Letter: Schools cannot right race legacy

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The Independent Online
Sir: Suzanne Moore's argument ("The post-racist bubble bursts", 6 September) on the under-achievement of African Caribbean schoolchildren succumbs to the premise that underlies nearly all debates on the subject between the Swann Report of 1985 and the recent Ofsted findings.

The research of the late Professor Barry Troyna has indicated that under- achievement may be a misnomer: "If the research data were standardised to take into account class and gender backgrounds the results would show few significant differences between black pupils and their white, working- class counterparts."

Underrated, Troyna suggested, may better describe the condition of black schoolchildren, who are from predominantly working-class backgrounds and whose school achievements may not look so grim when they are compared with their peers rather than young people from across the class spectrum.

Professor ELLIS CASHMORE

Staffordshire University

Stoke-on-Trent

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