Washington, DC’s Ron Brown College Prep High School has opened this year, an all boys program. Why does it always come to this nonsense? What is this?

The students are required to wear jackets and ties to school. So on Tuesday, Green was guiding them through a session on dressing appropriately, maintaining personal hygiene, polishing shoes, choosing the right coat hangers and presenting themselves as men of learning.

Whose version of manhood or masculinity is this? Of all the priorities, choosing the right coat hangers.

“Men don’t wear clip-on ties.”

What is a “man of learning?” I have a PhD and probably own two ties. I don’t even really know how to tie one. I have to look it up online before I wear one, which is probably between once and never a year. In fact, the more “learned” you become, the less likely you have to wear a tie. Has anyone ever attended an academic conference, of all very learned people? You’ll probably see more Tevas and socks than you will see ties. That’s perfectly fine because, within certain limits, I don’t care what you’re wearing. If your message is good, it’s good. If it’s not, bow tie or not, it’s not.

Sure, where a tie and you’ll be a man of work, a man of the office. But learning, not necessarily.

What I want to also see is a complementary push for learned women. All of this nonsense just smacks of the old Carlisle Indian Schools. Remember those?

As if respectability is going to overcome dramatic inequities built within the system itself.

 

 

Of what I reviewed on social media in the last day at the crossroads of education and Saturday’s march, this seems to be a general sentiment:

Or this:

In a nutshell (if that is possible), education is not working for Black persons, and has also been used as its own tool of oppression in order to preserve the white supremacist power structure. Children have been confined to “ghetto” schools in communities that also lack a number of other basic community services and structures that could improve the lives of those that live within.

But poor investment in education is a different matter than “miseducation.” The latter may be much more deliberate, even though budget decisions are deliberate enough. Nonetheless, young persons of color are educated to concede to their oppression, maybe to condone it, excuse it, explain it away, and to ignore their own unique cultures. The goal is to devalue every aspect of community as the only means of escape, never to look back. Adhere to strict dress codes, speak proper English, and track the speaker.

It might take more digging, or more time, to realize what lessons we can learn from this movement in particular to education. I believe that privatization, and many central tenets of so-called “education reform,” do amount to miseducation. I suspect that even the most progressive and liberal minded of public school reformers have to answer for their own ignorance of race and education. But there is no way that anyone could reasonably argue that alignment with charter school operators, charter management organizations, and the largely white male philanthrocapitalist has done any good for anyone in the last 20 years since this March began.

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While so-called “priority” schools languish in Washington, DC, all from low-income black and brown neighborhoods, I am to understand that PTA/PTO/HSA organizations in more affluent areas of our nation’s capital are able to raise upwards of $500K additional funds to, for instance, hire full-time paraprofessionals in every class. A half-a-million dollars.  Are you kidding me? […]

College professor back to teaching. Steep curve ahead. What have I learned so far? I can easily spend roughly $800 getting ready for Kindergarten, but saved a good amount building some things like sand and water tables. The Common Core Standards, for Kindergarten at least, offers me absolutely no guidance whatsoever. It is thin soup. […]

I posted a video discussing this, but I pulled it. It needed tweaking. The thesis: I walked away from teacher education and am returning to classroom teaching. This time, I’ll be teaching Kindergarten at an elementary school in Congress Heights, Washington, DC. It’s not a charter. It’s your everyday DCPS public school. I will have […]