Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:
Everyone wants our children to be educated so they can achieve The American Dream. But even in school districts run by Black administrators, Black students do poorly on reading and math tests.
According to the article, that’s because Black students lack White Privilege which consists of parental supervision, respect for teachers, education is valued, correctly spoken English at home, homework done and checked for errors, security from violence at home and teachers who have high expectations.
Of course, those are precisely the behaviors that constitute Acting White and which no self-respecting authentic Black youth would be caught dead doing, lest he be ridiculed as an Uncle Tom by peers and in the media.
Worse, the tests measure knowledge that might have been essential to success in 19th Century Prussia, on which our educational system was based. But is it knowledge essential to success as a 21st Century American? What is “success?” The Amish don’t define “success” the same as the Clintons and President Obama’s vision of being an American seems nothing like Ronald Reagan’s vision. Do Blacks define “success” the same as Whites or Asians or recent Central American immigrants or African refugees? What should schools teach when it’s obvious that students do not share the same definition of “success” and how can different measures of “success” constitute one American Dream?
Why should all students take the White Success tests? Maybe there should be a different tests to measure Black success? I’m not talking about racist joke tests like “Jasper steals three watermelons . . .” but a serious inquiry into what constitutes “success” for modern Black Americans and what knowledge, skills and abilities are essential to achieve that success?
I’m asking for a serious inquiry: what is The American Dream?
As we’ve discussed in this space before, “class” privilege is every bit as big an issue as “white privilege” – which is why BLM is protesting so furiously about the white variety.
But “class privilege” is exactly behind our current school system’s definition of “success”.