Categories
Equity and Justice

6ix9ine Tells Judge: These Teachers Don’t Give a Crap About Black and Brown Kids Learning!

6ix9ine.

For those of you who have not heard, indicted Rapper 6ix9ine testified on behalf of the federal government recently. 6ix9ine was a far better witness than Cory Lewandowski, Bob Mueller, or all other witnesses who have testified for any democratic committee of Congress.

 Dropping Dimes.

True to form, the rapper dropped a dime on everyone in his entire organization. He did so to lighten his sentence. Not only did he tell on folks in his gang, but he also testified on individuals that did not belong to his crew. To be clear, he testified against every living thing and told everything he knew twice.

 

Let’s segue 6ix9ine’s willingness to testify against his crew to analyze the Red wall of silence in teaching. If you think this wall doesn’t exist, you are kidding yourself.

Ask Yourself This.

Ask yourself the following questions: 1). Have you ever taught next door to someone that you know wasn’t good enough to be in front of your kids? 2). What did you do about it? 3). Did you stay silent, or did you engage the person in conversation? 4). How do you politely tell a colleague that they aren’t good enough to teach your kids? 5). How are the children?

The questions that I asked in the previous paragraph are all questions that we ask ourselves regarding our underperforming colleagues.

Teachers say, “It’s not my place to tell someone they aren’t cut out for teaching; that’s the principal’s job.”

It’s Everyone’s Job to Keep Kids Safe!

It’s not just the principal’s job. We have to keep our kids safe. If you see that kids are in an unsafe environment, I implore you to speak up.  If you don’t feel comfortable speaking to your colleague, you can talk to the administrator. 6ix9ine did it, so can you.

What Would 6ix9ine Do?

I think we have gotten to caught up in worrying about what our colleagues think. We don’t spend enough time thinking about what kids need, and how we (as the adults can keep them safe). I say all this to say, if one of the most popular rappers on the planet can turn federal informant, it should be nothing for you to have an awkward conversation with colleagues about doing what’s in the best interest of kids. If all else fails, ask yourself what would 6ix9ine do?

Categories
Education Equity and Justice

New Narrative, Same Failures.

New Narrative, Same Failures.

There’s a new narrative being circulated amongst superintendents from failing school districts. Instead of having families focus on the test scores and the glaring failures of their communities, they are attempting to have the public believe that they are educating the whole child.

As a parent, the whole child argument goes out of the door if you aren’t performing at least at the state average.  Anything lower than that, you ae significantly failing these students and families.  Your focus needs to be on student achievement.

More of the Madness.

Currently parading through the circuit of “New obligatory narrations” is this notion that test scores only tell one part of the story. I got my first whiff of this week as a story was released by the Riverhead Times Review that focused on the NY State Math and ELA exams administered in April and May 2019.

I casually ignore the actions of our sending district. A couple of years ago, I went over to introduce myself to the incoming superintendent of Riverhead Central School District. My initial thoughts before the meeting were that it would be a fresh start.

I Had the Best of Intentions.

Rarely do people of color transcend to the level of superintendent on Long Island. It’s not because we aren’t qualified. It’s because Long Island, contrary to any other beliefs, is one of the most racist places in the United States. I say this to say. I went into this meeting with a high level of respect and admiration.

Minutes into the meeting, she turns and says,” You know you’re the competition, right?” To which my response was,” You know districts and charters can collaborate right?”

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by the response. I was probably more disappointed than I was surprised. My mindset is a students and families first mindset. I’m not into the business of playing politics when it comes down to the educational lives of minority students. Their education means too much to me to let my ego get in the way of offering the resources and training they deserve.  New Narrative, Same Failures.

Pontificating with the Lives of Students.

Moreover, when I read the article and the Riverhead superintendent pontificated on the test score question, it brought me back to the meeting that I had with her. We get the same kids, our kids are learning, their kids not so much. If the shoe were on the other foot, there would be cries to close our school down.

Casually scrolling through twitter, I see a similar comment made by the superintendent of schools in Buffalo. The irony is that the test scores from Riverhead and Buffalo mirror one another. So again, I’m not surprised that these low achieving districts are finding new easy to defend their low student achievement. It just pisses me off that students and families don’t have the choices to leave these districts in droves.  New narratives, same failures.