Monday, March 7

How African Americans get schooled for failure

It was a pleasure going to nower hill high school on Tuesday night. It has changed since kannus time. Not least that I can actually see Diya's homework on my iPhone. That's cool :) but the school is good. Nice and airy. The teachers were committed. Strong discipline. Nice facilities. Great library and computers. They will all get tablets. Smelt nice. Well organised notice boards. Smiling children. Happy and welcoming teachers. Teachers who were firm but full of high expectations. We did right with both of you in that school. 
And then I read about how the usa has such horrendous schools. I see these when I'm doing my STEM teaching in the inner city schools and also see the students during my home start charity work. I personally studied in the best school in Bhopal and when I first saw the Hindi medium school at a board exam, it was shocking. The influence of a school and teacher is so far reaching indeed. 
For example the head master at nower hill said that they expect 95% attendance. At 90%, students will miss out on 6 months of schooling in high school. Which means their GCSEs will be 70% lower and they will go on to earn substantially less and be poorer through their lives. Such is the horrible long term impact of a small thing related to cutting classes. 
Much to do to fix this but here's hoping and wishing Diya has a great time. Do advice her Kannu. She looks up to you and listens to you :) 

How African Americans get schooled for failure – D Watkins – Aeon
(via Instapaper)

My 13-year-old nephew Butta was getting into trouble weekly. Arguing with teachers, ignoring administrators, and walking out of class. To the point where my sister had a time-block in her schedule every month dedicated to parent-teacher conferences – but they didn’t work.
Butta is as harmless as he is plump – that jolly kid who loves to split up his chips between his friends and would gladly give you the last bite of his sandwich. He’s never been in trouble outside of school, which says a lot, since his dad, the rest of his uncles and I had all been arrested or kicked out of a school at least once by the time we reached his age.
‘What’s going on with your classes?’ I asked him.
‘My teachers hate me and they throw me in wit Mr Ronald, that sub who be on his phone all day, talkin’ about he don’t need this job, cuz he got his own company! He ain’t got no company!’

No comments: