"By default, we are all dark-skinned... ."
So says Yale geneticist Kenneth K. Kidd in response to some remarkable research suggesting that white Europeans are genetic freaks. So much for the Mormon's cultish assertion that Jesus is a white man.
Closer to home, if black people are the anthropological norm, why is Portland Public Schools Superintendent Vicki Philllips obsessing about the nearly all black Jefferson High School? Her latest proposals for further segregating the school by gender and -can you believe this?- school uniforms, all in the name of improving the district's "worst" high school, are really bizarre. And entirely uncalled for.
As I wrote in this post last March, Jefferson is far from the district's "worst" high school, even going by the silly test score criteria we use annually to determine which schools are "performing" well. Based on the district's own test score data, I concluded that Jefferson actually "outperformed" Roosevelt and Marshall. But I went further:
"One could argue, however, since many of the higher scoring students from Jefferson's feeder schools probably choose to attend Grant or Benson, that Jefferson is actually doing a better job of educating its students than Lincoln. Based on test scores, it's educational program is certainly superior to Wilson's, the second wealthiest high school in the district."
The best thing the district can do to improve Jefferson is to get rid of it's lax transfer and open enrollment policy. That, and that alone, is reponsible for Jefferson's plummeting student enrollment.
I heard state Superintendent of Education Susan Castillo gush shamelessly (and stupidly) about Lincoln High School a couple of days ago. "It's a fabulous school with fabulous students," she proclaimed. She's right about the students. They're mostly white, wealthy, and advantaged, which is what makes Lincoln such a "fabulous" school.
Let Jeff keep the best and brightest of its students, and Castillo may someday be singing the praises of another "fabulous" school in North Portland.