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vocational schools

On Ridiculous Assertions By [Some] White Liberals

by Jose Vilson on August 3, 2011

in Jose

Oh well-meaning “liberals,” you sound ridiculous even when you don’t realize it. I’d be more offended if I didn’t hear some of the nonsense from Black people, too. Whenever you say things like,

What we need is more vocational schools and alternative schools so that our lower functioning kids can at least have a chance at being productive members of society.”

it usually means no-good very-bad racist things you’re probably not even aware of. If we’re being idealistic, then 10-20% of every type of kid might find themselves in these schools that help them become professionals in a profession not fostered by the usually rote traditions of high schools. These kids would get some sort of technical or art degree and do marvelously after school and have the option of pursuing an advanced degree from a four- to five-year college, and voila! They’re on their way to pursuing the American Dream.

Realistically, though, too many teachers and school staff still equate “low-performing” with people who are learning the English language for the first time or people … of … color. There. I said it. It makes people uncomfortable that I should mention that not every educator has the same sense of dedication to our students. Some educators still believe that they’re “saving” children. Others think that their skin color is a cause for Dangerous Minds defense mechanisms or Freedom Writers heroism.

Half the time, I feel like telling these teachers like I used to tell my boys in the club, “Yo, just chill out. Bounce with the beat. You’re doing too much.” Other times, I just crack the hell up while they try too hard. Mostly, I just get Angry Black Man in my own mind and snicker loudly. I mean, what do you want me to say? Our kids get disproportionately pegged for these alternative schools for a few reasons, one of which is that these teachers typically see people of color as their servants, so they think it’s normal for there to be such an uneven distribution of opportunity for all students.

I’m not at all saying that every kid should be the same, but they should get all the same opportunities, and arrive at their own conclusions by their own initiative. They shouldn’t have to feel like they only have a chance in vocational school because all the kids’ teachers said they weren’t particularly good at anything. They shouldn’t be required to go to these schools because, through AYP measures, those “low-performing kids” need to be scrubbed somehow from this particular school to a school where such measures don’t matter to the general populace. They shouldn’t be castigated to whatever rung you chose for them because they look, sound, feel a certain way.

Also, if you’re racist, admit it. It’s the first step toward recovery.

Jose, who still remembers how to rant …

p.s. – In the face of corporate bludgeoning and political kowtowing, what does it mean to be “productive?”

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