From Black Youth Project:
Black 8th Grader’s Essay Comparing Education System To Slavery Ignites Outrage
A 8th grader’s incendiary essay comparing today’s education system to slavery is causing a firestorm of controversy in her upstate New York community.
13 year-old Jada Williams,writing an essay on Frederick Douglass for a contest, made the very astute analysis that packing 30-40 students into a crowded classroom, and having mostly white teachers give them packets and pamphlets to complete that they don’t fully comprehend, impedes the learning process; and that this produces results similar to those hoped for by a slave master that forbids his slaves from learning how to read at all.
Jada’s point is that nothing has really changed since the days of Frederick Douglass; “the same old discrimination still resides in the hearts of the white man.”
By the end of 8th grade a student has received nine years of education. NINE YEARS
When I was in school they didn’t start teaching us to read until 2nd grade. Now they start teaching them in preschool. So who is to blame if a child reaches the 8th grade and still can’t read?
From Liz Dwyer at Good:
Williams wrote that overcrowded, poorly managed classrooms prevent real learning from happening and thus produces the same results as Mr. Auld’s outright ban. She wrote that her white teachers—the vast majority of Rochester students are black and Hispanic, but very few teachers are people of color—are in a “position of power to dictate what I can, cannot, and will learn, only desiring that I may get bored because of the inconsistency and the mismanagement of the classroom.”
Instead of truly teaching, most teachers simply “pass out pamphlets and packets” and then expect students to complete them independently, Williams wrote. But this approach fails, she concluded, because “most of my peers cannot read and or comprehend the material that has been provided.” As a result, she continued, not much has changed since the time of Douglass, “just different people, different era” and “the same old discrimination still resides in the hearts of the white man.” Williams called for her fellow students to “start making these white teachers accountable for instructing you” and challenged teachers to do their jobs. “What merit is there,” she asked, if teachers have knowledge and are “not willing to share because of the color of my skin?”
Yeah, that’s right. All those white teachers spent years earning teaching credentials so they could get jobs preventing black kids from learning.
Here’s my question – Where are the parents? How does any parent let their children pass through years of school without obtaining even basic literacy skills?
Blaming racism is a cop-out.