(Mensaje se repite en Español)
Dr. Chris Emdin, associate professor at Columbia University's Teachers College in his new book "For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood ... and the Rest of Y'all Too," completely misunderstands why poor minority students continue to fail in public school and in the process he comes up with a clearly bogus "white hero teacher" alternative facts rationale to explain why these poor minority children continue to fail, that literally has no basis in fact.
Somehow Professor Emdin ignores the predictable negative educational effects of still segregated and racist public schools- 63 years after Brown vs. Board of Education said, "Separate but equal...is inherently unequal." What else should we expect when that remains the standard and reality of the vast majority of public schools minority children attend.
The complicity of not just White, but also minority administrators, that continue to enforce failed education policies like social promotion that continue to promote students year after year, whether or not they have mastered prior grade-level standards, has created a massive Black and poor minority population of students that never had a chance from jump street in the segregated system they- and most likely their parents- have continued to be unnecessarily subjected to.
To now look at predictable minority student failure that would have had the same effect on any ethnicity and falsely romanticize it by the clearly racist notion that Black children somehow learn differently than other children is patently offensive and self-deceptive. Sure, they now learn differently- or not at all- not because of their ethnicity, but rather because of what has been unnecessarily done to them in a public education system that "graduates" them- one way or another- without the basic literacy and skills they would need to develop a profound understanding of their culture and that of others, that they might wish to partake of.
When Professor Emdin seeks to "value the unique realities of minority children, incorporating their culture into classroom instruction," he and others presuppose a level of literacy that is for the most part nonexistent, because it has never been taught in a public education system that is still allowed to purposefully fail these students, families, communities, and cultures.
Education administration, being one of the few upperwardly mobile professions open to people of color finds minority leaders enforcing archaic inner city racist public school policies that continue to assure the ultimate failure of the vast majority of their students. There is a certain sick irony when it comes to the negation of racism in the fact that when push comes to shove, a public school administrator of whatever ethnicity will turn momma's picture to the wall, when it comes to collecting a six-figure salary- no matter what the cost to the kids.
And if citing the failure to respect Black culture as the alternative fact for why Black students aren't learning, instead of what remains the real reason of a clearly racist public education system with no implementation of timely, age sensitive, and subjective student level education, then don't expect things to change in the near future and expect the prison population to rise above its present obscene level of 2.3 million.
There is literally no attempt to educate predominantly poor students of color in any manner that even remotely resembles the way now private school going White students are educated as opposed to what remains segregated public schools 63 years after the Brown case supposedly made segregation illegal.
"Black culture" has nothing to do with a system of rote public education where Socratic method and critical thinking are nowhere to be found in any form. To sanctify this patently inferior and generationally applied system of non-education as having failed because it didn't respect "black culture" ignores the glarring reality that all other non-colored cultures in America somehow have gotten educated in the past and are continuing to get educated without losing their culture of origin.
While it should be impossible for any rational American of any ethnicity to honestly deny the significant part of our undivided collective American identity that is clearly comprised of Black culture, justifying the premeditated failure of Black and other poor children of color in public school, because their culture is not respected in public schools, is patently ludicrous. Having more than a 500 word vocabulary and knowing your times tables is better measure of whether you will still maintain your culture of origin. And throwing in a little real estate finance or credit card percentages education to boot might do more for my kind of Black culture without exploitation.
The generational failure and objective inferiority we have created using what remains a segregated public education system is and remains a burden- not a culture- that could have been and can still be avoided, if one merely recognizes that inner city "public education" as constituted is no place for students of any ethnicity to recognize their potential as presently constituted. And to somehow justify this failure with falsehoods like Black students learn differently or that it's the fault of White teachers- themselves also the vicitms of this system- who are stymied at every turn- and often fired- if they embarass this present racist system by actually trying against all odds to educate Black and other children of color to their potential. The excellent public education of our past is the best antidote to racism, if once and for all it is offered to all our people.
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