My First Vlog: On Arne Duncan and the Poverty of The Discussion of Poverty

Jose Vilson Video 8 Comments

My first webcam video, where I discuss Secretary Arne Duncan, poverty, Black and Latino males, and teacher effectiveness. This was liberating.

Jose

About Jose Vilson

José Luis Vilson is a math educator, blogger, speaker, and activist. For more of my writing, buy my book This Is Not A Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education, on sale now.

Comments 8

  1. msladydeborah

    Well stated Jose!

    It is pretty mind boggling to think about this discussion being held without mentioning poverty as a primary factor in education. I wonder why Duncan did not mention this in his remarks? It is a major factor in our children’s lives and in many of their families.

    I work for Head Start and it is always in the forefront of our thoughts and actions. I have mothers and fathers who are busting butt all hours of the day and night to make it.

    I’m coming towards the end of my time in a classroom as a teacher. I’ve seen the effects of poverty in its many forms. I have had some brilliant children come through my classroom, and some parents who have managed to make it out. I have also had some children who carry the weight of not having enough and they don’t wear it well.

    I hope that in the future we will see more Black and Latino males in the classrooms across the nation. The need is so great! I really think that there needs to be a nationwide effort to recruit male teachers. There are currently 5 males at my site, which is very unusual for early childhood education. Those brothers do a helluva job with the little folks. They are really dynamic and they are committed to making a difference. But it needs to be system wide and a national standard.

    I really enjoy reading your blog because you bring up the issues that need to be addressed in a straight forward manner.

  2. Matt

    Very cool, Jose. Duncan’s still laboring beneath the infamous Bell Curve/Protestant Work Ethic. There it’s always that left quintile that’s gets left out when the overly priviledged start talking about reforming your education. It only stands to reaseon that since the poor have no wealth to expolit, they have no value in Arne’s weltsenhauung. To even consider the plight of the poor in the U.S. is considered rude and upsetting to the right quintile. Doing something about it would entail some redistribution of their wealth to such unworthy subjects as the inpecunious underclasses. Who’s personal moral lapses are the the true cause of all their miseries, don’t you know?

  3. Post
    Author
  4. Post
    Author
    Jose

    Jovan, my MacBook Pro doesn’t have the HD camera, so the resolution was the same. Thanks, still, for the reminder.

    Deb, thanks for the props. Your opinion’s always welcome here.

  5. Carrie Kamm

    Hi Jose,
    I like the vlog. It is good to see you and hear your voice. If Secretary Duncan were to have brought up poverty, what would you have liked to hear him say? Given that I have always taught in high poverty contexts (98% free/reduced lunch), my students and I could not avoid poverty if we wanted to. I kept coming back to, what can I, as a classroom teacher, do to minimize the impact that poverty had on my students. It didn’t feel like there was much I could do to change economic or social policy, but there were many things I could control in my classroom. I assume you wanted to hear him discuss ed policies and how some of those policies intersect and support (or not) students living in poverty. Just curious.

  6. Post
    Author
    Jose

    Carrie, point and game.

    I think I would have liked to hear him consider how the effects of poverty affect (see what I did there) the classroom happenings. He gave a small window into that but only in the aspect of jobs not about what happens with our kids. We need to invest in ways to minimize the impact of poverty in the classroom, but we need to invest in … getting rid of poverty, too. Just saying.

  7. Matt

    That’s where the streams diverge. Do we want to eliminate poverty? There’s that pesky random distribution model problem again. If every body is wealthy, what good is it? Not that I wouldn’t like to take the cooks tour. I reckon Arne would have given you an earful for a nickel.

Leave a Reply