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Better preparation will get students into top schools

The real issues of “de facto” segregation in Buffalo’s top-performing schools is not race but multiple factors including family values, parent involvement and poverty.

Recalculating the data in a recent Buffalo News article to include students accepted at City Honors as a percentage of those who applied shows 38 percent of whites, and 48 percent of others (including blacks and multiracial) were admitted.

After 30 years of longitudinal studies of equal opportunity admissions to the top universities we know that lowering standards does not work. According to Stanford University, equal opportunity simply increases the gap between low- and middle-income minorities when it comes to elite school acceptance. Intelligence is not the issue. What works is better preparedness and parent management of those students applying, according to Dr. Alan Kazdin, director of the Yale Child Conduct Clinic. Successful schools in Brooklyn, Chicago, Detroit and Los Angeles have taken kids from low-income families that are racially diverse and produced incredible results by using the community school concept with exceptional leaders chosen by their ability to motivate parents and students to work towards a common goal, along with teacher training and concerted efforts to mobilize parents.

Let’s stop the poverty cycle of our cities and wake up to the “common core” factors for success in high-performing schools. Play your cards right and you just might find you’ve achieved the desired results . Don’t penalize students and parents who eagerly work to get to the top.

Dr. Calvin Deyermond, Ed.D.

Buffalo