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You know what all this fucking hostility towards Quvenzhane makes me think about?

thegoddamazon:

youngbadmanbrown:

It makes me think about if there are teachers out there failing little black girls on tests they passed so they’ll “learn their place”

It makes me think about all the assistant managers reporter black female employees to their managers for being late after hearing them get praised

it makes wonder how deep this rabbit hole of bullshit really goes

It makes wonder if any time a black woman isn’t just staying in her lane as a lowly nigger beast if there isn’t some white person there ready to just knock her back the fuck down

My second year of college, first semester, my English professor was an old white woman. I went to Augusta State which is considered a Civil War historical landmark since it was the site of the old armory for the Confederacy. I just gave you that tidbit so you can know the kind of people I had to deal with.

So this old white woman, and if I can dig up my old essays I’ll give her name, she was my professor and we had to write an in-class essay by hand in order to gauge our ability to write for academia.

Naturally, I excelled at it. We weren’t allowed to use notes or anything. It had to be a personal narrative. Now I admit, I was a little ostentatious with my vocabulary but I wrote in such a way that it flowed seamlessly. I sounded like an old and stuffy academic, honestly.

She failed me.

In fact, she kept me after class and said she refused to grade my paper because she felt the words I used to describe my narrative were not my own…because she didn’t expect someone like me to have such an extensive lexicon from rote memory.

This was in 2007, so don’t tell me racism is dead and gone. This was literally the year before Obama was elected for his first term.

So she fails my paper. Now, before I turn in any paper for school I used to send my dad a copy to proofread. So naturally, I call my dad up and complain and he flies from Dubai to Georgia to come have a meeting with her. I don’t know what was said, and I have no idea what the terms were, but she was a lot nicer to me the following day.

She failed me and dropped me from the course, saying I’d have to retake the course over the summer.

Now, when I did retake the course over the summer it was with a white male teacher. He didn’t have the antebellum feel to him so I wagered he transferred from another city. I got an A in his class and he praised my vocabulary and writing ability citing he was surprised I had taken an interest in film critiques (which was the theme of that particular English course).

Anyway, the bottom line is, people like this exist, and not in a fucking vacuum. They exist and they actively seek any opportunity to keep a POC in their “rightful place”, even if it means breaking their own rules to do it. It has happened to me several times and it STILL happens to me, so don’t tell me racism isn’t a thing anymore.

(Source: youngbadmangone)

aubreyli:

wordplaying:

blurintofocus:

markcoatney:

poptech:

One of the reasons why Amanda Ripley is such a groundbreaking education journalist is because she cracks the code on some of the hardest conundrums, like why American students perform poorly compared to kids in other industrialized nations. Her trick on this one? Ask the kids.

Reblogging because Amanda is all of that, and more; she’s one of the sharpest reporters I know. 

So great.

This is super interesting and exceptionally well done, but I feel like she stops short just of the real payoff, for me anyway - WHY don’t American kids feel like school matters to their lives?

(Here’s my theory, as briefly as possible: income inequality. It’s been growing in the US at a staggering pace since the 1970s and it’s become concretized, although it was high even before then. When you cut class mobility, you do things that ripple through a system in ways that are difficult to see until they’re done. Combine that with the changed status of higher education since the introduction of the GI Bill and the whole thing gets very difficult to find a way out of. In my opinion, anyway, this is a very large structural problem, woven into our self-conception.

Maybe that’s why she didn’t ask the question; the answer is depressing as hell.) 

I think that if and when I decide to get another degree in education, I’d like to do it about this phenomenon.  There are just so many other things I’d like to explore:

  • As an educator myself, how have I perpetuated this school culture where content is king?  Why do I give in when my students beg for more knowledge-based questions, because they think they’re easier to answer (and quite frankly, I think they’re easier to grade)?
  • How has this phenomenon perpetuated and caused what I have noticed to be a culturally-ingrained sense of pride at the lack of education in certain parts of the US?  What does it mean that George Bush’s ignorance was seen as him being “folksy” in some places, while Obama’s university degree made him seem elitist?  Why does everyone know who Snooki is, but not who won the Nobel prize for physics in 2011?
  • Does income inequality affect those in the upper portion as well as the lower?  Has the US become a society where the wealthy don’t value education because they’re set for life anyway, and the poor don’t value education because they’re doomed for life anyway, leaving the middle class to be ground between the two?

The US Congress has just introduced a queer-positive sex ed bill!

sanityscraps:

OH PLEASE LET THIS HAPPEN. I’M SO HAPPY.

A new sex eduction bill introduced in the US on Thursday would provide five year grants to programs rejecting gender stereotypes and embracing LGBT students.

The Real Education for Healthy Youth Act, which was sponsored by Representative Barbara Lee of California, Senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey, and 32 other Democrats, encourages a “comprehensive” approach to sex education in schools and universities.

The bill would require programs to emphasise emotional skills and the development of “healthy attitudes and values”, around a variety of issues such as body image, gender identity and sexual orientation.

Strict standards would be set by it to prevent the promotion of gender stereotypes, and deliberate withholding of information about HIV, reports the Hill. 

"What would you feel is most wrong with the school system?"

presidentjonesco:

  • Teachers aren’t paid enough. Arguably, teaching is the most influential profession for a country’s growth. If you want to attract the most talented individuals, you need to offer incentive. Pay should be closer to that of a doctor. On top of monetary compensation, societal respect needs to be much higher.
  • Too much emphasis on standardized testing. The core of the modern school system, everything from funding to ratings, relies on the system of standardized testing. Tests of that nature have to be simplified to ensure consistency, so it’s boiled down to facts that can be memorized, which is not necessarily an indicator of understanding.
  • Too much emphasis on math and science. While vital subjects, they should not be the only respected fields. This emphasis seems to tie in to the prior point: these fields are emphasized in part because they can be graded more easily than other subjects. As well, the impact of advanced knowledge in these fields is more easily verified. Nevertheless, a balanced approach is best.
  • There’s a hierarchy that needs to be shaken up. Have you ever noticed that the best, most experienced teachers tend to be given the honors courses? If you excel at school at an early age, you will be given the best education that your area offers. However, if you initially struggle, then it is tremendously difficult to catch up, given that your teachers are just not as skilled as those that teach higher-level courses.

There’s a few.

dhs-informant:

Honestly, if we just recognize that public schools (Kinder-PhD) are not there to educate us because “education is good” but are there to impart the minimum standard of knowledge needed for the next generation of workers to keep the economy functioning, we can move toward a more comprehensive critique of capitalism.

karnythia:

information addict: theuniversalpool: firework-comic: “African American adolescents tend…

sourcedumal:

thewayistare:

theuniversalpool: firework-comic:

“African American adolescents tend to have more success in school if their parents instill in them a sense of racial pride, reducing their vulnerability to the effects of racial discrimination from teachers and peers.”

Can Instilling Racial Pride In Black Teens Lead To Better Educational Outcomes? (via biyuti)

Imagine that: people do better when they feel good enough about themselves to counteract the bullshit that attacks them. Across the board.

(via zuky)

Yes, so there was this big controversy a few years back in Toronto because a group wanted the school board to open an Afro-centric school, and a lot of people were like, “But segregation!”

Those in support, though, argued that if black parents wanted their kids to go to an Afro-centric school, that was very different from the government forcing their kids to be segregated. It should be noted that this is a huge distinction, and very true.

So the school was created, and the curriculum covers both the stuff required by the government (Canada’s history, blah blah blah), but with key differences:

a) In history, for example, students also learn about the African diaspora and African history as well as Canadian history

b) In English, works by black authors are studied

c) In classes like math and science, examples are given of black mathematicians and scientists

d) There is, in general, a lot more emphasis on the achievement of black academics and people than there is in a “regular” school

GUESS WHAT? (I’M TYPING IN CAPS BECAUSE THIS IS ACTUALLY REALLY EXCITING AND COOL.)

What was expected was that students at this school would outperform black students at non-Afro-centric schools on the EQAO (standardized tests administered in grades 3, 6, and 9 in Ontario). 

What happened was even better.

Not only did students at this school outperform black students at non-Afro-centric schools in Ontario, they outperformed pretty much ALL students in Ontario, white or otherwise.

This school has one of the highest EQAO ratings in the entire province. 

*That’s* the difference a relatable education makes.

If I coulda had my HBCU experience in high school (coed, though), hell, if I could work with mostly POCs I would be the happiest camper evah

There is a reason why even MLK was against intergration in schools…

Because he KNEW.

Black children NEED an Afro-centric education.

YOU SEE THESE RECEIPTS.

Fostering pro-Blackness = SUCCESS for Black children.

But I bet you we’ll hear nothing but whinging from color blind folks who say we all bleed red.

jadelyn:

fueledbyrydenn:

superhighschoollevelgay:

tiny21dancer:

“I guess your grades are more important to you than your morals are,” my English teacher spits out, lecturing our class about cheating that’s been going on in the school.

My classmates and I exchange glances. Well, yeah, we all seem to be thinking together. Isn’t that what they’ve been showing us since middle school?

#also that our grades are more important #than ourselves.

and our mental and physical health.

Well, when you indoctrinate kids into chasing after your arbitrary markers of “success”, how upset can you really get when they use whatever means they must in order to reach it?  You teach children that their grades define their self-worth and their entire future - oh, lip service is given to “self-esteem” and whatever, but kids aren’t stupid.  They see what you do, how you treat grades versus how you treat the supposedly-important self-esteem thing, and they see that it doesn’t match what you say.  You give out rewards and incentives to kids who get good grades, but do you give out rewards to kids for demonstrating self-assurance and standing up for what they believe in even when it goes against the obedience teachers and the school system and adults in general want to see from them?  No.  So kids pick up on the implicit lesson behind those actions, and learn that grades are the Most Important Thing, and standing up for one’s ethics and morals is inconsistently rewarded and may even be punished.  And then you get upset when they put that lesson into practice?

I had one teacher during my 12 years of school who actually demonstrated what giving a shit about kids’ self-esteem and confidence looked like.  One.  She was a long-term substitute because our teacher got sick (or maybe pregnant?  I don’t remember, it was the third grade) a couple months into the school year, so she took over and taught the rest of the school year.  She encouraged creativity.  She talked openly about love and caring for yourself and each other.  A handful of us were writing-inclined, and she took us under her wing and helped us write a class play that was also a freaking musical.  In the third grade.  I still remember those sessions, where every idea was valued even if it was patently ridiculous and impossible, because we were having faith in our own imaginations and abilities and nurturing that was more important to her than getting practical, usable ideas out of us.  

And I also remember that the parents regarded her with a sort of tolerant bemusement, and she was generally considered to be a capital-W Weirdo, although a harmless and fluffy type at least.  Because that wasn’t how you were supposed to teach, all warm fuzzies and creativity.  And that was a lesson, too.  

Kids see far more than most adults give them credit for.  They may not know the word “hypocrisy” when they’re young, but they sure as fuck get the concept, because it is amply demonstrated for them over and over and over again.

Don’t get mad when “do as I say, not as I do” doesn’t work.

(Source: dersedaydreaming)

tiny21dancer:

“I guess your grades are more important to you than your morals are,” my English teacher spits out, lecturing our class about cheating that’s been going on in the school.

My classmates and I exchange glances. Well, yeah, we all seem to be thinking together. Isn’t that what they’ve been showing us since middle school?

(Source: dersedaydreaming)

fuckyeahfeminists:

feminist-space:

girljanitor:

Steve Bowler tweeted a photo of an assignment that his 8-year-old daughter’s teacher said she did incorrectly. The homework assignment had a list of toys or activities, and the kids were supposed to categorize them based on whether they were for boys, girls, or both, with equal numbers in each box. The assignment takes for granted the gendering of toys, and that there is a “correct” answer to the question of which gender they are appropriate for.
Bowler’s daughter did the assignment differently. After placing 3 items in the “boys” category and 2 in the “girls” group, she made additional boxes to add more things in the “both” column.
But at the bottom, the teacher notes that the assignment wasn’t done correctly. The point of the assignment is to categorize; the implicit message — that boys and girls are different types of people who like different types of things — isn’t questioned. A child sees this list of items and doesn’t gender them in the way the lesson took for granted; the reaction wasn’t to acknowledge her innovation and perhaps question the gendering, it was simply to say she did it wrong.
Bowler, for the record, said he was proud his daughter failed the assignment and just wished she’d done even worse on it.
via sociological images
[some gender-related bullshit removed.]

I’d be at the school having a giant argument with the teacher.

This is the most ridiculous assignment. I would be so confused by it because I definitely had Matchbox cars, LEGOs, AND Erector sets as a child.

fuckyeahfeminists:

feminist-space:

girljanitor:

Steve Bowler tweeted a photo of an assignment that his 8-year-old daughter’s teacher said she did incorrectly. The homework assignment had a list of toys or activities, and the kids were supposed to categorize them based on whether they were for boys, girls, or both, with equal numbers in each box. The assignment takes for granted the gendering of toys, and that there is a “correct” answer to the question of which gender they are appropriate for.

Bowler’s daughter did the assignment differently. After placing 3 items in the “boys” category and 2 in the “girls” group, she made additional boxes to add more things in the “both” column.

But at the bottom, the teacher notes that the assignment wasn’t done correctly. The point of the assignment is to categorize; the implicit message — that boys and girls are different types of people who like different types of things — isn’t questioned. A child sees this list of items and doesn’t gender them in the way the lesson took for granted; the reaction wasn’t to acknowledge her innovation and perhaps question the gendering, it was simply to say she did it wrong.

Bowler, for the record, said he was proud his daughter failed the assignment and just wished she’d done even worse on it.

via sociological images

[some gender-related bullshit removed.]

I’d be at the school having a giant argument with the teacher.

This is the most ridiculous assignment. I would be so confused by it because I definitely had Matchbox cars, LEGOs, AND Erector sets as a child.

In America, your textbook reads YOU.

wilwheaton:

onthemedia:

“Say a student uses an introductory psychology e-textbook. The book will be integrated into the college’s course-management system. It will track students’ behavior: how much time they spend reading, how many pages they view, and how many notes and highlights they make. That data will get crunched into an engagement score for each student.”

This is awful, and should not happen.

tetraghost:

one of the problems with the way k-12 education works rn is that?? not only is there the thing where not all intelligent kids are Good Students with Good Grades and Potential, the kids who do end up as Good Students tend to also be high-stress kids with self esteem issues and when they’re stuck in the Good Student-Bad Student dichotomy, guess what happens?? if they have a bad year, it fucks up their grades a bit, they need to take a year off for health reasons, all that shit? it fucking tears them apart.

because suddenly they feel like they’re a Bad Student and the k-12 system portrays Bad Students as stupid and lazy and less important and inevitably doomed to not “succeeding” (that high school > college > job > money shit they feed you until you graduate), and when kids are told for 14 years straight that being a Good Student is the most important thing, and it doesn’t matter if they’re not popular or all that other shit, because being a Good Student is the best thing about them!! it’s their best quality!!

and so when they abruptly (or even over the course of a couple years) stop being a Good Student because of things that are outside of their control or outside of what they can handle right now, like mental illness or bullying or health issues or family issues or money issues or a whole host of other things, it fucks them up so bad because they’ve been told their whole lives that what they’ve just lost is the most important thing about them, and then they just. have nothing left. and that is fucking devastating

SWEET FUCKING JESUS THIS

fuckyeahfeminists:



ameliated:

goodstuffhappenedtoday:
 Nashua South freshman wins $25,000, America’s Top Young Scientist award

Deepika Kurup, a freshman at Nashua High School South, has won first prize of $25,000 in the 14th annual Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge for a method of purifying water with solar power.
Kurup’s invention uses two chemicals – titanium oxide and zinc oxide – which, when hit by sunlight, undergo a chemical change producing hydroxyl radicals that can attack and destroy certain types of bacteria.
She tested them in various translucent containers heating by parabolic reflectors and found that they reduced populations of various bacteria by large amounts.
Kurup competed alongside nine finalists Tuesday in a live competition at the 3M Innovation Center in St. Paul, Minn.
She was awarded the title of “America’s Top Young Scientist,” $25,000 and a trip from Discovery Student Adventures.
In addition to presenting their prototypes, the 10 finalists competed in two additional challenges in which they were asked to combine multiple 3M technologies to yield new solutions and build a machine designed to turn on a light bulb using science and engineering principles.
Finalists were evaluated on their scientific knowledge, creativity and use of 3M technology
For details, visit www.newsinfusion.com/events/youngscientist2012.


Dude.
This is going to change the world. It’s passively cleaning water. That’s fucking huge.



yay awesome young female brown scientists! Show ‘em how it’s done.

fuckyeahfeminists:

ameliated:

goodstuffhappenedtoday:

Nashua South freshman wins $25,000, America’s Top Young Scientist award

Deepika Kurup, a freshman at Nashua High School South, has won first prize of $25,000 in the 14th annual Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge for a method of purifying water with solar power.

Kurup’s invention uses two chemicals – titanium oxide and zinc oxide – which, when hit by sunlight, undergo a chemical change producing hydroxyl radicals that can attack and destroy certain types of bacteria.

She tested them in various translucent containers heating by parabolic reflectors and found that they reduced populations of various bacteria by large amounts.

Kurup competed alongside nine finalists Tuesday in a live competition at the 3M Innovation Center in St. Paul, Minn.

She was awarded the title of “America’s Top Young Scientist,” $25,000 and a trip from Discovery Student Adventures.

In addition to presenting their prototypes, the 10 finalists competed in two additional challenges in which they were asked to combine multiple 3M technologies to yield new solutions and build a machine designed to turn on a light bulb using science and engineering principles.

Finalists were evaluated on their scientific knowledge, creativity and use of 3M technology

For details, visit www.newsinfusion.com/events/youngscientist2012.

Dude.

This is going to change the world. It’s passively cleaning water. That’s fucking huge.

yay awesome young female brown scientists! Show ‘em how it’s done.

It wasn’t very detailed. This seems to be a trend.

PRESIDENT OBAMA, about Mitt Romney’s education plans.

Best zinger all night.

(via inothernews)