HBD: Human Biodiversity

SEED Money


On September 5, CBS News's 60 Minutesreported on a unique educational institution that has been established for Black children: a “SEED School” in the District of Columbia, a school district that already has the highest per capita spending per student in the country. (For a generation, CBS News has been reporting that the most exciting educational news comes from the District, where there is always some new, fool-proof program that proves Blacks are as smart as Whites.) Typically, President Obama sees SEED as a model for the Black children of the entire country: Of educational opportunity for non-Black children, Obama says not a word.

The SEED School is a public, segregated boarding school where Black teenagers get 24-7 mentoring and enriched education. It is breathlessly noted that none of these Black children ever imagined an environment where they would be expected to do as many as two hours of homework a day (which is oddly below the national average of 3 hours a day.)

One intense Black teacher at SEED, justifying the 24-7 focus on the Black students, noted, "no one ever makes it on their own, ever." Spoken like a true lifetime recipient of Government largesse.

Even in the District of Columbia where unprecedented levels of spending per Black student are routine, SEED School is unique. The cost per student is $35,000 per year, or $140,000 for four years, which is about 500 percent of the average cost in the best public high schools for non-Blacks. SEED claims that 95 percent of its graduates go to college. The report features a video clip of Pres. Obama lying in a speech that “100 percent” of the students at SEED graduate. The president goes on to state that similar segregated Black-only academies will be built in Baltimore, Cincinnati, and Miami. Great.

Oddly, it is admitted that SEED loses 11-12 percent of its students every year, meaning that the graduation rate is only 95 percent of 52-56 percent of its students, for an actual graduation rate of 49.4-53.2 percent. Not “100 percent” as the Prez announced. (And if SEED is a five-year/four-year High School like most others in the District of Columbia, then the graduation rate would be 80 percent of 95 percent of 52-56 percent, or a truer 39.52-42.56 percent graduation rate.)

By any normal standard, SEED School is a complete failure, with a 50 percent (or greater) dropout rate and graduating students costing as much as $280,000 each (perhaps 1000 percent of what is spent on White students who graduate).

This probably won’t affect SEED’s funding. The Department of Education has never been good at arithmetic.