Tuesday, September 6, 2011

CCR 09-06-11: The Skin Game

the Controversial Committee Report

“We don’t raise sacred cows...we just butcher them.”

Staff of the CCR hadn’t planned on again mentioning the “skin-study” report* that was recently submitted to the Irving ISD, but it seems as if this topic just will not go away. If you recall, the CCRs blog alluded to the findings of the report in “IISD Admin Lunchroom Chatter #2.” Our conclusion was that if Anthony Bond had difficulty with the report findings and that a potential “race war” was not brewing in middle schools, then there must be something seriously wrong with the report’s “findings.”

To test our conclusion, staff of the CCR solicited comments from a few individuals who are not only recognized in the community, but also have a great deal of understanding with regards to IISD operations. After reading their responses, it is apparent that the IISD may have been sold a faulty bill of goods with this report.

Following are citizen comments to the CCR regarding the study, methodology and conclusions that cost the IISD $100,000+ and created a perception that doesn’t seem to conform to the reality of the district.

  • “First, it’s not a study on Race Relations. It’s supposed to be study on why Blacks are feeling alienated…”
  • “...the obvious lack of understanding by the author of the study.”
  • “This study resulted in recommendations based on personal opinions unsupported by competent data.”
  • “Does no one in this district have any sense anymore?”
  • “The real problem is the lack of understanding and what to do about the majority of students who are of Hispanic descent.”
  • “Predetermined conclusions based on personal agendas do not make good studies.”
  • “The point that the author missed is the ‘Cultural‘ differences.”
  • “There are valuable insights hidden within this report, but unfortunately finding them requires searching through offensive terminology and recommendations.”
  • “ ...using only 5th graders calls into question the competence of the data.”

While all the above are excellent and valid points, many questions still remain. Here are a few that staff of the CCR believes should be addressed by the board and administration.

  • What was the real agenda of the Irving ISD personnel responsible for initiating this “study?”
  • Where is the chamber of commerce in responding to what appears to be an invalid report on the Irving ISD? (Would it cost the district another $50,000 to have them repudiate the report’s conclusions?)
  • Has anyone in the Irving ISD actually tested the methodology cited in the report as to accuracy, findings and conclusions?
  • How unbiased were the “interview” sessions conducted with the students? Were the students prompted for responses favorable to the consultant’s personal feelings and biases?
  • Did Irving ISD personnel approve the “study” parameters prior to the start of the engagement?
  • How creditable can a report be if the data base for conclusions is extremely limited in scope?

What consultant study is next on the Irving ISD agenda? Is some educational pinhead scouring the internet to find another “consultant” to come to the district and conduct another $100,000 study on: “Why do many Hispanic students eat Mexican food?” Or, “Why do many Asian students seem to study so much?” Maybe we need to know, “Can White students survive being a new minority?”

Here’s a thought: Why not spend $100,000 to implement evaluations on all IISD board members responsible for approving this “study?” Surely, there must be some dysfunctional traits existing in this group that requires attention.

Finally, the only “race” issue that should be addressed as a result of this “study” should be that the Irving ISD is racing to request a refund from the consultant.

* “The Skin They’re In” by Mack Hines

...........Mark Holbrook