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October 17, 1979 - Image 2

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1979-10-17

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Mothers anxious as'

Black English

plan begins

new approach to teaching children to
work without feeling they have lost
something," said Zweifler.
The mothers added that many outside
observers thought they brought suit
simply to win damages..
"Kids had the wrong idea; they would
ask my how much money we were
making off the suit. If I explained it to
them, they would still have the same
feelings about it," said eighth grade
student Michael Blair, who was in sixth
grade when the suit started.
THE COURT awarded no monetary
compensation to the plaintiffs.
The la )suit was taxing on all of the
parents. "I got bad nerves,
sleeplessness, my kids were being
harassed, and I was being harassed,"
said Brenen. "A few days after the
decision, me and the kids went to the
grocery store at night and as we
crossed the street a white van with its
lights off speeded up and tried to hit
us."

Remembering her frustration,
Brenen, who initiated the suit, said it
was "a shame" she had to take legal
action, but it was the only way she
thought she could solve the problem,
partly because of poor communication
between teachers and parents.
"I started the suit because of the lies
- lies in the reports I got at home that
told me Dwayne could read and how
well he was doing, but when I went
there for conference, they only had bad
things to say about him. I didn't find out
until fifth grade that Dwayne was
reading at first grade level, and that he
had a lot of pressure on him," said
Brenen.
ANOTHER COMPLAINT was a lack
of tutorial services, according to
Zweifler. In King School tutoring is a
volunteer program run by the Parent-
Teacher Organization (PTO). Although
King School principle Rachel Schreiber
denies there was a shortage of turors,
Zweifler said "Our kids were not get-

Black English victory only a beginning,
the parents are hopeful about their
childrens' future education.
'After working with a private volun-
teer tutor, Michael Blair is working in
the same books as the rest,of.his class.
"Before I would just be reading words
just to get it over with, and I would go-to
class because I was forced. I would un-
derstand what they were saying, but I
couldn't put it to use, and I wasn't
taught the things I should've been
taught," said Michael Blair.
"Now people realize that it really isa
learning problem; and they have to do
more than go to a teaching consultant
and work in workbooks," he said.
Although some of the plaintiff E
children will not benefit from the King
School plan, their families feel they
have still gained through the lawsuit.

Certain IQ tests ruled unconstitutional.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP)-IQ tests that lead to the place-
ment of an unusually large number of black youngsters in so-
called mentally retarded classes were ruled unconstitutional
by a federal judge yesterday.
Chief U.S. District Judge Robert Peckham, ruling in a
statewide class action suit filed in 1971 on behalf of five black
children, said the use of standardized IQ tests to place
children in educable mentally retarded (EMR) c sses
violated recently enacted federal lawsk and the state and
federal constitutions.
THE JUDGE SAID the evidence showed IQ'tests were
developed on white populations and not adjusted or even re-

examined when it became clear that certain groups-notably
blacks and Hispanics-received low scores.
His decision also extended a ban on IQ testing for
placement of blacks into EMR classes. Peckham had ruled in
1972 that no black children in San Francisco could be placed
in EMR classes based on IQ test results. He expanded the or-
der to the rest of the state in 1974.
Peckham's decision ordered the state to retest the
youngsters now assigned to the special classes. He also 6r-
dered the state to review its assignment criteria and receivo:
court approval before resuming use of standardized iil-
telligence tests on black children for placement purposes.

......... _ . ._ ... ............ .........._.._.._....._....... ............. ................

"Kids at school call me names and
say more bad things than before (the
lawvsuit)," said Dwayne Brenen, now in
eighth grade.
Janice Brenen said residents of the
Green public housing project, where all
three families live, gave little support
to the legal battle because they feared
harassment and "parents were afraid
to admit their children weren't as
smart as they should've been."
BUT THE problem affects the entire
Green community, according to the
plaintiffs. "I know all the people out
here that have kids and from all the
parents that I talk to, I know all the kids
are behind grade level. Something has
to be wrong if all the kids are behind,"
said Betty Davis, mother of Gary,
Jacqueline and Tyrone who attend King
School, and Carolyn who attends
Clague.

ting hooked up with tutors of any kind of
consistent basis at all."
Brenen claimed that because of un-
der-staffing, her children and others
from the housing project were
classified as disabled or emotionally
impaired which made them eligible for
special education under state law. She
said parents are 'tricked" into
allowing their children to be labelled
learning disabled because they don't
understand what it means.
"Michael got labelled and he just
stayed labelled," said Annie Blair. "I
thought he would move more toward his
grade level, but he didn't."
BUT ALTHOUGH they consider their

"Now the teachers are aware of how
much I care about ' my Ichild's
education, so I think they would be
more quick to call and not let things get
too far," said Blair.
THE MICHIGAN DAILY
CUSPS :344-900)
Volume LXXXX, No. 36
Wednesday, October 17, 1979
is edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan. Published
daily Tuesday through Sunday mornings
during the University year at 420
Maynard Street, Ani Arbor, ichigan
48109. Subscription rates: $12 Septet,-
ber through April (2 semesters); $13 by
mail outsieAnn Arbor. Summ e
session published Tuesday through
Saturday mornings. Subscription rates:
$6.50 in Ann Arbor; $7.00 by mail oit,
side Ann 'Arbor. Second class postage
i at Ann Arbor, Michigan. POST-
MATER: Send address changes to
THE MICHIGAN DAILY, 420 Maynardi
Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109.

Daily Official Bulletin
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 17, 1979 formance," 2417 Mason, 3 p.m.
Computing Center: Kalle Nemvalts, Gail Lift,
Da ily Calendar: "Magnetic Tape Use in MTS," Mason Hall, 3:30 p.m.
Phychiatry: David A. Freedman, Baylor Univer- Industrial/Operations Engineering: Daniel
sity, "Effect of Sensory and Other Deficits in Teichroew and Tony Woo, "Computer and Infor-
Children on Their Experience of People," CPH Aud., mation sciences the IOE Department," 229 W.
9:Eng. 4 p.m.
Center Russian/E. European Studies: Pamela Physics/Astronomy: H. Dehmelt, U-Washington,
McKinsey, "City Worker Contributions to Russian "Electron/Positron Magnetic Moments from
Populism," Lane, Commons, noon. Geonium Spectroscopy," 296 Dennison, 4 p.m.
CEW: Book review, Barbara Forisha, author, E. Chemical Engineering: Brice Carnahan, "Run-
Conf. Rm., Rackham, noon. ning Time-Shared Jobs in MTS," Nat. Sci Aud., 7:30
CRLT: David McMillen, "Evaluating Student Per- p.m.

the-
is preserved on
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