May 20, 2006

Stupid bureaucratese of the week

Via Elsa Haas on a listserv and Judy Rabin comes news of a Staten Island school that is demanding the parents of a multiracial child pick one of the OMB's 5 racial/ethnicity categories*, or the parents won't get her kindergarten school report.

(*—the 'canonical' five categories derive from a 1970s-era directive of that federal bureau with huge expertise in anthropology and social groupings, the Office of Management and Budget. See Theresa Richardson and Erwin V. Johanningmeier's Race, Ethnicity and Education for more. Disclosure: Terry is a former colleague and Erv is a current colleague.)

Mark Gray, principal of PS 13, should be ashamed that he sent this out, unless he was ordered to do so by the city's department of education, in which case Joel Klein may shortly be mentioned in a New York Post screamer headline. As the article makes clear, the federal government does not require rigid racial/ethnic classifications to satisfy the disaggregation requirements of NCLB. To withhold school records based on the family's multiracial character is discrimination based on race.

I'm predicting this gets solved by Tuesday, at the latest.

In news of the personal variety, there will be an Education Policy Analysis Archives article up Monday, my son has one more Little League game, tomorrow, and I'm heading back to the Florida AFL-CIO COPE endorsing convention possibly later today and tomorrow to participate. The interesting question will revolve around the endorsement over gubernatorial candidates, especially on the Democratic side. The Florida Education Association endorsed both Rod Smith and Jim Davis. Will the Florida AFL-CIO COPE follow suit?

(Right now, I'm semi-supervising my daughter and her friend's studying for their science exam Monday. My wife is grading and completing report cards. This is payback for when she did offspring-wrangling while I was madly grading.)

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Posted in Education policy on May 20, 2006 3:04 PM |