achievement gaps

achievement gaps

Did This Principal Make a Racist Comment or Simply State the Facts?

germantown pricipal

Dr. Ted Hornell

In a nation where we are extremely concerned with being politically correct, it blows my mind that a principal at a high school in Tennessee would be as crass to say that a specific ethnic group of students was “less smart” than its peers. Unfortunately, that is exactly what Ted Horrell, the principal of Germantown High School, said earlier this month about the black students at his school.

“I unintentionally offended a number of students on this campus,” Horrell wrote in a letter to the parents and students of his school. “I apologize to all the students and parents who were offended.”

The high school recently received its state report card. This report card showed the students standardized test scores broken down according to the students’ races and incomes. Last week, the school held an assembly to discuss measures that could be taken to close the gap between the different groups of students, and it was during this assembly that Horrell misspoke and said what many considered to be a racist comment.

“[My daughter] felt he presented this information to basically reflect the African American students were all the reason the scores were down,” said Deborah Cannon, a parent whose child attends the high school.

Horrell says that he did make note of the fact that certain ethnic groups of students had performed better on the test than others during the assembly; however, he says he “certainly didn’t say that white students are smarter than black students.”

Nationwide, there is an achievement gap between different ethnic groups. According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, 9 percent of white students were performing at their grade level’s expectations in fourth-grade math, compared to only 1 percent of black students and 2 percent of Hispanic students.

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