... as are grades and test scores.
Suzy and Taniqua are in the 4th grade together at Lumumba-ANTIFA-Zapata-Intifada* Elementary School (LAZIES) in San Diego.
Suzy's mommy makes her read for 20 minutes every day, above and beyond her normal schoolwork. Suzy's mommy or daddy go to every back-to-school night, orientation night and never miss a parent-teacher conference. Her parents check her homework most nights and demand to see every test she gets back from the teacher. If she does poorly, there are consequences. Suzy's no braniac, but she does pretty well. Her average grade is a B+.
Taniqua's parents, true to the pattern observed by Dr. Ogbu in the Shaker Heights school system, do not make her read. They rarely go to meetings at school, and they don't check her homework or her tests. Taniqua's no dummy, but she does poorly. Her average grade is a C-.
The school board that oversees LAZIES observes these same results almost everywhere across the district. Their conclusion? Racism. Lots and lots of racism. Systemic racism which comes from a culture of white supremacy and patriarchalism**.
Wasting no time, the school board and administration teams from across the district swing into action! From now on, Taniqua won't have to turn in her homework or behave in class.
Academic grades will now focus on mastery of the material, not a yearly average, which board members say penalizes students who get a slow start, or who struggle at points throughout the year.
Another big change, teachers can no longer consider non-material factors when grading. Things like turning work in on time and classroom behavior will now instead count towards a student's citizenship grade, not their academic grade.
The students will also be given anti-racism training***. Suzy will be told that the reason Taniqua isn't doing well is that Suzy is full of hate.
And Then What?
Kids are highly sensitive to unfairness directed at them. Yesterday, Suzy may have cheated her little brother, Billy, out of the last homosexual Oreo in the bag, but if she gets jobbed by mommy today when splitting the McDonald's fries with that little rat, Billy, she's going to let everyone know.
Just how long is Suzy going to take the blame for Taniqua's poor performance before she's seething with resentment?
Our daughter went to Catholic school until 8th grade and then transferred to a public high school. There, she met her first illiterate children and first encountered wildly inappropriate behavior in the classroom. It blew her little mind. She had the causes dialed in within a month, if not earlier.
Going back to our hypothetical Suzy, what will she think of the education industry after they scream at her for a year or two?
To all the conservatives filled with rage over our public schools going full Julius Streicher, I say chill out. These things will take care of themselves.
|Spend some time with the fishes over at ManateeCam. It's, like, totally Zen, man.|
* - At my alma mater, UCSD, Third College was originally supposed to be called Lumumba-Zapata College. Yes, my college experience was like that.
** - Good Lord, "patriarchalism" is a word. I typed it in as a comical, pretend word and the darned thing is in the browser's dictionary! What a country!
*** - San Diego is insane, but Seattle is completely, frothing-at-the-mouth, howling-at-the-moon mad. Dig this list of racial resources on the Seattle Public Schools website. It is a stone-cold lock that their physics and biology resources lists are shorter.
Learn: Antiracism Resources
Seattle Public Schools' teacher librarians share titles for students in support of Black Lives Matter
- Look, Listen and Learn TV: An early learning educational public access program showcasing Black and Indigenous people and people of color learning, teaching, and exploring.
- Anti-Racist Resources from the Greater Good
- Dismantling Anti-Black Bias in Democratic Workplaces: A Toolkit
- Teaching Tolerance: Teaching About Race, Racism and Police Violence
- Anti-Racism Resources for White People
- Black Lives Matter at School Resources
- Teaching Tolerance: Let’s Talk Discussing Race, Racism and Other Difficult Topics with Students
- Seattle Public Libraries Race and Social Justice books for kids K-5
- New York Times An Antiracist Reading List
- Pretty Good: Your Kids Aren't Too Young to Talk About Race: Resource Roundup
- Anti-Defamation League: lessons, table talks, and books:
- Anti-Defamation League: Table Talk George Floyd, Racism, and Law Enforcement
- Anti-Defamation League: Middle School Level lessons
- Race Conscious: 100 Race Conscious Things You Can Say to Your Child – Conversation Starters
- NPR: How White Parents Can Talk About Race
- Seattle Times: How to Teach Your Children About Racism in America: A resource for understanding the George Floyd protests