a thoughtful web.
Share good ideas and conversation.   Login or Take a Tour!
comment by kleinbl00
kleinbl00  ·  982 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Choosing a School for My Daughter in a Segregated City

Fuck this article. It's about a black woman who's super gung-ho about sending her black kid to a black school despite the fact that it's crowded and the test scores suck, despite the fact that fostering diversity would be sending her black kid to a white school. Then there's furor about white parents freaking out about their white kids attending her black school, then things get rezoned and she's all butt-hurt about how now there are white kids coming to her black school and how that's a "victory for the status quo."

I grew up in a spectacularly good school district, but I grew up going to the elementary school that served the trailer parks. My childhood friends didn't graduate. A few of them died. The kids from the good schools? They were the nerds that we all made fun of as we smoked by the overpass. I was a smart kid but I was so adamantly disengaged from academics because my posse? My posse smoked pot and got knocked up.

I happily sent my daughter to a daycare run by Equadorians. They spoke Spanish and had chickens and it was awesome. I'm not sending my kid to the elementary school she can walk to not because it's predominantly latino but because the 9-year-old next door can't fucking read and thinks maybe road signs are alive.

Dated a girl. Parents divorced. She went to live with her mom and went to public school. Her sister went to live with her dad and went to Bill Gates' alma mater. Girl I dated moved in with her drug dealer at 17 and became a social worker. Her sister's at the Max Planck institute.

I'm not about to insist on vouchers. I will happily support whatever tax levees my elected officials think will help everyone else's kids but mine will leave that public education on the table for as long as I can afford to, thanks.

In happymagicleverland, my white kid goes to the Spanish-speaking school and makes a whole bunch of delightful brown friends who all sing koom-bay-yah together. But here in the world she's learning to read at 5 and her three closest friends are Chinese, black and Iranian... and their parents are people like me who want to give their kids every advantage, not make some fucking political statement.





cgod  ·  981 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I along with several other people on Hubski went to what was billed as one of Americas best public High schools. The graduation rate was above 99%, only a few kids didn't go on to college. It met some kind of standard about how many computers per kid and what classes offered that gave it some kind of award.

I hated just about every minute of it. I learned next to nothing from my teachers. I had four really good teachers in those four years and two of those were teaching me things that had nothing to do with the subject at hand.

I spent most my time reading books of my own choice. I think that it became common knowledge that leaving me alone to read my book was best for everyone because getting me involved in class wasn't going to make anyone's life better.

Maybe other people on Hubski will tell you how enriched their life was because the incredible opportunities available at Rochester Adams High School, that well funded island dedicated to pursuit of fake ass excellence but I found it infantalizing and repressive.

I hope my kid loves school and goes to football games and all that shit and becomes a happy little cog in the machine for her own sake so she can go on to the next bloated bureaucracy to strive and thrive. I have little faith that any of that will do much to contribute to her cultivating a life time love of learning or attaining a sense of compassion because all people basically want the same things for life and their failures are all our failures or so many other lessons that get lost in formal education.

I desperately hope that she becomes a voracious reader to consumes everything before her, trash and treasure, like a horde of locust. I hope she loves learning and can't help but find out more about her world every day.

I think 80% of her time in the classroom will make her board and dumb. I hope 20% of her time might expose her to something that lasts a life time. Schools don't teach people to think, hunger for knowledge and exposure to great thinkers can.

I think this whole thing might become a problem in my life if my kid isn't a good little cog. I couldn't care if what her grades are, or what stupid shit she is being spoon fed in school as long as she has her nose in a book. I'm pretty sure grades will be important to my wife and mother.

WanderingEng  ·  982 days ago  ·  link  ·  

The article annoys me in a way I can't quite explain.

My own childhood education was in a rural town. The idea of picking a school is foreign to me. There was one elementary school and one junior/senior high school (single building slightly segregated by wing). Calling it predominantly white is an understatement. I believe my class was the first to graduate a non-white student. There were three (or maybe four?) in my class of 63 (the biggest graduation ever).

Did we all have the same opportunities? Did we have the same opportunities as our peers in the cities in the area? Did the students from those cities have the same opportunities as the students from the large metropolitan areas? Definitely not. Was it because of race? Definitely not.

Arriving at college, I found people who were sophomores before they sat one day in a college class because they had so many AP credits. I had five credits, and I know for a fact it was five more than every other student in my high school graduating class.

I've been thinking about buying a house for some time. At the top of the list is a city in the area with great schools. I don't have kids and don't plan to, but the schools are a draw to me. It isn't for the education, it's because my neighbors would be the kind of people who value education.

I think America has a race problem. It also seems to me the underlying problem is one of income disparity or maybe more generally economic gaps. My small town had no AP program; there was no money to provide one. Maybe the author would say that was unfair, too, but what's the solution?

kleinbl00  ·  982 days ago  ·  link  ·  

WanderingEng  ·  981 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    the exploration of North America has always been a process of "waste people" moving into undesirable lands, dying by the droves, establishing a toehold and then being swept aside by the desirable class

Applied to schools and neighborhoods today but with somewhat less dying. I suppose that's my issue with the article here. The author lists grievances around one type of discrimination while implicitly arguing that it's the only relevant type of discrimination.

blackbootz  ·  982 days ago  ·  link  ·  

What would you say then to her claim that school integration seems to be the only policy that closes the achievement/test score gap between black students and white students?

I had some misgivings and confusion about the article. For example, she says only 15% of the students in the entire city are white. So what would her master plan even look like? Also, isn't she doing what she accuses white families of doing? She didn't pick a nearby school in Bed-Stuy but looked at three schools in other neighborhoods, like in Vinegar Hill/Dumbo. When she looks past Bed-Stuy schools in favor of PS 307, it's laudable... but when white or Asian families do the same, it's too race-conscious or something.

I'm conflicted. I grew up in Baltimore city's public school system. So while the city is 60-some percent black, my middle school was 40% and then high school 90%. I was in magnet schools and special programs, so my public school experience wasn't typical, but enormously important to me. I always looked down at the (always majority-white) private schools, without considering the natural desire of parents to provide their child every advantage, even if carrying out that advantage has the patina of racism.

kleinbl00  ·  982 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I'm totally down with integration. A firm believer in it, in fact. But that's not what she wrote. She wrote that she wanted her kid to be in a non integrated school, then wrote how integration was great, then got bent out of shape when the white people came in and integrated the school. Hey, where's a great quote?

    This was in large part because of the efforts of a remarkable principal, Roberta Davenport. She grew up in Farragut, and her younger siblings attended P.S. 307. She became principal five decades later in 2003, to a low-performing school. Davenport commuted from Connecticut, but her car was usually the first one in the parking lot each morning, often because she worked so late into the night that, exhausted, she would sleep at a friend’s nearby instead of making the long drive home.

Color me crazy but I don't think the quality of education available to children shouldn't be dependent on saints willing to immolate themselves on the pyre of fundamentalist zeal. The system that should be celebrated is the one with repeatability, durability and characteristics that attract educators who don't want to burn out in a year. Hey, where's another one?

    Four excellent teachers, all of them of color, guided Najya and her classmates with a professionalism and affection that belied the school’s dismal test scores. Faraji and I threw ourselves into the school, joining the parent-teacher association and the school’s leadership team, attending assemblies and chaperoning field trips. We found ourselves relieved at how well things were going. Internally, I started to exhale.

She's effectively saying we got all up in the school's business and while the school objectively sucks, at least our kid is learning something in Pre-K. I'm all up in my kid's school's business, too - but then, it's a nonprofit heavily reliant on donations and volunteer work (like "please come out next weekend we need to paint the classrooms and lay down mulch"). But she's also acknowledging that she made a demonstrably questionable decision and that as awesome as the school is, she sure doesn't feel comfortable letting it sort itself out.

Much of the article is about how great the white kids have it. Much of the article is about how as soon as the white kids show up, so does the money. Yet much of the article is about how the fuckin' white kids never share their money with the black kids, and to prove it she's sending her kid to where there are no white kids.

I got a couple friends. One of them was the smarter kid in my classes. I've known him since I was four. He's an unemployed building manager who didn't finish college. One of them was an average kid in my ex's sister's classes at Lakeside. I've known him since college. He founded a software development company that now has 25 employees.

Is it more noble to make my daughter hang out with the unemployed building manager class or the firm founder class? FUCK NOBILITY. I ain't gonna fix shit by sending my kid to a shitty school whereas if I pay for other kids while instilling in my kid the value that success is an obligation to help those without it, the world benefits hella more.

blackbootz  ·  981 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  

    FUCK NOBILITY.

I think this is part of what gets at me. It's one thing if something done for the right reason happens to also be noble. It's another if a thing is done so as to telegraph to everyone watching that This Here is a Noble Act. This is mind-reading territory which can be dangerous. I don't want to second guess this reporter's motives. As far as I can tell, she wants to send her daughter to a segregated school to help her daughter's classmates, at the expense of a better school she could have sent her. But it also seems like there's a larger narrative the reporter wants her readers to read into, i.e. that white people in Dumbo are racists.

thenewgreen  ·  981 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I'm glad that this comment was yours. Why? Because it's the 400,000th post on Hubski and because it's from a long time hubskier.

Congrats! You win.... a badge.

Shit, I'm out of badges.

You win a drink on me the next time I see you. Which, I bet is in 2017. mk and I are going to start doing more Hubski meetups in 2017 as we travel the country banking stem cells :)

veen  ·  979 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Man, I now feel like an old fart because I joined just before post 100,000! What a milestone, crazy to think there are almost half a million posts here.

blackbootz  ·  981 days ago  ·  link  ·  

2017? ;) Can’t wait TNG, bring it on! I think Baltimore and DC are ripe for a friendly gathering.

400,000! Here’s to 400,000 more.

user-inactivated  ·  981 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Congrats! You win.... a badge.

Wow, good catch. Done.

oyster  ·  982 days ago  ·  link  ·  

When I was in grade 4 I moved half way through my school year from a low income area where we had lockdowns so dogs could come sniff the lockers for drugs to this new school in a rural area with some wealth. I still remember getting there and feeling very out of place when we started every day with a little quiz of the basic multiplications tables. I’m conflicted because I’m better off academically for having gone to that school but I’m also so happy I experienced both because ohhhhhhmygawd these sheltered kids are dumb as rocks about some things.

I’m guessing there’s a happy middle ground between giving your child every opportunity to excel and not sheltering them to the point were they literally don’t know how to live life outside their little box.