Wednesday, October 17, 2007

quick links and a lil diatribe.

first of all, tou fue posted this about the achievement gap between white and black students (always the binary) in Ann Arbor Public Schools. I found it incredibly interesting (and not surprising) because we often look at the disparities between two communities (Savage Inequalities), but not often does the microscope turn intracommunity. So, when the same amount of money is spent on students and the achievement gap is still there, we know that you can't just throw money at the problem, that there is something much more inherent in the culture of our school systems that fosters some students to excel, while tracking and limiting others. Ah, how schools are a microcosm of society.

and then this, which makes me incredibly upset as it speaks to the fact that while many folks trapse through this country thinking that racism is done and over with, it's acts like these (and like the jena 6 series of events, which also started with nooses) that eerily recall a period of time not so long ago in our nation's history when it was not just nooses being hung, but people in those nooses.

And to pull the two together, while slavery has been over for nearly 150 years, and while there were some major advances in civil and educational rights for people of color in the 60's and 70's, the long-lasting effects are still evident in so many ways, from the digital divide to the achievement gap, from graduation rates to MEAP test scores, from who goes to college and who doesn't to the occupations that we "choose" (because is it always choice? and if so, choice for whom? and how does social culture and structure affect choice?) and how they affect wealth and socioeconomic upward mobility.


1 comment:

Ms. History Teacher said...

Thanks for enlightening me to the event that occurred at Columbia... I hadn't heard about that at all.

You bring up a really good point about the intracommunity achievement gap. I'm noticing it in my 9th grade history classes that contain seniors trying to graduate, and I'm also noticing that I have NO IDEA how to address it. You're absolutely right, that you can't just throw money at the problem. So, how can I personally work to address this during my student teaching? I haven't seen any teachers do anything except complain about the lower achieving students' lack of motivation and engagement. Good thing that's exactly the topic I'm researching for my 650 personal inquiry... maybe I'll find some helpful insights from my findings?? How do you address this issue in your school?