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  • Miffed

    This story SHOULD by call "Why were a GANG of LAZY, ENTITLED, RACIST WHITE ADULT BULLIES harassing a CHILD and instead of DOING THEIR FXXKING JOBS?"

    What in the hell possessed a GROUP of ADULTS to BULLY a CHILD. Oh that's right, it was a bunch of WHITE adults who are socialized to be sociopathic to Black people - INCLUDING children - to the point that they habitually justify, minimize, and outright ignore the most depraved acts of inhumanity, violence, inequality towards human beings on the basis of belonging to stigmatized and oppressed racial group. Their disgusting and irrational hatred for Black people causes them to ADULTIFY innocent children. They're also stupid enough to proudly tout the IMBECILIC white supremacist myths that uneducated white morons who lived centuries ago created about African people to justify racial chattel enslavement. Oh and because the white dumb dumbs in this country [and in other "white" countries] UTTERLY REFUSE to implement anthropologically and sociologically comprehensive K through 12 education on the history of race and racism.

    I mean ALL whites typically sound damn near intellectually and developmentally disabled when talking about white supremacy, race, and racism but white Americans REALLY just take it to ANOTHER level of degenerate stupidity. I can't IMAGINE knowing what the fxxk but I’m talking about but having THE MOST to say about topics that I either don't experience or that are none of my business, but white Dumbericans manage to do it ALLL the time. And for some reason they NEVER feel as stupid as they look for having the audacity to speak with authority about a topic they CLEARLY know NOTHING about, except the white supremacist myths the got from the IDIOT BOX and their insular, hateful, ignorant racist white families. For some reason, INTELLECTUALLY STUNTED WHITE IDIOTS who get all their faulty, shallow, one-dimensional information off the IDIOT BOX, actually expect REAL PEOPLE to "respect" their DUMB, FATUOUS, and BASELESS OPINIONS in real life. All I have to say is whites need to lose their entitlement complex and read a fxcking book. Seriously.

    • MaryAnn StMarie

      I myself, am insulted because you refer to ALL whites as "sounding damn near intellectually disabled". I am white and I will admit that our schools don't teach in depth the atrocities committed against Black people. It is only skimmed over because, truth be told, they don't want to admit the horrors that our ancestors committed. I myself, was unaware until a beautiful black man by the name of Jefferson Wiggins came to the college that I was attending and gave a speech about growing up in the South. I was so heart broken by the things he and his family endured at the hand of white people. Mr. Jefferson Wiggins wrote a book titled Another Generation Almost Forgotten. I will cherish this book as long as I live. I couldn't hold back the tears as he told my class the story of his life. When class was over and the students left I stayed behind to meet this wonderful man. I asked him about his book because I wanted to purchase it. He asked me for my name and address and said he would send me the book. Approximately two weeks later I received his book which he autographed and wrote a special note inside. As I am typing this my tears are flowing because I know how Mr. Jefferson Wiggins speech and book have opened up my eyes. The world should never forget.

  • gemariah love

    As I mentioned in my comments speak of solutions. It hasn't been a hundred years since my parents were educated, so that comment is a little off. they were very well educated. So many minorities have come in and said we aren't smart enough to learn, so it got watered down. ESL at the lower grades has proven to be disastrous. Get rid of it and teach ENGLISH. Help kids think. We need to have educated teachers in order for them to be good educators. It is by no means slavery. That young lady has so many resources and no one is keeping her from using them.

  • Mcfsrn

    The intelligent insightfulness of this young woman is remarkable- and one that should be applauded, not scrutinized. I feel badly for the teachers who most likely feel the same amount of frustration and disappointment- in an educational system that has failed, and is failing. It is antiquated and outdated. However this is her experience and speaks not only of racial disparities but can be applied to any child from an economically disadvantaged or mental/physical disability background. Location plays a huge role as well. If the leaders of this country are so interested in the education of our childern...of anyone, really, then why is funding sent to other countries. This country is crumbling from within and its educational system is a prime example of that decay.

  • Leigh Williams

    This young woman is admirably articulate (writing at an adult level) and penetrating in her analysis. No, she doesn't see some of the moving parts in the background; her focus is on the battleground before her, in the classroom.

    But someone so young and yet so capable will go far. Who knows, she might take this passion and become a revolutionary educator. That's an outcome I think is worth praying for.

  • John Munro

    It is always amazing to me that whites are to blame for everything. Most do not realize that the same muslims who sold their ancestors to the plantation owners also held over a million white slaves in Europe. I bet that fact was left out of the history books to keep whites and blacks at each others throats. Another fact easily forgotten is the we are all of one race the human race. The tower of Babel in the bible tells of this. DNA tests reveal less then one 1% difference between any of us. The hatred of the plantation owners can still be seen in mobs today. When ever a problem child raised poorly is held accountable by the police the news teems make a huge show of it. The real news is over seas where people every few minutes are killed for believing in Jesus Christ.

  • Rose Griffin

    This article was great! If I had a student in my class who was able to write at this level and create a comparison so profound in 8th grade, I would be so proud! Yes, as an educator, it might sting to read, however, it calls us to action to improve our methods for the good of our students.

  • Dr.John

    I feel, this started, a while ago. In that, the teaching of the accomplishments of people of color, has been , almost, completely excluded from the classroom. Example:
    How many students know who was the inventor of the stop light, or who was the Doctor, who discovered how, and instituted the transfusion of blood, to name a 'few'. This ' should ' be a society of higher learning for ALL, but it has failed, due to 'political agendas', and caused this country to become a 'lessor' country of learning. So we wonder just WHY, the world haslittle to no respect, for our country. REALLY ?

  • too2two

    This is a very interesting article, and as a teacher I would in some ways love to see something like this from one of my students - a genuine desire to learn and recognition of ignorance as oppressive and detrimental.
    That being said, I would have to disagree with this statement in the article: "Given that only 19 percent of School #3's eighth graders were proficient in language arts last year (and just 13 percent in math)—well below the state average of 60 percent—it's clear that the school and its teachers need to change their approach."
    The reasons for that lack of proficiency are anything but "clear." There are a great many factors that contribute to students literacy levels and academic performance, and most of them are outside of the classroom. (I don't recall the source from which I first read that, but one I came across when I searched on Google just now said "individual and family characteristics may have four to eight times the impact on student achievement" - and this was a source arguing why teacher effectiveness was important to monitor!)
    How do those 60th percentile schools compare to School #3 in socioeconomic class and demographics? How many of those "average" students have had access to books and encouragement to read in the home since before they even entered the school system? How many have parents who, because of greater financial stability, are able to spend more time with them doing things like reading to them, helping with homework, and the like?
    I certainly don't mean any of this to blame parents or families - people have to do the best they can with the situations they're in. However, as an 8th grade ELA teacher myself, I have experienced the frustration of people expecting miracles of me, wondering why I can't take a child who never sees a book outside my classroom and came in at a 3rd grade reading level and somehow get him or her to perform on the same level as the one whose parents sat down and read to him since he was 3 and can spend every evening working with him on homework.

  • Kym Hall

    I really look at this issue as a more class issue not race . I am white came from the ghetto and a city and education system that did everything to make sure I failed. Just because of political money issues and mis management of money. And Please lets look at this in reverse as I have been in a classroom as a child with a African American teacher and others they did discriminate against me just as much as this girl felt she was. I was ignored and makes difference where you come from and Constant battle between the have and have lots. this being saidThis 13 year old did an excellent job of putting her ideas in her essay and did follow the essay instructions correctly.

  • yoslickrick

    In the end, knowledge should be shared with those seeking it. However Knowledge is not deserved nor obligated to its hearers. Comparing the plight of human slavery and subjugation to a modern culture where much of what you obtain is either bought or given, is an unfair comparison. Is their racism today, of course. Can it be compared to the racism of yesterday? I think not. We live in culture where the value of education has be marred by the self centered notions that such a gift is deserved or entitled to you. Add that to an already stunting and shorthanded situation many children have in their private lives at home, and you have a very difficult chemistry between our teachers (who also have a tough time) and our children.

  • Chris Duncan

    This guy feels the same... except he didn't write an essay. Race is not the issue. It's the system as a whole.

  • gemariah love

    this angers me to no end. Racist backwards. Black teachers can't teach black students any better than white teachers teach white students better than black. Until you get the skin out of the brain, nothing is better.
    She is articulate, but offered no solutions to the over crowding. Just criticism. My parents were educators and they did educate. Principals hated my mom because she taught the students and didn't go along with their dictatorial attitudes.

    • James Janney

      I wonder sometimes why, when a student, any student, shows themselves above the average intelligence, as this student seems, can the school system not praise and encourage that student. This student has stumbled upon a wicked truth; the state-run education system is nothing more than an internment camp set up to train, not educate. They are trained to follow rules and trained to parrot the ideas of the educators. Show just a little independent thought and you are a troublemaker. I challenge this student and her parents, and all who read this post, to read a few books: Atlas Shrugged, We The Living, 1984, 451 Fahrenheit, A Brave New World, and ladt, but certainly not least if one w@nts to know what has been happening in this country for the last 100 years or so, The Communist Manifesto. Read these and others like them and understand what is happening, right now, to our education system and our country.

  • Darcy Baxter

    This little girl is so articulate and 100% correct. She wrote it beautifully from her perspective. But, I hope that she will see that while minority students are most heavily targeted by the tactic of depriving kids of knowledge in order to create an obedient work-force, other kids are also being targeted, though maybe to a lesser degree. The Master is the corporate world. They need worker bees of all kinds. Some, they want in the factories, some, they want doing the accounting. They want NONE of them to create a competitor that will put them out of business. They want NONE of them to question their corruption or hold them accountable. The Federal Government, a Princeton study recently confirmed, is no longer a democracy. It is a plutocracy. It is controlled, not by the voter, but by powerful and wealthy corporate interests, who drive policy and bring consequences to bear when those policies don't suit them. Who do you think is really in control of the Department of Education? In the end, ALL children in public school are being conditioned to be good citizens of a plutocracy, where the only goal is to serve the system. Most parents don't recognize it, because they have been through the entire system, taught to be good worker bees, and don't know there is another way. I hope this young lady is one of the few who doesn't just obey. Maybe one day, she'll be the woman who turns the system on its head. More power to her!

    • Vivian Lund

      i agree 5000%. But what is there to do other than encourage a child to learn enough to start their own business or learn a trade well enough to work on their own?

    • Chris Duncan

      Couldn't have said it better myself! Woohoo! The government (not just American) and "powers" messed up when they let the internet develop like it has. The tides are turning, because everyone is more connected and educated to what is really going on. Something will have to change. I see too many enlightened people. Unfortunately, it's not going to look good when it does :/ The world is definitely shifting and human conscious is at an all time high. Exciting, yet scary times. I'm just going to enjoy the ride and do my part to better the world. The cream always rises to the top...

  • Salviati

    The writer of the essay internalizes the oppression of the education system as a whole, it is not only our urban schools, but she makes the wrong analogy and points the finger at the wrong people. The proper analogy is that of a prison and the teachers are prison guards.
    The primary function of the classroom teacher in our schools is to take and maintain attendance of the prisoners. Meaning, if a student or group of students begin to disrupt the classroom, you deal with it. As the prison guard you have limited options, you exercise all of them and by the end of September you have exhausted all of them. Then you settle into your job description and try to survive until June.

    The teachers second job description is to be feeble before their supervisors, the school administrators. The administrative layer that dictate to the teachers have long ago abandoned the notion that our schools are environments of learning; that is how they were rewarded with promotion in the first place. When bold new teachers enter the building looking to make an impact, they are very quickly shut down by the administrators who see any change as a direct challenge to their authority.

    It is precisely these two factors which inevitably leads to the high turnover that categorizes the teaching profession. The teachers that remain are the ones who will carry out their two primary job functions to the detriment of our children and our society at large. Until our society addresses the social and economic issues that drive school systems to the leviathan that they are, it is hopeless.

    • Darcy Baxter

      Your description is beautiful.

    • gkada


  • Ray Colbert

    She is speaking for all in her assessment. there is a difference in how kids who are expriencing things in how education is being dealt with and the real problem she is addressing is that we as the people who say education in diversity is important and
    when it reflects history in the sense of how we who were suppose to be responsible to ensure that education, attention to ALL KIDS OF ANY BACKGROUNDS WHO have just a promising chance and have taken education seriously as this young student has to pay attention to what's important that WE HAVE NOT GAVE AN ACCOUNT FOR and all of us NEED TO GIVE MORE ACCOUNT...because we are RESPONSIBLE and her voice is SPEAKING FOR ALL WHO COULDN'T....I give her credit for her courageous and undisputed perception not based on race based on ALL NEEDS FOR ALL OF US TO STOP, PAY ATTENTION TO THE FACT THAT KIDS SEE AND KNOW WHAT THEY SAY IS TRULY WHAT THEY EXPERIENCE AND WHAT THEY ALL COMMONLY BRING INTO TO QUESTION FOR A CHANGE THAT THEY ALL DESERVE AND THAT IS:



  • Aaron Gaudio

    This was my middle school (20-odd years ago) for 7th and 8th. I had a good experience and got a great education there. It's really shameful to see those statistics, whether race is a factor or not.

    There's no need to debate whether Ms. Williams' analogy is fair or not. She's 13, and fair or not, that's clearly how she sees things from her perspective, and the school, the city, and everyone involved should be listening to her rather than driving her away.

    And you just look at those statistics again, and the whole debate over the comparison of slavery ought to fall by the wayside. The community is failing those students, and whether they leave poorly educated due to circumstance, incompetence or malice it doesn't matter. Rochester will never get out of the hole it's in as long as those conditions are allowed to continue.

  • Neurovariant

    Jada Williams sees the education system in terms of the world she knows: teachers and students. The author barely expands this by mentioning parents. In truth, the limits of school structures are set by administrators on the school, district, state, and national levels, and, less directly, by the political will of the taxpayer. Teachers have little power over systemic institutional and social problems. An 8th grader can be forgiven for blaming her teachers, but journalists has an obligation to question such easy assumptions. Why are there so few people of color teaching? Why are students so disruptive? What makes the difference in good schools. Speaking to her sons' teacher would be a good place to start becoming informed about what is going on in schools.

    • beeshelt

      She's actually using this one example quite correctly, however. she compared two institutions; one in the system of slavery and one in the system of education. Yes, the structure is controlled by other parts, but they do not sit in the classroom and teach these children. The teachers do. You do not know the curriculum nor do you know the work input this school gives and looking at the results, not much. This student who attends the school, does. She very well articulated that she is able to comprehend and analyze her situation at school. Social problems is a problem with society. People compose a society. People are a society. You are so offended by the words she spoke (as the teachers and administrators were) that you rejected and questioned it's validity before even considering it as a truth. Did you know a white convict is more likely to be hired than an african american with no record? Maybe thats why there are less teachers of color. Was there any proof these students were "so disruptive" or did you just assume that because they are a minority school? Kids spend as much time at school as in the home. Teachers deeply influence children behavior and a teacher, who is a worker in the school will not be truthful to parents about their malpractice in a school. An informed student, who has nothing to lose, will.

      • lilly13

        love it

  • emesk1

    I just finished my undergraduate and will be starting on my master's in the fall for childhood special education. Here's what I've noticed about education so far.

    The main problem honestly comes from the institutes of higher learning that the teachers are coming from. They don't teach you to work with all types of students, they teach you how to teach to the "typical suburban classroom". I think in my entire undergraduate career I had one single seminar about teaching in an urban school district and even then, they brought in a guest lecturer to discuss the topic. I had one class on teaching students with disabilities that I voluntarily took and was not required in order to graduate. This institute is considered one of the best educational schools in new york state, yet, they predominately taught to one style of learning and teaching.

    Handing out pamphlets, packets, long-winded reading assignments, and pages of notes on a projection were the norm. That was what they did in their predominately suburban high schools, that's what they continued to learn how to do in their college careers, and that's what they are going to take with them into the teaching field. No matter how "great" they were in there degree programs, when faced with students that don't fit into the bubble that these programs created, most teachers panic and don't know what to do. They figure students will catch on, or stay after if they really need the help. Maybe, out of some crazy notion, teachers will have them work in pairs or groups, mostly just furthering the disruption and commotion that occurs when more than one student together can't figure out how to complete the work.

    20% of all teachers that go into urban schools quit within the first five years. In many schools, that number is greater than the number of students that they have dropping out! Teachers are getting burnt out and looking for careers in other fields or in districts that they feel more comfortable with. Frankly, most teachers take jobs in the urban school districts because they pay more. They want their teachers to stay more than a few years!

    My request to work in the Rochester City School District for my student teaching was ignored. I received two placements in suburban school districts in the area, one of these was bordering on the city. I remember being told by my supervisor that I should be cautious going into my second placement, that I may not succeed at first, if at all, and that these "minority students" may be harder to work with than I anticipated. I ignored her, jumped right in, and loved every minute of it, but yes, my teaching technique changed over time. I couldn't teach how I had been taught to and I think that's the important part that all teachers need to understand.

    Adapt, change, try new things, go out of your comfort zone, and you may find ways to teach your students you never expected. This can be true of any school district your in!

    -A Future Educator

    • arethabest

      And that's what makes you GREAT. Keep up the good work. Loved your response.

    • Lee Hamilton

      Thank you!!! Thank You!! Thank You!! I am not an educator, but I am a minority, and I have had teachers like you that tapped into my potential and challenged me in "urban" failing school systems. Please understand that my gratitude is not because you decided to go against the grain of the system, but because you are a TEACHER and applaud all that realize what you have and seek to make changes in any way possible, no matter what your ethnicity happens to be.

    • Raw Endorfin

      You need to understand that you are the minority in the teaching world. The problem is the teaching system tries to encompass and encapsulate the teaching world in commercialism. Most real teachers do not care for teaching and are masters of their craft. As a student you often find yourself teaching them how to teach you. I find it silly to dedicate your life to teaching before you've really learned anything. I think if anything about the education system should be changed it's the age of educators. There needs to be some incentive for people to become teachers beyond naively optimistic ideals. Ironically enough that is the naively optimistic ideal that made me conclude the impossibilities of organized teaching.

  • Stan Jackson Sr.

    Yes, there are disruptive students, yes there are teachers who are there for the paycheck, yes there are parents that shouldn't be allowed to have a pet that have children and yes there are policies that prevent success. The world has changed and no one wants to continue to use the standards that helped the marginal classes to progress. Morality, respect, drive and honesty are simply not part of the modern students training, lesson plan or expectation. In this fast moving society students regularly copy homework, use spell correct, are dependent upon calculators and cheat without guilt. We have tried to include or mainstream students that were born F.I.A members from birth (Future Inmates of America). Low income parents have had back-up systems eliminated. Middle income parents now have both parents working and sometimes each with more than one job. Add drugs and other intoxicants to the mix and you have the current society. In an era of instant gratification where you can Google the answer or get a U-Tube video on any subject, where there is no reward for doing better and you can be recorded and have the video used against you. Ask any kid what is the meaning of "A stitch in time saves nine" means and he won't know. "Do unto others..." will "fall on deaf ears". Can society be saved, can we save ourselves? Keep hoping and PRAYING, the answer lies somewhere between. Until everyone cares about anyone we will go round and round. You can hope, I'll pray and it just might improve.

  • Marsha Nichols

    To all the people who gave their input on this article need to look up a young man name Jeff Bliss. He is a white young man who went off on a teacher because she was just sitting there handing out package to the students instead of engaging with them.

  • RR76PHC

    If I am reading this article correctly, every white teacher is inherently racist and prejudice. Is that what I'm reading? I take great issue with this article and the premise it puts forward.
    My daughter is a first year teacher. She volunteered for the Teach for America Program, and was placed in an underachieving school. The student population is predominantly black, my daughter is white.
    My daughter struggled, and continues to struggle, with finding a way to reach the children that have been entrusted to her care. My daughter teaches reading, and graduated with top honors with her Master's degree in early education, with a focus on literacy. She knows how to teach reading.
    However, on only her second day she was told by one of her fourth grade students, "Ms. (name withheld for privacy), you're white, we don't need to listen to you, we don't need to do what you tell us cause you don't know us." She's had her students threaten her, use language that would shock a sailor, and I'm a career sailor, and been told by her school administration, "It's your problem."
    Until such time as parents, and I mean all parents, take an active and responsible role in their children's education, this will not be solved.
    I know our schools need help, need more funding, and less regulation so they can achieve what it is they set out to do, but to put the blame solely on white teachers! I'm sorry, that's a cop-out. It begins with the family and the parents.
    My daughter wants nothing more than to teach her children the joys of reading, and she's very good at it.
    So, let's get beyond the name calling, excuse making, and find a solution.
    A concerned dad, and father to a tremendous teacher!

    • Danielle Spence-Tidd

      While the author added she/he was black & knew of good white teachers, that isn't what the 13yo was saying. I could see how the teachers would find it offensive. If the essay writer had focused on teachers/students vs white/black, the point still would've been more than adequately made & in such a manner to more fully keep ears & hearts open to engage in not only debate, but also implementing a more timely & efficient solution to this shortcoming in this particular school. It isn't always about race, and if we want to get it beyond that mindset, we need to stop blaming incidents/thinking on racism.

    • Aaron Gaudio

      Had you read the article, you would have read where the author wrote this: "As the parent of two black boys I know firsthand that white teachers can excel at teaching black children."

      So, no, I would say you are not reading the article correctly.

      • lilly13

        i saw that also

    • beeshelt

      It may start in the household, but it ends in the world. Black parents are not sitting there telling their children not to listen to white teachers. Kids start schooling at what age these days, 3,4? White people who are not racist fail to realize it exists very heavily, both subtle to downright blatant and there is a gap of understanding the struggles and lives of a black person from a low income area. Teach for america is so sucessful because it aims to recruit people who can relate or at least understand these struggles are complex multidimensional and will not be cured instantly, just because a good english teacher with good intentions comes in. They have to break down the barriers and be willing to work harder because these kids have not had the proper schooling all of these years and have lost respect for the education system because it has failed them. These kids are hurt, misguided, underserved. It is a cop out to come to the conclusion that all these poor minority kids just have bad parents. That means this education gap that exists is because white parents are better parents….kids spend just as much time in school as at home. the blame is not on white teachers, but if that is all jada sees and jada is a black girl who is willing and ready to learn but still doesnt feel as if she is learning much..she will blame the white teachers in her presence. it is a reach to compare it to the slavery story, but in a world where the only black president ever has received the most hateful noncompliance that any president i have ever heard of, it isnt hard to understand in their eyes

    • Neurovariant

      Teachers are overwhelmingly white. They are not overwhelmingly racist. Still, it creates a sense that education is a white thing, and that teachers are "other."

    • Pedro Paulino

      The problem with many white teaches and minority students is saying things like "underachieving school. The student population is predominantly black." In my experience growing up, white teachers told me that more times than i care to remember, a hispanic or black teacher NEVER told me that. It's not a cop out when teachers, especially white teachers, come in to and "underachieving" school like saviors and get turned off by the reactions of minority students. I constantly felt like any lack of performance is because of my race and/or heritage because my teacher tells me "underachieving schools tend to be heavily populated by minorities." Then you as a parent boasting of the magic of your child, giving her precious time and teaching prowess should be greatful for her sacrifice to teach us. That behavior is what makes us resent teachers, especially white teachers. To teach us is a noble sacrifice, one we are reminded of often. But when said like white people do, the way YOU said it, it just feels like we are a shit sandwich your daughter decided to eat.

      Being a teacher is hard work in a school where you are wanted, it's even harder in a place you are not wanted. Now turn it around and think of the students. Imagine how it feels to go to a place and being told you are the worst of the choices that was given. Imagine being told everyday directly and indirectly you are and idiot. Imagine being told the reason i'm stupid is because my parents did a bad job raising me.
      (Before thinking that's horrible, i never said that or anything resembling that, remember you wrote this.... "I'm sorry, that's a cop-out. It begins with the family and the parents.")
      I remember growing up, hearing "your mama" was the biggest instigator to fights, now a teacher is saying it? The reason i can't learn is because i did not learn to at home. Again, don't forget you wrote "I'm sorry, that's a cop-out. It begins with the family and the parents."

      As a white teacher she has to learn and prepare to deal with the population she is eduacating. She has to learn how minorities have been historically treated by white people unintentionally. One way to get a glimpse of the reality of a minority is with this exercise done by Jane Elliott . I hope your daughter becomes an even greater teacher than she already is, but she won't until she realizes our history and understands she is just getting a glimpse of the hurt we have recieved as a population.

    • oaklandnative

      This article does not point out all white teachers are racist, its pointing out that white teachers do not understand not only black students, but ALL students of color. I am a person of color in addition to being a teacher for 5 years in a private school with a mix of students from different economic backgrounds. I noticed black student many times being sent to the office for being a "problem". Kids of color are taught to question authority, because lets be real, authority hasn't always been the best help for us... A lot of white teachers, although they don't believe they are being racist, have inherit mechanisms which further our slavery educational system. Unless they have had significant dialogue and personal reflections, this will continue. Its no one's fault, just the reality of the situation.

      You said your daughter has a master's degree. This means nothing to a student. How can they relate to a master's degree?? They can relate to someone who grew up with the same experiences they are having, and I am sure this is not one of them. Your daughter has no idea what these children are going through, and if she can realize that, she can start her learning process. The children are right.

      White parents always criticize people of color for not taking an active role with their kids. But I think active role is defined much differently by both parties. People of color teach their children to survive in a world which they will encounter difficulties 100 times harder then white children. An active role is a much different lesson plan in this situation.

      I am not saying your daughter is coming from a horrible place, but you have to critically analyze the situation as a whole. Imagine if all magazines, TV stations, social media had no white images and showed no white role models... Reverse this and welcome to a small portion of what these kids are facing.

    • REWINDOutLoud

      Hmm... I think one doth protest too much. At every moment something sacred is at stake. We are either living in the "house of Love" or we are living in the "house of fear."

      (1) Nowhere does this article attribute that "every white teacher is inherently racist and prejudice." This article is a report of something that happened and ends with an example of how white teachers have successfully helped Black students, "As the parent of two black boys I know firsthand that white teachers can excel at teaching black children."

      (2) Now, the fact that you would come up with such a blanket statement outcome that "every white teacher is inherently racist and prejudice" is either a lack of comprehension or you have allowed your personally experiences and beliefs to shape your comprehension of this article and have left your objectivity behind.

      (3) When teaching, one of many things that needs to be considered is learning styles. Different cultures have different prevalent learning styles as well as culture have their own unique language (physical, written, and oral) references. For example in deaf culture certain colloquialisms may be misunderstood in interpretation. Say if you signed, "I have a run in my stockings." Your audience may just think where are your stockings going?! THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH "LACK," only reference points. That's why when learning sign language in academia, one is required to engage deaf culture inside and outside of the classroom. AT THE SAME TIME, many white interpreters have a hard time interpreting in the Black church because of the unique rhythm and cultural terms and references of the preachers and speakers. So, if the interpreter doesn't understand how are they then suppose to help their deaf audience understand?

      I shared the last point just as "food for thought" when considering some the obstacles your daughter may incur when teaching her students. Within diversity programs within school systems there are excellent programming that help teachers understand the cultures of their student body. Most times though, this available programming is not required for the teachers to engage and/or is not promoted as available to teachers. Also, this may help with engaging parents and coming up with solutions.

      Just food for thought from someone who is very learned, high IQ, engaged parent, do for self and community person who is still impacted by racism and sexism individually and systematically and I can not "just forget," yet I do not need to carry a chip on my shoulder. I realize our humanity and our divinity. We are all birthed from love. Let's walk and relate in love and we'll be amazed at the outcomes.

    • who4

      I would argue that if your take is that this article states that "every white teacher is inherently racist and prejudice," you have read it incorrectly.
      As I'm sure your daughter knows, the achievement gap is evidence of a system of institutionalized racism. I don't believe that white teachers are the main culprit, but I do believe in the article's statement that "because the large majority of current teachers are white, they have a responsibility to figure out how to be effective with children of color." While I'm sure your daughter is working hard and will develop ways to be an effective teacher, your statements about her first days show that a teacher needs more than education and good intentions to be effective in the classroom. If no one is learning, no one is teaching (no matter how many packets you hand out or how much you're trying to actually "teach"). Of course, schools have the responsibility to support their teachers in this. Parents are a huge factor in their own children's education, but many students in low achieving, high poverty schools don't have parents who have the advantage of being highly educated and thus versed in the ways of education. During my time with TFA, many of my students were raised by grandparents or by a single parent working multiple low-wage jobs to make ends meet. This leaves a lot of responsibility to the school system, which was once supposed to be "the great equalizer."
      I wouldn't say that white teachers are the main problem because the teachers at the school where I taught were not primarily white and we struggled with the same problems. Sharing the same background as your students certainly does not make you an effective educator. However, I do think it's incredibly important to bring in teachers who can both share our students' backgrounds AND be effective, because students need role models for their educational and other goals to seem attainable.

    • Marsha Nichols

      I agree with you and I am black. But I want all white people to read this with their hearts and not their heads. What this little girl is saying is that the white teacher at her school are not fighting hard for them to have a better education. I also blame the parents for not fighting as well. The teachers know the curriculum given to them to teach those children are not right at their level.

    • nata1001

      I completely agree. Well said!!

  • Idiotfool

    While I bemoan the educational system and standards set today, and I am disturbed that she was expelled from her school because of her paper, I find it ironic that this girl is using Fredrick Douglas, of all people, to blame white people for the problems that her fellow minority students appear to face.

    Fredrick Douglas penned the discourse "What Are the Colored People Doing for Themselves?" where he states, emphatically, that when the bonds of slavery are eradicated, he appreciates any additional efforts from whites to improve the lot of the black man, he expects that they will run out of energy. But the bulk of improvement should be done by themselves and that white people should not be held accountable for any lacking.

    If it's true that the teachers are not teaching minorities in order to keep them repressed, then that is an evil that needs eradicating. However, I would be willing to wager that any white students in Jada's class are equally neglected. It's a neglect of social standing - a community in poverty is going to have a poor education. Sadly, it's self-fulfilling cycle - many students simply don't want to be there, making teachers even less interested in attempting to teach. Those kids eventually drop-out, grow up and have children in poverty. Black or white, it doesn't matter - if you can't hire proper teachers, then education will falter.

  • Gynnie DeJesus

    This child is correct regarding who decides what when it comes to what a student learns in the classroom; any classroom, in any local district, in any city, county, and state level; across the nation there is no consistency related to age or grade or whether academics are emphasized or whether a child is steered into vocational from preschool, or kindergarten; it is disgraceful; and embarrassing on a global level. That even our American top students fall behind the world's brightest achievers is what the nation desires, because, on the individual level the majority neglect to get educated on the fact that the nation; the leader of the "free world" DOES NOT HAVE A EDUCATIONAL NATIONAL STANDARDS IN THE KINDERGARTEN THROUGH TWELFTH GRADE ACADEMICS. That's right baby; no across the board; on age or grade math, science, English, or social studies standard. So what does that mean? It means that little Missy Jada Williams, a 13-year old eighth grader at School #3 in Rochester, New York is absolutely correct. That she chose to direct her critique at "white teachers" shows the extent that education in this country denies the American child "real life" experience in addition (not instead) of academics; the National, State, County, city, and district public school system fails children (black and white) at all levels; even in international and global levels our children fail at all levels; thanks to the power that each American citizen allows the teacher's union have and for believing ever propaganda attack, these put out against a kindergarten through twelfth grade academic curriculum standard; like the Federal Program "No Child Left Behind" that teachers and their union trashed; and the parents like blind and ignorant bats followed on the unions command. Don't blame white people, blame foolish behavior to the point of ineptitude; American adults are incompetent parents by all standards; they are silent buffoons,

  • Agape love

    Seriously, the bottom line is that the school system could do much better.hi People should not ignore the fact that the standards need to raised in the educational system. In the year 2014 I would expect to see history books re-written to include more history on the contributions of African- Americans (brown people). I know some who respond to this will have thousands of arguments on why the history books should not be changed and so the disparities in education will continue. The truth of the matter is that African-Americans contributed a great amount of labor, as well as inventions that contribute to society daily. Another issue is the literature students are expected to read is not suitable for everyone. The novels Romeo and Juliet, Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn...come on, a lot of the eduction taught is not geared towards molding an African-American to even have knwledge of self to know how our people contributed. I feel this day in age students should be allowed to choose their novels as long as they are grade level appropriate to encourage a love for reading again amongst the youth. The curriculum needs to come out of only the teaching of the Greek gods and include books that encourage learning about ones self and ones own character. This is a new day, and learning the old ways of teaching need to be tailored towards creating a more rounded individual for all cultures beginning at a younger age. I do not care what anyone says, the school system does not equally teach diversity. Anyone who says different, is living in a box, and that goes for any race. Peace

    • Agape love

      Excuse the typos, and please take in the fact that I tried to cover a lot of different issues in a short piece. I think everyone will get what I am saying.

  • ElwayFan

    Just another example of a black person spewing racism when the issue is education/teachers in general and has nothing to do with people of color. Keep it up. As long as blacks spout false racism claims, they are only making racism worse.

    • Charlane Slaughter

      Until you can walk in a person of color shoes, you know nothing of racism. Truth be told it's people like you that make racism worse.

  • Patricia Reed

    I believe it truly depends on where you live that determines the caliber of teachers you may encounter. I have had a majority of Caucasian teachers inspire my minority self to want more out of life. I believe this was achieved because they were all hard asses who expected greatness from every student no matter what ethnicity we were. The difference is my teachers in Bridgeport, Connecticut and Fostoria, Ohio actually gave a Damn about their students.

  • Karl Erikson

    To have good you must have evil , to be titled successful someone must be titled a failure .... if the system is lacking , you must endeavor to continue forward with a more fervent focus on what " you " want out of it and what " you " want to achieve , where there is strife , their is opportunity , when others give up , you have the opportunity too keep moving above and beyond them , NOT everyone will get to the top of Education or other avenues of life , continue to overcome ALL the obstacles before you , if everyone was of the same Education and all at the Top who would be left to "work" the Jobs that "you" have educated yourself out of ..... Yes , she hit it on the nail of why certain things work the way they do , so now "she" understands the Wisdom of why she must now "focus" on herself Rising above with the Education she seeks to settle in where "she" wants to ultimately fit within Society.

  • HauteTrue ModelChic Barbie Mattel


    • Boots of Truth

      I am so glad you posted, The way you throw accusations around you must have been one of her school mates? A Teacher? Teachers Aide? I mean, You had to have been there to be sure of all of those brilliant statements right? I mean..... Otherwise it's Ignorant to say that kind of stuff.... Right? Please tell us of the everyday on goings at that school?

  • chilid

    I fault both the parent/s and teachers. I have seen lately that if the teacher change the way she teaches in order to get the students attention. then the parents come unglued and rally against that teacher. But then you have parents that will fight a teacher tooth and nail if the teacher tried to reach out to the parent/s to offer help and some insight on getting the child help. I'm a parent of a school age child and i have friends and family that are teachers. And I have heard them say if I had more parents like you that inquire about their child's education. The kids will improve and do better. If the parent can't come to meetings due to work just Email and ask questions ask for a copy of the child's report be emailed instead of sent by the child or mail. If the teacher sees that the child has a parent/s that really care they really help that child. But you can't help a child if the parent/s are resisting you.

    • Reina8

      my mother had a fifth grade education and could not help me with my home work. She only went to a teacher's conference education was not based on my parents. I had white teachers in k-5 that was excellent and I had white teachers 6-7 that wasn't. I had a ninth grade science teacher who had white students on one side and black students on the other side and she taught on the side of the white students. I spent a weekend in my book until I understood the lessons and she asked why was I now passing her test? My answer was that I was starting to understand it. I got a 55 in her class and got a 95 in summer school. I read and studied and I did not worry about what anyone else thought. I am not stupid and I am teachable. In some areas self taught. I have two degrees and I am a professional even when I was told that I would never make it because I was black and a women only made me more determine to laugh silently in their faces as I moved forward. The education system is boring. it is not geared to exceptional students. I know a 10 year old who can take a small engine apart and rebuild it. so they put him on Ritalin. the programs are not keeping his attention. dumbing down is what is happening to our children's education. I raised seven children as a single parent and not one of my children is uneducated because I gave them puzzles and books as toddlers and have an extensive library. My knowledge of the arts was because of my teachers. I did not have a black teacher until college. I love to learn.

  • D L Trotman

    I am from Piscataway N.J. I did not see,or know a single black teacher until I went to college in N.C. I however received an excellent education from my all white teachers because my father would not allow any excuse for failure.

  • k8kantsk8

    That was an interesting perspective over a child who obviously read and correctly interpreted both the book and the assignment. I might take it a step further and ask anyone to analyze a shift in government to a more authoritarian style and see that .. oh wow, first education is attacked and less are able to access It. To control the product of the people who are massively indoctrinated with the thought that working in a certain income level or having things were more desirable than more realistic and socially beneficial jobs that would threaten the government.
    I don't believe that having a teacher of a race other than your own should have anything to do with how well you learn from them. Thought, I do see the shift in society to a more segregation based on the income of parents and wealth of the cities of the children. More specifically, when a district has to weigh between education funds and police funds, they consolidate school raising the class member average, people with more wealth can choose to send there children to private or out of district schools. This is a cyclical process, and the single parent with three kids and working two jobs to keep them fed and under a roof isn't going to be able to send their kids to those places and even more likely, won't have the time to just sit and study with them.

  • LaChere Griffin

    As a black teacher I agree A LOT with Andrew John, even though teachers take course doesn't mean those courses really prepare them for REAL WORLD ISSUES that are faced along with the fact that A LOT of teachers don't just teach! They're made to be security guards, guidance counselors, nurses, administrators, etc. Yes there are plenty of students who want to learn and are now acting out because they see all the "troublemakers" get all the attention. One of the main problems in most schools is that we've allowed students to run the school, have created a system that has created narcissistic personalities, suffering from "learned helplessness" disease. This is the give generation! Give me this or that, What u mean I have to work for it! Isn't it your job to give me everything I need and want? School need to focus on education alone and stop trying to be all inclusive by attempting to handle every situation in a normal 8 hour school environment. It's not that the "white", black, or other racial culture doesn't want to education our children, it's that we has a people need to stop feeding into this the White Man Owes Me something attitude and do what our ancestors did make our own, do for our own, tell our own the importance of education and the unimportance of socialization, which unfortunately is why a lot of students even come to school now! Stop blaming teachers for what is a much much larger problem in minority communities! Parents need to step up and set the priorities straight for their children by teaching them the value and importance of a good education and not the latest rap song, or sports field!

    • LaChere Griffin

      Excuse the typos, I tried to edit but didn't see how to up here. It should be Courses, Schools, and has should read as

  • Duane Tyler

    And the finger pointing begins. HOW DO WE FIX THE PROBLEM?!?!?!?!

    • LaChere Griffin

      One there needs to be a whole mind set change in the minority communities, stop glorifying the wrong shit and start praising those that are doing the right things in life. Our people have to stop the Willie Lynch syndrome! We must work together and stop blaming fingers on others for we've all failed in some way. All must be willing to step up, teachers creating appropriate connections and firm limitations which are enforced by the administrators (believe this is more of a problem then most think in schools) high expectations with low reenforcement create a B.S. persona, but creates real world problems we like to ignore and sweep under the rug. Second, we need PARENTS, and parents that step up their game, in school and out of school, stop allowing society and these streets to raise our children. Teach them about their history and the importance of the black population to the foundation and continued growth of this country! Teach them education is the most free valuable tool and was one of the main reasons blacks were able to survivor and often trick their enemies! Society needs to stop trying to be like the Jones without the willingness to do what the Jones do! Stop putting these crazy requirements on our children comparing them to other countries without acknowledging that a large part of the reason those other countries are "out educating" us isn't because their children are smarter it's because they pick and choose which kids are going to what area of schooling and those kids that are "troublemakers" are quickly kicked out of school and sent to either a military training school or to a trade school. We also need to understand that you don't need to have everyone go to college, hell some don't want to go and some (well let's be honest!) just aren't school material and lastly, some just aren't mature enough and have to go through life's hardships first before they see the light and start valuing education. We truly need to take the time to education our children and stop trying to rush our children to learning tons of information and not truly comprehending what their learning.

    • Huntnman

      If you think this approach is race based think again, You need to get a copy of John Taylor Gatto's book, Weapons of mass instruction, and read it.

  • Andrew John

    The article doesn't ring true, although I understand her perspective, and I disagree with how the district treated her. I've been in many classrooms, teaching and observing, and many students there do not want to learn. They bring the problems of poverty and violence and ignorance with them to school. They misbehave, they fool around, they are rude to the teacher and to each other, they are unwilling to try, and they interfere with each other's learning. When I hear someone claim the class is "unmanaged" it's usually a child or a parent who doesn't realize, there is no place to send the kids who don't want to be there, who want to disrupt and cause trouble. Most schools are not setup to handle those kids. Most teachers are not trained to deal with those issues. So to blame the teacher is easy, but just not accurate.

    • Linda Bryant

      i agree with Andrew about the students who just want to disrupt. I experienced that in my daughter's classroom. The teacher was so busy dealing with the disruptive students, she couldn't teach. I was pissed because my daughter is in class and ready to learn but was being deprived of the opportunity b a knucklehead who used school as a social outing.

    • D.MNav2

      There used to be places to send those kids. You found their technical aptitude and you sent them to tech or vocational school. But when they decided that education was not that important and began cutting school budgets, those schools went by the wayside. Oh and the article does ring true, this is the main reason my parents send us (7 children) to Catholic schools. They knew we would get the religious instruction that they wanted for us and that we would also be a superior education. This was in the 60's and 70's. It would be hard to ONLY blame the teacher, you also have to blame overcrowded classrooms. Who can teach in a class of 30 or more children? No one, not effectively at least. Class size should be no more than 20 per teacher. Ever see the demands that they put on daycare centers and how many adults that they must have on staff per groups of children? Now think in terms of classroom size. It is the same thing. Deal with the problem, poor materials, trying to educate to tests, not enough books in a library (hell some schools don't even have one), homework that makes sense, study groups, tutoring groups. There is some much more that can be done. Getting parents on board with their childrens education, and if you have those that are too ignorant to realize that they are setting their children up for failure, reach out to other family if possible. We need to solve this as a nation. So pull those pointing fingers back and realise that this child did nothing but throw the light on the cockroaches in the kitchen.

    • cts

      So learn how to deal with every type of child OR do not teach!
      It should be part of the training or certification process. There are kids from every walk of life with the aforementioned dispositions. Just because children might not come from affluent backgrounds, that doesn't mean they are not bright enough to recognize that their teachers have no desire to teach them. Quite a few teachers charged with teaching students of color take on a "missionary" stance and believe they are there to enlighten and "civilize "them, when they ARE willing to instruct them. I had a new teacher tell a classroom brimming with black and Latino educated, middle class parents that he had background teaching "kids like ours because he taught in South Central LA." Respect the children enough to challenge them.

    • Carol Jackson

      I'm sorry, but you say that teachers are not trained to deal with disciplinary issues, that is actually not true. They are mad to take several psychology classes to help them deal with issues like that. Not using the training that they are given IS their fault.

      • cts

        Carol, absolutely! I would find it difficult to believe that teachers who studied elementary and secondary education would NOT know how to deal with kids. Its the people who didn't studied education and entered programs post college that places them in classrooms without proper coping mechanisms that pose a HUGE problem.

  • Nick Barton

    That is spot on about the state of our educational system and from the view of a child.

  • El PapiRatzi

    She was on point with the analogy. In spite of what the "apologists" and those living in denial are stating. Racism and mental slavery are the "pink elephant" sitting in the middle of societies room. Everyone feels if we deny its existence or pretend all is well in the world that ole elephant will just go away. If a 13 year old can see it. Those of us who cant may need an eye exam...

  • anthony010

    When do parents take responsibility? It is my responsibility to educate my children. A teacher is a supplement to what my children learn at home. If your child can't read, it's your fault! Not the fault of some teacher. If your child acts up at school, it's your fault, for lack of discipline. So regardless if a teacher cares or not we need to be responsible for our own children! Fredrick Douglass learned to read and brought himself out of slavery, the things that his master said were used as fuel to break away from his oppression. The thing needed here is self accountability being modeled by the parents and taught to the students. The analogy used by the girl who wrote the paper fits in some ways, but we can't fail to look at how Fredrick used it for fuel to break free.

    • Joseph Winfield

      i teach my children black history at home. they also must do math, english, social study, science, reading, music, and arts & craft at home, on top of school work. they also have plenty of time for fun playing their tablets visiting friends and family, and computing.

    • deana.becker

      Most school aged kids spend upwards of 8-10 hours a day in the school environment. It is the responsibility of the schools to educate children. That is why we pay taxes to have schools in the first place. Other Westernized countries get this, which is why they hold their educational systems to higher standards and get better outcomes. It is the responsibility of parents to reinforce what children learn in school, at home. I don't know about you but by the time my kid comes home from school and finishes with tutoring and his therapies (he's special needs), there are very few waking hours left in the day.

  • ultramarine

    It is possible that her teacher(s) are so underpaid, undersupported, blamed unfairly by underperforming parents, and forced to teach to the test by administrators, that reading her essay was just the last straw.

    • bobthebuilder1011

      completely agree..these neighborhoods are poor. therefore they will have unqualified teachers. it has nothing to do with slavery

      • 117becca

        You have plenty of qualified teachers in urban districts. To make the statement that they are unqualified is a slap to every single teacher that goes into these bldgs every single day. They see the progress that students make and they also endure the abuse from some of the students and their parents.

      • ultramarine

        Her analogy was unfortunate, too. To compare an underperforming school environment, which of course should be a source of shame to our country and should be corrected, to slavery is to do a disservice to people in actual slavery in the past. Is she being beaten for not picking her quota of cotton? Raped by a plantation owner? Sold from her family? No, she is in an underperforming school. But the library is free and she can study for the SAT's and apply to the best colleges which will accept her. A lot is in her own control. It is a shame that her school is doing a lousy job, though.

        • deana.becker

          It has been proven through recent studies that school systems with poor performance are a direct pipeline into the penal system. Standardized tests given in the 3rd grade are actually used to determine the need for building more prisons, 10 years down the road. Our prisons have become privatized and prison labor is bought very cheaply by corporations to further increase profits. That savings is not passed onto the consumer. Instead we get even more schools that excel at producing more "slaves".

          • poopbuttmcgee

            That's correlation, not causation. Morals are taught in the home, not in school. A poor education is not a direct predictor of future criminal activity. I know at least as many people who never completed high school and have had absolutely no run-ins with the law as I do people who received great grade school educations and have shown criminal behavior. How about we focus on what WE can do for ourselves instead of what THEY (in this case the teachers) can do for us. It's really easy for one to blame the public school system instead of examining the morals one has instilled in their child(ren).

          • ultramarine

            Do you have a source for your assertion that "Standardized tests given in the 3rd grade are actually used to determine the need for building more prisons, 10 years down the road."

        • LegacyUnknown

          As the child of two educators I know the struggle of the teacher. But I also know that the analogy in the essay is correct. The school system is failing (Ultimately, her point) and teachers are being blamed for it because teachers are the ones people see I get it. But if the teacher has no desire or drive to do what they were fortunate enough to be educated to do then all they are are walking salaries who can laugh and call these children dumb. Not every child is a trouble maker and not every child is stupid but even in a classroom of 27 students majority can be taught. My mom had 27 students and of that 24 were where they needed to be after they left her class. She worked day and night to help them because she cares. So while the school was underperforming her classroom was not. teachers signed up to educated our children Black, white, or hispanic, they need to do that job whether bombarded with crap everyday. What did you think you were getting into when you decided to be an educator?

          • deana.becker

            I wish I could "like" this!

  • Babsie

    In Atlanta, GA there is currently a cheating scandal where the teachers, asst.principals, and principles were charged with erasing incorrect answers and putting the correct answers on childrens statewide test in order for their schools to look like they met or exceeded requirements. All of the teachers, Asst. Principals and Principals (and the school superintendent) were black. Most of these individuals are pleading guilty. Is this a race issue????

    • D.MNav2

      Yes Babs it is. If you cannot see that they CHEATED to achieve a result that they were not being PROVIDED the RESOURCES to achieve, then yes it is a racial issue. What area is the school located in? What is their tax base like? How much is allotted for learning materials? Can you answer me that? They cheated, they were WRONG. Flat our period WRONG. They should have let the chips fall where they may and then went before the School Superintendent and told them what they needed in order to get these children on level or close to it. The other thing is parents need to understand that you CANNOT send your children to school speaking slang, that is NOT how the outside world works. When you see them mangling the English language it makes your head and heart hurt for them. I am a black woman with 3 children. All have gone to school, all know how and when to speak to people and even as adults, if I hear them mangle a word I keep saying what did you say until they get it right. I want to see and educated and well rounded populace. Not a pipeline to the prison system. And if you check to story in florida, they recently admitted that is what they had been doing and that they were going to stop it.

    • deana.becker

      This is a system wide problem and is not only found in "Black" schools. Remember the Harvard, Duke, Naval Academy, Baruch(CUNY), West Virginia, Indiana and Long Island SAT cheating scandals? Were THOSE a race issue? Cheating on this level happens because of money. Schools where children do not perform well are further punished by not getting as much funding. The problem is our unbalanced funding of education in this country. A parents income or amount of taxes they pay should not dictate the quality of public education. Until we understand that as a culture we will continue to suffer the consequences of the actions of uneducated minds.

    • Samantha Janae

      That is because the government give incentives for student doing well. When really a teacher chose to go to college to become a teacher and should not recieve a reward for doing their job other than annual and cost of living raises like the rest of society. The same way the police are given incentives for arrest, drug bust , and guns. it is designed for people not to care at some point which is what I think happened in Georgia... Versus doing their job for they pay check they only did what the needed to do to keep their paycheck ..

  • Monnie Johnson

    this exactly what happens when the person in power makes the issue about them instead of the problem! how selfish can you be? instead of seeing this as a solvable issue you decide that it's in your best interest to bully a child? the crazy thing is that in an effort to discredit her essay they did the exact thing she addressed in the essay. how intellectually stunted do you have to be not to see that? and these are of the people teaching our children? *smh*

  • Erik Moore

    That person posted that comment to make folks jump. Its what they do nowadays...the racist whites. They say and do things that they know will be seen as offensive in order to invoke a response from Black folks. They dont believe that load of trash either.They enjoy us entertaining them. You can give them what they want or you can ignore them and bask in the thought that there are a few of our youth who still can see whats going on...whats being done to them in the name of doing to the Black Mans future what was done to the native Americans future so many years ago.

  • theSentinel

    Out of the mouth of babes...

  • NorthernTeacher

    I've read a lot of the comments, but I haven't seen any from any black teachers. As a black teacher of predominately black students this issue is about race & culture but it is about so much more. I applaud Jada for recognizing that her peers need more than just packets and indirect instruction for success--but the picture is so so much bigger than that.

    Recently I pulled excerpts from Frederick Douglass narrative for my students to reflect on. They told me they found it boring, but they thought Douglass looked like a G. Okay. I probed them and asked if they found the situation about his aunt's beating boring--they hadn't read it. So I went over it and they took a different perspective. I actually pulled out the same section of text that dealt with the ending of the reading lessons and had my students reflect on that but, many were unlike Jada, and didn't make the connection.

    There were follow up activities that asked the students to apply the information they had learned about Douglass's life and to create a brochure about Douglass, other abolitionists, and social reformers. (If they don't want to make a brochure there were other options for them to apply their learning) Most of my students are very concerned about their grades so they do the preliminary work (i.e reading the text, finding the information about the abolitionist, writing the facts down) all of which would be level 1 or 2 work on Bloom's taxonomy, but resisted putting it all together. When I say resist, I am referring to blocking behaviors (off-task behaviors, off-task conversations, saying I'll wait until I get home to do it, etc) We go through this cycle on a daily basis.

    I push them, not because I am black and the majority of them are black--I push them because I know that they can do it and most of them, for whatever reason or not, are content with just doing the preliminary tasks. But that pushing comes with a cost-- arguments ensue, I spend hours calling parents asking for their children to stay after to make up work that didn't get done during class, I then spend more hours after school or during free periods working with students who feel that their completing their work is a "punishment." Still after all of this, not everyone will achieve the goal. After this, for my own personal sanity and to restrategize--I have to disengage. I stay within the curriculum, but the lessons might not be as personal, engaging and yes they might include a packet (which is a very vague term which could mean many things).

    I post this post for two reasons 1) all white teachers who give packets are not horrible people not doing their jobs; 2) teaching any student, especially students from low socio-economic statutes brings challenges for both the student and the teacher. If we disaggregate the factors and only look at the effects (i.e. white teachers give packets to black kids) we miss the opportunity to address the true causes that could potentially dismantle this effect.

    Again, I applaud Jada for her assessment of the value of education for black students, but we have an obligation to address the roots of problems within the educational system that effect ALL students.

    • drea90

      YES! You've said it all. I'm a black teacher as well and I agree with absolutely everything you've said.

    • lidiapi

      THANK YOU!!!!

  • Bobby Sweeney

    Honestly, I can't understand why some advocate for more black/hispanic teachers. If the curriculum is the same for all teachers, then what difference does it make of what the teacher looks like? White teachers just passing out pamphlets for their lessons isn't tied to their skin color, but rather their apathy, yes black/hispanic teachers are capable of that too. Algebra and Biology is the same across all cultures and doesn't require a socioeconomic context. While I understand the girl's frustration with her fellow peers failure in academia, perhaps the problem isn't "discrimination in the hearts of the white man".

    • YahQob

      such a naivete statement

  • Floris Koot

    Ouch. I am very white and a teacher and Dutch, so I don't know what right of speaking I have. The paradox of race often is, that it shouldn't matter (That school is too blame, for that kid wrote a brilliant, painful essay. And even disagreeing with the vision in the content should not be held against the writer) and it does matter, for people react to it and damages are being done (mostly by the race in power, for in current Zimbabwe often the whites are the victims). Also the American school system is very very weak. As long as people only vote for the candidate who lowers taxes the most, the school system as a whole will suffer, except, you guessed it, private schools for rich folks. As long as teachers are scared of their pupils, they might rather hand out notes and not demand results (thus avoiding aggression). As long as young people (whatever color) don't see what help learning will be to them they will not care, (in video games at least you can replay levels, and everything you learn is directly of use and demanded in use on the next level) and as long as schools prepare you for the 20th century employment conditions and this in no way prepares you for your reality outside of that school, I would too, not give a s**t about my own results as a student, sorry to say. So the problem is much bigger, and the color issue makes matters worse. My short term practical suggestion in this case would also be, hire the most positive successful blacks (or any kind of people that fits the profile locally) in the neighborhood and have them give (free) guest lectures (or demand they come give guest lectures) about how to make it in the world they live in. If the programs are not met, why follow the program?

  • Mayer Dahan

    Its impressive that this 13 year old can direct and read so deeply into a piece that has been analyzed for years by people three and your times her age that have yet to fully understand what is being said. Its unfortunate that she experiences the very truths Fredrick Douglas wrote about. The system is not perfect, people are not perfect, but there is always something we can do. My only hope is that educators and the department of education come together and find a way to make students feel more comfortable and empowered to their own learning. Find a way to diversify the education system not only by color of the educators, but also by the curriculum and the methods in which things are being taught. Children now days have much more exposer to depressing truths, but it is our job as adults to inform and correct as much as we possibly can before it is their turn to make decisions and help run the world.

  • Trennie Lanier Williams, Sr.

    Literacy is something every person should embrace and progress with. Without literacy, there tends to be an unending legion of people who are taken advantage of for someone else's economic benefit. Thanks, Jada Williams, for sharing your thoughts and comparison. May academic institutions use your essay as a tool to improve education in the U.S. and around the globe.

  • Delwin Eiland

    The fact that this 13 year-old BABY can understand Douglass's writings and apply them to her current situation is 1.) extremely impressive 2.) threatening to people with the power to shut her up. I have a niece, 16, who's grown up in Chicago Public School. I was appalled when, after she asked me to help her with her homework, she told me that she didn't have a book to take home. How is a child expected to adequately study the class material if she can't take her schoolbooks home?

    I contrast that to students that I know in a Chicagoland suburb...where the property value is 2.5 times that of the neighborhood where my nice lives. Their schools have enough resources to donate computers and books to my niece's school.

    It's unfortunate that my niece will receive a subpar education relative to the other children. Her A doesn't equal their A. Upon graduating from high school, her actual reading level will be lower than theirs although on paper it'll be the same. When they go to the same college and have to buy books, it would be her first experience being able to take a text home. She'll be starting a new behavior that the other child has been used to for 10-12 years. That's inequality! Primary and secondary education shouldn't be determined by socioeconomic status. Equality will never exist if that's the case.

    Fight on and WRITE on, Jada! Ruffle feathers until change is made.

    • YahQob


  • mommommamma

    Maybe I'm naive, but when the author states "As the parent of two black boys I know firsthand that white teachers can excel at teaching black children" , is he/she saying that black children learn differently than other races? If that is the case, isn't that the same as, say, having a child who is gifted or having a child with special needs and needing to adjust the way he/she is taught? We are all in the same boat here, no matter the race we were born into.

    • Matt Adams

      In the context of the article I believe that the author is saying that not all white teachers are racist, some of them actually care about their black students and will do their best when teaching them instead of just handing out pamphlets.

    • Greg Lau

      can't be so naive and wishful that everyone is truly equal and the same. Each race comes with a different set of cultural influences, which influence how they are brought up and how they perceive the world around them. Their families are cultural-bound, so IT IS QUITE DIFFERENT HOW PEOPLE LEARN. For example, Americans/Westerners are not accustomed to certain concepts and ideas that the Chinese are accustomed to. For example, there are Chinese characters that go beyond its face meaning. Westerners have a hard time grasping beyond the face meaning, and so oftenly misinterpret or misuse the word properly. Why is this? Because the Chinese grow up with a completely different set of cultural influences and concepts. They think and view the world differently, and so that is also how language is formed. Americans lack the foundation of culture and experience that easterners have when learning Chinese. Americans have their culture, easterners have eastern culture.

      The mark of a TRULY good teacher, is one that recognizes the realities of the world and how the world truly is, and doesn't naively view the world through a desirable screen. The world is very diverse, and we mustn't view racial treatment equality as a means of thinking we're all the same, because we're not. That's what DIVERSITY IS. We're all different, but we do not harm each other for it.

      IF, for example, black families and white families were truly the same, then we shouldn't be able to tell any differences. But that's not the case, is it? There's such a thing as black culture and white culture, just as there is Chinese culture, Korean culture, Japanese culture, and so forth. Each culture has their linguistic differences, differences in the way they talk, act, how they raise their children, how they demonstrate family values, what family values and priorities they have, how religion is practiced or viewed, etc. IT'S VERY DIFFERENT.

      It is ignorant to say that we're all the same and that we all learn the same way. As a teacher, i know this first hand. I may give out the same lessons to my diverse students, but I also keep in mind that everyone comes from different backgrounds and perspectives. So the way they respond and react in my classroom, I take into account where they're coming from, and so I respond accordingly. If I were teaching Chinese, and the western student obviously couldn't grasp what the Asian students could grasp quickly, I would take a few steps back and try to set up the foundation for that student, to bring him/her up to speed. It's a reality. We're all very different.

      • YahQob

        agreed. it is very ignorant to use the "if we're all the same, then..." nonsense

      • mommommamma

        Not sure you were replying to my post or not, but I want to clarify...I didn't say we are equal and the same...just the opposite. EVERYONE learns differently and teachings should be tailored to that person's learning style. When I said "we're all in the same boat here" I was referring to making adjustments to accommodate the different ways in which each learns, no matter race, culture, etc.

      • LilyPurple

        I agreed to most of your points until you talked about white culture, black culture and then said Chinese culture, Korean culture and Japanese Culture. You acknowledge that such a thing as Asian or Yellow culture does not exist so why would a black or white culture do? You should know that all black people do not have the same background or origins so such a culture does not exist, same for white people.
        I also think that the author meant that white teachers do not necessarily all have the ambitions to not teach properly to black kids, not necessarily pointing out that these kids were learning differently.
        As for your example - If a foreigner - 老外 - grows up in a Chinese society, that person will be able to learn exactly the same way as a Chinese person does as he or she will also understand the cultural references. This has nothing to do with race, it has to do with the environment in which you grow up. And let's face it, children spend most of their time at school nowadays, not at home. So that's where they get their so-called culture.
        I agree that we should pay attention to differences and that we are not all the same. But conclusion about what makes people different should not be drawn so quickly.

    • Adam Alas

      not that different races learn differently but learning is about more that capability and when people in groups (like a racial group or a social class) share certain experiences it does help when the people in front of their classrooms can relate to and validate their experiences

  • Raul Ap

    If her 13 year old peers can't read. Then it's a problem involving not just the school system, but their parents as well.
    Calling BS race card use here. On the other hand the system is not only failing the students but teachers also (forced into teaching a curriculum).
    Why don't we reprimand those who changed the school system that awards underachievism instead of disciplining.

    • Foster Garvin

      Nice save in your last paragraph there. Almost.. You may still be a racist, though.

  • Patrick McReary

    Compulsory schooling IS slavery anyway. Students are forced to go to school against their own will without any say in the matter, must do work (even if it's not farm labor), don't get paid for it or get any sort of compensation, must stay their for almost their entire childhood, and if they try to protest their treatment they will be punished.

    Williams has the right idea, but I think the wrong issue is being tackled here. Instead of focusing on the teachers, why not focus on fixing the system itself?

    • Raul Ap

      I agree. Also, what's the difference if say math is taught by a black or white teacher?

  • SilentThunderStorm

    Race has little to nothing to do with this. This has been a systemic problem in our educational system since the original instillation of the Taylor Method.

    It is no different in 'white' schools than it is in 'black' schools, unless you have the money to pay for a private school.

    Her bringing race to the table, in effect, has diluted the issue into yet another black-white issue, and distracted us from the true magnitude of this problem.

    • BBallgrl1923

      Share your thoughts or insights...\
      This girl is 13 years old, she is living her truth! How can you scrutinize her and her paper when you have not walked in her shoes. She has not walked in your shoes to understand that her situation could be different somewhere else. She is writing about what she lives, her experiences and the perspective only she can bring. For you to dilute her issues in your sea of adult bias is totally unfair to her and this issue that needs to be addressed.

  • insomniacproduction

    I think the problem here is not Williams' race, rather the fact that our world has now put money above everything else which makes the teaching profession less and less attractive to the younger generation. In turn, this led to inept teachers such as those in Williams' school. To change this, we would need to shift our whole paradigm and see that money is not all there is to life.

  • B L S

    It's truly sad to see educated teachers feel so threatened by an 8-year-old's brilliant mind. They've thwarted an opportunity to make our future better. Shame on them!!!

  • Joseph Bodden

    Sounds to me like the educational facility is, however inadvertently and accidentally teaching this young lady the true facts of freedom of expression and the real value of the first amendment... Know the truth and someone will tell you to stfu...
    "It will forever unfit him (her) to be a slave. SHe would at once become unmanageable, and of no value to his (HER) master."

  • jeoihon

    So long as we keep making issues such as these about race, we all will continue to lose. Simply, the educational system is completely bankrupt. Teachers are not interested in teaching, this is been true since I was in school in the '70's. The truly unfortunate thing here is that this young lady made an astute observation (albeit based on race, which makes the logic flawed) about the educational system and the system failed (again) to take the opportunity and make the appropriate changes. I hope her parents sue.

    • Patrick McReary

      I completely agree, actually. The wrong problem is being tackled. Blame the system rather than the people that have to work there.

    • c'mon man

      It's about the education system in the US and, more specifically, Rochester, NY, to be certain.
      That you are unwilling to acknowledge the fact that racism is, unfortunately, still alive and thriving is, peculiar.
      The nail seems to have been hit upon the proverbial "head" in this instance - at that school. Race, along with deplorable educational methods are c-l-e-a-r-l-y the issue, here.
      If I may?
      "So long as we keep ignoring issues such as these, we all will continue to lose."

      That seems to be the young lady's point.


      Were not racism an issue in this instance?

      I'd bet dollars to donuts that she'd still be in that school...

  • Birds Thatgo

    Another example of white people silencing the experiences and opinions of people of color. This is a bigger picture problem that isn't on the shoulders of students, or teachers but the institutions where racism and feelings of racial inferiority exist.

    Stifling smart young minds like this is more or less what is wrong with the education system which is ultimately problematized because she is a person of color.

    For once people should stop getting on the defensive and actually think about what someone else is saying and how it may or may not apply to them.

  • Marie Fox

    Black people are just dumb, plain and simple.
    And I am a black person so I should know, ok.

    • Joseph Bodden

      It is hard to argue with you on that point - as far as you are concerned... a list of other plain and simple dumb people
      George Washington Carver - oh hell, just google it if you are not too dumb...

  • Kellee Kimbro

    I don't think its a race issue its just an issue of the administration not caring about anyone who is in lower level classes. I am a white person and I went to one of the best public high schools in Houston, yet no one cared about what I was learning because I was not taking advanced level classes. If you aren't in advanced leveled classes by the time your in the 6th grade you are screwed by the entire system of education. I also have plenty teachers of color and them equally with white teachers didn't really teach anything.

    • Kevin Davis

      i most certainly have to agree with this post...our system is completely flawed when it comes to education. Teachers care about a paycheck more then actually teaching facts in class with hopes that our youth bring among a change from the trash we are going through now...

      • tkam218

        Attitudes like yours, demeaning educators, is a contributing factor as to why the education system is flawed. It's easy to blame the teachers because they are the only ones there in the classroom but yet they have the least amount of control as to what goes on the classroom. You want a change, start with advocating for education instead of putting down the people working their bottoms off to help children succeed.

  • Whut

    What racist tripe, and by that, I mean from the child and this article. It's automatically assumed it's the teachers fault or the schools fault these kids can't get an education b/c the teachers are white and the kids black. If a child, at obvious urging of their parents, are attacking the teachers on a daily basis with racist attacks, they are causing a disruption to the education of the other students. (probably the few that are there to learn as opposed to being sent by their parents as a form of daycare)

  • Christian Econ

    A little more research into this situation might discover that, as unionization and teachers' voice and input wanes, teachers have less and less choice of what they do in the classroom. It is increasingly micromanaged and scripted from higher up, and they're forced to put more and more resources into standardized testing over using their gifts. A bad thing all around.

    • Jim Dorey

      teacher are having less choice because a few bad eggs have been doing more than using a bit of freedom to teach, they've been abusing it, for some things they need strict totalitarian soul crushing stranglehold. 'it's just a theory' instant suspension. give them too much freedom and it's 'and on this glorious day, as we await the return of our dear ravenous hastur, we now learn these unimportant things to comfort us while we await the fulfilment of our true goal, feeding our lord' totally allowed if other religions get to do it. the freedom to teach what is important at that time doesn't trump teaching properly. what this girl is talking about is teachers that legitimately don't care, at all, and react like a teased dog when the truth gets pointed out, in other words, teachers abusing their freedoms.

      • B L S

        Oh no! Look at our history. Trouble began once the G0V was invited to fund schools. Then, the G0V decided to run schools.

        When we use G0V money, we have to adhere to G0V guidelines.

        We've lost the "concern for youth, first" because this messed up system is tied in legal knots,
        The kids are no longer first, the G0V is.
        IMO, this is what's wrong with the whole picture. I also believe that having some teachers teaching the youth that they are the most familiar with - in the same respect, as parents raise their own kids. There is just a better connection with people when you know who they are and where they came from. Teaching is supposed to give youth an opportunity to expand the future and bring hope for good change -- not snuff out 8-year-olds.