Race Based Mentoring

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I just read an article on CNN’s website about a school in Lancaster, PA that has stopped a mentoring program between students and teachers of the same race, gender and/or language.  The students voluntarily self-identified which group they felt best suited them.

According to the article,
“McCaskey East High School in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, instituted what it described as a pilot program meant to enrich “students’ experiences through mentoring” and was derived from research “that shows grouping black students by gender with a strong role model can help boost their academic achievement and self esteem,” according to a school statement”

The school points to data that supports the program although there are many critics.  And of course, many interracial families–particularly those who have adopted transracially–are well aware of the same types of studies and parents are often very conscious of same race/gender mentors in their child’s lives.

What do you think?  Was the school right or wrong?  Were they too progressive for the general public who tends to subscribe to the “colorblind theory”?  Or, is it too intrusive for a school to implement and does it promote racism?

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