Viewing every black student as at-risk: Are we pathologizing... | Get Schooled | www.ajc.com: Here is an interesting piece by University of Georgia professor Peter Smagorinsky on the over application of "at-risk" labels in school data collections.
Smagorinsky says data collection is an example of the expected bureaucratic time-wasting built into organizational life. But he says the new wave of data gathering required of teachers is more than simply irritating and frustrating. It requires teachers judge which students are at risk for school failure based on broad demographic data that essentially leave only one large group label free -- white middle-class kids.
As Smagorinsky notes: "Every student who is not a native-English speaking white kid from a relatively affluent family must be categorized as at-risk; and relatively affluent, native-English speaking white students are treated in this system as free of risk factors."