Wednesday, September 3, 2008

//If We Really Want our Schools to Get Better..

OK, this is not specifically a DJ-related post but whatever, for me it's all related. If you're not interested you can p
roceed directly below to the music...

I have not read a book this important about addressing racial inequality in schools, which is a DAILY REALITY. It is frank and practical, and has the potential to be extremely powerful. It is well-written, and like most work that is revolutionary, is full of love for our kids and the future. I don't say that often about a book not authored by Paulo Friere or bell hooks or Jonathan Kozol. Credit is due though, the authors borrow much from two of my other favorite books relevant to the education of students of color: Lisa Delpit's Other People's Children and Beverly Daniel-Tatum's Why are all the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? Now, to many educators of color the stuff in here is not new, but it is phrased in a way that makes sense especially in terms of communicating with White teachers and administrators...and once understandings of the institutional racism and White privilege in schools are made the authors address what to DO about it in schools. Peep an excerpt:

Key to closing the racial achievement gap is increasing teacher effectiveness with students of color in the classroom. Studies have shown the dramatic long-term effect on achievement when students consistently have effective versus ineffective teachers....

The racial achievement gap cannot be closed without talking about racial achievement disparities existing between White students and most student of color populations. But we cannot effectively talk about raci
al achievement disparity without first learning how to effectively talk about race.

A major barrier preventing change in the racial predictability of school performance: educators, especially White teachers and administrators, do not know how to talk about race...and educators of color grow weary and disengage from the conversation as well. For both groups, if we cannot talk about how race effects our schools, we cannot change our schools. This book gives practical tools for how to keep that conversation going. This is not only relevant for educators, but also community organizers, policymakers, parents, people with family members in public schools, and anyone who cares about improving public education.

Big up to my school administration for giving every adult a copy at the beginning of the year as required reading. And big beginning of the year shout to all my teachers.
Check this book out for real...I'm down to pass my copy around too.

We now return to our regularly scheduled musical selection, already in progress. 1ne luv.

Barrington Levy "Teach the Youth" (Joe Gibbs, 1980)

2Pac & Nas f/ J.Phoenix "Thugz Mansion" (Sony, 2002)