This post, Why Aren’t We Talking About This? by Emily Talmage speaks of the institutionalized racism contained within our system of education, especially in the charter school setting.
“When I was twenty-five, I interviewed at a charter school in Brooklyn.
Before I sat down to talk to the dean, I observed a kindergarten class that looked nothing like any kindergarten class I had ever seen: just shy of thirty children sitting in rows on a carpet, each with legs crossed and hands folded, all completely and utterly silent.
. . . I took the job – foolishly – and soon found out what this “hard work” meant: scholars, as we called them, were expected to be 100% compliant at all times. Every part of the nine-hour school day was structured to prevent any opportunity for deviance; even recess, ten-minutes long and only indoors, consisted of one game chosen for the week on Monday.
. . . There weren’t any white children at the school, but there I was – a white teacher, snapping at a room full of black children to get them to respond, in unison, to my demands.
. . . Everyone in the nation is talking about our racist history, but do people know what type of racism is happening today, beneath our noses, under the banner of education reform?
. . . With useless, commercial junk-tests as justification, we have been told, for years now, that we must serve up our low-income schools – those schools filled mostly with children of color – to profiteers, who are then free to experiment on children in whatever ways they see fit.
. . . Why aren’t more people demanding that these racist institutions and policies be taken down?
. . . It’s modern eugenics: the molding of children’s personalities, starting from preschool, to suit the needs of our Wall Street masters.”
The most racist aspect of our current system of education is the “achievement gap” which juxtapositions every child against “white males”. This is a norm that no child can achieve except white males.
Every child has the right to be considered gifted and talented regardless of socio-economic status, color, gender or health.
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