Wednesday, April 25, 2012

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What is a public school push out? Jada Williams' experience

 If you have been following my blog, you may have noticed that I keep mentioning public school push-outs.  Public school push-outs are kids that have been deemed unteachable by the school.  They used to be drop-outs, but since homeschooling became virulently popular, schools have instead taken efforts to make kids miserable, and to find reasons to push them out of schools, in many cases, they suggest "homeschooling" to the parent.

Well, a powerful student has now joined the ranks of a homeschool push-out.  I don't know what educational course is ahead of her, but for
now, she has been pushed out of public schools in Rochester NY and her mom had to quit her job to come home to educate her.

WHY?  Looks like she is to smart for own good.  She was given an essay assignment about Fredrick Douglass biography.  She internalized it, and wrote about it from her heart.  It was not pretty, but it was her experience and how she felt.  The teacher and schools turned on her, but fortunately the community has rallied around her.
(as an adult, I can see where she could have softened her essay... not using phrases like "white teachers" and such, but she wrote from her heart, about her experience, and as a 13 year old.  Now she's already an ANGRY BLACK WOMAN.

In case you can't understand every word in the video above, you can find the transcript here:  
(only read the comment sections if you want to be fueled by hate)

As a parent of black children and the aunt of dozens of black children, I would like to think that if this had been one of mine, that I would have insisted on a round table of dialogue and stood behind what my child felt, while explaining that maturity may have tempered the words on the paper.  I would like to have had a conversation about there being validity her feelings about school and her parallels drawn in the book.  I would like to have thought that I could have convinced the teachers to not take it personally, and to perhaps think about their expectations of black children, hopefully causing some progress in the schools.

As a former resident of Rochester NY, I know that my kids would have never been in Rochester Public schools.  I realize this is kind of elitist, but I saw how bad the public schools were, with 12 and 13 year old girls killing each other over boys and fighting outside even the best of schools.  I personally bought a house in a town with a better school district, and still sent my son to a Catholic preschool.  Rochester public schools were bad when I was there over a decade ago... and they are clearly still bad.

As a parent who has homeschooled for most of the past decade, I know that while I would like to talk and cajole, and affect change in schools, I know that I don't have the time or patience for people to come around.  If there is a problem with the school or the educational system, I can't leave my child there.  I would much rather influence schools from the outside without my kids being the test dummy.

But I have seriously digressed.

I have met far too many Jada Williams' in my travels.  There are a great many accidental homeschoolers who the schools offered to put in Special Ed at best so parents have no choice but to remove these "undesirable" kids from schools.  Even worse than this is that the bar on what child is desirable or undesirable is on the move.   It used to be children who misbehaved were undesirable.... then it became kids who had slight learning difficulties that were too expensive for the school and brought down test scores... now it is kids who are highly intelligent, but speak out of turn... you know, too smart for their own good... kids like Jada Williams.

Also read

A 13-Year-Old's Slavery Analogy Raises Some Uncomfortable Truths in School



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