The Emperorar Has No Clothes! by Richard J. Gordon, Ph.D. Attempts to Contradict Many Widely-held Beliefs about Urban Education

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The Emperor has No Clothes! The crisis in American Inner City Schools by Richard J. Gordon, Ph.D. discusses the huge racial gaps in educational achievement, as the author attempts to demolish the old excuses and rationales for these gaps by the "politically correct." Among the major myths the author attempts to debunk: A. Inner city schools are severely underfunded B. Poor teachers in the inner city schools are the problem C.School Violence isn' reallly that bad D. There's a great deal of discrimination against black pupils

The Emperor has No Clothes!

"The Emperor has No Clothes!"The crisis in American inner city schools by Dr. Richard J. Gordon, Ph.D. tries to explain the enormous gaps in educational achievement at all levels among Asians, whites and blacks. Dr. Gordon tries to demolish the old excuses and rationales he sees coming from the "politically correct."

Among the major myths the author attempts to debunk:
A. Inner city schools are serverely underfunded
B. Poor teachers in the inner city schools are the problem
C. School Violence isn't really that bad
D. There's a great deal of discrimination against black pupils

The author does see racial discrimination, but it is for the black kids now, not against them. He sees the pupil peer group, with its great pressure to do badly in school, as the main reason for poor achievement. He notes other important factors: that many students come from a disadvantaged, one-adult family structure. He also sees the real possibility that the below-average IQ of many black pupils, as measured by school IQ tests, may, if valid, make it more difficult for some pupils achieve well in school.

School Funding
Although inner city schools may receive somewhat less money on the average from state and local scources, people rarely note that federal educational programs pour in billions of dollars per year to these inner city schools. The federal lunch and breakfast programs also guarantee that the total funding for inner city schools is always quite generous and comparable to that of other school districts.

Contrary to what most people believe, in most urban schools one sees closets overflowing with thousands of books, scores of barely used computers and software, and a plethora of other materials which would make a developing country sick with envy.

Racial Discrimination
The author sees an absolute minimum of racial discrimination against black pupils in the schools now, but he sees a huge amount of evidence to suggest that Asians and whites are suffering from discrimination for black pupils. Examples:

1. Affirmative Action Programs--By definition and actual practice the author sees blacks as signficantly favored over other racial groups with similar qualifications. He notes that it is far easier for blacks to gain entrance to most elite public school programs and almost all colleges undergraduate and graduate programs.

2. The author cites many staatistical sources to show that black pupils achieve significantly below-average in all subjects, at all levels, in all socio-economic groups,especially in math and science. He also notes that there is a higher statistical incidence of poor behavior reports for blacks than other groups and that they have proportionately more pupils in special educational programs. Since there is almost no disagreement about these statistics, the significant question addressed by the book is: Why?

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Richard Gordon, Ph.D.

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