An astute reader forwarded by mail an excerpt from an Eastern Shore Post story by Stefanie Jackson on the school board debate over extending (or keeping) the extra 45 minutes to the school day. Here is the highlighted excerpt sent by the reader:
Okay then, at least we know how the Superintendent really feels about the county. So, not only are the neighborhoods dangerous, and may contain a felon or pedophile or two, but they are actually “filled” with them.
After laughing for twenty minutes, I had to go full stop–realizing this is not meant as a joke. Not sure exactly what keeping them an extra forty-five minutes will do if you we’re still sending them back neighborhoods festering with felons and pedophiles.
It does put the idea of keeping the kids for extra time in perspective. The K-12 system may be in big trouble, but it’s not because of felons and pedophiles. The real problem is the bias and bigotry ingrained in Northampton schools. Eddie Lawrence’s statement says it all.
Any kid fighting their way through the school institution will tell you they get this all the time. This kind of bias, even if unconscious, perpetuates socio-economic, gender (mainly against boys), and racial gaps in educational outcomes. We find lower success rates such as academic performance, engagement with school, and college enrollment, particularly among historically disadvantaged and underrepresented groups such as low-income and racial-minority students. You know, the ones that have to go home to a felon or pedophile.
Most educators would not consider themselves racist or biased, but teacher authority and compliance are ingrained in classroom practice and that bias can dictate how
Much of what we see in our schools make them seem more like prisons than holistic learning spheres. Obedience and authority are elements of prison society, and a good many teachers that many of us survive have more in common with prison guards than the Robin Williams character in Dead Poet Society. We are preparing “good” students, those from wealth and stability for their role in society while preparing everyone else, from the perceived wrong side of the tracks, for prison.