…of low expectations:
Nothing works to destroy self-esteem quite like telling a black child he will be held to a far lower standard than whites, Asians, or Hispanics. Recognition that poverty plays a role in lower test scores is one thing; codifying that difference by telling students that you are expected to underachieve compared to other children is tantamount to surrender. The problem is too large and too complex to solve so we will hide our failure by simply dumbing down the standards by which we judge our own progress.
The bigotry actually isn’t all that soft.