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What a sloppy show: Civil rights group in Manchester
For a group that says it wishes to work WITH Manchester, a U.S. Commission on Civil Rights advisory committee sure knows how to get off on the wrong foot. And for a group that throws statistics around with abandon, its math appears a bit fuzzy.
The group’s Monday night appearance before the city School Board was a fiasco. It claimed its “investigation” showed that discrimination against minority students in Manchester public schools is baked into the system. It appeared to have no facts to back up such a claim, other than saying that minority students in New Hampshire (not necessarily in Manchester) have a very low graduation rate.
This puzzled, among others, Mayor Ted Gatsas, who chairs the school committee. The civil rights group said 73 percent of Hispanic students do not graduate, compared to 22 percent of white students.
Wait a minute, said the mayor. If the statewide high school dropout rate is now down to something like 1 percent (as Gov. Lynch claims), where does the group get a 22 percent dropout rate for whites, let alone the one claimed for Hispanics?
The group had no answer, but it forged ahead, adding to its charges that the city school system rigs its hiring practices and that is why only seven percent of the faculty are minority while nearly 40 percent of the students are.
The mayor, who doesn’t suffer fools gladly, had heard enough. He said there was no cronyism on the school committee. He might have added that with a general minority population that remains under 10 percent, expecting a much higher percentage of minority teachers is improbable, not to mention discriminatory in and of itself.
No matter. The civil rights advisors left, repeating their desire to “work with” the district. And, of course, they threatened to sue if they didn’t get their way.
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