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So Close to Right

So Close to Right

An eighth grader in upstate New York has ruffled some feathers with an essay that casts the public school system as modern slavery.

I wish I hadn’t clicked on the hyperlink, because – at face value – she seemed so right. Public schools discriminate based on geography under threat of imprisonment and their machine politics tightly contract the choices and opportunities for millions of students.

Alas, it boiled down to race: 

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.”

It’s an ill-made comparison, and terribly offensive, but at least she’s questioning the system. Maybe she’ll get it right next time. 🙂

Update: Apparently Ms. Williams was more astute than the article leads to believe. (Thank you to the readership here at LI!)

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Comments

That child is well on her way to becoming a racist … she is obviously being taught something by a racist parent or adult …

    Ragspierre in reply to dorsaighost. | March 2, 2012 at 11:46 am

    The poor kid IS a racist, which Mr. Douglass never was, from what I’ve read of his writing.

    She’s been successfully programed to see the world through a racial prism.

      Kathleen McCaffrey in reply to Ragspierre. | March 2, 2012 at 12:07 pm

      Please see the update with a link to better coverage.

        Ragspierre in reply to Kathleen McCaffrey. | March 2, 2012 at 12:24 pm

        “My advice to my peers, people of color, and my generation, start making these white teachers accountable for instructing you.”

        How is that not how I depicted it? How is that not a racist statement?

          Kathleen McCaffrey in reply to Ragspierre. | March 2, 2012 at 1:09 pm

          It seems less dramatic in the second article. She was using a lot of Douglass’s language. Also, she’s in the 8th grade, give her a break.

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | March 2, 2012 at 1:14 pm

          At fourteen, Kathleen, I knew what it was to be a racist. Had for years.

          You are practicing the “low expectations” thing.

    The Glen Beck update shows that this is the discrimination of “low expectations” rearing it’s ugly head.
    Most interesting was the teacher’s reaction. Shameful.

    I’ve seen enough drama with my kids (now out of primary and secondary education) that I can see this kind of crap coming a mile away. The egos and the petty politics deserve a 2 by 4 to the gut for some of these idiots.

Two things…

1. poor Jada is right about her monopoly-quality school, where learning is way behind process; and,

2. Mr. Douglas would straighten her out in quick order, were he alive to show her the vast difference between HIS learning experiences and hers.

Dear Jada Williams,

The problem with your former teachers is not that they are white, but that they are unionized government employees in a corrupt power structure. Even the ones who mean well have been put in a situation where it’s very hard to do a good job.

Keep asking questions. Remember to question the answers that make you feel good, not just the ones that you dislike. Even when life hands you a raw deal—it sounds like it has, and I guarantee it will—it’s better to take responsibility for yourself than to waste energy blaming others.

Best wishes,

gs

    Hope Change in reply to gs. | March 2, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    Watch “THE CARTEL.” You will never think of the public schools the same way again.

    It’s not that the teachers are white, as gs says.

    In ‘THE CARTEL,” many of the people who profit from the school system at the expense of the children and the parents are black and other groups besides white.

    Jada is right that she’s trapped in a failed system. It’s just that she doesn’t understand the mainspring. It’s the unions, not white people “per se.” Although certainly, some white people are part of the unions.

    I know some people feel impatient when I add, on a topic that seems to be other than about presidential politics, a note about presidential politics. But sorry, it is on point. Our federal government is part of the reasons the unions have our schools in their grip. The federal government is part of the problem with our schools. The federal government must be MADE to let go of its hold on our schools.

    Newt understands this. Newt is a visionary about education. NEwt want teachers, students, local school boards and parents to have control over the schools.

    Watch this if you love kids and you love learning and education:

    “THE FUTURE OF AMERICAN EDUCATION”
      http://mrctv.org/videos/newt-gingrich-college-board-october-27-2011 Brilliant. With Paul Gigot and Joel Klein, The College Board – Oct. 27, 2011

    If you want to know more, here’s a link with 17 speeches by Newt:
    http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Newt-Gingrich-Speeches/360377230645980

DINORightMarie | March 2, 2012 at 11:45 am

I suggest you read this, and check out what Glenn Beck learned from his interview with this girl and her Mom:

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/tearful-eighth-grader-defends-controversial-essay-on-gbtv-not-a-racial-issue-its-a-learning-issue/

The girl apparently was using Douglass’s language to make her point, and had no intention of it becoming about race in any way.

It was the teacher, the school system, and the leftist MSM who – as usual! – made this all about race.

2nd Ammendment Mother | March 2, 2012 at 11:47 am

I caught the Beck interview and came away with a much different interpretation. She was assigned (not chose) to write on “The Narrative Life of Frederick Douglass”. It looks like she had one poor word choice, not unexpected in a 13 year old. However, her message is dead on. There is an entire universe of students that “the experts” have declared “unteachable” – those with dyslexia, ADHD, physical and mental disabilities, those from troubled homes, single parent families, foster kids – the list goes on and on.

Rather than employee strategies that are successful with these kids, the “experts” declare them unteachable to excuse themselves for not doing the job they were hired for. Education is one of the few jobs that I’m aware of where it’s acceptable to not complete 100% of your tasks, the client will be blamed for your failure and you will receive full compensation and continued employment.

The irony is that Jada was a successful model student – until she dared to question the “experts”. She wrote:
“My advice to my peers, people of color, and my generation, start making these white teachers accountable for instructing you,” Jada wrote. “They tooled this profession, they brag about their credentials, they brag about their tenure, so if you have so much experience then find a more productive way to teach the so called ‘unteachable.’”

    Juba Doobai! in reply to 2nd Ammendment Mother. | March 2, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    Some of the kids ARE unteachable because they believe to be educated is to act white, so they resist every encouragement, enticement, inducement to learning. After all, they don’t want their peers to ostracize them.

Perhaps a minor quibble, but I would prefer to see you employ the prefix ‘Miss’ for this young author. To use ‘Ms’ is to permit yourself to slide into the PC language mindset of the left. Please reconsider, for with that mindset comes attitudes that are inimical to conservatism.

    Kathleen McCaffrey in reply to HarrietHT. | March 2, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    having strong preferences about prefixes is exactly what “the left” wants you to do 🙂

      HarrietHT in reply to Kathleen McCaffrey. | March 3, 2012 at 1:36 am

      What the hell does that mean: “having strong preferences about prefixes is exactly what “the left” wants you to do.”??

      What does that mean???

      I have a strong preference — it PRE-DATES the left and its insidious, duplicitous politically correct mandated language.

      I am not a Ms. I am either a Miss or a Mrs. If you want to term me a Ms. then I spit it out. Gloria Stenheim is a Ms. Conservatives who claim the mantle should be more careful about the language they adopt than to accept terminology that promotes the destruction of Western values.

        Kathleen McCaffrey in reply to HarrietHT. | March 3, 2012 at 8:58 pm

        The only reason that particular title exists is because other people got equally bent out of shape over something that matters as little as the prefix used before someone elses name.

        You want to preserve “Western values”? Good, so do I. I respect the rule of law, believe in individual rights, & respect the property of others. I don’t think that involves quibbling over things like the subtle differences in the way other people are addressed – I leave that to the Marxist feminist theorists who sit on their bottoms and produce mountains out of molehills. I write “Ms” because I can. Maybe next time I’ll write “Miss”… but I doubt it.

I would like to rail against “alphabetic discrimination.”

Persons with last names that start with a letter in the back of the alphabet (N-Z) are constantly discriminated against at every level of society and government, including the courts.

    Anchovy in reply to Neo. | March 2, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    You think that’s tough, try going through life named 7746390. Everybody thinks you are a phone number and too stupid to get an area code.

I believe Jada when she says she never intended it to be about race, because she has no real incentive to say that. She could easily say “yeah, it’s about race” and most wouldn’t question it because she’s black, and that’s just how it works. Instead, she made it explicit that it wasn’t about race, but about terrible education.

Also, at the end of the Blaze article the principle says “Suffice it to say I am addressing the situation.” As a lifelong resident of Rochester, NY, I feel confident in saying that means he is not addressing the situation at all.

    Hope Change in reply to Awing1. | March 2, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    He can’t address the situation. Watch “THE CARTEL.”

    Anyone who tries to address the situation will be tossed out on their ear. Or worse.

    The schools are a money-laundering operation for the unions.

    there is an actual video, and I think it is on YouTube, with a union official saying he will be concerned about education our kids when kids pay union dues. I believe I saw that clip in “THE CARTEL.”

    The principal, the teachers who love the kids, are pawns in a union power trip.

    And again, I say, as someone who cares about education and our children in every city, town and neighborhood, all across our country, Newt understand this.

    Newt sees that the schools are destroying the education and future of many of our children. He was on a commission in the 90’s and the commission concluded that if a foreign power did to our schools what is being done, we would consider it an act of war. It’s that bad.

    If you love education, watch this:
    “THE FUTURE OF AMERICAN EDUCATION”
    http://mrctv.org/videos/newt-gingrich-college-board-october-27-2011 Brilliant. With Paul Gigot and Joel Klein, The College Board – Oct. 27, 2011

    Sorry I’m so repetitious. But if even one more person gets it, that’s a victory for the future of our kids.

DINORightMarie | March 2, 2012 at 2:24 pm

I wish the teacher had been able to ask the girl, “Now you say here ‘white teachers’ – do you think it is only white teachers who are hurting education? Because that is what this sentence means.” But that would have caused a tsunami of “How DARE you ask such a raaaaacist question!??!”

We really have been set back over 50 years in race relations since BHO was elected – at least!! I hope the child and her parent(s) see that what Glenn Beck said is true: keep asking questions, speaking your mind, seeking after truth.

It matters. One child at a time. It matters!

    Hope Change in reply to DINORightMarie. | March 2, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    HI DINORightMArie — I see what you mean.

    But my son lives in a big city and is friends with people from many backgrounds (although mostly they are low-information liberal, to use the Hillbuzz term of art).

    My son says that Obama’s election has changed the dialogue forever.

    I wonder if what we’re seeing is the repeated attempt to play the race card, with ever-diminishing returns, because people feel in their hearts that it isn’t true any more.

    It WAS one of their most potent weapons on the Left. It’s failing.

    Now they’re looking for other “social justice” issues — voila, contraception is an issue.

    But once a person sees that the “social justice” issue is never the point, the Left loses some of its traction.

    I think what we’re seeing is a kind of yelling, sort of a race card tantrum, from the Left, because the race card has lost much of its power. I wonder.

    In any case, I’m SO with you and everyone on this topic on the importance of good education for our kids, one child at a time. That’s how real learning always occurs anyway, right?.

She had white teachers? What universe did she live in?

Actually, geographical discrimination is not arbitrary. At least in Utah, the public education system is funded through property taxes. Presumably, restricting cross-border access, also ensures greater accountability by contributing individuals with a vested interest.

That said, the goal should not be school choice, but better schools in every geographical location. This can only be done with all relevant interests (i.e. faculty, parents, students) collaborating toward a common goal. The alternative is to promote converged immigration and migration, which is detached from its investment and contributes to progressive corruption.

Furthermore, the integrity of civil servants cannot be tied to the monetary and beneficiary compensation they receive from the public they serve. They need to complete comprehensive audits of each school and its curriculum. The present level of education spending is neither sustainable nor is it justifiable.

    2nd Ammendment Mother in reply to n.n. | March 2, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    The problem is that the current system is a bureaucracy designed to sustain itself and the adults it serves. Students are incidental to the system. The public school system is a model that is broken and should be abolished.

    Lets say you own a tire store and I hired you to replace 4 tires on my car and you only replaced 2. You explain that you didn’t replace the other 2 tires because my car is different from all the other cars, they were stuck and too difficult to change. Is it acceptable that you only did half the job? If you are the expert on changing tires, should you have tried a different strategy to change the tires? Should you be compensated for not replacing half of the tires? Is it acceptable that you send me to another tire shop that will charge me for replacing all 4 tires again?

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