The Only Bush I Trust Is My Own

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

No American Indian or Alaskan Native; Asian or Pacific Islander; Hispanic; black, not of Hispanic origin, and white Child Left Behind

This is an article published in the NY Post.

I have contacted the reporter with hopes of getting in contact with the couple who are fighting this as well. This is all part of a federal law called the No Child Left Behind law. Surprise surprise.

I called Gabbys school and told them that they are not to question her about her ethnicity or I will press charges. The assistant principal sounded very nervous and said "omg dont worry- we will just put in a code that says none of the above!"
Bullshit. I want to know if this code even exists or if like stated on the letter, they will fill in whatever race themselves.

I will keep everyone posted. And thank you to so many of you for your support and advice!

May 25, 2006 -- A biracial Staten Island couple has vowed to challenge a state Education Department system for classifying students by race - claiming their 5-year-old daughter doesn't fall into any category the agency provides.

States are required under the federal No Child Left Behind law to identify the ethnicity of public-school students to determine whether they and their school districts are meeting state performance standards.

But New York state compiles data only for five racial categories, none of which Adrian Carr, who is black, and Marcy Carr, who is white, say fits their daughter. Ada is a kindergartner at PS 13 in Rosebank.

"There's never been black and white in her life, there's only been brown and pink, Adrian said. "She says her daddy's brown, her mommy's pink and, as she puts it, that makes her beige."

The story was first reported in the Staten Island Advance.

The categories offered by the state are: American Indian or Alaskan Native; Asian or Pacific Islander; Hispanic; black, not of Hispanic origin, and white, not of Hispanic origin. The city offers an "other" category, but it is not recognized by the state.

Ada was one of 8,444 city students who did not have an "ethnic/racial category" on file with their school that met the state's approval, according to the city Department of Education, which recently notified those students by letter of their standing.

The letter stated that if the parents or guardians of those children did not select one of the five races laid out by the state, their principal would choose a category for them.

In the case of the Carrs, they refused to check a box that "denied part of our daughter's heritage," and the principal declined to select a category.

Seven states, including Oklahoma and Kansas, have successfully appealed to the federal government to include "other" or "multiracial" options.

But state education spokesman Tom Dunn said New York state did not include an "other" category because the federal government does not recognize more than five categories.

"Until the federal government accepts more than five categories, we will only collect five," Dunn said. "It is our understanding that the feds are adding a sixth and possibly a seventh category next year. If they do, we will follow."

Dunn cited the federal Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics, which breaks down school-district data into the five categories.

U.S. Department of Education spokesman Chad Colby said: "That doesn't mean that a state with a large subgroup shouldn't be counting it for their accountability purposes."

He said New York was welcome to add another category.

The limited number of categories "has nothing to do with what No Child Left Behind requires, which is that states can choose racial categories for accountability purposes."

Marcy Carr, Ada's mother, said there will be a revision because "I will make it so."

"We don't want money, we don't want fame, we want what's right," she said.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Racist ISH at the NY Dept of Education

This is something I think everyone needs to be aware of. I am personally trying to fight this for the sake of my daughter, who is of mixed race.

Yesterday my daughter was sent home with a letter stating that she was tested on math and literacy earlier in the year and if I don't fill out a form categorizing her in one of the five ethnic categories I will not have access to her test results and the principal can make a determination as to what race she is.

Here are the five categories:

1. Asian or Pacific Islander
2. American Indian/Alaskan Native
3. Hispanic
4. Black, not of Hispanic origin
5. White, not of Hispanic origin

I have contacted the NYCLU and am waiting on a response. I have also contacted the school and told them that if anyone calls my child into the office asking of her ethnicity, I will sue them.

Its not fair for her to have to pick Black or White- she isn't black or white. She is bi racial. Hell, really, she's a KID. What difference does it make other than for statistics?

The NYC public schools have no right to with hold ANY information regarding your Childs test results, or progress because you refuse to categorize them under one of THEIR 5 ethnic groups. Until NYC realizes that many people are not just white, black, Indian, Asian or Hispanic, I refuse to sign anything regarding the ethnicity of my child- because as far as I'm concerned, her race is not on that form.

Just thought everyone should be made aware that this type of ish is still going on right here in NY and right in our public schools.

From what I hear California is working on trying to pass legislation requiring that there be an option for bi racial people on all forms requesting ethnicity. Its time NYC catches up.

I will keep everyone posted as to the progress of this, because I am not backing down. I am working on getting the letter transferred to a word document so I can post the exact letter for everyone. I have to say, it was pretty threatening, and IM shocked that this is going on.

If anyone knows of anyone who I can speak to regarding this, any help is appreciated.

Thank you!

**** Update**************
Here is the exact wording of the letter sent to me

May, 2006
To Parent/Guardian:

As you may know, your child has taken State tests that are used to measure his or her individual performance in English language arts and in math this year. Under the federal No Child Left Behind Act (“NCLB”), the New York City Department of Education (“DOE) is required to report these test results and other information, including race/ethnicity, for all students attending New York City public schools to the New York State Education Department (“SED”). The information is used to determine whether a school is making “adequate yearly progress” under the NCLB. The NCLB requires that a school’s progress be measured by looking at the English language arts and mathematics performance of all of the students in the school as well as the performance of different groups of students, including students with disabilities, English Language Learners, low-income students, and students of different ethnic/racial groups. The SED requires that students be identified in one of five ethnic/racial categories — American Indian or Alaskan Native; Asian or Pacific Islander; Hispanic; Black, not of Hispanic Origin; and White, Not of Hispanic Origin.

The SED has informed the DOE that all students must be identified in one of the five ethnic/racial categories listed above for the students’ results to be included in calculations of a school’s performance. More importantly, the SED has also indicated that it will only be able to send parents and guardians of students in grades 3-8 a detailed report on their child’s individual performance based on the State assessments if the child is identified in one of the five ethnic/racial groups. Our records show that your child does not have an ethnic/racial category on file,

Therefore, we are requesting that you complete the enclosed form to indicate your child’s racial/ethnic identification. This information is important not only for you to be able to receive a detailed breakdown of your child’s performance on State assessments, but also so that an accurate determination about the performance of your child’s school can be made, Because this information is so critical and is required by law, if you do not complete and return this form by Tuesday, May 23”~ the DOE will ask the principal of your child’s school to use his or her best efforts to select the appropriate category for your child. This data will be included in the information provided to the SED so that the assessments your child has taken can be included in the SED’s review of individual and school performance. This information will be used by DOE and SED only for the limited reason described in this letter and student specific information will be kept confidential.

If you have any question about this process, please contact your child’s principal. Thank you very much.

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