Blog Post 7 (Jacques)

Jacques Charrier
September 29, 2018
Blog post 7

3 things I learned:

First: Meritocracy is the prominent viewpoint in Western culture and is often used to justify the mistreatment of others. While it is true that grit plays a role in a person’s success, that virtue certainly not the only contributor. Often the environment that a person grows up in has a significant influence on their ability to be successful. Schools that have more funding often have more students that preform better overall than schools with less. In Fairfax County Virginia government funding averages out to $13,700 per student, while Scott County Mississippi averages out to $7,900. This is a remarkable difference. Also, parents with better incomes usually have more time to read to their kids and help with their education. Parents who have been to college are more successful in helping their children follow in their footsteps.

Second: Standardized tests are created for the majority, which essentially means white middle class students. Black and Latino students are naturally at a disadvantage when it comes to testing, which is one of the main reasons for their frequent dropout rates. Black students have a three times greater dropout rate than their white counterparts. Our society is mainly structured to serve the privileged, which is why those who are at a disadvantage often stay that way for the rest of their lives.

Third: In order to change this biased system, information about its flaws must be circulated so as to raise awareness. Teachers and parents need to teach their children about other cultures and languages in order to familiarize them with the backgrounds of other people. If children are mindful of cultural and economic differences, then they will naturally be more prone to act against the injustices that are brought against others. Individual needs and difficulties must be shared communally in order for them to be fulfilled or resolved.

2 connections:

First: Families’ access to better quality of life results in better education and future success for their children. In my English class we discussed how most of the famous poets in the Romantic era were rich white men. This was because back then it was mostly the rich who had the leisure time needed to write poetry and essays. And they had the money and status to go to better-known universities in order to refine their writing skills and learn about the world. Sadly back then women were seen as incapable of making serious literary contributions and writing good poetry, and had a much harder time as a result.

Second: The Tolerance Paradigm is a safe route for teachers when it comes to discussing such issues as decimation and racism. Sadly, however, this mindset does not do much to change the system. Instead, one should be more mindful of the Transformation Paradigm, which is more active in changing deeply rooted structures of inequality and racism. In high school I found that many of my teachers strayed away from touching upon controversial issues such as racism, perhaps out of fear that they would experience a backlash from parents. The teachers that did talk about racism and discrimination merely introduced the topic, and were not forceful in encouraging students to fight against it.

1 question:

As a teacher, what is the best way to deal with angry parents who feel like their children are being brainwashed by messages of tolerance, diversity, and fairness?

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