Why I Do What I Do

On Friday, I wrote about the educational disparities between two schools in the greater Chicagoland area, Harper High and Neuqua Valley High. You can scroll down to read what I wrote if you want to get the background scoop because I'm too pressed for time to recap (got an event to get ready for!) This morning, I started to write a comment replying to fellow bloggers, one of my favorites, DJ Black Adam and Kim (you need a blog so I can link to you!), but it was turning into the longest comment on earth. So I'm going to post it here for everyone to read:

I agree that blindly following the dictates of the clergy or refusing to hold Massa Mayor Daley accountable for the promises he's made are factors in the mix. I'm glad the kids got a pool but Jesse jumping into it sounds a little like a photo-op. But, I wouldn't say that people being happy that kids got a pool is the root cause of the problem. That's why the part of the story where the girl was talking about whether she was getting the same academic education resonated with me the most.

Let me tell everybody where I am coming from...

I have worked with almost 100 schools across Los Angeles and Compton over the past 8 years and I definitely have seen that race is a factor. If I take the top five lowest performing schools in Los Angeles, I can probably count the number of white students in those five schools on both hands. And that's about 10,000 kids total. We have year-round schools out here because of school overcrowding. You'd be hard pressed to find a year-round school in a predominantly white area. Now, if I'm a kid on "B-Track", from K-12, I'm going to get 2 years less schooling than a kid on a traditional school schedule. Would middle-class or wealthier white parents stand for that? No, probably not. Why? Not because they care more about their kids. No, they wouldn't stand for it because they've been socialized to believe that they deserve so much more. As my mom used to say, "___thinks her ass is gold plated!"

It's not that poor black and Latino parents don't complain about all kinds of stuff, including the year-round schools, or that they don't care or don't want to challenge the status quo. First of all, some don't even KNOW that they CAN complain about it. If they go to the school site and complain to the principal, chances are they are going to get treated in a disrespectful manner. I've sat in LOTS of front offices and seen it happen. We'd all be a lot better off if we just owned up to the fact that we treat rich folks better. And you throw some rich white folks in the mix, man oh man, folks are falling all over each other with their effusive shucking and jiving.

Some parents are just grateful that their kid gets to go to school at all. The pressures of being a minimum wage worker and trying to afford housing, clothes, food and put gas in the car are tough. If I work and get paid $10 an hour, that means I'm taking home, before taxes, about $1600 a month. Say my hard-working husband makes the same.... That's $3200 before taxes. If I have two kids and we have a two bedroom apartment, I can automatically axe out AT LEAST $1K for rent. I'm really trying to figure out how someone survives on that and still manages to be at school for the 4:00 parent conference. But wait, if they don't show, we want to say they don't care.

Parents are stressed out just trying to put the food on the table and I've seen that this means that they can have a bit of a blind trust in the school site. We've bought the lie that everyone is getting the same great education despite where they go to school. That's just not true. Parents are telling their kids to work hard in school, to act right, to stay out of trouble. And then what happens...they get teachers that sell weed on the side. They get teachers that can sit up in the classroom, give the kids a worksheet and read the newspaper. They get teachers that tell them, "If you don't want to be here, don't come."

If I see a set of 35 science textbooks at a school, I know that 180 students have to share those books. The books can never go home. That would never happen in a wealthier area and yes, parents would raise hell if the principal told them, "That's what our budget allows!" But to a poor black parent complaining about this, that parent gets treated like the problem for complaining. That parent gets told, "That's the way it is." And it's suggested that the parent should be grateful that their child even has that. See that there are no real expectations that those kids are going to excel academically. Slavery and segregation weren't just about physical oppression. It was about mental oppression as well. It was about getting black folks to the point where we don't expect ourselves to excel too much and we don't challenge the authority systems in this country too much, because guys only need to stop snitchin' and girls need only be a booty-shaking slut...all images put forward with the stamp of approval of the white owned record companies.

Anyway, to me, that's why the kids in Matteson, IL aren't outperforming the kids in Tinley Park. White mothers in Tinley can walk into ANY hair salon and expect to have someone be able to do their hair. White fathers don't have to worry about whether someone is going to call them "articulate" when they are at work. Neither have experience being asked by their boss to accompany them to meetings because a "black face" is needed to represent. (Has happened to me at my current place of employment more than once in the past two years and every time it's, "I hope you understand why I'm asking you to come!") If I went home crazy every day because of that kind of crap, who could blame me? What is the psychological residue of oppression? Not saying it's an excuse, but to act like it doesn't exist is inherently dangerous.

Seriously though, rich parents in Tinley Park don't have to worry that the teachers are going to suggest that their kids are supposed to go to trade school. Can you imagine some kids going to New Trier High School in Winnetka being told to consider taking auto shop classes? I was told that though, "Because being an auto mechanic is a good career for someone like you." You know what my first group of students was called by one of the custodians at my school? They were called the Penal Colony. Yeah, 3rd graders being called the Penal Colony. That has nothing to do with the parents or the community. And if you're told you're nothing, guess what, the self-fulfilling prophecy comes true.

Wealthy white parents will demand certain things because they have an inherent sense of superiority. They are the ruling class in this country. I always say that there are just as many drunks and drug addicts in Compton as there are in Beverly Hills. But guess what, the trifling crystal meth addict parent that shops Rodeo Drive by day and tricks with her husband's friends by night is damn sure that her kid is getting a good decent education...because she has the money to pay for it. I'm sure Paris Hilton's parents were really nurturing and loving people who helped Paris do her homework every night...oh wait, she dropped out of high school. No matter, Paris Hilton gets a reduced sentence for DUI. Is that going to happen to the average black 25 year-old? Nope.

I get angry over teachers, principals and school district officials knowing they can get away with the low academic expectations crap. They know that our society easily reverts to believing that black folks would succeed if they really wanted to...I mean, look at Oprah, the shining example of black billionaire-hood. She's richer than most white folks so how dare anyone black say that racism exists in our educational system or anyplace else!

Here's my thing: Make every school like New Trier and then if people choose to not take advantage of the education, then that's their choice. And when every school is like that, hold every child and parent to the same expectations for academic success and involvement.

As it stands now, ultimately, our society is not going to be too outraged for too long if something bad is happening to poor children of color...and that's why I get up every day and do what I do.

Comments

Anonymous said…
We fairly live by the caste system of old: children are neither to expect, nor to reach, for anything more than their parents' had/were.

A very comfortable position if you're doing really well to begin with. An incredibly despairing situation if nothing much has changed for you in your lifetime, and now your children's lives.

Years ago I became incensed at hearing a representative from Cisco Systems on PBS state that vocational training was a grand idea for "these kids", in lower income school districts where Cisco was funding a computer training co-op curriculum, providing the hardware and support for the schools to train the children to be IT techs, as "they are going to earn more money than their parents ever did, and probably the most they'll make over the course of a lifetime in any other endeavor."

Perhaps so...but what about teaching the children, that they might learn to think, to reach, to aspire, to investigate, to challenge, to become politically engaged? What about remembering that if we do teach them and guide them to go to college, they'll be infinitely farther along in maintaining a hold in life that exceeds their parents', and fleshes out the dreams their parents held for them?
Liz, reading this righteous and prophetic posting of yours set my hair on fire (the little bit that I have anyway). Sooner or later we are going to have to figure out that we will rise or fall as one in America. We cannot allow other people's children to live and learn under conditions that we would be willing to kill somebody to protect our own children from. I'm glad that you do what you do. Keep. It. Up.
West said…
Well-said. Thank you for taking the time to lay it out like that - especially considering your experience and perspective.
Anonymous said…
Hmm I should've posted my comment on this article instead of the other article...
My question Liz, boils down to...On a daily one on one basis...what can I do to get our schools better. What can I do help the other kids who will not be afforded the oppurtunity my step-son has of being pulled out of the raggedy high school he was attending and placed in a 70% white high school with incredible equipment and oppurtunities. How do I help other kids who do not have those oppurtunities? What programs really does help kids? Because the NAACP, Rainbow Coalition and Urban League are not helping. They only cater to those who already know the educated elite (not just the educated, I'm educated, just not elite and they don't look my way)! Can anyone tell me a program that actually works?!
Mamita Umita said…
As a New Trier graduate, I can tell you that we DID have a shop class and a lot of guys did enjoy taking it. However, it was looked more as a extra class (like an art class) rather then something to use as a career option.

I feel so fortunate to have gone to such a great school BASED on education, but there were a lot of other downfalls about being there. There was A LOT of pressure and stress put on us to be the best in the country, and as a person from a middle class non white family to be surrounded by those from million dollar families who were all white, it brought a lot of difficulties my way. I still do not and cannot complain for one moment. I was SO blessed to be able to be there for 4 years just to learn at the level that we did.

For me it basically comes down to what I value more for my children -college level courses vs. diversity and life skill training. I wish there was a school that was able to provide it all, hard and tough courses for kids as well as a diverse cultural environment with a life training or basic skill training. My daughters elementary school provides much of this, and I do feel blessed again that she is in a great enviornment with great teachers and test scores. It was NOT easy to get her into the school, as it is a Magnet school and based on lottery. I think about how many other parents wished their kids could go - out of 60 slots for Kindergarten admin, they received around 800 applications.
Anonymous said…
Thank you for sharing that Liz. I understand and of course agree that race is a factor in this issue of education disparity in the United States. Race is a factor in many aspects of life in this country; I just don’t agree that it is the primary agitator I that needs to be addressed regarding the solution.

We have overcrowded schools, way to large classes, lack of adequate materials, etc., etc, race may be an agitator but I do not think that it defines or really is the basest agitator for the problem at hand and the solution.

Money is there for Chicago schools, corruption, lack of accountability and mismanagement are the most serious problems from my observation.

As for parental involvement (not with the teacher per se but with the ballot)I lived in Matteson, and Chicago, each time, when I went to PTO meetings or LSC meetings, and tried to in anyway get people to demand accountability, or work towards looking at curriculum as opposed to superficial changes (i.e., auditoriums, pools, new gyms, etc.)

Though I am a Christian, I agree with Elijah Muhammad on one serious principle, that being that we must do for self; we cannot expect outsiders to care enough about us or our struggles to rectify our problems.

I think you agree with that, and overall I know you have a genuine passion that our children are precious and need to be treated as such.
Anonymous said…
Opps, I didn't finsh my thought. I was saying:

"As for parental involvement (not with the teacher per se but with the ballot)I lived in Matteson, and Chicago, each time, when I went to PTO meetings or LSC meetings, and tried to in anyway get people to demand accountability, or work towards looking at curriculum as opposed to superficial changes (i.e., auditoriums, pools, new gyms, etc.)I not only met opposition, I in many times was pretty much ignored.

So I did what any other parent who could do would do, I moved to a MUCH better school district. My children were 3 years behind in Math (my 8th grader had to go to summer school AND private tutoring to get prepared to enter the 5th grade AND he was in "advanced" math when were were in Matteson in district 159).

But like I said Liz, we seem to agree that something needs to be done and done soon.
Anonymous said…
I meant to enter the 9th grade, yesh, sorry people, trying to do commercial loans and blog at the same time :-) ...
Anonymous said…
You are right DJ Black Adam. My husband is the President of the neighborhood organization and we can barely get 10 people to come in a neighborhood of at least 2,000 households. Those who do show up refuse to fill out crime cards when drug dealers are selling drugs in their backyard or help clean up the park or anything of that sort.

I was lucky, I went to a township school that was both educationally pressing and diverse. What I found in Indianapolis is that township schools have a reputation to keep up so they compete to see which are the best. Also the more people move into the area the more property taxe money the schools recieve. With education one of the top reasons for moving into a particular neighborhood, its imparative for many townships schools to have higher graduation and test scores. Our public school, IPS have given up because for IPS, especially our middle and high schools its all about survival. Teaching is no longer a given, its a miracle if schools end up with a 70% graduation rate. At my step-son's high school graduation rate was like 40%. Attendence rate was 30%. The vice-principle was a black pompous ASS that thought that all black men were menace to society!
Jameil said…
my friend teaches in bmore. i get so sad when i talk to her. they just got a computer lab. when she told them their last paper had to be typed, they said, "WHAT?? YOU EXPECT US TO HAVE A COMPUTER AT HOME OR SOMETHING?!" "I DON'T EVEN KNOW HOW TO TYPE!" wtf? she's exhausted at the end of every year. the kids get pregnant and want to invite her to their baby showers, no thoughts of college. "we can't go to no college." sometimes it feels like the issues are insurmountable. there are next to no extracurriculars. i never went to one of those schools. i went to the middle to upper middle class white kids schools. i was appalled to learn people went places like this. i mean wtf????
Chas said…
I taught in one of those schools Liz has seen all across LA. She used to come to my classroom and see how I was doing on one of her many cross city school site voyages. So I've seen what she saw, and what I remember seeing was a school full of little brown skinned children who were getting the short end of the stick. I dont see addressing race as the solution to the problem but it was certainly a factor in creating it, if you ask me. My school suffered from a lack of everything: books, chairs, teachers, you name it. Every indication was that we as a society had divested in these kids and their neighborhood. At best they were an acceptable lose and some days I felt that more than just letting them fail, we WANTED them too. In a service sector economy you need more and more people to sweep floors, cook food, and take care of the kids that the wealthy have no more time for. We sold Indians blankets infected with small pox and called it a good deal. It was really a way to get rid of them. We give monority children a substandard/para-standard free education and call it a good deal. Gotta get rid of them too. Think about it like an intellectual land grab.
the last noel said…
When I was a boy, I was bused from the inner city into Bel-Aire. The difference in schools was not lost on me. It influenced my voice as a writer.
Mamita Umita said…
You have been tagged
West said…
Sometimes there's such a HUGE frickin' hole in people's arguments that I have a hard time even summoning the energy to point at it.

It's damned frustrating, sometimes. That's all I'll say, for now.
Liz Dwyer said…
Hi All,
This is the busiest time of year for me at work (end of the school year!) so I apologize for not being able to reply more quickly. Love everyone's comments though so let me try to respond:

Kim,
Yes, plumbers, electricians and IT techs definitely do make money but to me, I'd love to see people have that as an option just as much as the option to be the next great psychologist, art museum curator and teacher. Kids in poor areas don't get that choice, sadly enough. And we all suffer...who knows, if that scientist had gotten an education, we could have a cure for HIV or cancer by now.

Phillipe,
Is the fire out yet? ;)
I'm trying to "keep it up" but my schedule for the next 3 weeks may be the end of me. I'm getting ready to do some 80 hour work weeks till July 1st. Anyway, yes, we are so used to looking at stuff as an either/or choice. Either my kids or your kids get an education. But, we have to shift our perspective to that of being a "both/and" opportunity, and that only happens if I see your kids as being just as worthy and deserving as my own.

West,
It was actually very cathartic to write it, a good inspiration to myself when I'm about to put in the long hours.

Gyamfua,
I've sat in a bunch of recent school board meetings and watched low-income parents CRY and basically get shooed away from the mic. Since money talks, imagine if wealthy people with influence regularly went to the school board meetings and instead of just advocating for their own kids, they said, "I have a problem with the situations at ____ school." If you get a pack of influential parents to roll up on a school board meeting, and if they bring the press with them, that's huge. A really easy thing to do is to start volunteering at a low-income school. Take your friends there, get to know people, start writing to your mayor, your congresswoman, your senator. Not that folks from low-income areas can't do these things, but it doesn't carry as much weight if they do. People are going to start sitting up when someone from 90210 (Beverly Hills) starts complaining about 90220 (Compton). But folks will only do that if and when they believe that the poor black and latino folks are their brothers and sisters...if I don't think you deserve it and if I have a ton of race-based attitudes about why you're in your situation in the first place, then I'm going to do nothing.

Mamita,
Thanks for sharing and repping New Trier! ;) Yes, I think the difference is that in most areas, a shop class (actually, if they even have a shop class) isn't looked at as an elective. It's looked at your career option. Two very different sets of expectations. There's pressures and imbalance at New Trier due to materialism, etc. (to say the least!), but at least everyone's walking out knowing how to read and having taken a college prep course load so they have choices in life. And then there's the network of people you get connected to. To me, no parent should have to pray that they get lucky about getting their child into a magnet school. I keep thinking about how I can get a class action lawsuit going against the magnet system here in LA because if you don't work the system and get into a magnet, your kids are screwed. You might be ok up till 3rd of 4th grade, but after that, when they get to middle school, it's pretty bad.

DJBA,
I hear you on the experience of going to meetings and having people tune out real change. It's happening on a national scale with so many social issues. Sometimes I think that people want the pool instead of the books because it's a tangible, measurable in the short-term evidence of them doing something. I think you can have the best curriculum in the world but if the teachers don't have the right mindset and training, it won't make much difference. I think budgetary decisions can be made...but I also know that at the school I taught at, the photocopier did not work most of the year. I didn't have chalkboards that I could write on because they were too scarred up. My first year, I didn't have reading books for my kids until a couple months into the school year. There's no magic pill I swallowed to make my kids learn regardless. I think I believed they could do it, I loved them and believed in their inherent nobility...and so I worked my ass off for them. They went from not barely knowing letters and sounds (3rd graders but they were supposed to be in 4th grade...did I mention ALL of my students were retainees?) -and they walked out in June reading on grade level, being some of the highest performing kids in the grade level. Again, no magic pill...I just believed it was a real privilege to teach them. And, I think when I do for others, I am truly doing for myself.

Gyamfua
Hi Again! Apathy is a huge problem in most schools and neighborhoods nationally, not just in poor areas. Folks want us to believe otherwise but wealthy folks just want to write a check and have the problem taken care of. Plus, in low-income areas, folks may not know what they can demand or ask for from principals/district leadership. We have serious problems in leadership as far as teachers and administrators. I do think there are a whole lot of teachers that work hard, but I know there are a whole lot that don't.

Jameil,
Bmore is no joke. A friend of mine used to teach there and she felt really overwhelmed at times too. I think you just have to keep your eyes on the ball as a teacher...not get caught up in the baby showers and all that. It's hard but teachers have to be really clear with kids on "Here's what you have to learn no matter what." Ask your friend if she's been on donor's choose to get some stuff donated to her classroom. She might be able to get computers and typing softward donated.

Chas,
It really is an "intellectual land grab". That's brilliant. This is why you were such a good teacher. You did not play when it came time to learn. Ok, I really am cooking next time you come over, just because of this comment. I promise.

Noel,
Bel-Air? That's a long bus ride! I remember the first day I got to my high school and saw "Go home, niggers" written on the door. I know it's definitely influenced the things I want to write about and how I write, and that wasn't even Bel Air. I can't even imagine.

Mamita
I'm such a slow commenter that y'all are posting as I type. Ok, I'll come over and check out what I've been tagged for (but I'm in a meeting till 2:00 so give me a second!)

West
But your picture is still smiling...you don't look frustrated at all! ;)
Anonymous said…
Hello Liz:

you had written: " I think you can have the best curriculum in the world but if the teachers don't have the right mindset and training, it won't make much difference."

I am inclined to agree, however, the only way ANY of that changes, is if, elected officials are called to account. Juan Williams had written in his book "Enough" (and I agree with him) that budgetary concerns, while valid, can be partially and significantly reduced (regarding funding for basic supplies that teachers should have, monies for additional training, etc.) IF mismanagement and corruption within the administration systems of school districts in our larger urban centers in America were dealt with.

Being intimately familiar with CPS, I do know that that system is the personal fiefdom of Duncan and his cronies. Next time pastor Meeks or Jesse Jackson gets people motivated for whatever reason, they might ask a higher price for the votes they bundle up for Daley and crew, that being accountability and equity (cause as you know, one need not go all the way to Nequa Valley to see a "Better school", when Daley has them on the North Side and other well to do places INSIDE of the Chicago School District).
Anonymous said…
@West

I feel you, I am equally frustrated, however, I am frustrated that some folks seem to refuse to see that the solution of some problems that people have starts with THEMSELVES regardless of outside agitators and factors...

But as brother Tavis says, I digress...
velvet said…
This was a really, really excellent post, Liz. It's all such a mess of inequality, from funding to expectations to voice and the racial bias in angering. I don't even know where to begin to comment because there are so many good questions that you raised.

Thank you for the food for thought.
Lisa Johnson said…
Great post! I read another interesting and related post here that you might like reading too.

http://expatjane.blogspot.com/2007/05/black-moms-push-their-kids-educational.html
Liz Dwyer said…
Velvet,
Sometimes it feels like such a BIG mess that it can feel overwhelming to decide where and when engage. I caught my kids up to where there needed to be but they didn't all get a good teacher in 4th grade or beyond. Then there are other issues of what happens at school sites. For example, schools are so overcrowded that kids are hustled in and out of the "cafeteria" (well, in LA, many schools barely have one) for lunch and then left to roam campus afterwards, usually unsupervised. When my first group of kids was in middle school, a couple of my then 6th grade girls were forced to give blow jobs to 8th grade boys at knife point during this unsupervised lunch time.

When I sat down with the principal on behalf of two sets of the parents who were horrified but didn't speak English, he had nerve enough to tell me that he couldn't supervise every single corner of the school and maybe the girls should stick next to the security guard AND how did I know the girls weren't willing participants. I wanted to punch him. Instead, I told him that I was going to the media and he agreed to change some things at lunchtime supervision. But I remember going home just feeling so tired, so exhausted by the fact that he had his job and that my sweet girls had been put through that because of inept policies made by the so-called leadership at a school site.

SO, I emailed a letter to an LA Times reporter that covered education and explained the situation. No response. Wrote again to the reporter and to another one. No response. Then three weeks later I got a response thanking me for the lead and saying that they would follow up if the story was deemed newsworthy.

Yeah. Can you imagine that happening at a school in a wealthy area and it not being deemed newsworthy? Gosh, it just makes me cry all over again just thinking about it. And of course, the principal ultimately didn't change much at all.

Anyway, the question that Gyamfua asked earlier, how do we each make a difference, is so key. I really think that ultimately, anywhere we decide to engage can make a difference in the educational outcomes for children.

DJBA,
I know that's right. Nobody needed to go outside the city limits to find a higher performing school. There are plenty of ones in the city.

DJBA & West,
Cry Pax, please y'all. We all know that there is individual responsibility and collective responsibility. Both are essential to solving the problems that ail our society. Yes, if I know how to add but wait all day for someone to add 2+2 for me, I'm going to be failing the math quiz cause I can and should do it myself. But, if I don't know how to add 2+2 and I don't ask for help, I'm just going waste time coming up with wrong answers. Then I'll get frustrated, quit trying and then get bitter and declare I hate math.

Anali,
Thanks so much for passing the link along. Such an interesting blog and wowzer, she's got a lot of degrees! All I can say is, "Go Girl!"
Anonymous said…
"But, if I don't know how to add 2+2..." it will take someone to show me. Beyond the conceptual, put it in manipulative form, make it tangible.

Prove it.

It is the proof of the active agitation done by, or on behalf of, those who may not follow the form, may not file the papers with the right board, may not do so in sufficient time for this year's calendar, may not be granted permission to speak at the board meeting and so will call out...that is no longer clearly self-evident in the rewards it brings for those who cannot write those checks in lieu of doing Tuesday and Thursday in the classroom, or get out in the community to knock on doors in an effort to raise awareness.

Liz...you're on fire. Take this hectic time in stride.
Liz you know how to get people talkin' I could learn alot from you, my righteous bloggin sistah.
Unknown said…
amen.
i wish every single American could read what you wrote, so they could wake up from their delusions about our educational system.

I don't have any children but I applaud families that are committed to making sure their children receive a top notch education from a system & culture that sells the myth that only the white and upper class should receive the best educational opportunities in this country.

And Liz, please keep doing what you do. Just having your insight and voice is invaluable.
Unknown said…
SO, I emailed a letter to an LA Times reporter that covered education and explained the situation. No response. Wrote again to the reporter and to another one. No response. Then three weeks later I got a response thanking me for the lead and saying that they would follow up if the story was deemed newsworthy.

--I just read this in the comments. As a reformed publicist, I can tell that the mainstream media is just as corrupt as many school systems and has zero expectations of non white people.
(Big surprise.)
What I would recommend (if you have the energy) is to contact journalists (ha ha!) at alternative newspapers, radio stations, podcasts with your story and the LA Times non reaction.

better yet, post the letter with the reporter's name to your blog.

you will be so shocked how fast you will be contacted.
Liz Dwyer said…
Kim
Yes, folks DO need someone to show them. So many people learn by seeing someone else do something. But when it comes to bigger, more complex issues, I wonder why we think that modeling of "success"/how to achieve it is unimportant.

Phillipe
I keep thinking that there are alot of people who don't get involved in\ the conversation, either here on a blog or in real life. I always wonder why not, why not jump in and take a risk, say what you need to say/ask your questions, learn from everyone else. Hmm.

IANSJ This happened in '04 so I wish I still had the email to/from the reporter. Actually, I wish I'd been able to get ideas from someone like you years ago. If I'd had a blog when it happened, I could have put the principal on blast.
velvet said…
The situation with the girls that you wrote about in response to my comment elicited a gasp from me. You can be sure that they would have fixed that in a heartbeat if that were their own daughters and probably sought some kind of prosecution. I don't know how they can dismiss that kind thing so callously and be able to look at themselves in the mirror. Astonishing!

No parent should have to accept anything less than a decent education for our children, yet it's angering how many people have to do just that. It's just not right.

As always, thanks for giving me even more food for thought.
Unknown said…
If only we could have schools which really taught the things people need to know to make the world a wonderful place to be instead of teaching and then measuring conformity.
Anonymous said…
"...instead of teaching and then measuring conformity."

Ouch.

Ooowee.

So succint.
Anonymous said…
Have you seen this?

"A company that provides translation services and cultural sensitivity training to other organizations is being accused of sex discrimination and racial insensitivity in its own ranks."

"To bolster her discrimination complaint with the state, Kelly included photos allegedly showing the company's top two human resources executives dressed up for the 2005 corporate Halloween party as a black pimp and a white prostitute. The "pimp," a white woman wearing blackface and sporting a fake gold tooth, won the prize for best costume, the complaint said."

http://ads.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D8PMRCTO0.htm

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