On July 26, 2012, Neil Munro of the Daily Caller reported that Obama signed a related executive order:
[The order created] a “President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans.” It will include senior officials from several federal agencies — including the Departments of Education, Justice and Labor…
This commission was established to promote:
“ … a positive school climate that does not rely on methods that result in disparate use of disciplinary tools.”
“African Americans lack equal access to highly effective teachers and principals, safe schools, and challenging college-preparatory classes, and they disproportionately experience school discipline,” said the order, titled “White House Initiative On Educational Excellence.”
The composition of the commission clearly indicates Mr. Obama’s intentions: he plans to use the full force of the Department of Education to implement a racially based system that will prevent discipline for primarily black students — and other non-white students as electoral expediency requires – and such a system will be enforced through criminal and administrative sanctions by the Departments of Justice and Labor. If progressive tactics in other facets of law such as voting and the environment are any predictor, it is highly likely any rules and mandates will not only allow but also invite lawsuits against local schools. It is equally likely that an Obama administration goal is the abolishment of the in loco parentis (in the place of the parents) doctrine in disciplinary matters.
Is it possible that Mr. Holder and Mr. Obama are right? Is discrimination against “students of color” rampant in American public schools? Are they truly excessively and unfairly disciplined? Mr. Holder appears to have cherry-picked his statistics:
Holder’s speech ignored the report’s conclusion that 59 percent of white males are also disciplined. He ignored other data suggesting that the different discipline rates roughly align with actual schoolyard behavior.
“Look at the demographics around that school and see if the same percentages are logged in the police reports [because] if the police are singing the same song, that issue [of disparate treatment] will not stand up,” said David Rettig, head of the National Character Education Foundation.
“Outside the walls of the school, how many of these kids are coming from not just dysfunctional homes, but homes that are not supportive of their children?” he asked.
The 2011 study Holder cited analyzed discipline in Texas schools. It was completed by the Council of State Governments’ justice center and the Public Policy Research Institute at Texas A&M University. It concluded that “students who were suspended and/or expelled, particularly those who were repeatedly disciplined, were more likely to be held back a grade or to drop out than were students not involved in the disciplinary system.”