Monday, September 05, 2005

The Apartheid


Kozol has a new book out about educational apartheid. The newest Harpers has an article by Kozol about the topic too. The 2 Bloomingtonians who escaped from New Orleans this week and were interviewed in our local paper talked about the apartheid in the schools there. Just this year a law was passed that toilet paper should always be in the schools and school principals were given special credit cards to use to buy toilet paper. I learned this weekend that one of the elementary schools in this town employs a full time security guard. Probably just a coincidence that this school has the most kids on free lunch and sits in one of our poorer neighborhoods.
Here on the east side, #1's son folder contained more work and more teacher feedback in it this week than it held during the entire last year in our friendly and peaceful slacker sabbatical school. Kozol says this about so called improvements brought to schools with NCLB:

From The Shame of the Nation“I went to Washington to challenge the soft bigotry of low expectations,” the president said in his campaign for reelection in September 2004. “It’s working. It’s making a difference.” It is one of those deadly lies, which, by sheer repetition, is at length accepted by large numbers of Americans as, perhaps, a rough approximation of the truth. But it is not the truth, and it is not an innocent misstatement of the facts. It is a devious appeasement of the heartache of the parents of the poor and, if it is not forcefully resisted and denounced, it is going to lead our nation even further in a perilous direction. Posted by Picasa

3 comments:

KateG said...

It is a sad thing how structures are created out of fear that end up creating the condition they try to avoid. A security guard is bound to bring out the defiance that creates violence. The school becomes an armed camp and the rules of an armed camp apply. It is like a job that treats employees like children - so that the employees end up breaking rules in a devious and defiant manner just like children.

Anne said...

I am seeing first hand how the myths you speak of have found there way into our culture. I proudly display my "Say No to High Stakes Testing" button on my backpack and it has started up many conversations in the law school. A lot of people quote the rhetoric you mention along with the buzz word of accountability. I honestly find it nearly impossible to explain how so much of what they think they know about NCLB is based on OUTRIGHT lies! How do you politely say, "ummm that is totally and completely NOT TRUE!"

LH said...

hi k, yes, the security guard tells the kids and families exactly what the expectations are there.
and anne, i have to get kozol's book. nclb is so insidious, with its good intentions to fight "soft bigotry." keep wearing the pin and fighting the good fight.

I'm sending along a link to sen. obama's site. he believes that there was no malice, just passive indifference, in the inept handling of the evacuation of the citizens of new orleans. Not sure if one is totally separate from the other.

http://obama.senate.gov/statement/050906-statement_of_senator_barack_obama_on_hurricane_katrina_relief_efforts/index.html#more