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April 4, 2005

Parent group calls Magnet program biased

by Grace Harter, Page Editor
With additional reporting by Ravi Umarji

The African American Parents of Magnet School Applicants (AAPMSA) sent a memorandum to the Montgomery County Board of Education on March 2 asking that the board suspend Magnet school applications at Eastern and Takoma Park Middle Schools because of bias against African American and Hispanic students.

In the memorandum sent to board members, the AAPMSA provided data on the racial makeup of admissions at Takoma Park and Eastern middle schools. At Takoma, 65 black students applied for the Magnet in 2004, compared to the 291 white students and 238 Asian students that also applied, according to the data provided. Of the admitted group of students, only four percent were black compared to the 46 percent that were white and the 48 percent that were Asian. At Eastern, black students made up eight percent of the entering class in 2004, compared to the 62 percent of whites and 30 percent of Asians entering, according to the memorandum.

Hispanics also apply and are accepted to the Magnet at both schools in lower numbers. In 2004, out of the 32 Hispanic students who applied to the Takoma Magnet, two were admitted. At Eastern, 20 Hispanics applied to the program and two were admitted as well.

The AAPMSA also targeted high schools in a press release mailed by Thomas Broadwater, volunteer coordinator of the AAPMAS on March 4. On average, about six black students per class make it into the Magnets of Richard Montgomery High School and Blair High School. "Blair's Magnet program is one of the most egregious examples of institutionalized racism in the Magnet system," said Broadwater. "There is no excuse for the damages [the Magnet] has caused to African Americans."

Despite the group's urging to suspend the application process, acceptance letters were mailed out, showing a 100 percent increase in the acceptance of African Americans and Hispanics. Out of the 81 blacks that applied, 16 were accepted, showing an 100 percent increase from the five that were accepted last year, according to Scott DeGasperis, the Magnet coordinator at Takoma.

"We tried to look at kids who are historically underrepresented in tests," said DeGasperis. "We're approaching a greater sense of equity in the program."

However, the AAPMSA is still looking to "institutionalize a level playing field" for blacks and Hispanics even after the numbers were released, said Broadwater. He and others in his group believe that minorities are put at a disadvantage as early as second grade. "[There is] a lot of teacher bias," he said. "They place a large number [of minorities] in the wrong classes as early as second grade." According to the group, 80 percent of African Americans are placed in "non-enriching" classes in elementary school and are also less aware of or have less interest in Magnet programs.

To try to curb the challenges minorities face early in life, middle school principals asked some students to apply for the Magnet who normally would not, said Eileen Steinkraus, Magnet coordinator at Blair. The Magnet application includes test scores, teacher recommendations, grades, extracurriculars and an essay, and Steinkraus stressed that all students can apply to the Magnet.

The AAPMSA wants to implement a county-wide diversity plan that would cause MCPS to hire more African American and Hispanic teachers. "MCPS has a history of not hiring African American and Hispanic teachers," said Broadwater. MCPS "can't build a strong student base without diversity." This plan would also call for the immediate termination of teachers who commit racial bias.

The AAPMSA's original intent was to protect their children from being unfairly barred from the Magnet and to fight against the hostile environment minorities face when applying, said Broadwater. However, membership in the group is growing and the AAPMSA is forming strong alliances with local churches and some NAACP members, according to Broadwater.

Since the release of the group's memorandum on March 2, Broadwater says they have received support from MCPS officials as well. "Superintendent Jerry Weast is moving on [the problem] as quickly as possible," said Broadwater. "The public realizes there is a problem."



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  • This is dumb on April 4, 2005 at 9:39 PM
    Its just a bunch of magnet wannabes. The people who judge the applicants look at the, as the story said above, "test scores, teacher recommendations, grades, extracurriculars and an essay." If the person does not have the necessary requirements, then that person doesn't get in. If the people were really out there to get the African Americans, none of them would be accepted. However, if we continue putting emphasis on the proportional number of black and others, it would be biased FOR the blacks. The AAPMSA is just wanting the magnet program to pity their sons and daughters and let them into the program. Extremely biased and it ain't gonna happen.
  • Im Sorry on April 4, 2005 at 10:06 PM
    Im in the Magnet Freshman Year, Im Indian. I think that African Americans are unfairly viewed as the article said. However, I don't think it is racism...
  • anonymous on April 4, 2005 at 10:08 PM
    it seems like these parents should focus more on the change that is needed in the early years of education. by the time high school rolls around, how can you blame the magnet for accepting the best of what they require? there no longer exists a level playing field after you've been in school for so many years. and really it doesnt make sense that the field should be leveled either.

    you don't empower the black or hispanic community by lowering your standards to them....you help them from the get-go so they can realize their own potential by the time they get to high school.
  • 06Lisa on April 4, 2005 at 10:10 PM
    Yeah, ot "This is dumb",

    What the parents are trying to say is that most African American and Hispanic students in the area, are do not have access to some of the same materials, benefits, etc. that most kids who are accepted into the Magnet Program do. This is a problem that stems from elementary school, with certain groups not recieving a good foundation(for many different reasons) in math and science, and this weak foundation carries over into middle school and high school.

    But the parents should also realise that the Magnet Program was created to desegregate Blair when it was "too black".

    Whatever, this isn't dumb. The same thing can be said for CAP too. Something is wrong when there's a program open to the entire county, or part of the county for CAP, and only 5 blacks and 2 hispanics are accepted.
  • Andrea (View Email) on April 4, 2005 at 10:27 PM
    Why someone always think about the extrathings except for the score, recommendation, grades, extracurriculars and an essay?
    How can these guys be respected as "regular one "?
  • Kido (irked CAP senior) on April 4, 2005 at 10:41 PM
    People like Broadwater irritate me. Demanding recognition is in no way similiar to the respect the hard working students of the Magnet earn. It is easy to always say there is racism, because whether people like it or not, there's no real way to prove it. However, if minorities are given an advantage based entirely on their race, that is by definition negative racism against the asian and white students.

    I may not be a magnet, and the parents who are complaining are obviously not worthy of it either, for even I learned that two wrongs don't make a right.

    If it's such a big deal to everyone, then alter the application for the Magnet Programs to eliminate race as a question. Go even further and have students apply only by social security number. That will be the only way to truly reach equality, when the system is blind and no one can blame racism. I know it may be difficult for these caring parents to realize that their child did not perform well enough, but they have to accept the truth. The message they are sending their kids is that whinning will get you what you want, so you don't have to work hard. Just play the race card and you'll get far.

    It is my own opinion that people like Broadwater do not help close the gap between the races. Although it is true that silence will let it grow wider, the forcefull actions of people like Broadwater drive a wedge straight down the middle of the tree of equality.
  • dude on April 4, 2005 at 10:42 PM
    "the public realizes there is a problem."

    where is any evidence of that? so far all i've seen on these forums and in talking to other parents are raised eyebrows and the strange reforms suggested by this group. having alliances with the NAACP may mean nothing more than having their blind support because this is an issue involving race. if the public supported it, there would have been faster action already.
  • Annoyed on April 4, 2005 at 10:46 PM
    This is ridiculous. Lately there has been a slew of articles relating to underrepresentation of minorities in magnet programs, but none of them has addressed the issue of whether or not these minority students were as qualified as the white and Asian students. If the blacks and Hispanics were less qualified, then how dare they call the magnet programs unjust? Admission is not based on race. Admission is based on ability. The problem lies in the applicant pool, not the program.
  • haha on April 4, 2005 at 10:49 PM
    This is laughable, all student at TPMS and EMS have a fair chance of applying to the program, the minority of black studnets applying to the program reflects the fact that the African- American race is a minority and that fewer African Americans decided to apply to be in the magnet
  • totally agree with on April 4, 2005 at 10:53 PM
    The magnet programs can't just let students enter because there's a racial inequality if their academic ability does not live up to the standard of the magnet. The magnet has a reputation of excellent students. Yes, there could be more African American and Hispanic students, but if those that are capable of dealing with the magnet's workload aren't apply, then there's nothing that can be done except encourage them to. There's not point in letting people in if they can't handle the work.
  • Anonymous on April 4, 2005 at 11:07 PM
    well, the campaign is stupid to blame it on the magnet admissions committees. the blame resides with the gt testing that begins in the 2nd grade.

    also, i think it would be more appropriate to check out bias in terms of socioeconomic boundaries, not racial ones...how many economically disadvantaged are in the magnet? not many, if any
  • bob on April 4, 2005 at 11:08 PM
    There are those people who think that they are cursed forever because they were put into the "dumb" math class in third grade, and now they are not taking the competetive classes others are taking.

    Blame the teachers! They willingly endure a pitiful salary just to teach your kids, so obviously they must be evil and biased creeps.

    It's really a matter of motivation. If you are dedicated, you'll succeed with or without the Magnet.
  • Alexander Gold (View Email) on April 4, 2005 at 11:14 PM
    This is a huge problem, and although lots of people like to react to the problem as if it's not one, it is. However, this group that is trying to stop the mailing of the magnet acceptance letters it wrong too. As the article says, the divisions start earlier, when kids start being tracked into classes. These divisions are amplified exponentially by programs like the Takoma, Eastern, and Blair magnets, sure; but the true problem lies farther up the lines, back where black and hispanic kids end up not getting tracked into the higher level elementary school classes, starting the inequities that just get magnified over time.
  • Anarchist on April 4, 2005 at 11:43 PM
    Merit is not so outmoded an institution that we should abandon it for the nebulous advantages of diversity. Let the Magnet continue to judge students based on merit, and it will continue to be the premier educational program in this county. Abandon the idea that the Magnet ought to be for smart kids, and we stand to lose the unique experience that the Magnet offers.

    And the "evidence" of discrimination hardly deserves the name. Just because a smaller percentage of blacks were admitted than applied does not imply that racism is a factor in admissions. It is entirely likely that the blacks/hispanics were less qualified.
  • Kevin Fang (View Email) on April 4, 2005 at 11:48 PM
    I don't think this is necessarily "dumb", but that the group is placing blame in the wrong places. This is an issue of society as a whole and not a few Magnet programs. I believe Blair's Magnet is a race blind application (and race is such a stupid concept anyway), and if the makeup of the classes are the way they are, it is because those are the most qualified applicants for their respective years. What I think the parent group is trying to get at is something mentioned in the article; that from 2nd grade, black and latino students are discriminated against in the classroom. If you want to speak even bigger picture, our society has set up a system where we have people such as hip-hop stars and athletes who make millions of dollars without an education (all of one race)...and you see the business world or the science world possessing a dearth of that race...and that these stereotypes are perpetuated by the media. Maybe if blacks and latinos had more role models in the sciences and were exposed to these people, then they would be more self-confident to pursue those areas in school too. It's only those people who truly have a will power and a determination that will pursue something even when they don't see anyone else "like" them doing it. In my opinion that's the root of the problem...and by making such a fuss with the magnet and IB programs will go nowhere fast. It's not the quick fix, but ultimately it will be the best one.
  • Ex-Blazer on April 5, 2005 at 12:07 AM
    About time someone said something about this!
  • Not the answer on April 5, 2005 at 6:33 AM
    The AAPMSA pointed out the real problem Elementary school teachers "place a large number [of minorities] in the wrong classes as early as second grade." Well then, why don't they advocate for that being fixed? This is a prime example of two wrongs not making a right.
  • Peter on April 5, 2005 at 8:29 AM
    Both the Takoma Park and Blair magnet programs require smart students. The classes are designed for students who will understand material and use what they have learned extremely quickly. The second you tamper with the acceptance program, which is to find the best and brightest, you risk disrupting the quality of the magnet program itself. I'm all for eliminating racial inequality in schools, but as others have pointed out, the magnet schools should not be the programs held responsible for eliminating race inequalities. I'm also fairly sure that the admission process is merit-based and not race-based. From the beginning (i.e. first grade) there needs to be an active effort to make sure blacks and Hispanic kids are educated fairly with respect to white and Asian kids.

    I found an ad in a newspaper for one of those test prep centers, except this one also offered a class to show kids how to do well on the acceptance test for the Blair magnet program. That center must be making a lot of money, but they really has no idea that putting kids who are not ready into the magnet only makes things worse.
  • Andrew Bernstein on April 5, 2005 at 8:38 AM
    race, income, etc...should not influence who gets in and who doesn't

    it should be strictly based on Academics
  • Anonymously Liberal on April 5, 2005 at 8:40 AM
    The Magnet is indeed a race blind application process. We don't bias. While there is the occasional vaguely jokingly race joke by Mr. Pham about Asian people, the application process just chooses the kids with the best scores. Racially, Asians tend to be the best in that category. Deal.
    And don't tell me blacks are put in non-enriching classes, because there's no such thing in Montgomery County outside of the centers and magnets. There is no truly educational environment to my eyes.
  • Anonymously Liberal on April 5, 2005 at 8:46 AM
    So I wonder if any of these parents read the second article in the Post, about the family that did get in. If the kids aren't raised with a Magnet work ethic, they won't survive in the Magnet. Period. And if that's a cultural thing among blacks, then that's how it works. If the selection committee doesn't believe that the applicant doesn't have the work ethic, then they shouldn't be in the Magnet.
    And the magnet WAS FOR DESEGREGATING BLAIR. NOT FOR SMART PEOPLE. WE'RE JUST A CONVENIENT EXCUSE TO HAVE WHITE PEOPLE.
    We're not here to learn. That's just a nice bonus. We're here to represent whites and asians at blair. Not to represent Montgomery County, in any way shape or form.
  • math? on April 5, 2005 at 10:06 AM
    how is 48 + 46 + 4 = 100%
  • . on April 5, 2005 at 10:39 AM
    Forcefull balancing racial representation in the county's programs is a horrible idea. The programs should be represented exclusively by the abilities of the students. Race should not be considered. Claiming racism just shows this group unfortunately thinks African Americans are not smart enough to get in. This is wrong of course, and they are ironically the racists themselves.
  • DG on April 5, 2005 at 11:24 AM
    The idea that students are being denied acceptance into the Magnet Program because of their race is ridiculous, especially when you consider that it is the teachers who mainly decide who gets in. Who, that has had Piper or Bunday, or any other Magnet teacher for that matter, would consider them racist?
    Also, in response to Kido, I'm not sure what you mean by "negative racism," but any preference given to any specific race over another is just plain racism. Racism is defined as "a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race" (Merriam-Webster). This applies not only to transgressions committed by whites against minorities, but by anyone against any race.
  • Jeff on April 5, 2005 at 2:39 PM
    I think the real question is how many minorities applied that were as qualified the other children accepted to the program. If it's that only 16 were accepted, but 50 of those that applied were as qualified as whites who were accepted, then racism may be a reasonable conclusion. However, if 16 were accepted, but only 20 of the 81 applicants were as qualified as whites who were accepted, then there's nothing to complain about.
  • mag on April 5, 2005 at 4:19 PM
    its been brought up a few times but the primary reason blair has the magnet program (and CAP) is to desegregate the school. if you look at the statistics for tests and such for blair, they are clearly not representative of the school as a whole. many of these schools are buoyed up by magnets and caps to give the school a better academic image.
    furthermore if the process for applying and admission into the magnet were changed, then you might as well call it affirmative action. and with that, then there would be racism and discrimination towards white and asians who apply and defeats the whole purpose of desegregating blair.
    seriously, how can someone call the magnet program as racist? if you're not well qualified to be accepted, well then, tough luck. having tough academic standards does not cause racism. AAPMSA parents: if you spent as much time complaining about this "problem" as you did on helping your kids study, then maybe they would have gotten in.
  • smokey on April 5, 2005 at 4:50 PM
    i'm sure this has already been said, but i don't want to read all of the other comments...
    1) this whole thing doesn't represent biracial (or 1/4 black 1/4 hispanic 1/4 something else etc) kids.
    2) smart kids that meet the requirements get in - kids who aren't and don't, don't. fair is fair is fair. what does race have to do with anything in this "problem"? if you want more black and hispanic kids to get in, make them apply! the real issue that should be addressed is that everyone (and that means everyone) should recieve an equal education from the first day of kindergarten. it should have nothing to do with economic or social "differences". are there even classes any more? i've heard that mostly low-income minorities (of race other than white) are the ones who are failing school, dropping out the most, not going to college, working the worse jobs with littler money, and ending up in the army b/c they have no other way out of this. that might be what's happening but it's not because of "racist" magnet middle schools. the idea is so preposterous (that takoma was only accepting kids who are white and asian) that at first i thought this article was a joke having to do with the little controversy over tpms's florida trip. these administrators have gotta nip this "problem" in the hiney, and encourage kids to do their best and that success is a good thing from second grade when everyone takes those g&t tests. eliminate "race" from your and your childrens' vocabularies, except the one on the track, which african-americans are usually better at. calling the magnet/cap acceptance process racist is like saying that colleges choose blacks over whites for their track/field scholarships. it's all bull oney. i could also say that instead of thinking about race or income, i could say that the magnet discriminates against innies and only takes outies [bellybuttons]. the whole thing makes me so angry. if some africa-american families are so bad off (educationally and monetarily), why doesn't anyone just give them money? give them an education? everyone must compromise and meet halfway. please guys? give peace a chance and stop bringing skin color into this, when this whole thing should've been settled during reconstruction after the civil war, almost 150 years ago.
  • The Truth on April 5, 2005 at 5:26 PM
    Just because mexicans and blacks dont score as high as asians and whites and don't get accepted into the magnet programs isn't racism. Racism is if a black person does better on the entrance exam, has good grades, and so forth, but gets rejected from the program while a white person with a lower entrance score and mediocre grades get accepted. The race card isn't going to work here.
  • to on April 5, 2005 at 6:11 PM
    maybe the remaining 2 percent was hispanic
  • dan on April 5, 2005 at 6:17 PM
    it ain't racism, don't pull the race card. maybe those African American students who applied were just in general worse academically than the rest. why you think there is the affirmative action.
  • magnet freshman on April 5, 2005 at 6:41 PM
    why dont those people get off their lazy butts and prepare their kids academically?blacks and hispanics historically havent gotten teh same opportunites at head start or kindergarten levels. its there where the problems need to be fixed, not here. if they dont get into magnet, its cause their not academically suitable. asian parents often drive their kids a lot harder too...
  • some azn kid on April 5, 2005 at 6:53 PM
    this is the age long discussion...when i got into the magnet, i wondered if this was a racial biased program but i met a bunch of magnet african americans that are incredibly smart and brighter than a lot of the azn friends i had... then i noticed the non-magnet african americans... they were very lazy and did not want to do anything educational... it could be parenting, or basically ethnic background... we all know that most azn parents forces their kids to be ultra smart or they'll be a disgraced and stuff lyk that... but then most african american families have poor economic statuses so they focus more on earning money and less on education... therefore, most magnet kids are azn/white... *sigh* when will the world learn that we're all equally borned, but we just decide to do different things with our lives
  • 2% other on April 5, 2005 at 6:58 PM
    In tesponse to "Math?"

    You are correct that
    48% + 4% + 46% = 98 % does not = 100%

    however

    48% (asian)
    4% (black)
    46% (white)
    2% (other, i.e. hispanic, native american, etc.)

    (48% + 4% + 46%) + 2% = 98% + 2% = 100%

    so a few students (probably 2 total, 2% out of a class of about 100 total students accepted) accepted specified a race other than "asian", "black", or "white" on the application ("hispanic" or "native american" for instance), or did not specify one (I don't know/remember whether you are actually required to specify your 'race' or if it was optional, or what the deal was with that)
  • Adam on April 5, 2005 at 7:13 PM
    A lot can be told about the AAPMSA by the fact that even though all of the kids of the parents involved were accepted into the magnet this year, they have not stopped fighting. The group has continued, noting that simply accepting more minorities into the middle school/high school magnet programs will not solve the problem of racial segregation in Montgomery County Public Schools. AAPMSA's focus is on fixing the institutional problem within MCPS that places minority students at a severe disadvantage early on in elementary school.

    In a school with the largest minority population in the Washington area (close to 70% minority students) it's inexcusable that CAP and Magnet are almost all white and asian.

    Lack of diversity in the classroom hurts all students, minority and white. Obviously, minority students are getting an inequal education. But when you're talking about slavery or the Civil Rights Movement in your CAP history class, and everyone around you is white - that hurts your education too.

    While everyone here has made very valid points, I fear that many people's views stem from the simple desire for personal success. While all parents naturally want the best education for their kids, and kids want the best education for themselves, you can't let this desire interfere with the necessity for others' kids to get a quality education too.
  • MXL on April 5, 2005 at 7:16 PM
    I'm not going to argue against AAPMSA; in fact, I believe that they have a valid point: in such a land of equal opportunity, it does seem strange that there aren't more African Americans in the Magnet program. In fact, racial inequity seems frequent in all aspects of life.

    In addition to education, it seems that many sports and entertainment mediums have disproportionate racial figures. So, let's just all work towards a more equal and fair America: First, we make sure that the Blair Magnet MUST accept more African Americans students, regardless of whether or not there are people of other races more qualified. Then, we regulate national sports teams in the NFL, NBA, MLB, etc., so that they MUST have at least a certain percentage of Asian players, regardless of wheter or not there are people of other races more qualified. Finally, we lobby that all television shows, music videos, and movies must contain a proportionate percentage of EACH ethnic group possible (so as not to segregate against anyone, of course), not matter whether or not they belong.

    I'm sure that AAPMSA would support my plan, since I'm also working towards what they REALLY want: Racial Equity.
  • yalowitz on April 5, 2005 at 7:22 PM
    Public schools are the heart of a free and democratic society. It is the job of public schools to educate ALL children.

    (not just the rich whites and asians who may have the loudest parents with the most political power)
  • mag on April 5, 2005 at 7:35 PM
    to Adam:
    "In a school with the largest minority population in the Washington area (close to 70% minority students) it's inexcusable that CAP and Magnet are almost all white and asian."
    You said it yourself, Adam, that the school has such a large minority population. Once again, the point of the magnet program was to diversify schools, not let more minorities in. You have a valid point in that it should be more representative, but if you take away the magnet and CAP program from Blair and take a look at the scores for testing, you will see that the scores will be much lower. So, if the scores would be lower without the magnet program, then it would be safe to say that statistically speaking, minorities would do worse on magnet applications.

    to The Truth:
    "Just because mexicans and blacks dont score as high as asians and whites and don't get accepted into the magnet programs isn't racism."
    Mexicans? theres some blatant racism/stereotyping right there and Silver Chips printed the comment.
  • abdullah jamaal (View Email) on April 5, 2005 at 7:46 PM
    I hope you like to read.

    I'm not at all surprised by the number of people that are quick to denounce what the AAPMSA has to say, but it seems like most people are in denial about a problem existing. I believe the AAPMSA went overboard with their idea of halting the application process. It also looks like MCPS is attempting to do something about the (racial and socioeconomic) achievement gap by splitting adding more magnet elementary and middle schools. So, I don't think there's racism, just lack of diversity.

    I read over every one of these comments and saw a general sense of denial. Most of the comments said stuff about not being able to handle the work or otherwise under qualified. But there are still students in magnet programs that don't get As and Bs. And, in very rare cases, there are even magnet students that drop out (yet not necessarily for academic reasons). So the argument that almost everyone mentioned just doesn't make sense. There are obviously several readers that enjoy the idea of taking classes with only people that look like them.

    Which leads to my next point. Diversity IS important. When I hear comments like "I'm not going to homecoming because the school is too black ghetto" from a magnet student, it is very clear that there's a disconnect with reality. I'm tired of Magnet students joining clubs simply because other Magnet students are in them. Racist jokes from Magnet students about black and Hispanic people are beyond offensive. Many magnet students spend most of the day in magnet classes (and by that I mean six or seven math and science classes) even when they get the option of taking other classes. Students at lunch, from both magnets and the rest of the school, often sit amongst themselves. But is that the fault of the magnet selection committees? Is it racism? No, I don't think so. Blair and both Magnets just need to make a much better effort of integrating the Magnet programs with the rest of the school.

    Finally, the final fix could be affirmative action. If Blair, for some very odd reason, decides to do nothing about integrating the magnets with the rest of the school, the magnets will have to use affirmative action. People think more black and Hispanic students will result to a loss of reputation for the magnet (which is not only untrue, but insulting). There is no doubt that there are minority students (and yes I do mean black and Hispanic students) that don't quite get into the magnet but are still qualified. Also, one reason why many minority students don't apply to the magnet is that they know they won't see other minority magnet students. If the magnet program were to institute affirmative action for a couple of years, hopefully there will be a time where we don't need it. In the late 1990s, the magnet program had more minority students (and as a side note less Asian students) than there are now. That needs to return.

    A few more things. "MXL": your sarcasm is confusing me, but I think we can all agree education is far more important than music, television, and sports. "Kevin Fang", you're right: there need to be more minority role models outside of music and sports. "The Truth": people don't say 'mexican' in that sense anymore. "smokey", I didn't find your race / track comment funny. "Anarchist": the advantages of diversity are not nebulous (which means shady) and again the less qualified comment is unfounded. And all those people that have used the fact that the magnet was originally a desegregation tool (especially Mr. "Anonymously Liberal") should be ashamed. That was 1985. Times change. The magnet is not about desegregating Blair anymore (and it really was terrible that it used to be). Many Magnet teachers (which, as a sad note, are all white except for Mr. Pham) see the diversity problem and are hoping things will change. But what we need now is more students that see the problem and are willing to do something about it. Comments like the one "Anonymously Liberal" said ("And if [low work ethic is] a cultural thing among blacks, then that's how it works") should open people's eyes to the need for better race relations.

    ---------
    "In this country we have no place for hyphenated Americans." - Teddy Roosevelt

    Unfortunately, that's not the case.
  • Black Magnet 08 on April 5, 2005 at 7:58 PM
    By accepting magnets based on race, you are giving the wrong message to all of the applicants. To the minorities, you are saying "You don't meet the rigid standards we have for the other students, so that means you will not likely succeed. But we will let you in anyway because you are a minority, not because you actually deserve to be here." To the asian and white students, you are saying "You do meet all of our requirements and we think you would be a good asset to this program. Too bad you were born to the wrong race."

    Allowing students to be in magnet because of their race is setting a total double standard. Here is a scenario. You have two kids that live next door to each other. One is black [called student 1] and the other is asian [called student 2]. Student 1 and student 2 go to the same school, have the same teachers, get similar grades, do similar activities. In 5th grade, both try out for magnet. Is it fair of the magnet teachers to say the student 1 is smart enough, but student 2 needs to try harder? NO, IT'S NOT. Either both student 1 and student 2 get in, or neither get in.

    By basing the acceptance on race, you are going to force the asian/white kids to work harder and the black/hispanic students to work less. You are actually enforcing racism in this case. You assume that the minorities cannot handle the intensity of the work, so you lighten it for them.

    The AAPMSA is a group of bitter parents. Their child did not get in, so they they use the race card. Has the AAPMSA actually found a real situation where a child that met the requirements did not get in? If not, then this "racism" accusation is just speculation. I want hard, cold evidence that magnet selection is racist. HARD COLD EVIDENCE.

    I also have a question. How will cancelling the magnet program fix the situation? If the AAPMSA looked at their facts, they would realize that more and more minorities are getting into magnet every year. Cancelling the magnet now would stop that process. Also, a cancellation of the magnet would bring about CHAOS.

    You think the AAPMSA is angry now? Cancelling the magnet would unleash TOTAL CHAOS among those who are in magnet, those who were in magnet, those who were going to apply to magnet and the parents of those students. You do not want this something like this to happen. You cannot even begin to imagine the magnitude of the angry letters that will be written, protests that will be formed...
  • Equality on April 5, 2005 at 8:00 PM
    How about we make Blair's non program student's diversity equal? So, we kick out some blacks/hispanics and force more asians and whites to attend Blair's regular school. That way, we can say that magnet and CAP are not there to desegregate the school, but are their to benefit the students.
  • Suggestion on April 5, 2005 at 8:01 PM
    I do have a suggestion for the way the magnet program is set up at TPMS. Here at Blair, non magnets are allowed to take some magnet courses. We should try the same at TPMS. That way, the non magnets can get some of the benefits magnets have and then try out for Blair and get in.
  • john on April 5, 2005 at 8:14 PM
    I love how parents automatically blame the program. Blair has many talented and intelligent students. Muamba from last year and Adedeji are just two of them. I'm sure they've encountered some form of racism before, but that didn't stop them from doing extremely well. Muamba is at MIT right now and Adedeji has been offered full rides to many different place. What about one of the SCO editor in chiefs, Ely? He's going to Harvard. Sure you could pull the race card and they are going becasue of that. Or how about people think and realize how much work they have put in!
    If you work hard, nothing can stop you. Just look around Blair and any other school. Rather than going to class to learn, kids will be hiding in the bathrooms, talking on their phones. It's not the program being racist, it's the kids messing them selves over.
    Parents want their kids to do well? Well how about you try spending time with them and reinforcing that. Then perhaps the kids will focus more. These kids just don't try! You don't need to shell out hundreds to goto an SAT prep school. Pay 25, buy a book and do it on your own. That's what I did and I got a score >1500.
    Or how about instead of wasting money on buying jewelry, shoes and clothing, why not spend it on books and stuff that could help you learn instead of scoring with a girl.
    Racism? please. It's called the parents of black students want to point fingers and find a scapegoat for the results of their carelessness.
  • mag06 on April 5, 2005 at 8:28 PM
    affirmative action woudl result in a watered down magnet that decreases the quality of the kids in the program. THIS IS NOT A RACIST COMMENT. It is fact. It is not saying that blacks are dumber/less qualified. It is simply saying that choosing a less qualified candidate over a more qualified candidate on the basis of race would decrease the quality of kids.
  • Hmmm on April 5, 2005 at 8:46 PM
    "The Magnet application includes test scores, teacher recommendations, grades, extracurriculars and an essay..."


    Nowhere in the article was it stated that black and hispanic candidates 'ranked' LOWER on this collective evaluation process as compared to white and asian students. We actually don't know how the students stacked up. Have you read all the essays and teacher recommendations? Do you know what their extracurriculars were? Or their grades? There was one place where it was implied that tests scores may have averaged lower (DeGasperis), but test scores are only one part of the package.

    In other spots in the article, Broadwater describes teacher biases and the author mentions challenges in certain students' early schooling. But, none of that means that the students who applied had weaker applications. From the article, an equally valid interpretation of the comments is that black and hispanic students are less encouraged to apply.

    Yet, look at the number of posters here who automatically assumed that the black and hispanic students must have ranked lower on the application, and that the parents' arguments of institutionalized racism must be false..AND that the applicants must not have deserved being accepted into the magnet.

    Even if the application process is indeed race-blind, there are still subjective judgments to be made about essays, teacher recs, and extra-curricular activities; I do not assume the admissions decisions were unfair. But, I am very disturbed that many of these posts have inadvertantly revealed a racist attitude. Posters projected their own assumptions on the strength of student applications even though we do not actually sit on the committee that decides admissions.
  • Chris Chen (View Email) on April 5, 2005 at 8:55 PM
    This is just ridiculous. Yes, diversity is important. But so is quality. The magnet programs do not discriminate by race in any way. They look at the tangible things like grades and test scores. If someone doesn't meet the magnet's bottom line, why should they be accepted? Should the programs lower their standards? Obviously by doing so the quality of the programs will suffer. 16/81 ~ 20% acceptance rate for Blacks. This is for one of the most highly competitive programs in the country. I think they're doing pretty well considering their small applicant pool.
  • Chao on April 5, 2005 at 9:10 PM
    They can't even see the race of the student applying by the application. It's not like the Magnet needs an interview to get in. Hispanic students maybe recognized from their names, however, how can African Americans be recognized? ... I don't remember filling out my race on the application.
    besides, ever thought they're just not qualified? I mean, the number African American applicants are a lot less. It's not the Magnet's racism.
    Besides, if magnets only want to be friends with other magnets or if they only want to be friends with people of their own race, it should be their choice. However, I don't think the students' choices of social groups if effecting the magnet admissions.
    I just mean... I don't think the Magnet should accept more minority students just because it adds diversity. they also need to be as qualified as other magnets, and be able to compete with them on many different level.
  • Bob on April 5, 2005 at 9:40 PM
    To abdullah jamaal

    You make an interesting yet ignorant point.

    You start out by saying that magnets should diversify and be with other non-magnets and then in the same post you say many minorities won't apply because they won't be with other minorities. The magnet is not based on race, that's a fact. If, like all the civil rights activists claim, race isn't a factor in intelligence or that stuff (which I agree with), we have no business even recognizing that they are different races. Why does it matter? It should make as much difference as me complaining that out the amount of people who applied, a disproportionate number of people with the last name starting with L got in. We need to allow people with the last name starting with L their fair number of slots in the magnet.

    And MXL made a perfectly valid point. There are more blacks on most football teams. To diversify let's just give whites an extra tenth of a second on the 50 yard dash or require that there be a proportionate amount of whites (more than half that would be) on the team.




    To people who blame elementary schools:

    This shouldn't be an issue. How are black students sent into lower programs? Did they use race as a factor for that? I don't think so. I just think less minorities were interested or else were, as a whole, not as qualified. Same with football, as a whole, more minorities take sports more seriously than whites. These are generalizations and are by no means true for everyone, hence the reason that there are minorities in the magnet and whites on the football team.
  • Cappie05 on April 5, 2005 at 9:52 PM
    to anonymous liberal - If you believe that you need to have minority students in the CAP history classes when discussing race-sensitive historical topics like reconstruction and slavery, then why not say we need more Republicans at Blair? I mean, if just having more of them meant that we could recive a more "knowledgable" education, lets ship all of Texas here! I do believe that it would be a good to have a focus on important minority figures in history, but you can't say they would help the rest of their class members learn anything different. This train of thought means that since I'm from Italy, I should be able to inform my entire class all about the history of Italy, its famous people, and so on and so forth, and theres no way I can, because I simply don't know. By forcing kids into a program when they don't have the ability to survive in it is foolhardy. What happens when they drop out at the end of 9th grade? Or get forced out because they are so far in over their heads they can't get out? this happens to students of every race in every program each year, and forcing in more minorities won't solve any problems
  • Ponderer on April 5, 2005 at 10:03 PM
    As many, many people on this forum have stated, the problem in question stems from very early on in school, when people are tracked according to tests that often discriminate, when generally more affluent white and Asian children go to schools with more and better resources and teaching. To really make the education system equal, through all grades, we have give everyone equal opportunities from the start, when they are soaking up knowledge so rapidly and (ideally) learning to love to learn. Unfortunately, by high school it is frankly too late. The predispositions and attitudes towards learning that we develop stay with us.

    This is why affirmative action would not work, and is not the solution. It is only a temporary patch on the problem that is not really going to solve anything. Magnet students are the most qualified out of many excellent students who apply to the program, and many still struggle with the material. It is extremely rigorous, and, in general, those who do not do as well are the least satisfied with their high school experience. It would be a mistake to admit people if they are not really ready, not because it would "devalue the magnet's status" or anything like that, but because those kids would be miserable and would not really benefit from the program.

    The reason that something like affirmative action is called for is becaue humans (ALL of us) are inherently selfish. It's not a bad thing; it's survival instinct. These parents want affirmative action as a patch so that THEIR child can benefit, as opposed to a slow change that will actually fix the system but not benefit them. I don't blame them, however I think that their quest is misguided, and that they can really do the most good by working for early institutional changes.
  • Fix It on April 5, 2005 at 10:21 PM
    What MCPS need to do is inform all of the students about magnet. That means sending out letters to all of the elementary schools. Seriously, there is a huge group of people that never even hear about magnet. That is a problem that everyone agrees is happening and it is something MCPS can fix.
  • John on April 5, 2005 at 10:27 PM
    The 100 or so most qualified kids who apply to the magnet get in. Why is the magnet 'racist' when race simply is not part of the selection process? Like what MXL said. The NBA is predominantly black. Does that mean that the NBA is racist? Of course not. The NBA picks the most qualified players and the most qualified players happen to be black. Yes, the absence of racism in the selection process can't really be proven. But the numbers offered by the AAPMSA don't prove anything either. Look at the average SAT scores based on race. On average, asians and whites consistantly outperform blacks and hispanics. Hold on.. let me pull up some numbers, since the AAPMSA seems to like to manipulate numbers to mean whatever they want them to mean. Maryland: Mean SAT Scores, By Race and Ethnicity, 2002 White: 1,092 African American or Black: 848 Asian, Asian American or Pacific Islander: 1,092 Mexican or Mexican American: 1,022 Puerto Rican: 987 Latin-American, South American, Central American or Other Hispanic or Latino: 974 Source: 2002 Profile of College-Bound Seniors - Maryland Report, The College Board. http://www.maec.org/mdstats.html#sat I'm too lazy to pull up other years, but you can probably search for them yourselves and find that whites/asians do in fact score better on these tests than blacks/hispanics. So what do these numbers tell us? Are blacks/hispanics dumber than whites/asians? No. Again, of course not. I believe that everyone, regardless of race, has to potential to succeed. This is the one part where I agree with the AAPMSA. The problem goes much deeper than the magnet. I think it has to do with the environment in which the students are raised. I know that in my home and in many other asian homes, academics is HUGE, as in it dominates your life. This may not be the case(in general) with black/hispanic families. I don't know. I'm only speculating. So why is the AAPMSA attacking the magnet when they acknowledge that the problem goes far beyond that? Last time I checked, you're supposed to attack the problems at their roots. Also, can somebody please tell me what evidence the AAPMSA has for accusing the magnet selection committee of being racist? One last thing: The AAPMSA's original intent was... to fight against the hostile environment minorities face when applying. What 'hostile environment' is the AAPMSA referring to?
  • wenbo on April 5, 2005 at 10:40 PM
    well...as there are ONLY what...32 applicants? what do u expect? 2's generous enough...
    referring to the takoma park thing.
  • Anonymous on April 6, 2005 at 7:46 AM
    First I should say CAP and the Blair Magnet Program do not fit at all into this argument here. The Blair Magnet Program is state funded, we get special education grants, so the county can't do much to cut that funding. The article in question is targeting the middle school level programs and we should focus on those and not CAP and Magnet, those are special exceptions. CAP is limited to those within the Blair cluster, and Magnet is state funded so they are special cases.

    "In a school with the largest minority population in the Washington area (close to 70% minority students) it's inexcusable that CAP and Magnet are almost all white and asian. "

    Magnet programs are exclusive programs. They are for the best and brightest students the county has to offer by definition. By throwing race into the mix and saying that minorities... excuse me Black/African Americans and Latinos (not Asians) need equal representation in everything is ridiculous. I thought we were striving to not be treated by the color of our skin. In order to tackle a problem like this we do need to start at the lower grade levels. Education and a good work ethic is something that is not taught nor learned but something inherant. It does indeed exist in all young students, whether black, white, asian or latino, but becomes lost over the years due to poor environments and no support at home.

    To say this bluntly, and I doubt anyone can dispute this, most Asian parents are very strict academically, academics come first. Many Asian kids are strictly punished for subpar grades, and if grades slip it is the first priority for the parents. This just comes as a fact of culture. Ask yourself why Asians are in title a minority but never considered to be one. You always read about racial disparity in (insert program here) yet nothing about Asians and what happens to them. They don't complain about the discrimination against them, they don't whine, they just keep working knowing that one day they can and will overcome it. On the other hand many other races are quick to play the "race card," cry afoul and sue for racial discrimination. This is not how children should be brought up. Complaining about a problem and expecting handouts, practically, is not how a child should be taught to grow up.

    Minority parents (now when I refer to minority it excludes Asians) always complain about how their children are being discriminated against yet their solution to the problem just feeds in more discrimination into the system against whites and Asians.

    Application processes for most program, Magnet included are usually completely blind to most stats. Each student is given a number, and the selection committees are shown the student's test scores on the entrance exams, teacher recommendations and their essays, that's all. You can't say that they're discriminating when they don't even know anything about the kids they are picking.

    MXL made a great and perfectly put statement. If we are striving for racial equity through equal representation and affimative action, then I say that all the sports teams throughout MCPS should have equal representation of races. I don't care that sports teams are based on skill in that particular sport, the Magnet program is based on intelligence and we're throwing that out the window to accomodate race, so we should have to equalize everything based on race. Don't even say that I'm taking this to the extreme because what you are asking is exactly this.
  • These hak gwei [AAPMSA] have i on April 6, 2005 at 8:11 AM
    IT ALL COMES DOWN TO THIS: The magnet program does not know the race of its applicants - the question of race is omitted on the application. It bases its selection solely the test scores and self-evaluation essay. I think it so happens that the achievement gap between whites and asians and blacks and hispanics have resulted in the fact that not many blacks and hispanics are being accepted.

    SECONDLY: The whole purpose of the magnet program was, 1) to create a better educational cirriculum for the top few hundred students in the county, and 2) TO EQUALIZE BLAIR'S RACIAL DEMOGRAPHICS AND TO RAISE ITS AVERAGE TEST SCORES. If the magnet program had to meet racial quotas, the entire purpose of the program would be defeated.
  • Yeah, No Kidding on April 6, 2005 at 8:20 AM
    Yes the exam is a little racially biased... i mean in my four years there i knew(of) like 3 black students in the magnet ... if that. I knew of more in cap but still not a substantial portion and to "cappie 05" lets not be an idiot here. 1- you theory is impossible there is no way to ship conservatives to a school, it is their parents choice where they live or w/ private school where they go; there is a majority of black students in blairs schooling zone and around mont co.
    2- YOu cant compare two things like race and political affiliation in a matter such as this. Race is something you are born with and cannot help. Political stance is a group of ideals or opinions that you have that are most likely planted into you by your parents.
    So basically youre an idiot reassess your argument.
  • ITS NOT FAIR on April 6, 2005 at 8:38 AM
    I believe that this is true the magnet program is discriminating which is so not fair especially for black students like me who do well in their ap and hon classes but are not in the magnet program. I have friends who are in the magenet program and no offense but they are not doing well in their classes and it makes me wonder why the got into the program and I didn't because clearly i am qualified and I have maintained my grades unlike some of them. All I am saying is that there are minority students who are way qualified than some magnet kids but were not accepted. Where is the fairness in that?
  • idear on April 6, 2005 at 10:01 AM
    why don't they make all classes magnet and then everyone can take them? then if kids + parents complain we can make lower level classes for them. then everyone woul be happy.
  • Dali Lama on April 6, 2005 at 10:38 AM
    This entire argument is a non-issue. The AAPMSA is clearly at fault for their blatent misplacement of blame on the admissions process of the schools. The only reason they are considered at all legitimate is that they have the blind support of the NAACP on the basis that this is a race issue. Watering down the quality of the Magnet program would defeat the purpose of having the program and would deny qualified students access to the educational opprotunities that are availible to other, less qualified students. Giving any consideration at all to race is tantamount to racism, whether it's in favor of minorities or in favor of whites.

    Bottom line: Students should be admitted based on their academics, not their Academiks.
  • ticked on April 6, 2005 at 10:39 AM
    isn't the point of the magnet (besides the original diversification concept) to recruit the one hundred best students for math and science in the county, and not the 80 best students and then the 20 best black students? i am in no way racist, but this is completely ridiculous.
    blacks are demanding that if their children are not identified as GT in second grade, they should immediately be retested. the NAACP wants 40 percent of magnets to be black. that would completely undermine the purpose of the magnet. Every year, a couple kids who aren't ready get into the magnet. they struggle and they know that they are out of place. so, if the 40 blacks the NAACP wants get in and 35 of them aren't magnet material, does the magnet have to change the curriculum for them? or just go on with 3 dozen struggling students?
    also, the AAPMSA wants kindergarten teachers to begin informing black students about the magnet programs in kindergarten. i guess white and asian students are born knowing all about it, they don't need to do any research or attend any of the numerous meetings for the programs, or anything like that. if you think asians get in because they are naturally smarter, i think not. they use different parenting techniques than other parents might. maybe no toys, maybe practicing math all day over the summer. this really annoys me.
    look at the middle school programs. i know an applicant who is in one of the elementary school centers for the highly gifted who applied to both humanities and math magnets for middle school. he had straight A's (maybe one B), and fabulous recommendations from his teachers. he also tested well. however, he was wait listed on one program and denied outright from the other. why? i'm guessing because the admissions panel felt pressure from affirmative action groups and admitted a less qualified student over him.



    ticked off
  • anonymously liberal on April 6, 2005 at 10:52 AM
    You know, if there were more Republicans, I would get more interesting debates, and I'd appreciate that.
  • DG on April 6, 2005 at 11:27 AM
    Adam: "Lack of diversity in the classroom hurts all students, minority and white."

    Would you like to give some kind of support for this claim? Because I really don't see what having 4 black kids in the classroom rather than 20 does to me (a white kid).
    What does hurt everyone in the (Magnet) classroom is not having the highest quality students, which is what would happen if we started letting in minorities just because they are minorities, not because they deserve it.
  • Basketball on April 6, 2005 at 12:05 PM
    If equal percentages is so important, why not desegrate basketball? The majority of basketball players are african american so therefore the selection process MUST be racist by AAPMSA's logic and we should close down all basketball until we can find a way to get more white people in.
  • Asian on April 6, 2005 at 12:30 PM
    Clearly the AAPMSA needs to work on their definition of minority. Why do they consider African Americans minorities, but not Asian Americans? In Montgomery County, 14% of people are African American and 12% are Asian American. Therefore, aren't all of your statistics conveniently leaving out this fact? When you examine the Magnet, more than half of the students are minorities - or is AAPMSA racist against Asian Americans by leaving us out of their claims. Until they justify this, I don't see how they can call anyone else racist.

    How can you claim that the process is racist when it is race blind? The only possible explanation for less blacks and hispanics being admitted proportionally is a lack of applicant strength. We are not drawing racist conclusions, it is merely the fact that there is NO other way to justify how the application process has turned out in the past.
  • mag on April 6, 2005 at 1:43 PM
    i gotta agree with Asian
    clearly asians are also minorities and plenty are getting in so if you look at it simply, its a bunch of black parents who are complaining that their kids didnt get in. lets not forget that hispanics arent getting much either, but AAPMSA doesnt bring up the issue of hispanics either do they? hmm i think the first two letters of their acronym are African-American, not Minority Parents of Magnet School Applications. if they really thought race was an issue they should be more representative and not be hypocritical about race
  • Minority on April 6, 2005 at 2:57 PM
    if we're looking at admitting minorities, why not just let in more conservatives into the magnet program. they're way underrepresented too.
  • Alan Freeman on April 6, 2005 at 3:58 PM
    Hahaha this is so ridiculous its laughable. How can a group of 30 or so people (the AAPMSA) think of stopping the magnet program, which has been going on for more than 20 years? They are making allegations based on no facts nor evidence, only a subtle feeling that minorities such as black people aren't getting into the magnet program.

    I agree with what the person wrote about basketball. If they suspend the magnet program because there are not enough "minorities" (*cough *cough, Asians are minorities too), then we should immediatley also suspend all basketball-related activities because there evidently aren't enough white students.
  • MXL on April 6, 2005 at 5:54 PM
    In reply to abdullah jamaal ("MXL": your sarcasm is confusing me, but I think we can all agree education is far more important than music, television, and sports.):

    WRONG!!!

    First, you missed the point that I was not emphasizing the importance of education, sports, or entertainment, but the general institution of acceptance, rejectance, and employment based on racial status.
    Second, when I mentioned the entertainment and sports industry, I was referring to the jobs in those industries. When you consider such lucrative, influential jobs against a high school education...somehow I don't see your argument. These are multi-million dollar jobs and, if I am correct, most of the people filling those jobs are not Asian. OH MAN, THE RACISM! I THINK I'M GOING TO FORM MY OWN COALITION JUST LIKE AAPMSA, AND PROTEST AND PETITION THE ENTERTAINMENT AND SPORTS INDUSTRIES!

    And who says I'm sarcastic? If African-Americans can get their way by crying out for racial equity, well, ANYONE can too right? We don't want to seem unfair to non-African-Americans!
  • mag on April 6, 2005 at 6:03 PM
    a good if not completely relevant example:
    BET-black entertainment television = black pride
    (if there were a) WET-white entertainment television = racist
    point is in many cases blacks are being treated "more fairly" than whites. if this becomes the case in a situation like this, then it would be racism against whites instead.
  • Anonymously Liberal on April 6, 2005 at 6:05 PM
    You forget, we're in a liberal county with a liberal population in general--not just Magnet or CAP--and people who get serious education, i.e. go to really good colleges, i.e. people like the Magnets, are stereotypically liberal.
  • Leslie (View Email) on April 6, 2005 at 6:10 PM
    Based on the limited information in the story, it doesn’t seem that the AAPMSA presented the problem very effectively. And therein lies one of the problems with this piece and the ensuing comments. There is discrimination in the US education system; that's a fact.
    People still perpetuate stereotypes of lazy incompetent African Americans getting a hand up when they don’t deserve it (they always try to use that to justify dissolving affirmative action – which helped more women than people of color, mind you!).
    There are also stereotypes of Asians being intellectually superior, passive and all into science and math.
    But here’s another fact: white people have benefited from and will continue to benefit from privilege in this country. And for the most part, they refuse to acknowledge how being white is privilege and how it has always buffered their progress from the slavery days to now.
    Other fact: some black people are slackers, or have their priorities screwed up – just like some people of all ethnic groups. Many others deal with issues that are directly linked to being lower SES - something heavily linked to this country's history of racism and discrimination.
    The bottom line is the issue is complex. I know you’re not supposed to editorialize but you can find facts effectively to write a story that could more accurately assess the situation.
    It may be true that the AAPMSA whiney and unreasonable and their assertions don't have a foot to stand on (although I doubt it).
    It may also be, like many have more or less stated - the program isn't "biased" (most people don't really understand the meaning of the word when it comes to objective measures used for admittance, achievement tests, etc.) and people just need to shut up and work harder (yeah, that one really denies a lot about US history).
    Based on the reporting here however, we probably won’t get any further than the cat fight in the commentary, because the story didn’t effectively cover what it needs to in order to address the issue.
  • ... on April 6, 2005 at 7:04 PM
    To ITS NOT FAIR: When the administrators are deciding who goes to magnet, they can't see the future. They do not know which students will slip up in the 3 years of magnet. If you had went to magnet, maybe you would be like your friends and you would have suffered academically.

    By the way, did you appeal? If you did, you might have gotten in. It's happened before.
  • . on April 6, 2005 at 7:11 PM
    why is the AAPMSA so upset about magnet admissions when the real educational problem facing their race is the general apathy towards school and academics exhibited by a large proportion of the black population
  • to: IT'S NOT FAIR. on April 6, 2005 at 7:44 PM
    AP and Honors classes are not comparable to magnet classes.
    AP Calc? Magnets laugh at that class.
    and besides, ever thought what you might be like if you had magnet classes for two or three years? you may seriously collapse.
    you can't compare magnets to yourself when you have not taken any magnet classes, and are not experiencing the stress.
  • ??? on April 6, 2005 at 8:57 PM
    to yalowitz's comment, "(not just the rich whites and asians who may have the loudest parents with the most political power)".

    It seems that minority parents are just as loud
  • comment on April 6, 2005 at 9:02 PM
    I don't even see a point of argument.

    Nowhere does this AAPMSA show any statistic wich leads us to think there is bias.

    Basically if the people that get in are better than those that don't then there shopuldn't be a problem.

    Only way there is a problem is if there IS bias(where's the proof?)
    or
    if some people feel like complaining to make themselves LOOK better.

    I wonder what the reality is....
  • black magnet 05 on April 6, 2005 at 9:05 PM
    "Admission is not based on race. Admission is based on ability. The problem lies in the applicant pool, not the program."

    yea boy.

    I just looked at the magnet application. No race box to fill in. No racism.
  • Eric on April 6, 2005 at 9:11 PM
    to: to:It's Not fair

    how're you going to say "you may seriously collapse" to someone without even knowing him/her? Yes, Magnet classes are generally difficult, but to say someone would fail to handle the stress is definitely overstating the difficulty of the classes. Someone who really believes he/she belongs in the magnet probably is qualified, as he/she probably has the desire to learn and work hard.

    The problem, however, with these arguments is that there are a lot of students who could do well in the magnet. No matter how unbiased a selection commity is, qualified people will be left out just because it is impossible to know people perfectly. To place affirmative action in High Schools or Middle Schools, however, just to meet a percentage of African American or Hispanic in the magnet is ridiculous. Since when did Asians become "non-minority"? What is the reason why a white selection board would prefer Asians? Are their...skin tones more alike? Their...eyes? Clearly, the AAPMSA chooses the only card they can play for explaining the lack of African Americans in the magnet, but again, is there a single reason why Asians would be favored so heavily?
    When applying to colleges, affirmative action for African Americans helps many qualified students get into great colleges, but is it fair to those equally qualified Asian or white students who are rejected instead? Maybe those years Asians spent building railroads when they first came here helped a lot, huh. Must have built character and given them a GREAT advantage over African Americans.
  • Too many comments on April 6, 2005 at 9:14 PM
    THE BOTTOM LINE IS THIS:

    THE MAGNET DOES NOT DISCRIMINATE BASED ON RACE. UNFORTUNATELY, IT JUST HAPPENS THAT THE ACHIEVEMENT GAP BETWEEN AFRICAN AMERICANS AND WHITES AND ASIANS IS NOT CLOSE ENOUGH FOR THE MAGNET TO ACCEPT MORE AFRICAN AMERICANS THAN IT CURRENTLY DOES.

    THERE IS NO MORE TO DISCUSS!! THIS CASE IS AS CLEAR AS BLACK AND WHITE. IF THE ACHIEVEMENT OF MINORITIES SUCH AS AFRICAN AMERICANS WERE RAISED, THEY WOULD NATURALLY GET ACCEPTED INTO THE MAGNET PROGRAM.

    IN CONCLUSION, THE EVIDENCE IS TOO PREMATURE FOR ACCUSATIONS OF RACISM TO BE FLYING THROUGH THE AIR.



    END

    OF

    DISCUSSION
  • side note... on April 6, 2005 at 9:17 PM
    to whoever replied to It's not fair: I've been in magnet programs since elementary school, and have recently switched to regular honors and ap classes. Its good you take pride in the fact you work hard, but the stress is not all that bad if you are able to get a B and not cry over it... Magnet classes are hard, but in no way are they this increadible demonicly stressful classes. They usually are just a little more homework, and the class moves a little faster.
    people who do well in honors and ap could make the transition to magnet without too much trouble if they're motivated, and don't end up with over-inflated egos that they can take these terrible burdens...
  • Kevin Fang (View Email) on April 6, 2005 at 9:19 PM
    No idea if anyone has said this already, and no idea whether anyone will actually read this amidst all the other comments...which is really exciting actually (even though I don't have the time to read it all...anyone thinking of turning this into a dialogue at Blair? Get a bunch of kids, sit them down and have the kids figure it out)...but here's something that's going on at Duke. Within the Black community, there's the issues of this: Should the children of African immigrants (immigrants in general fare better academically...at least I believe that's so) benefit from affirmative action when they themselves are not the ones that affirmative action was designed to benefit? Thoughts?
  • Anonymous on April 6, 2005 at 9:42 PM
    To Its Not Fair, when you are signing up for classes for your junior or senior year, why not sign up for some of the magnet electives. All the 11/12 grade magnet classes are open to anyone with the pre-reqs. If you are already a junior or senior why didn't you take these? Then you could have gotten the advantages of the program too.
  • ANGRY! on April 6, 2005 at 10:08 PM
    So Affirmative Action is going to apply to the 09 Magnets?
    There will be 15% of African American and Hispanic Magnets in the class of 2009?
    Is this true?
    WHAT????
  • abdullah jamaal (View Email) on April 6, 2005 at 10:42 PM
    ANGRY! -

    I'm almost certain you are mistaken about that statistic. I believe it's six or seven percent Hispanic and Black in the class of 2009 (like the class of 2008). As a side note (since I like side notes), 12-13% of applicants were Hispanic or Black. And don't ask how I knew that last fact even though race isn't asked on the application. This was not meant to be a debatable post, just a correction (I am almost sure) to what ANGRY! was saying. So please don't debate it.

    And yes, Kevin Fang, I think it's great people are talking about this topic even though some people are getting away from the article. We just need a more proper place (i.e. not our school newspaper's website) to discuss this.
  • Was: ANGRY! Now:Less Angry if on April 6, 2005 at 11:04 PM
    all I need to know is, is this percentage a result of affirmative action?
    I don't care about the number of Hispanic or Blacks, I just need to know that affirmative action did not impact that nubmer.
  • Duh on April 6, 2005 at 11:26 PM
    Cancelling the magnet program won't increase the number of blacks/hispanics in it.
  • abdullah jamaal (View Email) on April 6, 2005 at 11:31 PM
    I usually don't post two comments so close together, but I forgot to mention something important:

    I don't know if you all have seen the flyers or heard the announcements, but Blair, with the help of the YMCA, has started a group called IMPACT (or as it may inappropriately be called, a “study group”) where we talk about issues (or lack thereof) involving race relations at Blair. Judging by the amazing number of posts, it looks like race at Blair and in America is a hot topic. Everyone here seems to have their own strong opinion and be interested in this type of thing.

    There is a meeting for potential members next Wednesday (13 April 2005) at 3:00pm in the first floor staff lounge near the SAC (subject to change). People from all different backgrounds (cultural, academic, religious, etc) are needed. Right now, we especially need more Asian, Magnet, CAP, and female students as well as underclassmen in order to create the kind of group that would spark interesting discussion. Transportation, via YMCA van, to and from the meetings is provided for those that need it. In addition, PIZZA (yes, that's important) is also provided at every meeting.

    So, those that find this kind of topic interesting (which is almost everyone here), save your controversial comments for next Wednesday's IMPACT meeting. If you think you're interested, look out for InfoFlow announcements within the next week or just e-mail me (joturner@mbhs.edu) so I can get you a flyer with more details.
  • faceless37 on April 6, 2005 at 11:43 PM
    the magnet in its current state does not base who is let in and rejected according to gender, race, or any of the irrelevant information given to them. they base it fairly on test score accuracy, teacher recs, etc. the other information is just for record purposes...it's basically just a battle between all applicants, race has nothing to do with it here at blair.
  • Jorge Giron man 05! (View Email) on April 6, 2005 at 11:54 PM
    Well anyway yes I recognize several people on this forum, and yes many of these arguements make a lot of Sense. Except for the ones meant to be insult, you really do not matter. Anyway...

    I was going to write up something about how stupid these groups such as the AAPMSA are being, but I'll just conclude this comment with the bottom-line...

    Minority Parents USUALLY, NOT ALWAYS, cannot afford a nice home and provide to their children like White or Asian parents can, (example of things that can be provided include BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO >>> instruments to further one's gift, gifted and talented schools, nice little rooms with nice desks to do work on, ETC!)

    My personal experiance shows that my parents aren't strict or "pressed" about how I do academically, sure they want me to suceed and do better than them, but they weren't raised to see their kids going to college.

    Anyways, yes, what I am trying to say is that we shouldn't have an affirmative action thing going on with the Magnet Program, it is not their fault at all that this happens, it isn't even minority parent's fault. It is Society's fault that we as minorities cannot pull together and realize that education is important, and the only way to see our future generation kids go to college or magnet programs is to raise them THAT WAY! However most minorities I Know realize LIFE isn't always about how much money you have or how smart you are, you can Enjoy LIFE many other ways. YOU CAN ALWAYS GET ENOUGH MONEY AND LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST VIA OTHER WAYS!!!!
  • anonymous on April 7, 2005 at 1:06 AM
    "There is a meeting for potential members next Wednesday (13 April 2005) at 3:00pm in the first floor staff lounge near the SAC (subject to change). People from all different backgrounds (cultural, academic, religious, etc) are needed. Right now, we especially need more Asian, Magnet, CAP, and female students as well as underclassmen in order to create the kind of group that would spark interesting discussion. Transportation, via YMCA van, to and from the meetings is provided for those that need it. In addition, PIZZA (yes, that's important) is also provided at every meeting. "
    Why would we go to spark interesting discussion that will involve people asking us to justify the magnet program system? Sounds more like interrogation to me...
  • Daniel Bates '01 (View Email) on April 7, 2005 at 10:16 AM
    This is the real lesson here: no system is totally fair. A meritocracy (the way the Magnet admissions are run) tends to discriminate against those who've had fewer educational opportunities in the past. At the same time, a flat admissions (i.e. accepting a class with the same propr
    ortions as the applications) tends to exclude qualified candidates.

    I sympathize with the AAPMSA - I can imagine the feeling that your child isn't being given a fair shot is pretty devastating. But I think that their assault on the program is ultimately destructive. The Magnet should absolutely conduct a review to ensure that fair acceptance practices are in place; and then they should go about their job, finding the best and brightest students in Montgomery County.
  • ersatz pundit (View Email) on April 7, 2005 at 10:39 AM
    the magnet should not be attacked for racism, because it chooses by merit, not by race. However, there is some truth in what the AAPMSA is saying. Past discrimination is affecting the acceptance of black and hispanic students into the magnet. Generally speaking, those two racial groups do not have as much money and resources than whites and asians, and therefore are not as able to hire tutors, or take special classes to help improve the children's education. That causes these low acceptance percentages found in the article.
  • sdfsdf on April 7, 2005 at 10:39 AM
    The entry to any magnet program is based on merit. Bias against the African and Hispanic community cannot exist unless the actual scores were compared. The applicant ratios have no bearings on who gets accepted or not.
  • Anonymously Liberal on April 7, 2005 at 10:50 AM
    Race isn't a hot topic--affirmative action and the magnet is.
  • concerned student on April 7, 2005 at 11:21 AM
    This reflects a deeper problem within the educational system of this country. As mentioned breifly in the article, minorities have been the object of institutionalized tracking since the beginning of this country. What AAPMSA is attacking is this sometimes subtle, sometimes overt system of discrimination. The Magnets in both Eastern and Takoma may not intentionally encourage a disproportionate amount of minority students but it does continue a definite trend. Perhaps AAPMSA should also attempt working with lower level classrooms to stem this problem at its root.
  • Melissa (View Email) on April 7, 2005 at 11:35 AM
    There's been no discussion about how many blacks WANT to be in the magnet program. The PTSA listserve had a discussion about this- one black parent had both of her/his kids accepted but only one actually entered the magnet program. Many blacks put down other blacks who do well academically and call them "acting white." The kid who didn't enter the magnet program couldn't handle that derision from his/her friends. I believe this is a part of the problem for many black students.
  • hoolala on April 7, 2005 at 11:53 AM
    People have to be smart enough to know why it is soooo low in the number.

    When the number rises, they are smarter, aren't they?
  • mag 05 on April 7, 2005 at 12:08 PM
    Where is the AAPMSA's evidence of racism? We have yet to see them come up with profiles of black or hispanic students that were qualified to enter the program but were rejected. Until then, I don't see how they can make their claims.
  • 50 on April 7, 2005 at 12:09 PM
    "I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character." -Martin Luther King Jr.
    Now to all of you supporting this affirmative action approach to the Magnet program: Basically what you are saying is that you want students to be judged by the color of their skin rather than the content of their character. It is simply not fair for a better qualified white or Asian student to be rejected from the Magnet program in favor of a less qualified black student simply because there arent enough blacks in the program. Racism still exists in the world but that does not mean certain people are entitled to certain things. We must work hard to earn our place in life. If you want to get into the Magnet you had better work hard and earn it.
  • Interested on April 7, 2005 at 12:11 PM
    What does it mean when people claim that diversity is so important to a school environment? What is this "diversity" adding to a classroom? By the current definition of diversity as the number of blacks and hispanics in a class, perhaps we should institute a law that blacks and hispanics must have at least 4 children and whites may not have more than 2 in order to level out the population numbers.
  • I wonder on April 7, 2005 at 12:16 PM
    What damages has the magnet caused African Americans? It has helped the African Americans who have attended the program by providing them with an excellent education. The AAPMSA obviously hasn't done that if they couldn't get their kids into the magnet. Maybe we should shut down the AAPMSA first for damaging African Americans more.
  • Asian on April 7, 2005 at 12:17 PM
    Can I join the AAPMSA? Please post contact information for me, I'd really like to get involved.
  • Kevin Fang (View Email) on April 7, 2005 at 12:48 PM
    Yeah, about gender disparities. My Magnet class of 91 had about 55 males and 35 females (yes I know I'm one off, they're just approximations).

    If you want to go further, I can tell you that there were only two kids that would be considered Black, both female. Two latino, three middle eastern, three south asian, one southeast asian, like 30-35 chinese/korean (no other east asian group), i don't know how many jewish, but i know it was few (i'd say closer to 5), and the rest what would be termed white. i'm probably off because i forgot people...it's been a while, sorry.
  • good job on April 7, 2005 at 2:31 PM
    to 50: AWESOME point.
  • Sam Wen (View Email) on April 7, 2005 at 3:08 PM
    The people who wrote the AAPMSA did not study statistics. Anyone who's studied it (or Psychology for that matter) knows that correlation does not mean causation. The fact is that whenever there is some sort of underrepresentation, the system stops being colorblind and it becomes an issue of those "poor blacks and hispanics" that were not allowed into this program for their appearance. The sad fact of it is, there is still a correlation between race and poverty, but does that mean the poverty fairy likes blacks and hispanics? NO! If the AAPMSA wants affirmative action for a magnet program that their kids could not test into, then they would not accomplish much in the program. I know plenty of smart blacks and hispanics who've made the program in the past and who now attend prestigious colleges. In fact, I'd probably say 1/3 of my friends here in college (WashU, not a bad school) are black, in addition to the asian, white, and hispanic friends.

    Organizations like AAPMSA need to stop crying racism whenever their kids are too incapable of making a program that's meant to be hard, which is what makes it prestigious. If their kids come and do poorly, then they wouldn't be crying racism over this whole issue, because then the school wouldn't be so perstigious, now would it. The people of AAPMSA need to get day jobs.
  • Akari on April 7, 2005 at 3:46 PM
    I was a magnet all thru middle school...I'm surprised 'cause I'm black myself, but there wasn't that much discrimination...
  • Peter on April 7, 2005 at 6:34 PM
    ersatz pundit: Hiring tutors and taking extra "special" classes to improve a child's education doesn't get you into the magnet. The magnet is meant for students of high aptitude - not work ethic or educational resources, but high aptitude. Certainly students get into the magnet who have been accepted because their parents spent thousands of dollars hiring tutors and such. But I (a former magnet student of both Takoma Park and Blair) never had tutoring or spent money on anything, and many magnets can attest to the same.

    Ultimately one's academic success reflects more on whether you yourself have the innate desire to learn and grow in this educational system. Good work ethic, if not innate, can be instilled by your parents.
  • Elizabeth Inkellis (View Email) on April 7, 2005 at 9:59 PM
    What, may I ask, is the point of a magnet program? The point of such a program is to take the best and brightest students in an educational system (in this case, Montgomery County) and provide them with a free, public education that will push their acadmic limits. The magnet programs accept students that are qualified to do the work expected of them and that will excel in a program with incredibly high standards. The magnet should not even ask what race a person is upon applying; entrance to the program should be based solely on merit-- test scores, grades, teacher recommendations, and extracurricular activites. The students in the magnet program work hard to get where they are and succeed in the program, and in life, because of their intelligence and hard work. Of course the admissions committee is biased-- towards intelligent children! There is no point in destroying a wonderful experience for the myriads of students that receive and gain from the magnet program simply because some deem it to be "unfair." Guess what? Life's not fair. All people are not created equal. People succeed in life due to hard work and inborn ability and no amount of whining is ever going to change that fact.
  • equity is not equality on April 7, 2005 at 10:02 PM
    Some of you seem way over your heads in this discussion. Many of you are acting like you can somehow 'do the magnet' thing for the rest of your life.

    I hope no one who is white is complaining about affirmative action. Do you not know that it is harder for an Asian male with equivalent credentials to get into a top college than it is for a white male? It was plain as day to us when my Asian friends and I were applying to college back in the 90's. But, we never complained about it because that's just the way it was-- white applicants got an advantage due to their race.

    Did I cry? No. Nor did I go and rant about how unfair it was that I didn't get into two of the most selective colleges that two white students at my school did, even though I had: 1) a higher weighted GPA, 2) better SAT scores, 3) more extracurricular activities, including being the officer of two clubs and a lettered in varsity sports for 4 years, 4)great relationships with teachers, 5) more diverse range of AP classes, including not shying away from the "GPA-buster" AP Lit. (If you're wondering how I knew this, there were still 'valedictorians' back then, and somehow we all knew who got the 1600's.) And beyond my white classmates, I was even happier when one of my black classmates got into those same schools.

    Why? Because I did not have any interest in attending a college that was majority Asian... I agreed with what the colleges were doing. I felt strongly that colleges have the right to craft their incoming freshman class however they want. I value diversity and feel that it is important for people to interact with others of different races, cultures, ethnicities, and life experiences. If it takes affirmative action to balance out the institutionalized racism rampant in this country, than so be it. However temporary the fix, at least something is being done.

    I agree with whoever it was down below who posted that people are inherently selfish. The application below was to parents who support affirmative action-- that they are the selfish ones. Well, I would suggest that parents in wealthy school districts who do not really consider educational inequity and only fight for their children's rights are equally, if not more, selfish. I would extend that to magnet parents that could care less about how the rest of Blair is doing, but only about their own child's education.

    I know that I can't change anyone's mind on here who doesn't see or understand what institutionalized racism and inequity are. Apparently, it's obvious to some and completely unfounded to others. However, I do hope that everyone understands it's not just black parents who are deeply disturbed by what's going on with the world of Montgomery County education--with Magnet program composition just a striking emblem. I am glad that I have met in the past few years people of all races and ethnicities, and even socio-economic backgrounds, who agree to speak against inequity. And some of your fellow magnets and CAPpies also feel the same way. I've met a couple. : )


  • Sam Wen (View Email) on April 8, 2005 at 5:56 AM
    Let's not get too much into affirmative action. I'll reserve my opinions about affirmative action for now, but let's face it, affirmative action should be changed for economic status, not ethnic background. In this country, let's not go into detail about those poor kids from the congo who are black and should be given a handout because they survived the congo. Quit watching movies.

    In a move for a colorblind society, we're essentially saying: "He's black, let's give him the scholarship, the acceptance letter, and how about a moo moo cow to start him off in life." or "He's white, let's put him down. There aren't enough poor whites in this country." What's institutionalized racism? How many poor whites are there who have no hope of making it to a better situation because of the built in racism against whites? Why should race be the cause for any of this? I can see why parents want their children to attend a program like the magnet: it's to help their children succeed in life. All parents want their children to surpass themselves. But you need to work for it. There is something inherently wrong with a system that gives a student bonus points on a math test for being black.

    Back to the article, the reason most of the people who act like they're doing "the magnet thing for life" is more because they feel that a program that they loved is being attacked as racist, when that was not the experience at all. The magnet program should not be there to encourage more blacks and hispanics to apply - it should act as impetous for harder work. The United States probably has some of the most lax education standards in the world (look at the Japanese students killing themselves in High School and the Russian math whizzes), and organizations like the AAPMSA are asking the system to lower it in the quest for ending an illusory trait of a system that their children were too dumb to pass.
  • Sam Wen (View Email) on April 8, 2005 at 6:12 AM
    "Blair's Magnet program is one of the most egregious examples of institutionalized racism in the Magnet system," said Broadwater. "There is no excuse for the damages [the Magnet] has caused to African Americans."

    Yes, the Magnet program organizes field trips to the houses of black people so we can take their food. We institutionalize racism this way.

    Look for an article at www.samwen.com, the transcript of e-mails sent to the AAPMSA, an analysis of the mental state of the children of AAPMSA members, as well as a petition to end freedom of speech for AAPMSA members.
  • OK! on April 8, 2005 at 9:06 AM
    Yes there are nowhere near enough black students in both magnet and cap in a predominatly black and hispanic area so of course its a problem, regardless of whether there is discrimination. Also if we're going to talk about affirmative action, the group that benefits the most from it is white females not black people in anyway. And can we please stop pretending like bringing in conservatives is part of A.A. lets not be stupid, a political affiliation can change when you say "Im not liberal anymore" you cant say "I dont feel like being black so i think ill be white today."
  • I like affirmative action on April 8, 2005 at 11:25 AM
    I personally think it would be a good thing to have affirmative action in the magnet programs. Having been someone who was lucky enough to take a couple magnet classes without being in the magnet, I've found that many of the magnet kids are not necesseraly racist, but that they know little of other cultures other than their little magnet world they've been apart of since elementary school. I think it would be a good thing, even if it would mean not getting the cream of the crop because it would add new view points and backgrounds to the magnet culture.
  • Ana Curtis (View Email) on April 8, 2005 at 12:18 PM
    The school system cannot claim that the bias charge is untrue as the very premise or reason for the magnet was to achieve integration (i,e, bring white students into a school that is predominantly minority.) It stands to reason then that white or Asian applicants are favored while minority student applicants have diminished opportunities for being acepted into the program.
  • person on April 8, 2005 at 12:52 PM
    you know, asians seem to complain a lot too. don't complain about the magnet program if you're in it. it's an opportunity, not some burden you have to carry. give me a break--and im in the magnet, so yes, i do know how hard it is. and to whomever thinks its harder for asians to get into college than whites..i think that's hilarious. the reason you didnt get in is the same reason you are basing it on sat scores and gpa....you seem to think that numbers make up a person. perhaps writing ability, or actual dedication to afterschool activities beyond signing up for every single one, is necessary to gain the upper hand. so you got 100 points better on your SAT. so what? the college still knows you're gonna be the same as any other asian they admit. seriously, how many graduating senior asian magnets are NOT going into a science/math field.
  • Anonymously Liberal on April 8, 2005 at 1:26 PM
    Yeah, I'm caucasian. But that doesn't change what I believe--that we're not here to learn about other cultures, we're here to learn our sorry insert expletive heres off. The Magnet's core purpose, however the administration rationalizes it, is to get smart people to their full potential. Period end of sentence.
  • 50 on April 8, 2005 at 2:50 PM
    To I like affirmative action: First of all, just because you have taken a few magnet classes does not make you an expert on us. Second of all, exactly how much of the Asian culture do you know? As little we know of other cultures trapped in our "little magnet world" I would veture to claim that you know even less. Why? Because, unlike myself, most students at Blair are attending their home school. They have spent their entire educational lives in the presence of their neighbors, in the same environment, the same community. At least the magnet brings together students from across the county, from different communities. Adding a few undeserving minority students will do little to increase the diversity of the 400 students and completely ignores the lack of diversity in the thousands of students at Blair and in the county. Skin color does not signify true diversity, it is only the most obvious characteristic.
  • dahandles on April 8, 2005 at 5:00 PM
    Let affirmative action get me, a chinese kid, into the NBA! got the skills, not the athleticism, haha.
  • sherri (View Email) on April 8, 2005 at 5:44 PM
    to "person":

    The generalizations you make are not only incredibly offensive but also incredibly frustrating. Who are you to stereotype all asians into the passive/math-sciency/SAT-and-gpa-obsessed/short-sighted type, and who are you to say that "you're gonna be the same as any other asian they might admit"? Would you ever say, "you're gonna be the same as any other black that they might admit"? No, because that's simply ridiculous.

    There are plenty of asians who are not only participating in but also dominating other fi ghted type, and who are you to say that "you're gonna be the same as any other asian they might admit"? Would you ever say, "you're gonna be the same as any other black that they might admit"? No, because that's simply ridiculous.

    There are plenty of asians who are not only participating in but also dominating other fields (INCLUDING writing, fyi)- just as there are Latinos and African Americans who do science, math, polisci, etc. It's narrow minds like yours that are most damaging to establishing any culture of diversity.
  • to yalowitz on April 8, 2005 at 5:59 PM
    this program does not deny anyone of an education
  • tilee on April 8, 2005 at 8:56 PM
    great job grace!
  • The Truth on April 8, 2005 at 10:49 PM
    I sure that the magnet programs doesn't reject anyone because of race. Why would they?
  • ahhh jeez on April 9, 2005 at 11:25 AM
    To person:

    Although you may be correct in your implication that the seniors are going into mostly science and math fields, those fields cover most of the JOBS avalible. You don't have to have the label "scientist" to be in a science field. Medicine is biology, Engineering is math and science, even working the register is math. AND with many of the fields covered by math and science, there is still Law, among others, that this years senior class is going into.
  • qwerty on April 9, 2005 at 3:54 PM
    One big point of the magnet is to gather the brightest minds in the county in one class so that these kids could be taught at a much faster pace. How else could a third of the magnet (just a guess) be able to complete multivariable calc, a 2nd year college course, by the end of senior year?

    The second you force a quota on certain races, you allow less qualified candidates to enter thus degrading the learning environment of all the other students.

    I just think that the underlying problem with all of this is the lack of role models for under-represented minorities (i.e minorities - asians) in fields of math/science/tech as well as the different environments kids grow up in. Being asian, I've been raised in a different culture. I mean I was grounded the summer after 8th grade just because I didn't pull straight A's through middle school. How many parents (even asian parents) take grades and academics so seriously. Looking up to my parents, I see their emphasis in science and math I grew up with that interest as well. There's a much smaller chance for this to happen to an underrepresented minority, just because there are so few of them in tech/science jobs atm and most of them look up and see idols in singers, sports stars, rapper, etc...seeing they are making millions of dollars without any use of an education at all. Who needs geometry if you've got a 5 octave vocal range?

    side note:

    To person:

    yea...I think you're right...why in the world would SO many asian MAGNET seniors want to major in sci/math?!?! wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that ALL MAGNETS ARE INTERESTED IN MATH/SCI OR ELSE THEY WOULDN'T BE HERE
    *sigh*...
  • cowboysRule on April 9, 2005 at 6:24 PM
    "[Magnets are] not here to learn about other cultures, we're here to learn our sorry insert expletive heres off. The Magnet's core purpose, however the administration rationalizes it, is to get smart people to their full potential." - AL actually, the Magnet was originally put together to shuttle more white students into Blair -- that they were all of high intellect doesn't really change the point of the program. and, sidenote, if you aren't interested in learning about the cultures of people outside of the magnet, you may want to realize that there is a glimmer of life beyond what you've experienced in Magnet classrooms so far. but anyway.. lets start with enumerating the upsides of using affirmative action in the Magnet. and, just as a reminder, the Magnet wasn't made for little individual smart kids -- it was made for good old MoCo. so! what would Blair as a school gain from bringing under-represented minorities into the Magnet Program through A.A.? - not school diversity; Blair has a rather high amount of minorities in it already (at least, it has for the four years I've attended). - not higher test scores; assuming these kids need A.A. to get into the magnet, it would follow that they are less suited than some more academically-deserving white or asian also vying for the spot. - not silencing groups like the AAPMSA; they seem to have been around for while, but the Magnet still functions, through all the bickering back and forth. there is no reason (that I can think of) why affirmative action being used would make any sense in the Blair Magnet. But in earlier years it might. From 6th to 8th grade, there are many basics that students are still putting together that are the foundation of later learning. And at that point, A.A. may be useful, I'm not sure. (And though I have no idea about the Takoma/Eastern magnets, doesn't it seem apparent from what was said here, "We tried to look at kids who are historically underrepresented in tests," said DeGasperis. coupled with the 100 percent increase in acceptances for minorities this year, that something is being done at the middle school level?) But once you reach high school (enter the Blair Magnet), it is a completely different story -- there is much less a foundation of learning being taught than there is a building up of what has already been learned. It makes no sense to bring someone into a high school Magnet through A.A. that isn't prepared for the workload. ..Hopefully this will spark more comments.
  • theman on April 9, 2005 at 9:44 PM
    good point QWERTY, to person: Magnets came to the Blair [Mathematics, Science and Computer Science] Magnet Program in order to study math/science. Your point is like saying "how come so many students from Law School become lawyers".
  • handles on April 9, 2005 at 9:47 PM
    Its dumb when advancement groups for underrepresented minorities say that a certain standardized test is oriented to benefit whites or non-underrepresented minorities. I mean, for example, they say that for the SAT I. But the thing is, the SAT one, i.e., is a knowledge and skills test designed to measure one's strengths. How you gonna say it "specifically benefits" one group? So by that logic, are those advancement groups saying that if a race does better overall on a test because it has a better academic background, then that test is somehow biased? thats dumb.
  • mag06 on April 10, 2005 at 10:20 AM
    to qwerty: good points, and i'd say about 85% are eligible to take MV Calc in senior year, maybe 75% of whom actually do.
  • Uh huh on April 10, 2005 at 11:29 AM
    To "I like affirmative action": Tell me, since you have been in sooooooooooooooo many magnet classes and you just what's it like to be a magnet since you know, that's all magnet is about, the classes, what asian culture do YOU know? Do you know the names of any asian foods? Can you tell the difference between Korean and Chinese just by looking at it/hearing it? Oh wait, you can't? But from what you are saying, magnet is there to teach us about other people's culture, not about math or science or any of that academic nonsense!

    Note: That was loaded with an immense amount of sarcasm...
  • handles on April 10, 2005 at 11:49 AM
    Good point handles! YEAH, holla!
  • qwerty on April 10, 2005 at 2:56 PM
    since handles brought up how some people call standardized tests culturally biased, here's a short tangent:

    This whole idea is ridiculous how the way tests are written ends up benefiting whites and asians. People are seeing a causation where there's only a correlation.

    (if you don't get this statistics stuff here is mr. stein's example: You're given data about # of firefighters sent to a burning building and how much damage was done to the building. You see that the more fire fighters there are at the building, the more damage there's done. Therefore you should obviously send less fire fighters to decrease building damage right? Obviously not, the # of fire fighters is correlated with building damage and doesn't actually cause the building damage.)

    Anyways...back to what I was saying...people are seeing causation where there is none. IF these tests (SATs, GREs, etc...) were culturally biased, there should be no reason for asians to be performing so well. Do you guys know how well some complete FOBs (asian immigrants) are doing on some of these tests? its not hard to see immigrants doing well on the math/logic parts of these tests, but the verbal sections of the SAT and the GRE are heavily based on vocabulary. How in the world are a lot of my immigrant friends doing so well on these tests having only been in the US for a couple months/years?

    i'm sorry, but if FOBs don't complain bout standardized tests being culturally biased, then blacks (having lived their whole life in the US) have no right to either.
  • Anonymously Liberal on April 10, 2005 at 4:56 PM
    Cowboys, I'm not talking about what the magnet is actually for--just why the Magnets themselves want to be there. However, I agree that non-M.S. magnets going to blair have to be really, really, good. The kind of people that at least waitlisted for the ms magnets, because without that background, certainly it's almost impossible to do really well in the Magnet. I count three of twenty-five non-Takoma people in freshman block B. Also to note--I believe there are five non-Asians in aforementioned block B. Including myself.
    And you know what? I can't think of any freshman, Magnet or no, NOT in block B who could handle the extra workload we get. And even we aren't doing all that well.

    Note to uh-huh: Yeah, I've been surrounded by Asians forever. And I don't know that much about Asian culture. As a matter of fact, with the exception of Magnet Arts Night, the only Magnet culture I've ever heard actually discussed was Judaism. And even that wasn't much. Do you talk with your friends about your differences? Do you obsess over every cultural aspect? Or do you just enjoy hanging out with your peers? I hang out with geeks. Yeah. But I don't hang out to investigate cultural differences--I talk with them to joke around about our personal Magnet hell in Block B.
  • Heather on April 10, 2005 at 5:43 PM
    Diversity should not just be measured by race but by people's ideas, aspirations and ways of thinking. Race will always be an issue if people make it an issue.
  • cowboysRule on April 10, 2005 at 6:06 PM
    Ana Curtis.. I don't agree with your statement that whites and asians are being unfairly selected over minorities (based on race) for spots in the Magnet.
    It is true that the Magnet was ORIGINALLY created to add white students (and asians?) into a predominantly minority school. That's not really arguable.
    But NOW, the need to bring whites and asians into the Magnet is much less important because its legacy of academic excellence (or whatever flowery language you care to use) has been established over the past 20 years. At this point of its existance (and correct me if I'm wrong) the Magnet is in place to boost test scores for Blair -- but MoCo could care less who's pulling out those 1600s. It doesn't matter to school officials who composes the Magnet as long as the results are favorable for the school.
  • Anarchist on April 10, 2005 at 10:20 PM
    It is CONSIDERABLY harder for Asians to get into college these days. Perhaps the only fair parallel is to the quota systems used to keep out Jews (another overachieving minority group) in the 1920s-1940s.

    Someone (I forget who) said, "70 years ago they had a quota system to keep my grandfather out. Today they have a quota system to get you in, but the end result is the same."

    Race-based admissions is wrong either way.
  • Asian on April 11, 2005 at 12:57 AM
    I'd like to point out that no one has addressed my point that ASIANS ARE MINORITIES. Why is AAPMSA allowed to complain about there not being enough minorities in the program when in actuality more than half the program is composed of minorities? Where is their justification for choosing blacks and hispanics but leaving out asians?
  • Asian on April 11, 2005 at 12:59 AM
    qwerty is right in saying that there is no way you can claim that the SAT is biased for asian students - the average number of years that asian students have been speaking english and the average percentage of asians who speak english as their first language is far below those numbers for blacks. If you'd like to argue that, find me some contradictory statistics.
  • Hello? on April 11, 2005 at 1:00 AM
    Can any AAPMSA people give me contact information? I really would like to join.
  • mag06 on April 11, 2005 at 1:10 AM
    i think sco should do a serious analysis of Bakke v. UC Berkley and whether the system of quotas seriously has disappeared, or whether affirmative action is just a way around the rule. As a Magnet Asian junior with college apps looming, it seems like the latter is true.
  • Anonymously Liberal on April 11, 2005 at 10:48 AM
    Asian, the article talks about protest against this alleged bias against blacks and Hispanics, not minority in general. While Asians are technically minorities, context in this article talks about minorities as referring to blacks and hispanics.
  • ... on April 11, 2005 at 4:27 PM
    anonymously liberal, that's exactly his question..thanks for restating it.
    he's saying WHY are asians not talked about and actually said to be "favored"
  • hulala on April 11, 2005 at 4:46 PM
    i am afraid,
    all black students accepted into manget program will be labeled as AAPMSA gifted students.
  • Terry Li on April 11, 2005 at 5:50 PM
    Asians are not considered "minorities" because this would contradict the AAPMSA's theories of systematic discrimination. To leave them out as a special case is much easier to reconcile with their beliefs about minority disadvantage than to try and figure out why Asians succeed where other "real minorities" don't.

    The argument that Asians are overrepresented in the magnet and in higher education and are therefore not minorities is irrelevant also, because the AAPMSA is arguing about proportional representation of the community. Asians only make up something like 15% of MoCo and only 4% nationwide, which obviously classifies them as minorities, even more so than any other group besides Native Americans.
  • person u are a fool you are a on April 11, 2005 at 10:55 PM
    You're not helping your own case by stereotyping about person, but you do make a good point in that stereotyping people you don't know anything about is pretty stupid. Thanks for the example.
  • wt on April 11, 2005 at 10:58 PM
    Anonymously Liberal - I'd just like to ask AAPMSA to give me some good justification for why they picked blacks and hispanics then, since they were the ones that determined it. After all their title is African American Parents, but they took hispanics under their wing...
  • Sy Kym (View Email) on April 12, 2005 at 5:47 AM
    Interesting
  • - on April 12, 2005 at 9:49 PM
    what about the statistics for the percentiles of asians and whites acceptance/application?
  • Ok.... on April 13, 2005 at 9:24 AM
    to heather, alright come on now... lets not be ignorant and try to be all politically correct and hippy-like. dont get me wrong i love hippies but to say that race shouldnt be an issue is just wrong regardless of if its dealing with the magnet. Race will be an issue until all races have an equal playing field and no one has to bring race up for blacks and hispanics to be at a disadvantage. They just are as a result of years of persecution so i must say within your lifetime race will be an issue always.
    and about diversity, sure your idea is nice but as long as you can hide you thoughts or ideas/ alter them to the situation it cant be measured and therefore not be taken as diversity.
    ok THE END
  • - on April 13, 2005 at 12:20 PM
    Thats not what a percentile is
  • Random Asian Guy on April 13, 2005 at 10:05 PM
    I think whoever wants to take classes on the same level or within the magnet should be able to do so. However, you shouldn't place someone who isn't prepared in to more advanced classes so that it makes statisticians happy to report equality across the board.

    Let's say I have 2 students, both are nice people and in almost all respects are the same. When they take the same classes one comes out with a 4.0 GPA and the other has a 2.0. If I were their teacher, which would I suggest more advanced courses or recommend for higher level programs?

    In your mind, what color is the 4.0 student's skin...

    And now, why would you think about choosing the 2.0 student for more advanced work that they cannot handle?
  • Ersatz Pundit (View Email) on April 13, 2005 at 10:16 PM
    Haha, this discussion has grown.
    Anyways, to peter, I'm sure in the past, tutoring for acceptance tests in the magnet wasn't very popular. I myself didn't take any form of tutoring to get into the magnet. However, now, as competition to get into the highest schools gets bigger, tutoring has become more popular in practice. My point was that expensive tutoring is usually only affordable by people who have enough money for it, generally whites and asians. Those gaps in education prevent people such as blacks and hispanics from achieving the same things whites and asians do.
    Also, starting in elementary school, many other barriers appear, such as richer kids going to private schools, which further prepare them for tests and classes such as in the magnet. Some teachers, sometimes subconsciously, separate students into groups such as troublesome students and smarter students, and they treat each student differently. Those kinds of influences impact whether a person can make it into the magnet. Penalizing the magnet for those issues is wrong, and the AAPMSA should be attempting to reform elementary schools so there is a smaller difference between the acceptance of each race in programs such as the magnet.
  • urrgh on April 13, 2005 at 10:33 PM
    we should publish these comments as a novel
  • heh on April 14, 2005 at 12:27 AM
    It's kinda funny that MCPS "can't build a strong student base without diversity", yet the schools with the highest percentages of whites and asians seem to do the best on standardized tests... how is this diversity making us stronger?
  • Eric on April 14, 2005 at 1:01 AM
    To: Random Asian guy

    what did you just say??
    it's comments like those that AAPMSA SHOULD be fighting against, not the whole magnet program.
    your point that a 2.0 person should not be chosen over the 4.0 is right, but how're you going to imply the race of these people?
  • Anonymously Liberal on April 14, 2005 at 8:28 AM
    Eric, I hate to say this, but Asians have a lot of cultural motivation to work however hard they have to, sacrifice whatever they have to, to get that 4.0, while that's not true elsewhere.
  • hi on April 14, 2005 at 8:36 AM
    To Eric:
    The AAPMSA COULD be fighting against comments like those, but instead they decided to spread their message by attacking the magnet program that their children happened to be applying to so that they could get in... if thats not selfish I don't know what is. At no point do we actually see that these parent are interested in the welfare of other people or in stopping the spread of racism.
  • 50 on April 14, 2005 at 11:47 AM
    to anonymously liberal: you are generalizing Asians way too much. there are some of us like that and many of us that are quite lazy. this is true about all races. please keep your ignorant prejudice to yourself.
  • -__- on April 14, 2005 at 4:55 PM
    To Eric.

    Where does he imply race?
  • black magnet student on April 14, 2005 at 7:37 PM
    I think that the main problem is that african americans don't have an interest in entering the program. In 2004, the article says, 238 asians applied and 291 whites applied, compared to only 65 blacks. I'm sure that if there were 238 or 291 black applicants (as opposed to 65), there would be a much higher percentage of black magnet students. There should be more effort to get the word out to african american students rather than changing the admissions process.
  • Anonymous on April 14, 2005 at 8:14 PM
    The suspension of these forms would limit the opportunities for students at Eastern and Takoma Park. The process of which the applicants are chosen are based on the information sent to the program coordinators. Program coordinators then decide from the test results and such who they think would do well, and chances are they do not care what race the students are. I'm sure some people have already said this, but the schools should just be encouraging kids to join and try. However, if teachers force students to join, they will not be motivated and will be pressured into doing something they do not want to do or they will not do well when testing for the program. IN addition, this is just a generalization, but culturally, Asian and Caucasian parents have more of a tendency to push their kids harder from a younger age. They will try to get their children up to an above average level at a younger age and the child will learn more. However, the parents who do not even try to get their children into above grade level courses at a young age just hinder their child, which is not an issue of the Magnet coordinators, but the parents themselves.
  • Dora on April 14, 2005 at 8:23 PM
    Personally, I believe that the problem lies way before a child goes to High School, or even Middle School as a matter of fact. It is up to the parents to motivate their child at a young age and allow them to excel. THIS IS JUST A GENERALIZATION!! Usually, Asian and Caucasian parents push their children when they are younger so that they can be in above average classes, this may be the cause of why there are more asians and caucasians in programs than other races. If all parents pushed their children at a young age, then there might be a more diverse group of people being accepted.
  • Yes on April 15, 2005 at 8:26 AM
    Yes, this is most definitley a problem that starts in like kindergarten. As much as school systems will deny it, they track students. They start off poorly in the first few years of their education and theyre screwed for the rest of their lives. Esspecially in math and science. For instance they make you take coincinding math and science class so in 9th grade if your in Algebra then you have to take matter and energy and vice versa. They trap you in this path that you cant get out of. They claim to give you a choice but they really give you a choice of 2 different classes at the same level.
  • orwellian equality on April 15, 2005 at 10:36 AM
    saying that in the name of equality being black should give u an advantage in getting into a system that is designed(with good reason) to be a meritocracy is like orwells line from animal farm that all are equal but some r more equal than others. btw it makes no sense
  • BUT... on April 15, 2005 at 2:17 PM
    But that line is oh so true. The constitution says all men are created equal, yet after that was writtin there was still slavery, and segregation, not allowing black men to marry white men, the unequal treatment of Muslims after 9/11, and what we are all see now the complete inequal rights afforded based on sexual orientation. So that may be one of the truest statements.... alll are equal but some are more equal then others.
  • haha on April 15, 2005 at 4:43 PM
    good job, "BUT...": haha, "not allowing black men to marry white men".....
  • Eric on April 15, 2005 at 8:02 PM
    to: -_-

    i don't know...maybe when he says
    "In your mind, what color is the 4.0 student's skin..."

    skins color...race...i don't really see a difference there
  • Shermel (View Email) on April 15, 2005 at 8:05 PM
    I'm a Black student and I would have entered the Magnet program had I applied earlier. It was just too late for me, and it still is. I don't have the educational background that would've put me in the program anyway. It's because the private school I came from didn't give you Geometry or Pre-cal or Algebra 2 w/ Analysis, just because you thought you knew it all. It didn't matter. At that school, no one was put in a higher program because it creates unneeded competition. "black magnet student" What you said isn't the whole truth. There are many students interested in the Program, and for most of them it's just too late. Frankly, I don't like how there's like an imaginary line of tension between the Regular Blair Students and the Magnets. It honestly doesn't matter what program your in, as long as you do the best you can.
  • Very Liberal on April 15, 2005 at 8:38 PM
    I spent 754 words trying to communicate an obvious fact to a clueless group. Now, I suppose I should defend my statements.

    "The African American Parents of Magnet School Applicants (AAPMSA) sent a memorandum to the Montgomery County Board of Education on March 2 asking that the board suspend Magnet school applications at Eastern and Takoma Park Middle Schools because of bias against African American and Hispanic students. " Where is your proof? Simply saying that most applicants did not get in is NOT PROOF. It just means they were NOT GOOD ENOUGH. You don't see any Asian American, or White American Parents of Magnet School Applicants. They applied in even larger numbers than African Americans and Hispanics, and even more of them were rejected. And before you complain about racial inequality again, realize that stacking the application process in favor of blacks and hispanics is JUST AS RACIST as stacking against (which the Magnet DOES NOT DO. It merely selects the highest scores, regardless of race.) This is an example of Affirmative Action getting out of hand. AffAction was useful at first, but in the modern world, it only promotes more greed and selfishness on the part of the beneficiaries. Speaking of beneficiaries, why are Asians not included in AffAction? Asians are even more of a minority than blacks AND hispanics. In fact, they are the MOST MINORITY (bad grammar) of ALL RACES except Native Americans. AAPMSA, will you please address this issue.


    ""[There is] a lot of teacher bias," he said. "They place a large number [of minorities] in the wrong classes as early as second grade." According to the group, 80 percent of African Americans are placed in "non-enriching" classes in elementary school and are also less aware of or have less interest in Magnet programs." I know for a fact a lot of black students are in GT programs "as early as second grade." In fact, I was in a class with several of them, and they were very smart. The fact that many did not get in to GT programs mean that THEY WERE NOT QUALIFIED. If you want to be a conspiracy theorist, go find a job with the McCarthyists. There IS NOT conspiracy. Get over yourselves.

    "The AAPMSA's original intent was to protect their children from being unfairly barred from the Magnet and to fight against the hostile environment minorities face when applying, said Broadwater. However, membership in the group is growing and the AAPMSA is forming strong alliances with local churches and some NAACP members, according to Broadwater." First, there is no unfair barring of children from the Magnet. There is only the barring of children who do not make the cut. Second, the environment is NOT HOSTILE. The people in the Magnet accept everybody. In fact, there is less racism in the Magnet than anywhere else in the school, probably even the county. Magnet students are all educated enough to realize that racism is a petty tactic for uncouth peasants. In any other place, the argument of racial inequality may hold some water, but when used against the Magnet, which is just about as non-racist as anything can be, it is a totally laughable idea. Third, the membership is only growing because every year people are rejected from the Magnet. Once again, get over yourselves.

    ""Superintendent Jerry Weast is moving on [the problem] as quickly as possible," said Broadwater. "The public realizes there is a problem."" Who is this "public" you are talking about? The REAL MAJORITY of the public does not realize there is a problem - especially since there IS NOT PROBLEM. The nature of GT and Magnet programs is to differentiate (I won't say discriminate because AAPMSA will get on my case about the definition of the word. It means "to differentiate"). It will only accept the students who make the cut. It's like a sport team. If you don't make it, tough. Are there any African American Parents of High School Teams' Rejects? I DON'T THINK SO. If you don't make it then you just weren't good enough. It's a harsh world out there. That's life. GET OVER YOURSELVES.
  • Very Liberal on April 16, 2005 at 1:44 PM
    The first time I posted this, it didn't come out...therefore, here it is again. To Shermal: I totally agree with you.

    AAPMSA is a bunch of parents who have no idea what they're talking about. They weren't complaining when the Magnet program was first introduced to BRING NONBLACK STUDENTS TO PREDOMINANTLY BLACK SCHOOLS. It is surprising how so many ADULTS are so COMPLETELY IGNORANT of simple historical events. IF YOU WEREN'T WHINING THEN, DON'T WHINE NOW. The "civil rights movement" is getting ridiculously overblown. I have always been a supporter of civil rights, until now. It seems that the civil rights movement (especially by African Americans) is starting to become like Hitler. One demand after another, never ceasing. The government is following in Chamberlain's footsteps, appeasing the movement every step of the way.

    GET THIS THROUGH YOUR SKULLS. The Magnet program was NOT created for smart people. Nor was it created with the intention of having a proportional amount of each race. IT WAS CREATED TO BRING NONBLACK STUDENTS TO MOSTLY BLACK SCHOOLS. To do this, they HAD to implement advanced courses, to attract other students. If greedy, selfish groups like the AAPMSA start demanding for "equal representation" in an institution that WASN'T MEANT TO BE "EQUAL", then move it somewhere else. Take the program OUT of Blair, and see what happens. I dare you. It will revert back to what it once was. No more Intel, no more anything. Just a random school at the bottom of the ranking list. Change the Magnet program to something like TJHS in Virginia. And speaking of TJ, EVERYBODY GETS IN BY THEIR TEST SCORES. If you're smart enough, and know enough, then you get in. They don't care about racial equality. It's just a school for smart people. And for the Magnet program to continue, it MUST keep attracting the smartest it can get, by only accepting the students who achieved the HIGHEST test scores. That means NO CURVES REGARDLESS OF RACE. If blacks and hispanics were admitted even if they did not do well, then that too is racial inequality: you are discriminatory against those who ARE NOT black or hispanic who got higher scores. And before you say it, I am NOT a Magnet. I am just somebody with MORE COMMON SENSE and knowledge than the dumb adults who ask for dumb things. Racial equality is like Communism. Good on paper, but NOT PRACTICAL. You can try to achieve it, but people's INNATE feelings which you CANNOT change get in the way. That's life. Deal with it. This isn't second grade anymore, AAPMSA. Get over yourself, before somebody in power decides that they've had enough of you.

    The Magnet students must get in by merit alone. That means they need past achievements and knowledge. Go ahead and complain about financial conditions, and parents who afford tutoring. The sad fact is, if your kid is smart enough, he/she can go to this place called THE LIBRARY. Or better yet, ASK A TEACHER TO TUTOR THEM AFTER SCHOOL. Teachers would be happy to help. I cannot emphasize enough that the Magnet is very discriminating (which means that they pick and choose the best, as opposed to discriminatory which means "marked by showing prejudice") and only accepts the best available. If you do not make the cut, DON'T GO AND MAKE HALF-BAKED EXCUSES ABOUT RACIAL INEQUALITY. People like you make me sick, blaming things on completely irrelevant things. I hope some AAPMSA people read this (and some may even reply). Before you start whining about conspiracies, FIND THE FACTS. In truth, the Magnet doesn't CARE AT ALL who is in it. Just their abilities. And try to fix your problems yourselves without burdening others, and causing trouble. You are nothing but troublemakers, making life difficult for others. By forcing the Magnet to accept underqualified students, you are lowering its standard, and therefore its prestige.

    And don't forget the Golden Rule: "Do unto others as you would have done to you." If the Magnet was mostly black, would you still be complaining? Would you say "White and Asian people are underrepresented."? Before you try to act all noble, think first, lest you look foolish (like now.) If someone tried to tell you how to run your household the way you're trying to tell the Magnet how to run its program, how would you feel?
  • Very Liberal on April 16, 2005 at 1:55 PM
    The bottom line is: AAPMSA has no ground to stand on. There isn't even a question asking for race on the Magnet application.

    There is, however, a question asking for your address, so of COURSE the Magnet sends people to stalk you and see if you're black.
  • kevin fang (View Email) on April 16, 2005 at 2:28 PM
    i almost feel like this message board is a perfect example of the lack of understanding we have for one another. we are trying to define sides when they're really shouldn't be. it shouldn't be an us vs. them, but rather a sit down conversation for us all to meet somewhere in the middle...the common ground.

    yes, i may be chinese american, i may have been enrolled in the magnet program, but those are only two adjectives to describe me. to use a cheap analogy, everyone is an onion. if we all just sat down at that common ground, we'd find we had a lot more in common than in difference.

    for a school that touted itself for its diversity, i couldn't help but notice how segregated we made ourselves...i'm not judging, i agree that i was a part of this as well...but maybe that's just how high school is because of our age.

    i "hung out" with the magnet students because it's essentially an experience that we can all understand because we lived it together...that's our common ground.

    but for most blair students i felt that that common ground was about how you looked...how you dressed. on top of all that, with these "levels" at a school of 3000 it meant that i had no chance to interact with everyone...just those who were in my classes.

    do you know what my favorite class from my four years at blair was? ms. adamson's american studies class. i've heard some people criticize it for the fact that she chooses the students in her class, but there's much more that we can learn from one another and the diverse backgrounds we have, than remaining in the homogenous groups that are so prevalent at blair, and schools everywhere.

    being in so many magnet/ap/honors classes...alright i guess i'll have to play the race card...you run into a certain "type" of person over and over again. yeah, so american studies might hurt your college application because it's not ap lit and only shows up on your trasncript as honors english, but i would recommend all juniors to ask ms. adamson about enrolling. if there were more opportunities to be in a class/environment such as that one, i know i would have left blair a much better/greater person.
  • Random Asian Guy on April 16, 2005 at 6:34 PM
    To Eric:
    My point was to imply that these GPA's were not in any way representative of the race of the students who earned them. In fact, the very act of your commenting does not shed positive light on your internal biases. What is the 2.0 GPS was an asian student who did not speak fluent English and the 4.0 was a hispanic or african american student who has had 2 generations of legacy at Yale? Note that I never stated that this or some other arrangement was the case. The comment was meant to inspire you to reflect on your internal biases so that you could (perhaps) more fully appreciate the article's depiction of the role of race in your academic experience.
  • Eric on April 17, 2005 at 4:06 AM
    To: random asian guy

    you can cover yourself by saying that you only wanted us to "think about our biases," but when you comment on an article talking about the AAPMSA, who say that more African American/Hispanic students should be allowed into the magnet, you DO imply things.

    By saying "And now, why would you think about choosing the 2.0 student for more advanced work that they cannot handle? " and earlier commenting that "making the statisticians happy" shouldn't be a solution, you are strongly implying that those 2.0 students who should not be newly added (since the magnet does not currently admit them), are those same "minority" students politicians want included to make the statisticians happy.
  • cowboysRule on April 17, 2005 at 2:41 PM
    to Eric and random asian guy -- you two are clearly never going to admit that the other is right in this case, so please drop it. it's just going to degenerate further and further if you continually comment back and forth.

    to Very Liberal -- how did this whole protest start up if there isn't a question about race on the application? i find that very hard to believe.
  • That's Just the Point on April 17, 2005 at 11:24 PM
    To cowboysRule: There ISN'T a question about race on the application. Go to the Takoma Park Magnet Website and open up a copy of the application for yourself. That's the point. THERE IS NO BAISED PICKING.
  • Read This on April 18, 2005 at 12:00 AM
    http://www.mcps.k12.md.us/schools/takomaparkms/administration/magnet/intro.shtml

    Why don't you read what that website has to say before you think you know what magnet is all about. (I would also post the one fo inistration/magnet/intro.shtml

    Why don't you read what that website has to say before you think you know what magnet is all about. (I would also post the one for Eastern, but I cannot find it on their website)
  • cowboysRule on April 18, 2005 at 7:05 PM
    to That's Just the Point -- if there isn't a question about race on the application (i'm not saying whether there is or not; i dont know) then where are all of these accusations coming from by the AAPMSA? it seems like they should have some ground to stand on if they are going to say all these things about the Magnet; i want to know what their basis is (if not a box on the application). did they somehow get data of every student that applied for the Magnet and his or her races and then crunch the numbers? did they estimate applicants? where is it coming from?
  • READ THIS on April 18, 2005 at 8:53 PM
    did you mention what the average test scores were for black students compared to asian and white students?
  • That's Just the Point on April 18, 2005 at 9:23 PM
    I know that there isn't a question about race because I filled out both the Takoma and Eastern applications. The AAPMSA is making up these accusations.
  • abdullah jamaal (View Email) on April 18, 2005 at 10:50 PM
    "cowboysRule": They don't cruch numbers and they don't estimate the number of black and Hispanic people applying. Maybe they... I dunno... ask about race on the application?

    Here is the 2000 Eastern application...
    http://www.thecolorblack.org/blackbox/opensafe/easternapp.jpg

    ...and the 2000 Takoma Park application...
    http://www.thecolorblack.org/blackbox/opensafe/t sapp.jpg

    Now, "That's Just the Point" and everyone else that claimed it wasn't on the application, until you show me a more updated application without race, I will have to consider you wrong. "That's Just the Point": don't start saying they're making stuff up until you have some solid proof. The Takoma Park application is not online (or at least I don't see it).
  • Reason? on April 18, 2005 at 11:15 PM
    Can anyone think of a reason why the people that select magnets would not want black people? Honestly, if they are being biased, they must have some reason right?
  • Very Liberal on April 19, 2005 at 8:23 AM
    To abdullah jamaal: Go to TPMS and pick up an application. duh. FYI, my brother applied this year, and there wasn't a question about race
  • please explain on April 20, 2005 at 1:35 PM
    "There will be 15% of African American and Hispanic Magnets in the class of 2009?
    Is this true?
    WHAT????"

    Why does this make you 'ANGRY' ?
  • Confused on June 30, 2005 at 7:05 PM
    um, i think there are enough left handed buddhist in the magnet programs!!

    MoCo Schools are bigoted towards Left Handed Buddhists!! FIGHT THE POWER.

    I think the black parents need to stop whinning. Seriously.

    Should a basketball team that is all black be made to drop some of the black kids so that white kids can play?

    do better on the tests and you will get in.

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