following up to see that the student has the proper place to study, healthy meals and all the support he needs.

Comments from GreatSchools.org readers

07/12/2012:
"Diversity in schools and anywhere else for that matter is destructive. Many different people, with many different ideologies cannot work together toward one goal. This is why this debate is still hot. After 100 years of the Diversifying and De-Westernization of Europe and the U.S.A; this great idea that "diversity is strength" still hasn't caught on, and being force fed to our kids. Diversity is our greatest weakness. "
07/9/2012:
"Remmeber one key point in all this accepting - not all ideas are equal and if we do not teach our kids to discern the better froim the worse ideas they (and us) will continue to wallow in this morass of academic mediocracy "
06/11/2012:
"This article on diversity is exactly what my classmates and I have been discussing in one of our classes. So many seem to fear and, at times, hate diversity. Why is this? Diversity represents differences. Are we all the same? The answer is no. Each and every person has their own ideas and cultures. None of us are exactly the same. We all have our own opinions. Just because we differ does not make one of us right and the other wrong. It actually makes this world that we live in a very unique place. If diversity was accepted in most areas, we would have a lot less fights, cliques, divisions, and even wars. Most people use diversity to divide up into their own little groups. What would happen if we could all unite together and just accept each other for who we all are? Race, gender, physical capabilities, cultures, and social stations, etc., divide this world that we live in. Growing up, I had friends from other ethnic groups. I am a white female. Just because I am white did not hinder who my friends where. Do not get me wrong; I did have white friends. However, I had many black friends also. In high school, one of my best friends was Josie. She was a black girl in my class; I still keep in touch with her through Facebook. At home, we never knew who would be sitting at our supper table-at times it was white friends, and at other times, it was black friends. Many of us point fingers on whom to blame for all of the diversity conflicts here in America and even in our own communities. If each one of us would take the time to try and make a difference, then we would see change. Regardless of one’s position in life, we are all equal. I am majoring in Elementary Education. I do not want to limit myself nor my students. Showing each other respect will go a long ways. We should not judge others just because they are different. We should accept each other for who we are. I hope my future students know that I am a teacher who wants them to reach their full potential, regardless of how diverse we as humans are. "
06/4/2012:
"To all those who think diverse school=bad school, take a look at these schools on this cite... You think predominately white is good? Check out William Floyd High School... You think predominately black is bad? Check out Elmont Memorial High School Diversity is bad? Check out Sewanhaka High School... All are in NY... I went to elementary and middle school in a district with a 9/10 rating...it was 96% white...elementary school no one cared about other races but they did in middle school...afraid of a Lebanese teacher...the schools was overwhelmingly Italian-American, so other nationalities within the white race were bullied ("Gingers"). Only 3% free lunch. No ESL program at all. The diverse section of the town was in a different district in a different county. It was horrible!!!!!! But I'm sure you racist would love it!!!!!! Massapequa Union Free School District.... I'm happier in my new community....82% white....no one really cares about race, an Iraqi girl is one of the more popular kids in high school! but it isn't a big deal...they wouldn't refuse to learn from a minority-teacher... Oh, in Massapequa, the student body was less diverse than the staff, and students often wouldn't take minority teachers or other staff seriously (but them being so outright mean to a Lebanese teacher sickened me)...so their quality of education was lowered due to not being able to cope with other races...take that. "
05/24/2012:
"Just by looking at all these comments on here clearly tell us that there is racism still going on the U.S. and it will never go away. As a black male attending a white school i can say alot of diversity would help honestly (white) people. I say that because white students and parents seem to not like that idea of diveristy. Black people are fine with it. What you racist parents need to do is get an education on different cultures of the world. Maybe that might help you understand black people more. I wear a Black(black people) White (white people) yellow( asian people) and red (hispanic people) braclet everyday guess what it says, DIVERSITY ... ITS ABOUT ALL OF US "
05/24/2012:
"The problem is the racist adults who pass on their racist beliefs to the children. The comment re "birds of a feather flock together.....stick with your own kind..." The only KIND that should matter is HUMAN KIND.... If you are even in need of medical attention or found yourself in an emergency situation I bet you will no longer be concerned with color of the skin of the one HELPING you. Also please take note of the words in upper case. "
05/22/2012:
"this push on diversity hurts our childrens education. they teach more about that than they should and when you go to the work place the first day its the same thing "
05/21/2012:
"I think that more diversity in school would really improve schools public and private. More diversity would conclude less bullying because children who are bullied about there race really has not a lot of other people of that same race to talk to, this makes it that those bullied children have nobody to really understand that students problems in school.Parents are becoming more helpful on this subject, but in school parents are not always there. I hope that diversity in schools should rise by 2014. It has brought to my attention that there is more diversity in everyday life, but when you look at school diversity, there is not very much. "
05/10/2012:
"It is important .However I think school should be more evenly diverse.Instead one race dominating one. "
04/30/2012:
"You know what is pathetic? To see PARENTS of children being this racist. Unbelievable!!! "
04/24/2012:
"It is absolutely saddening that in this day and age we still have to find a particular race to scapegoat for problems within our education system. Fact of the matter is this, the schools are not responsible for the lackluster ratings. Our kids first teachers are the parents. Yes, I too am guilty of ensuring that my bi-racial kids (white and black) attend a school which has a good rating. However, it has nothing to do with who is attending. It is the performance of the school overall. There are problem kids in all races and they are in our schools. But, like I said it starts at home. "
04/23/2012:
"All of the different cultural groups need to respect AMERICAN culture, not each other's ethnic cultures. Assimilation into American culture is key, for this country is designed to be a MELTING POT-which is critical for the country to work. if everyone is focused on their own ethnic culture, it is sure difficult to run the country-it's not right to put ethnicity first for it is disrespectful towards America and all of the groups that have rightfully assimilated. Learn English and respect American culture and values. "
04/19/2012:
"The person who posted on 4/9/2012 who is seeking to place his/her child purposely in a diverse school, if your child is white, you will be doing him/her a great dis-service. I see this in San Francisco all the time, white liberal parents putting little Jeremy or Jemima into an ethnic ghetto school, supposedly to make them "tolerant" and "diverse", only to pull them out shortly after because the poor kid's getting both physically and mentally bullied by the ethnics wh oresent them because they're white. Don't do it... for your child's sake. "
04/11/2012:
"Concerned?? Looking for a school for my kids. African American mom married with2 kids! I feel like I am ot wanted in this community! It's very scary! I want diversity for my children. Living in atl didn't provide that. Our world is a mixer of cultures and real working world will be that way! Thinking we made a mistake moving here from the comments! "
04/9/2012:
"OMG. Some of these adults need to grow up! When will we all learn that we shape the veiws of our children. I am here LOOKING for schools that are diverse. I want my children ages 5 and 3 to go to school with all different races of people. I want my child to be able to communicate, get along, and learn how to feel comfortable with everyone. I did not attend a diverse school when I was school age, but I wish I did. Diversity is a good thing. Dont limit your child in a world that is diverse. In a job setting, they will not have a choice to work with all whites/blacks/or hispanics. Think about it "
03/27/2012:
"Ever heard the old saying, "Birds of a feather flock together"???? I don't think you see parakeets, flamingos, ducks, chickens & pigeons all flying in a flock together or eating in the same place do you? Let's use common sense folks. Maybe you're equal rights stuff is right, but come on ... let's be real ... I want my kids going to school with their own kind. And here's a big amen to the one who said they wish they could search schools that way. Actually that's how I found this site -- searching to see if I could search schools that way! lol "
03/26/2012:
"As a child I was forced to attend a school which was 85 % black. The abuse which I suffered (physical and emotional) at the hands of several of the black teachers and students haunt me to this day. I am currently 47 years old. The scars that I carry, again both emotional and physical, are always present. For example, I carry a scar on my right forearm which was a result of being held down by 5 black males while I was gagged and the skin was worn away down to the muscle with a large eraser. This "branding" idea originated following the original airing of "Roots". The Knife scar on my left calf is a result of being in the "wrong restroom" . While I never consider myself as a racist., my daughter will NEVER attend a predominately black school as she will never be placed in the situation which I was forced to endure. Sometimes the face of diversity is ugly and many poor white kids were often offered up as sacrificial lambs to pay the guilt tax for more affluent/ liberal leaning ! whites. I may have been born poor white trash, however I did not remain there as I currently hold two Masters Degrees and am currently a Doctoral Candidate. "
03/8/2012:
"If you want race to not matter then don't make it a big deal! Telling kids they need to be more tolerant of diversities makes the Caucasian kids feel bad and alienates the kids who do have a different ethnicity. At my school we don't have that much diversity but we have some different ethnic groups. Its not a big deal to us. No one comments on race at all. We don't make it a big deal so it isn't. That's all there is to it. "
03/8/2012:
"This article does nothing to address or discuss the importance of the importance of diversity in a school. I was very disappointed with the article after reading it as I was looking for the positives which come from being educated in a culturally diverse environment. This article is more focused on how to manage a school/classroom and the impact of No Child Left Behind. Too bad...it could have been a good article. "
02/28/2012:
"It doesn't matter. It will never matter in this whole world. Like-cultured folks will live and play with their own, including how they allow their children to be educated. We are all forced to work together only because we want money to buy things to be better than the next person no matter what color. Some cultures have the propensity to use and abuse other cultures. Some cultures allow themselves to be used and abused. It boils down to who can get the most stuff for themselves and maybe for their own family. "
02/22/2012:
"I personally attended public schools that were diverse (about 25% black). Based on this experience, I can assure my fellow whites who live in areas with few blacks (i.e.: Portland and Seattle), that there are absolutely no benefits whatsoever to white people from attending school alongside blacks. And I strongly suspect the same would be true of those whites who attend school alongside Hispanics. However, one thing I did learn from this experience is that blacks are NOTHING like the peaceful, noble people as portrayed by liberal Hollywood and the liberal media. "
02/21/2012:
"I find so much of the comments on this ridiculous. People, get over yourselves! There is no race or ethnicity that is superior to another and culturally we are all different depending on many factors: socioeconomic, regionally, ethnicity, generationally and in that same manner we are all the same. It doesn't matter if you go to an all "white school" or an all "minority: school there will be the kids that get in trouble, the bullys, the smart kids, the popular kids, the cool kids etc. If however you choose to try to keep your child ignorant of the benefits of cooperation and learning from others they are going to have a very difficult life ahead of them when they get to the "real world" and suddenly there college roommate is of a different color or there boss in is from India, or if they have been told consistently that people that are white are racists and then they have to work in an environment that they are always looking for that validation and vice a versa. I can onl! y hope that my daughter has the opportunity to meet your children because with each generation more of these old and frankly false assumptions are wiped away. "
02/6/2012:
"This comment refers to the person who wrote about going down to the school and being appalled at seeing non-whites having to sit at the lunch detention row in the lunchroom and this person didn't see any whites seated there. Have you ever see how the non-whites act up or are you blind to that ? My daughter is white and she got put in detention for something that wasn't her fault. But she was put in there nonetheless. Stop making out like racism only exists with the whites. I had a black teacher who was horrible. She showed favoritism with the blacks. I also had a black teacher who was the sweetest man on the planet. He also used a fishing pole rod on the boys white or black when they acted up. He didn't have to put them in detention. We need more teachers like him. But lets stop acting HONEY like the white kids don't get reprimanded in the schools because they do. Feeling sorry for people doesn't help them in the least. "
02/6/2012:
"I look for a school that is NOT culturally diverse. I prefer my children to grow up with children of a similar cultural and ethnic background to themselves. It's only natural to want to be around people who are similar to yourself; diversity is the un-natural state forced upon us by our governments. "
01/31/2012:
"I am so disgusted by the comments on this blog.. According to the comments on here your rather keep the schools light and white.. it's the African-Americans that are making the schools bad and it's spanish people that are taking over.. If everyone were treated EQUAL, people wouldn't have to worry about their children receiving a bad education or their children going to a bad school.. Yes, there are many spanish speaking people hear, but instead of complaining about it, why not make learning a 2nd language mandatory, and i'm not talking about a french class once a week for 30 minutes a day. "
01/31/2012:
"Diversity is a cancer. It destroys the social fabric of schools, neighborhoods and nations. "
01/31/2012:
"I find this article offensive. Why are white people cast in a bad light at least twice (white teachers/non-white aides and the questioning of more minorites placed in lower minority groups)? How about some diversity in thought here? I see many Asian-Pacific Islanders doing very well in school and college. If discrimation is so pervasive by non-people of color, why are they doing so well as a group? I don't care about the racial makeup of the school. As long as the students are motivated, with engaged parents, I'll be happy to have my child attend. "
01/30/2012:
"In my town, Louisville KY, 'busing' began just prior to my entering high school in the late '70's. It was an attempt to improve the overall quality of education for the city as a whole. It moved inner city kids attending failing schools out to the suburbs and vice versa. The end result was an overall decline in academics, ethics and money as it was expensive to ship all these kids out of their own neighborhoods to schools across town. The Supreme Court declared that it was illegal to place kids in schools based on their color, so our county just redrew the district lines to incorporate all the areas they wanted to 'mix' under the banner of 'diversity' and not run afoul of the court's decision. Diversity is good and can be taught at schools without going through all these contortions to mix up the population. A recent study showed that most communities are already mixed. Furthermore, if you want to fix a problem at a failing school, you don't send failing students out, performing students in, and expect things to magically right themselves. Fix what's not working, don't export it. Also, I think a big issue is the fatherlessness in the minority communities. When these kids have no dad, unless they have a very exceptional mom, they act out against authority. I've heard many times from local teachers that these moms don't back the teachers up in the classroom or at home. So why should the kid buy into it? "
01/30/2012:
"Now for a bit of reality folks..... The dumbing down of America - educating the masses for low-paying, subsistence-level jobs. Most of our popn will be at the service of 1%+of our society. Welcome to a serfdom. Speaking of diversity, sorry to say historically multicultural societies ultimately fail. The way things appear in the US, I forecast the same. "
01/30/2012:
"That people from the most backwards places have opinions on things like this? Missouri? Really? You know, I am thinking maybe you are right. Let's take all the black kids out of Missouri schools, particularly the colleges. Let's see how your second rate university teams you cherish so much do then! Go Missou!!!! Of course, you are wrong. In fact, 30 of the 100 schools that comprise this year's Gold Medal List have minority populations that exceed 40 percent, with seven schools boasting minority populations higher than 95 percent. African-American population density is highest in the Southern states and five of the 10 schools on the top 100 list with the highest percentage of African-American students are located there. The John S. Davdison Fine Arts School located in Augusta, Ga., has the third highest ratio of African-American students among the top 100 schools . The Hispanic-American population, now the largest minority in the country according to Census data, is concentrated in the Southwest and West Coast, so it's no surprise that nine of the top 10 most highly Hispanic populated schools can be found in Texas and California. At Hidalgo Early College High School in Hidalgo, Texas, No. 97 on our list of Best High Schools, 99.8 percent of the student body is of Hispanic origin. At Hidalgo, 79 percent of students participate in the Advanced Placement program, which is designed to challenge students more than traditional classes and better prepares them for college. Such a high ratio is indicative that Hidalgo students, no matter their background, are primed for success after they receive their diplomas. "
01/30/2012:
"Perhaps it has already been said - but there is more to diversity than skin color and ethnicity. Socioeconomic diversity is a great key to reaching ethnic balance (since socioeconomic background and ethnicity are so often correlated in our society) - and a school with such diversity brings myriad benefits to kids from all aspects of the socioeconomic spectrum. Removing children of from isolation with those just like them breeds perspective - I believe this is KEY in grooming healthy young people AND a healthy democratic society in which they can flourish in the future! "
01/30/2012:
"It seems that everyone has been using the term AMERICAN'S so loosely they seem to forget that AMERICAN'S is a term for anyone who lives on this continent. Now if you were to talk about THE UNITED STATES OF the AMERICAS that is a different situation. In case anyone has forgotten USA does not have an official language, 85% of American's speak Spanish, 10% English, and 5% French. You should all be ashamed of yourselves for not knowing that the USA was created for all people who were looking for a better way of life. And what about the American Indian's who did populate all of the America's more than 15,000 years before someone staked a claim to it. I do not believe that this generation is strong enough to teach the younger generations about diversity. My son does not know people by from which they may appear to be a descendant of. I never taught him about the difference in the color of skin or hair. I never once mentioned a person by first saying their possible origin, I always! used their given name. Maybe you are so single minded that you forget we are all humans first above all other things. This world would be a very boring place if we were all exactly alike. I feel sorry for the Majority of you. "
01/30/2012:
"For some including myself, cultural diversity is a watch word for devaluing the fact we are Americans with the same common heritage and culture first! Yes, knowing other cultures is valuable but the traditions and instutions that made this country great too easly can be forgotten in the name of "Diversity". We should be Americans FIRST, diverse second! To do otherwize is to court disaster! "
01/30/2012:
"I completely agree with the comment made on 11/15/2011. The value of diversity in school is overblown. All the scholastic achievement data analysis results appear to indicate that the opposite is true. The less "diversity" there is in a school, the higher the scholastic achievement. Why are the liberals writing articles like this that deliberately distort the facts? "
01/30/2012:
"I am shocked to read the comments below. The writers must be older than me it seems. The Nov. 15, 2010 I imagine was born during the civil war. Or, do our computers allow us to spew our fears and dislikes as easy as it appears? Diversity does not work by being tolerated. Diversity only works if it is embraced. However, I for one, appreciate the honest comments that I will read to my sweet grandchildren of color to prepare them for the challenges that they conquer. Lastly, I would kindly recommend that unless you are leaving California, you may want to reconsider the message you send to your children. "
01/30/2012:
"GOD doesn't make "cookie-cutter mold" children. We're all unique in His eyes and deserve all inalienable human rights. Treat everyone with mutual respect and quit wasting so much time on why diversity needs to be brought up at all. "
01/30/2012:
"You can have excellence or you can have diversity. But you can't have both. "
01/30/2012:
"At Cherry Creek High School there is no real diversity. Most of the students are all shades of green (money). The minority truly is the student who comes from a home where they are economiclly disadvantaged. My child attends CCHS, and when I questioned a teacher if my child would not be too disadvantaged if he did not attend the field trip (it cost over $250), the teacher told me that he did not have any economically disadvantaged students in his class because he knows what one looks like! We rent a small place near the school so my son can attend CCHS, and have very little money for things like food and clothing and the teacher says that to me. My son has a 4.8 GPA and we are living on the edge financially. The school caters to the wealthy non minority student.. Try getting any help paying for AP tests , no way but there is cash for sports! "
01/30/2012:
"Americans are Americans regardless of ethnicity. It's time to get the government's political correctness out of our schools. Doesn't it stand to reason that if we celebrate one culture over another that there would be a build up of resentment between groups? There is only one culture...American. You either believe in the American culture, history, and values, or you don't. We can then take the hundreds (if not thousands) of entitled groups and put them into one of 2 groups... American or non-American. Ethnicity should have NOTHING to do with it. "
01/30/2012:
"The only real reason diversity is important at Florine Abel School is it provides Title I free and reduced price lunch programs, helping supplement the budget at the expense of those with greater means. Poorer kids need more remedial training and that leaves teachers with no time for the brighter lot, whether from the financially gifted or not. "
01/30/2012:
"cultural diversity is very important to me for my kids, because I want them to be able to interact with anyone without having to stereotype them. As a parent, that is my job to prepare my children for the future. It is ignorant to believe you gonna go through life, be successful, and not interact with someone who does NOT look like you. "
01/30/2012:
"I can't believe we teach our children that race is not important, that we shouldn't pay attention to it as a judgement factor, yet we bring it up constantly in articles, on bumper stickers and as a constant excuse for bad behavior. So now I have to teach my children that the only good schools have children of different color? I thought we all weren't supposed to SEE color! Further, if you look at the sociology of groups (and I'm not talking strictly the color of anyone here, just the makeup), they trend toward commonality and similar traits, like good looks, hair color, hobbies, etc. It develops safety and secure feelings in society. Diversity flies in the face of that and forces a social norm that doesn't need to be forced! If it happens in a community then fine, if it doesn't that's fine too. But forcing (sorry, the PC word is "creating" these days) white/black/hispanic/etc. kids to hang out with non-whites, or vice versa, or forcing schools to quota their populatio! n is ridiculous. The consequences are ironic in that it ends up hurting yet another race of people that now have to go to a failing school because they were the wrong race, creed or religion, which is RACIST in and of itself. This isn't creating value among children, they aren't monkeys in a zoo where we "create" a pretty environment for them. Why do we think forcing diversity will ever solve social problems. Social engineering is a failing indoctrination and it needs to stop. Just let things happen normally and let society find it's 'balance. "
01/23/2012:
"To the person who commented on 11/15/2011, to each his own opinion. I adamantly disagree with you. I am not going to write a whole essay on why your view of diversity is wrong (although I could definitely could conjure a strong argument against you in a whole essay), however the fact that you /are/ a teacher gives you a very limited view about diversity in school and etc. Believe me when I say this. You have only seen one side of it: the uglier side. You have yet to see the wonders, joy, and good of diversity. I went to a racially diverse school that was ranked lowly in academics in state tests. The reason our scores were so low because due to the No Child Left Behind Act, every one was required to take the tests even if you are a foreigner who knew little to no English without assistance. This is one fact that nearly everyone ignores just to say that the predominantly white schools are much better in ranks. Unfortunately, the percentage of foreigners taking the state exams was high. Without these percentage, my diverse school would have beaten the predominantly rich white schools near us in scores. I knew these foreign kids (I speak multiple languages ie. Spanish, French, German, Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese & etc) and they were not dim bulbs. In fact, they were bright kids who could manage ap and honors classes. Most of these kids had to learn English on their own. The teachers fail to teach them. As for the black community... It was the way teachers (yes, there are s! uch things as racist teachers and I have met a lot) and racist children treated them that caused them to act out. Of course, not all black people acted out. A lot of my black friends persevered the cold treatments they received as children and succeeded in life, taking honors/ap classes and contributing to society. Same goes for everyone. As for the classes itself... The honors/ap classes at my diverse school, as well as other diverse schools I knew well, was NOT dumb down in any way, shape, or form. If anything, the honors/ap classes were all on college level. The teachers do not give us baby steps in learning. There was no such thing as extra credits. It was mostly tests, essays, large projects that take all-nighters to finish, and exams. "
01/19/2012:
"Wonderful article, and so much info for parents. Keep up good work... "
01/19/2012:
"Where is the evidence to back up the claims that "...students will need to learn how to interact in a diverse environment" and "There is a richness that comes from students working side by side with others who are not of the same cookie-cutter mold?" "
01/9/2012:
"I am flabbergasted at some of the comments for this post. I thought diversity was something to be celebrated. I see now that the majority of us don't see it that way. It makes me nervous when applying for elementary schools this month. But I'll stand firm and the PTA will be my second home for sure. I have to be active, not just for my child, but for others who may have yet to understand and love each other. LOVE and LIGHT!!! "
01/9/2012:
"Race alone does not make diversity. I watch schools and colleges fall all over themselves trying to have people of different races, but then not have a single child or adult with a disability. Nor, if they get "stuck" with a disabled person, they make no attempt teach the students how to socialize with each other or treat each other. "
01/9/2012:
"I welcome cultural diversity enthusiastically, especially if that can be taken to mean "something other than hip-hop culture."   Unfortunately, it seems that this is the primary social culture that the media is willing to support. So, it's not bad enough that penguins and chipmunks must adopt questionable urban social behaviors, but now even Smurfs have to be "gangsta." Nearly every show on Disney emphasizes the coolness of the morally-bankrupt hip-hop lifestyles. All of the artists shoveled at the tween & teen audiences practically wallow in it too.   So, if cultural diversity can raise the baseline of behaviors through positive influences rather infuse kids with the lowest common denominator cultures, then I'm all for it! "
01/9/2012:
"This is a farcical paean to uncritical politically correct worship of multiculturalism. Any honest observer and commentator on education would note that diversity is not a virtue; at best, diversity is neutral. Four black honor roll students are not diverse, while three black honor roll students plus a white hoodlum are more diverse but worse off for the diversity. This idiotic article should be removed from what is otherwise a quite useful and unoffensive site. "
01/9/2012:
"Totally wrong ! We need unity. Promoting cultural diversity DIVIDES us as a nation of all cultures. University means strength in unity ! "
11/16/2011:
"Diversity is needed. However, the United States is a republic not a democracy. "
11/15/2011:
"I find it strange that diversity is being said to be a wonderful miraculous ordeal in schools. I look at the top rated schools in MO and the racial demographics claim that the school is at least 90% white while the lowest ranked schools have a high percentage of African American students. In my high school the students who always acted out in my classes were black. Every time I walked to class and passed the principal office the chairs filled were always black students. My school's rating on this site claims that the school is precious for it's diversity and tolerance. However, the black students often had no tolerance for anyone who was not black at my school. When it came to bullying it was often black on white. However, the school would dismiss it because they didn't want to deal with any black on white or any minority on white bullying. I see comments of people here stating they grew up in very diverse schools and that they and the schools were very successful. I am wond! ering about the authenticity of these comments and commentators... Over the years more and more black students transfer from rundown public schools and came to mine and brought their troubles with them. The school I went to publicly admitted to dumbing down the standardized test to fit these students. The math, reading and science portions of these standardized tests were at a 6th grade level. My school was one of the best in the 90's when it had a predominantly white population but now it is close to being an unaccredited high school. I agree tolerance and diversity are a great thing, but only when everyone is participating in it. "
11/4/2011:
"I walked into the 6th grade lunch the other day at my children's school and was less than shocked to see that nearly every child of color was in the lunch detention row. Really it was shocking and appalling. The fact that the white administration is blind to this fact is even more appalling. I am fighting, as I write this, to set things straight in this school. I have 4 half black kids of various ages in this district and I absolutely will not give up for their sake and the sake of the other non white students in this school system. We must not give up the good fight for what is right for these kids. I am asking that a form of academic punishment being implemented for white students when they use derogatory, racial slurs. They should be made to write an essay on slavery or the tribulations that blacks in this Country have had to endure to be treated, (less than)..."equal". I got the color chart for behavior changed in the elementary school changed at the beginning of this ye! ar. The color for 'bad' and parent call and detention was, wouldn't you know it, black. They have changed it to Gray and I am satisfied with that. I sent them a link to the story that Anderson Cooper did on CNN regarding the small children and their perception of kids that were bad and kids they wanted as friends, and kids that they considered pretty. It was a great program that he provided and I was excited to see that something actually got through to these people. It took a little work on my part but it was so worth it. I was not prepared to go a year with my child being considered 'bad' because the last color on the behavior chart, the 'bad' color was black. Keep fighting. We will OVERCOME!!!! "
10/17/2011:
"The staff at this school is insensitive towards other ethic groups and have limited knowledge and experience on learning how to deal with them. The staff uses discriminatory practices against minority children. Complaints to the Superintendent goes unheard and meetings with the Administration at the school level is a waste of time. They promote white privilege to the white children while marking and targeting minority children with false allegations of discipline. The staff is unfair in administering punishment to white children opposed to minority children. They selectively enforce the rule book and is more harsh on the minority children. "
09/28/2011:
"Look at student diversity numbers at 100 worst schools. I see a consistent and disturbing trend. One can predict with 99% accuracy the academic standing of any mid-large size school by looking at 1 metric. Too bad picking winning stocks/winning sports teams/lotto numbers are not this easy. Its not per-pupil spending,teacher ratios, size of gym/swimming pool,economic standing. We dance around facts with statistics and diversions/programs and political correctness. Parents to these students: no drinking and drugs while baby is in the womb. Afterwards have the watch history and Discovery channel if they are latch key (not 24hour of MTV,BET and Cartoon network). Education and hard work is important! That's what poor immigrant parents told their kids.) Living off the government is shameful but sometimes necessary. Its not supposed to be multi generational lifestyle. http://thevoiceforschoolchoice.wordpress.com/2009/03/10/south-carolina-is- home-to-11-of-nations-25-worst-public-schools/ "
09/23/2011:
"To the parent of the left-out-daughter: Your child is going through what normally affects children who are "ethnic" everyday all over the country. What you should do is teach your child to appreciate differences in people, respect herself and those around her, and be wonderful person she already is...switching classes or schools only teaches her how to be a quitter and not to befriend those whoa re different. "
09/1/2011:
"My daughter is in a class that's predominately Afro-American. She feels left out. I spoke to the Assistant principle to have her changed to another class but she refused and simply said to give my daughter time to attempt to make new friends. What else can I do to help my daughter not feel left-out. "
08/29/2011:
"diversity-The beginning, middle, and end of the birth, growth, and perfection of whatever we behold is from contraries, by contraries, and to contraries; and whatever contrarity is, there is action and reaction, there is motion, diversity, multitude, and order, there are degrees, succession and vicissitude....Giordano Bruno "
08/17/2011:
"I completely agree that cultural diversity is extremely important. It's great learning about other cultures and opening your mind to understand where other people come from and why they say or do the things they do. I myself, am a puertorican american who has a mixture of family and friends who are puertorican, mexican, african american, dominican, caucasian, and other races too. It's difficult to understand one another's culture but it takes time. The more you get to why people say or do the things they do, the more you learn to understand them. Never judge a person by looking on the outside. It's better to judge from the inside. "
08/1/2011:
"All people are equal!!! I'm white and went to a mainly black school (around 85% are black)my whole life up until now....I loved it there...Many of my best friends are African American and do great in school.... I do too(all A's all year)sure I was a huge minority-but the cultural difference was great....i was the only white kid in gospel choir ;) Anyway now I'm going to a mainly white school because i moved...I'm sure my education will be just as good now,different-but good....I'm sad I'm leaving my old school...thats not diversity though....diversity is a healthy mix of all cultures....Its terrible finding out ther are still soooo many racist people out there in the world.......Its the 21st century...DEAL WITH IT....And dont blame black people for crimes....sure there are some....but some are white, Asian, Hispanic....there is no good or bad race...Yes--we're all different but different doesnt mean worse or better....Stereotypes are one of the most idiotic things to be! lieve....How would any of you like it if someone said one about you or your race? I know I wouldn't like it at all!!!I understand there are cultural differences between different races.... Some of my friends say I act black....I know what they mean but instead I say "I'm white so I act white" Although I lie to myself sometimes though....Yes, we joke about different races....but we do it humorously....and everyone knows that. For instance My friend(who is black) asked our friend(who is Hispanic) if he liked tacos (jokingly) He replied sarcastically "do black people like fried chicken?" before they both began laughing....I'm happy I grew up in what some people consider ghetto(which believe me isn't). It made me who I am...I wish everyone could have different insights on ethnicity like I do...When the racism and hatred starts maybe test scores will go up( for everyone worried about that) I by the way did wonderful on my state tests--exceeded and am reading at least 5 leve! ls above what is expected....and look where I go to school...a! nd please try to remember that there are no bad or good people--just people. "
07/11/2011:
"I agree with the comment about diversity being a code word for fewer Caucasians. It appears that We the People have been silent too long and we have allowed those who are hateful and spiteful to trample on any intelligent and reasonable conversation. Also, I agree with the comment that diversity is overrated. Definitely, despite our backgrounds (btw, I am Spanish-American), we are all Americans and that comes first. We can celebrate different cultures, and we do except for our own, but it's been carried too far by the people who refuse to learn our customs, language and where the borders are for U.S.A. Those things are what define a nation and, WAKE UP, that is why they are being torn apart. There are certain groups who are for one-world government and they are just using all those hateful, spiteful people to further their agenda. We have a wonderful country full of good people and a few bad apples who aren't happy who are going along with the plan to destroy it. What's up? ! Love to all my fellow patriots! "
07/8/2011:
"I agree with the article, our nation is very diverse and made up of many ethnic groups. This directly correlates to the diversity we see in our schools. I think that attending a diverse school will allow children to learn many different cultures that they might not have been exposed to, or would have ever been exposed to if they did not attend a school with diversity. Our nation is very diverse and children need learn how to co-exist with other people from different backgrounds. Children need to learn that there is nothing wrong with being different from others, and that our nation is built upon people being different and diverse. If a child were to attend a school with no diversity, then that does not prepare then for the world which we live in. I believe that having a diverse school requires a lot of attention by the principal and school board. They are the ones who need to make sure that the environment of the school is good and they need to stress acceptance and diversi! ty. If the school does not establish a family/community environment then there will more likely be problems based on race and there will not be acceptance of some cultural groups. This is why is it very important for the staff to embrace the different cultures and create a good classroom environment. "
07/5/2011:
"And yet somehow, American schoolchildren score far lower than kids from Finland and South Korea. . . two of the least diverse nations on earth. Further, California is probably the most diverse state in the Union, and its test scores are probably the worst. Whereas the California of the 60's was fairly homogeneous, and it was near or at the top of all State educational stats. "
06/29/2011:
"I'm totally disgusted with some of the ignorance & racism, in some of these comments... It's very sad that in 2011 there are still so many small minded people. Perhaps THAT is why some school are failing our children. "
06/27/2011:
"Question: Is your school diverse? Yep! We have Russians, Hispanics, Gringos, and a few native Americans. I encourage every kid to play sports and get involved in music. I tell the immigrants to not lose their second language. Diverse? What about the white kid that moves into this new environment that is scared to death. Now that is a type of diversity with which you are unfamiliar. To wit. I don't think diversity is all its cracked up to be. Diversity is when some are loved and some are not. Fix that and you can fix anything."
06/24/2011:
"DIEversity is not a strength... It is a weakness, and has been the undoing of many a civilization throughout history."
06/23/2011:
"It seems that not everyone shares the same thought. I just read an article about Newsweek top High Schools in US and went back to 2006 and none of them included McFatter... however, it did in the past years, I wonder if the fact that they chose a transgender and a gay teen for this year's Homecoming Queen and King have anything to do with this... SHAME ON YOU, NEWSWEEK!!!!"
06/22/2011:
"This Is the United States of America. We should all be Americans. Until the badages of African, Asian, Mexican etc. Americans are dropped we will never again be a united country. When I was growing up back In the 50's and 60's we were all Americans. Negro's were Americans, people of Mexican decent were Americans, people of Asian decent were Americans. Caucasians were Americans. We had an American culture. Today some people try to split us up Into different cultures. This will destroy America. Multiculturalism Is killing our country and our education system. In a speech given by former Colorado Governor Richard D. Lamm, In 2004 at a Immigration conference In Washington, he said that one of the ways to destroy America was to make It an article of belief that all cultures are equal. That there are no cultural differences that are Important. That he would declare It an article of faith that the black and Hispanic dropout rate Is only due to prejudice and discrimination by the ma! jority. Every other explanation Is out of bounds. The key Is to celebrate diversity rather than unity. He would encourage all Immigrants to keep their own language and culture. It Is Important to Insure that we have various cultural sub-groups living In America reinforcing their differences rather than Americans emphasizing their similarities. To read his complete article go to .... http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=50997"
06/22/2011:
"I don't know why my comment didn't post... maybe it wasn't mean enough, or ignorant enough. No matter what, I'm quitting Great Schools as I am tired of reading all the comments filled with bad spelling, horrible sentence structure, poor punctuation, and worst of all, a lack of critical thinking skills. Keep your narrow views if you wish. As I see it, if you're not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem."
06/21/2011:
"Hmmm...."
06/21/2011:
"School diversity does not work. Most white parents have limited knowlege about non-whites. My daughter and many other non-white children have experince name calling and negative actions from young white children. Shame on you parents for teaching your children negative sterotypes"
06/20/2011:
"'Diversity' is code for 'fewer white people'. Judging by the failure of minority-heavy school districts, diversity in schools should be avoided if possible. With the exception of Asians, every other minority bloc will be a drag on the system. Hispanics are especially burdensome because of their ESL (English as a Second Language) requirements, which robs from other programs like advanced placement courses and special education. Judging by this article's glowing opinion of diversity, which purposely neglects to inform readers of its many downsides, I think GreatSchools is a mouthpiece for the celebration of non-whiteness. All too common these days. "
06/20/2011:
"Why are you celebrating diversity? By nature, America is diverse but you should be encouraging assimilation into American culture and not separating children by races. Martin Luther King was striving for a color blind society, where everyone would be judged by their accomplishments and not their race or color. It seems to me that educators are doing just the opposite. You should be teaching about the unique government that was formed by the founding fathers instead of concentrating on how many mistakes have been made. Unless you point out mistakes by every country, focus on the positive side of U.S. accomplishments and how they have contributed to the world. Today's teachers are obsessed with discussing feelings with students. They are not equipped, nor is it relevant or advisable to play with children's feelings or emotions. It's no wonder that there is no time to teach fundamentals of anything. Schools are not parents and have no business trying to be. Just like there are poor teachers, there are also poor parents; that is life. Teach children how to become responsible educated adults with the skills to live in the real world. That is what public schools used to be about. Sadly, they have lost their way and this article says it all."
06/20/2011:
"My daughter's school does have some diversity. But I intentionally made sure I lived in a school district that is high achieving, which also made it more of a specific race and culture. The children don't need to deal with culture diversity when it affects their ability to succeed. The No Child Left Behind hinders the successful students from getting the challenging environment to really learn more because the schools need to pass those that have less ability. Sometimes these children are at a disadvantage due to their cultural differences, which shouldn’t make the achievers from going to the top. The bottom line, the failures of others to keep up, whatever the reason, shouldn't hinder those that can and want to be over-achievers. The government has dumbed down the educational system and it's getting worse with these programs. America's students are far behind many in the world because of programs like No Child Left Behind and over emphasis on diversity."
06/20/2011:
"People talk about diversity, It's not the school's fault that people choose not to enroll their children at Maxey Elem. School. It appears there is a reason for the imbalance.Therefore stats could see why there are more blacks at Maxey, which is in a black neighborhood."
06/20/2011:
"Diversity is overrated. Kids need to learn that despite different backgrounds, we are American. That means assimilating into the culture. Respect for others should be based on the fact that they are a fellow human being, not because of race or gender. Advancement academically should be on the basis of grades and performance regardless of your heritage. Too much emphasis is put in accomodating other cultures and customs rather than in learning to be an American."
05/31/2011:
"The diversity of the overal community should miror the population served. In other words, there should be at least 1/3 of teachers in fauclty of color and with tenure. Diverity is not a philosophy, it is a way of life. Inclusion is just a fancy word that infers that everyone is welcome. Everyone!"
05/31/2011:
"Im a Hispanic woman from NY. Moved to The United States from Central America when I was 14 yrs old and I had the privilige to experience education on both ends, my homeland and The States and it was pretty scarry to come to a country where education is such a failure. Im in the process of relocating to NC and is even more scarry to realize that Im going to be exposing my kids to people that are going to judge them based on their color and race which is the opposite of what the moral standars are in my house, you judge people by their behavior, their personality and their brains not by the color of their skin or their race. You look at my kids and they are hispanic 100% but they have been in the honor roll every single month since they started school, and yes they do go to private school but not because of the diversity of the public schools which by the way I believe is a great life experience because when they get to college and real life, they are not going to be in a bubble, they are going out to a pretty diverse community, but the reason why they do go to private school is because public schools are lacking the religion education which I think is a must."
05/17/2011:
"Sadly I have to agree with some of the posts I have read. The SAD truth is, that your child will recieve a better education, if her class has more kids in the room from the same culture. My daughter is starting kinder in the fall, and i have been tying to get her into school, with #1, higher test scores/ state ratings, and #2, higher percentages of white kids. And for those people, who think that is a racist comment, look at the scores and student stats, on the schools.... The ones with more white kids, are better rated, and have higher school.... the proof is all here on this site......"
05/16/2011:
"If diversity means higher percentage of Hispanics and African Americans then it means more crime, drugs, problems, lower test score, more money for ESL and remedial problems, less money for gifted classes, etc. Sorry people, it is the overwhelming reality. If it means more Asians much of the time it can mean higher test scores, less problems. There is so much anger towards anyone that actually speaks the truth about what we all see."
05/16/2011:
"It's a shame what I'm reading in other people's comments - slander on race, religion, and the choice to send children to public/private school. It's all a choice (except for race, which you are born into), and the fact of the matter is, I don't care if my child's school is 50% or 0% of one race. All I want to know is if she's getting a quality education. When she gets to college in a few years, and beats out all of the other children for her spot because I sent her to private school where they don't discriminate (except for based on smarts), you'll question what you've said here today. She is culturally exposed when she does outside of school activities, and that makes me content."
04/22/2011:
"While I understand that diversity is important, in Jefferson County Public Schools (in Kentucky), we focus too much on diversity and not enough on providing an adequate education, or even enough to go to a good college. Almost all schools in JCPS are failing, and we're all being seen as morons. The things being said about JCPS are lies. We don't have resides schools. We have busing. Busing and cultural diversity are top priority and it is depriving me, and all of the other students who go to school to learn, and not just to socialize of a quality education."
04/19/2011:
"I think diversity is great! But when it stops us from learning because other cultural things are afected by this. I think being able to be social at school like have holiday partys is very important to build friendships. I moved from down south to MN and I feel like I live in a other country here. The people from other places are not nice to Americans."
04/13/2011:
"This is a private school. While diversity is a goal it should not be a restriction. Other factors may contribute to the reasons a school seems to be more of one race than another. Does it matter? Children pay to send their children to private schools. Maybe for religious reasons or behavioral problems. we have too much government interfderence in ou lives. Let us raise our own children."
04/13/2011:
"China leads us in education because it is a MONOCULTURE. Multiculturalism has ruined the school systems in the USA and keeps every race at each others throats. When you don't look at the USA as a melting pot anymore, you are in for trouble. You can't have a culturally diverse school and still expect kids to learn the basics."
04/11/2011:
"Diversity has never been a good thing for any society and we are not going to change that with mindless cheer leading, while all real measurable quantities show that it is destroying academic performance and safety of the school environment. Keep your cultural marxist ideal that you auto-suggest to yourself with the usual catch phrases, I look at facts and distributions and from that I can tell that diversity not a strength (or strenff)."
04/7/2011:
"Stop watching TV. It's nothing but a box of lies. It seems people were generally smarter and better educated in the 16th and 17th century than the general population of USA today. I can only wish you americans good luck. If you can read this, I hope you have the ability to think for yourself. Question authority."
04/6/2011:
"It would be nice if greatschools.com allowed users to search schools by demographics. That way you could avoid a culturally diverse school."
03/28/2011:
"It is extremely interesting to have read all the previous posts because some people were really stereotyping in their posts. I am of Afro-Caribbean descent, a natural born American citizen because my home is a territory of the US of which our community is predominately black. I have recently started to question my decision to relocate to the mainland with my toddler because our education system is great. Yes, social ills exist worldwide, but that is not expressed greatly in our schools. The non-locals (mainly the white people) who relocate their generally would put their children in the uber-private school that costs thousands per year for tuition and I will make a guess that its only because they don't want their children to mix with the locals. The funniest thing is that at that private school, there are more incidents of severe drug use and other illicit activities, a bit more than you would find in the local high schools. Getting to my point, our culture is such a rich and diverse one that anyone that goes there cannot leave without taking a piece of our heritage with them. Pride drives our people, so even though its not a perfect community, our children are well educated and prepared for college when they leave so maybe, just maybe I need to have a bit more faith and allow my child to be brought up and educated in my homeland because all public schools receive equal amounts of funding from the government and it is up to the parents to do their part to make sure their child's school continues to prosper."
03/17/2011:
" Global warming, tsunami, war, disease, etc... it is really hard for human beings to respond about the world in a positive way. China is currently the number one leader in education while America is currently dealing with racism. So what is better for us Americans to think about? Unity as human beings or hatred and keep lowering education.... Education can be a form of unity for every human being, but instead it is used as segregating diversity and intelligence. Let's love the world. Peace on Earth :) And no one is to blame because human beings are not perfect."
03/14/2011:
"First and foremost, the adults in all our kids lives need to get it straightened out---our kids are going to be mirror images of our own hate and prejudices. And this nonsense will never stop."
03/7/2011:
"I am egyptian and Eritrean, countries in North East Africa. I lived in Ethiopia until I came to the states when I was 11. I was in private school at home and spoke four languages, which is about the norm. Racisim wasn't a factor, classisim was. It was a very international city, and I grew up and went to school with students from all over the world..Ethioipia,Nigeria,Congo,France,Italy,Germany,Armenia,India,Greece,a nd England. I had never known about racisim until I came to the U.S. Initially my four siblings and I went to school in a very small rural town and went to an all white school. We were the first people of color to go there and we were treated like celebrities. The students and teachers were very inquisitive and wanted to know everything about us, our country, the culture etc. The most common question was 'have you met Tarzan?' I found it funny and happily explained that Tarzan wasn't real and like the U.s. there were rural and urban areas. I wasn't insulted just ! surprised that they had never been taught about other countries. I explained that Addis Abeba, Ethiopia wasn't in the jungle but a beautiful city with large buildings, cars, restaurants, etc.., just like any other city. I loved to answer their questions and they loved to hear my funny accent and stories. It was a wonderful experience for all of us. It was a great introduction to America. It wasn't until we moved to a small city with more diversity, by diversity I mean black Americans, that I was first introduced to racisim. Hang on to your hats...The mean and nasty racist remarks came from the black community not the white. I was insulted on a daily basis by other kids and adults, because I talked 'white' didnt speak slang, loved school, and hung out with white kids. In order for them to accept me, I would have to speak like them, act like them and do poorly in school, because doing well in school meant you were trying to be white. It was the most ridiculous thing I had ever heard and still is. Don't get me wrong, over the years I have experienced some racisim from white people as well. I'll cut to the chase. There are ignorant racist people in every race. I love America and have become quite successful because this is the land of opportunity. You can be anything you want to be if you have the drive and determination and you are willing to work for it. For the most part people will always treat you the way you treat them and when you open your mouth, you say alot more than you think. The way you speak defines your intelligence, educational background, and social status. Black & White is for cows. Let's move on."
02/28/2011:
"Like it or not schools are becoming more diverse and that is awesome!!!! For those of you who are against this and want your children to get educated with your own breed. DREAM ON!!!WAKE UP!! and I suggest that you home-school your poor kid.This is AMERICA people! Do not call yourself American if you are infected with those horrible ideas. By the way, I am LATINA and let me tell you that students who are failing are those who come from a low socioeconomic status. NOT BECAUSE THEY ARE A MINORITY (Latino or BLACK)!! Don't be so closed minded!! Children are children. They do not see these differences UNLESS they take these ideas from you. SO PLEASE DO ME A FAVOR AND DON'T INFECT YOUR CHILD WITH YOUR SO CALLED DISEASE CALLED RACISM.HOW SAD! God Bless you!"
02/22/2011:
"After reading the comments here, I can honestly say I relate to many of your concerns. I have two young children and their education is my top concern. I have devoted every moment possible to teaching and exposing them to situations that will enrich their lives both socially and academically. I am very particular about the schools they attend, and (unfortunately) they attend predominantly white schools because I choose high performing schools based on national test scores. While I believe diversity can enrich a child's life, I also understand the concerns of those who say diversity can bring a school to its knees. I am African-American and I know firsthand how other African-Americans) do not make educating their children at home a priority. While there are many (like myself) who actually take time out to prepare their children for school and life in general, there are far more who think it's somebody else's responsibility. It is this mentality that forces me to look for dive! rse academic settings where the standards for education are usually higher. While I know the disparities in socioeconomic factors can't be ignored, we can't keep using it an excuse. I have worked extremely hard to ensure my children would have the best, and to some extent it is unfair for my children's education to suffer at the expense of someone who's screaming bloody murdy but doing nothing at home to ensure her child will have a chance at success. As we speak, I am in the process of gathering information so I can open a charter school for lower income children. I am always reading stories about others giving back and doing what they can for those less fortunate. While we can't always change the situations we are born into, we CAN and SHOULD be doing more in holding ourselves accountable. The sky is the limit when you Dream, Set Goals and Carry out your plan. And yes, tired or not- it requires huge sacrifices! If we could all learn to be more accepting and less critical,! more demanding of ourselves and less of others, more peaceful! and less hostile-the world would be a better place. Let's all do our part in making it a world we can be proud to leave for our children. Be blessed!"
02/21/2011:
"After reading the comments here, I can honestly say I relate to many of your concerns. I have two young children and their education is my top concern. I have devoted every moment possible to teaching and exposing them to situations that will enrich their lives both socially and academically. I am very particular about the schools they attend, and (unfortunately) they attend predominantly white schools because I choose high performing schools based on national test scores. While I believe diversity can enrich a child's life, I also understand the concerns of those who say diversity can bring a school to its knees. I am African-American and I know firsthand how other African-Americans) do not make educating their children at home a priority. While there are many (like myself) who actually take time out to prepare their children for school and life in general, there are far more who think it's somebody else's responsibility. It is this mentality that forces me to look for dive! rse academic settings where the standards for education are usually higher. While I know the disparities in socioeconomic factors can't be ignored, we can't keep using it an excuse. I have worked extremely hard to ensure my children would have the best, and to some extent it is unfair for my children's education to suffer at the expense of someone who's screaming bloody murdy but doing nothing at home to ensure her child will have a chance at success. As we speak, I am in the process of gathering information so I can open a charter school for lower income children. I am always reading stories about others giving back and doing what they can for those less fortunate. While we can't always change the situations we are born into, we CAN and SHOULD be doing more in holding ourselves accountable. The sky is the limit when you Dream, Set Goals and Carry out your plan. And yes, tired or not- it requires huge sacrifices! If we could all learn to be more accepting and less critical,! more demanding of ourselves and less of others, more peaceful! and less hostile-the world would be a better place. Let's all do our part in making it a world we can be proud to leave for our children. Be blessed!"
02/15/2011:
"I am a Latina. I live and go to school in a Latin area.Your ethnicity (because latino/a is not a RACE) does NOT matter. For the person who wrote the comment on 12/13, this is for you. I am Cuban , came here when I was 8 years old and personally ( with some caucasians on my school) I have had straight a's for a handful of years. My science project was chosen from the entire school, and I have one of the highest PSAT scores in the country. Ive had letters from a few universities ( I'm a 9th grader)and have been chosen to go study at Oxford (or Cambridge -- if I choose) for one month during the summer. My fellow caucasian classmates are mostly failing classes and most of the time in detention. So what you wrote is not only stereotyping but insults quite a few people!"
02/14/2011:
"In our middle school there is a huge separation between top %% of Asian kids (80%) and lowest %% of Spanish Americans (10%). White kids are an 'insignificant minority'. The school has very high test scores, but Asians hate Non-asians quietly, while Spanish Americans ignore the school, the teachers, the study, the asians and just swim along w/o putting any effort. Looking at the test scores - Asians are ~800 ave while SA - 500 and below. Black children are not present, which I believe is a huge dissadvantage. White children feel really lonely. We will try to move to La Canada Flintridge or some other more diverse area if we can afford."
01/31/2011:
"Wow! This article fired everyone up! I am trying desperately to find an elementary school for my son to attend (who is black) this year. He will start kindergarten. I grew up in a very diverse school district. Children from many many countries. Almost equal amount of whites, blacks, hispanics, asians, and a healthy amount of other ethnicities too. I loved that. I now live in a school district that is 87% hispanic. I have researched and called individual schools for info. In these schools, the staff admitted that most of their elementary schools had mostly BI-LINGUAL instruction to help spanish speakers catch up. I worry about this because how much attention will my child really get if the teacher has to focus on teaching english. I actually agree with the poster from 7/19/10 in that way. I am all for diversity but not when the school is 87% hispanic, 6% black, 4% white, and other. THAT IS NOT DIVERSE. THAT IS AN ENTIRE SCHOOL THAT IS FOCUSED ON TEACHING ENGLISH. T! his is NOT the type of diversity these kids need. My schools were diverse AND there were separate ESL classes for kids who needed it, AND the school had top test scores, AND spanish was a required language for every student. THAT is diversity."
12/30/2010:
"I have just moved to America and I have attended my new school for just over seven months now and I can clearly see that in my school black people cause the majority of the problems. In my previous country I went to an all white school where there was no problems. It seems to be the same in areas where it is highly populated by black personal that there is more gun crime, robberys and assults. Martin Luther King would not be proud to see how many black people have turned out today he was well educated and wanted equal rights. In America it seems black prople want their equal rights but are not willing to give any respect back. They seem to have a chip on their shoulder. The way I see it is that they have right of way they can say what they wish to a white person but the minute we answer back we are racist. Look at the diversity level the school with a higher amount of white people will always have a better Great School than a school with more blacks FACT. "
12/21/2010:
"The comment that 'Black and Latino students will never respect others' concerns me. The fact that you have the utter audacity to say that diversity is a moot point is ridiculous. And perhaps if you did some research, you would realize that African-American and Latino students have the ability to outshine any Caucasian student, any time, any day. Who is to say that the whites are the best students? I am part of the school system, and I know some Caucasian students that are lazy and refuse to do their work, while their African-American and Latino counterparts do twice the work, and earn better grades. I think that the problem is that people like YOU influence America's young Caucasian population by telling them that they are inherently smarter than their black and Hispanic classmates, so they think that their A's will be handed to them on silver platters, and then it is parents like YOU who come in for Parent-Teacher Conferences, wondering why your ignorant child is failing th! eir classes."
12/21/2010:
"To the person who posted the ridiculous comment on 12/13/10. You are an idiot. Plain and simple. Do you know all of the Black and Latino people in the world? In your state? Even in your community? No, you do not. I am sure, however, that you and I can name a host of White people who are murderers, rapists and crminals. Try opening your eyes and your newspaper if you need examples. Let's not forget that many of the school shootings were committed by White students. The fact of the matter is that economic status and parental involvement are what determine the 'good' schools from the 'bad' ones. Any racial argument is unfounded. Other than your silly opionions, you have no proof. There are thousands of articles (and teachers!) who disagree with you. It's not about being PC, but instead about being factually correct. Oh, and please be sure to sterilize yourself so that my child (who is White) doesn't have to go to school with your child (who has a hateful parent). "
12/17/2010:
"The comment that 'Black and Latino students will never respect others' concerns me. The fact that you have the utter audacity to say that diversity is a moot point is ridiculous. And perhaps if you did some research, you would realize that African-American and Latino students have the ability to outshine any Caucasian student, any time, any day. Who is to say that the whites are the best students? I am part of the school system, and I know some Caucasian students that are lazy and refuse to do their work, while their African-American and Latino counterparts do twice the work, and earn better grades. I think that the problem is that people like YOU influence America's young Caucasian population by telling them that they are inherently smarter than their black and Hispanic classmates, so they think that their A's will be handed to them on silver platters, and then it is parents like YOU who come in for Parent-Teacher Conferences, wondering why your ignorant child is failing th! eir classes."
12/13/2010:
"Embracing diversity will never be a win-win situation. Black and Latino students will never respect others, no matter how much time and money a school system spends on embracing diversity. Black and Latino students will never perform any better than they do right now. My county's school system makes improving the nonwhite students its top priority, but the students lack the brain power and willpower necessary to achieve high levels. The only way to close the achievement gap is by sabotaging the white students, which is exactly what schools do when they force white students to go to the same schools as nonwhites. How is bringing down the best students to everyone else's level a win-win situation?"
11/15/2010:
"Guess what people, the minority population of the U.S. is increasing whether you like it or not, therefore the schools your children attend will become more diverse. This article is offering solutions to improve the school experience (academic, social, emotional, etc.) for minority children which will intern create a better environment for all children. Which would you rather have: a multicultural school with children achieving high levels, respecting each other or a multicultural school with a bunch of underachieving minorities who don't feel welcomed or understood? Remember it's your kid sitting in the seat next to them everyday. Embracing diversity is a win win situation. "
10/13/2010:
"Martin Luther King Jr. would be disputing this article. He clearly stated that people should be judged by their merits and not on criteria based on their ethnicity, yet this university-based idea keeps coming up as if it will save future generations from racism. Only by giving students and staff equal opportunities, this means no quotas nor 'affirmative' action policies, can you truly achieve MLK's dream. The idea of diversity is overrated, put forth by 'academics' in universities. As a mixed-race parent and teacher, I'm angry that this is even a focus. Teach children fundamentals of education and the rest, they will figure out themselves. Waste no more time on silly ideas proposed by those who spend little time in an actual classroom anyway. It doesn't matter how many black, white, asian, or hispanic students or teachers there are in a school. If the school has quality teachers, a challenging curriculum, and a consistent and fair discipline policy, then it is a good school. Period. Funny how those who say that they want racism to go away find ways to keep it alive. "
10/13/2010:
"And everyone wonders why this country is going down the toilet...I am a student who grew up in diverse backgrounds and a multitude of school systems. I have friends off all backgrounds and all of the culture I have grown up with and learned is a part of me and my knowledge. I was never negatively effected by a diverse school system. How dare any of you call yourselves Americans. We are one country, all from a wide variety of backgrounds, but one country none the less. The kindest people I have met throughout my life were 9 times out of 10 any race but white. Just because times were different for you in school or you never had to do a hard days work in your life doesn't mean you can belittle people, especially students, who are trying to become fellow Americans. Did you ever think if you taught your children to be supportive leaders maybe they would help fellow students learn English and other subjects so that they could all prosper? Our country is built upon diversity, you a! re a piece of a bigger whole. And if you don't want to be a part of a diverse society than get out because you're holding us back. "
09/24/2010:
"To the person who wrote on 09/13/2010: You claim that I am ignorant and pass on false information to my kids. Everything I said is the truth. It's offensive, but it's the truth. Acknowledging offensive truths is not ignorance. I suggest you look up the word ignorant in a dictionary so you can learn what the word means."
09/16/2010:
"I can't say I am surprised by the thoughts I have found on this site. If you don't want your students to go to a diverse school, that is your right. Just like those of us who look for a more diverse population. What you don't have a right to do, however, is to keep students out of a school. Some of you act as if schools are your property. They are not. Some assume diversity brings problems to schools. I disagree. Have you ever wondered how YOUR negative attitudes affect the nonwhite students. When the community shuns, hold negative attitudes, assumes and accepts laziness and academic inferiority and isolates students, there is little wonder why students don't perform well. Many issues people have with diversity are not ethnicity based, they are truly economically based. The problems associated with Latinos or Blacks, are oftentimes based on the culture of the economically disadvantaged people in their group. Yes, in these communities there are larger problems with language acquisition and crime. However, that is not the case for the other groups within that ethnic group. (I'm sure you already know this, since you do not feel as if the stereotype of 'uneducated, toothless white people' or 'dumb blonds' represent you and your family.) Somehow many feel when it comes to other races, this is ok. Sad. I'm sure if you took time to get to know people from you economic group, you would find that you have more in common. But... then again, you have to want to be welcoming and Christinanlike, instead of making yourself out to be the 'better race'. Remember, you are the race of people that enslaved, raped and created systems to keep other races u! neducated and underprivileged. However, you don't want them judging you by that aspect of your ethnic group. Or do you? You see, whether you like it or not. All races are deserving of a great education, not just yours. If the other races can deal with you ethnic history and current blind anger/bigotry, then you should be thankful. If you don't want diversity, then stay in your house. It's here. Like it or not. "
09/13/2010:
"I am so irritated with the ignorant views of a lot of the people commenting on this article. I am looking for a school that's diverse so that my daughter just sees other kids and nothing else. I think cultural diversity is educational in itself if the school embraces the cultural differences and those differences become respected by children as they get older. This world is full of ignorant people because people, such as the person who wrote the post on 08.31.2010, keep passing on false information to their children. People should teach their children equality. Giving children the gift of non-judgement, you give them more opportunities & happiness. "
08/31/2010:
"Diversity has never brought anything to schools, unless you think more fights, more vandalism, more sexual assault, more drug use, and more classroom disruptions are good things. The more white a school is, the better it is. If you don't believe me, just at the different schools on this website. Look at the school with high scores and the schools with lower scores, and see which ones are more diverse."
07/19/2010:
"My son is at a school with a high percentage of English learners. He learns almost nothing at school and never brings has any homework. The teachers are overwhelmed trying to bring so many English learners up to a minimum level that they don't have time for regular students. I pay my taxes but can't get a decent education for my son. It's just not right and the politicians don't seem to care."
07/19/2010:
"WOW, no wonder America has turned into such a backwards, antiquated country. I am appalled by the comments of people that are 'offended' by talk of INCLUSION, DIVERSITY and ACCEPTANCE of others. I would bet my house, clothing and bankaccount that most of these people consider themselves 'CHRISTIANS' well going to church doesn't make you any more christian than standing in a garage makes you a car. What a bunch of hateful creepy individuals, it sickens me that my child would have to go to school and be subjected to your hateful children. Get over yourselves and learn about TOLERANCE and respect for others. If you didn't treat people differently from you so hatefully, they wouldn't dislike you so much. I shudder to think that you walk among us smiing in our faces and yet hide behind the anonymity of your computer to spew such venom. Why don't you just open your own little hateful school and stay in it, so we know where you are and what you are about, faster and easier."
07/19/2010:
"Cultural diversity is NOT a good thing. Cultural Diversity is another name for the welfare state as the diverse cultures invading this country are failed cultures and the people coming here from these failed cultures are of the lowest caliber. They couldn't 'make it' in their own countries. They come here only for tax payer provided freebies, i.e., welfare. Stick with the winners culture. That is, Western Capitalist Judeo-Christian. In other words, plain ol' American. You cannot coexist with other cultures and preserve your own. Hence the need for strict immigration control."
07/19/2010:
"Crime and low test scores."
07/19/2010:
"Someone suggested the people that want to change this country know they must start with its infrastructure--schools are part of this. They also suggested that some of the steps involved with changing a nation are: uneducated them (plow the fields), make policies (feed the soil) indoctrinate them (plant the seeds) and diversify them (breed, multiply and cultivate their seeds.) Finally you will have your results (reap your harvest). One could say: they have plowed the fields with ignorance, made it policy to feed the soil with toxins and planted the seed of destruction and made it multiply. They also observed--unfortunately, the 'politically correct' seeds being planted are producing: more crime, death, poverty and ruins. 'The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.'"
05/24/2010:
"Learning other languages and studying other cultures can be valuable and interesting, but it must not be compelled upon us so strongly. Imposing an immigrant culture onto this country and people, and expecting the host culture (Natural born Americans)to adapt to the immigrant's culture must not be encouraged. As the great President Teddy Roosevelt once said, 'We have room for but one flag, the American flag... and 'we have room for but one language here and that is the English language, for we intend to see that the crucible turns our people out as Americans, and American nationality, and not as dwellers in a polyglot boarding house; and we have room for but one soul loyalty, and that is loyalty to the American people.' (Chicago Daily Tribune, January 7, 1919) So although we must have respect for those new to our nation, the immigrant must first honor and respect the language and culture of the nation in which they want to become a part of. May God bless teachers! "
05/19/2010:
"Can't we all just get along. The kids sure would if we wouldn't subject them to our prejudiced, bigoted views."
05/17/2010:
"This pushed 'diversity' agenda sickens me. Is this really necessary? It shows that the majority of 'diverse' schools are one of the lowest low. Sure it has some pluses to it.. But, unfortunately, in the majority of diverse schools there is always nice fights for who is the best group out there. 'The strongest survive, the weak parish.'-- It causes problems. To the comment on 03/31/2010.. Did you not know that majority mexican schools are most likely to be overloaded by poverty and gangs. Since a good amount of mexicans that come here are poor and uneducated. It's all fun and games once the kids are young.. but once your son reaches high school.. It won't be, he will most likely be picked on or even worse. No cultural pride lady? .. huh? :)"
03/31/2010:
"I would much rather put my son (which is white) in a school over populated by Mexicans because if he can make friends with some of them i know that he will be safe. "
03/29/2010:
"We just finished touring dozens of schools in San Francisco. It seems that the more 'diverse' schools are focusing an awful lot of resources --financial and otherwise-- on behavioral issues and remedial education issues, which is seems to be creating an environment where the academic education has been brought down to the lowest common denominator. "
03/26/2010:
"Wow......an eye opener,re: where schools are now & where they should head in the future."
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