Here’s the deal.
I was at one of the whitest places on Earth yesterday: an urban farmer’s market in a gentrifying neighborhood. These spaces tend to be dominated by white, middle to upper middle class folks, and especially new parents.
At a table eating a veggie quesadilla, I overheard a conversation between two couples in their late 30s, each with two young children. All were white, middle class.
They were going back and forth for what seemed like two hours (this was a big quesadilla) about why their youngest kids were bumped up some kind of level in some kind of infant/toddler classes. Although polite about it, one mother insisted ALL children were moved up together because they had a new crop of infants coming in. The other argued that this was not the case because at least one child was not moved up, implying that they went up a level because of their child’s inherent talents. No, the other mother insisted, everyone was moved up together, the other parent must not have been told about it. But who really gives a sh*t anyway?
After all of that, both mothers were happy that their children were potty trained and walking in time to “handle” this new level of class, whatever the hell it is. The fathers in all of this? Clueless and eating.
I left the market a little pissed off. Why? Well, I am just absolutely sick and tired of hearing about how awful teachers are, how they’re lazy, a bunch of sexual predators, and how all their unions want to do is get them tenure so they can sit on their asses. We need to push them over the cliff with constant bouts of testing and a regimented national curriculum to whip them into shape. It’s their problem that poor kids are failing. How dare they show up everyday in the actual school itself and claim to be working at all in the interests of children?
I think of this conversation about infant and toddler classes. See, this is the problem here. You have kids that are going to enter Kindergarten with untold advantages and we’re supposed to believe that it’s the actual teacher that’s the problem? Prominent “reformers” offer their children these same advantages while castigating the failing urban school, marking the “failing” urban teacher with a huge scarlet letter “F” whilst ignoring the freaking fact that there are middle and upper middle class parents in this country right now, at farmers markets, arguing about why their kids were moved up a level in their freaking toddler class!
Piss on this whole thing, you know?