Tuesday, April 28, 2009

More on Race

A few posts ago I wrote about a professional development day which chastised our staff for not being culturally responsive to our Latino/a students. When asked, "Why do Latino/a students struggle to graduate from high school in four years," seventy-seven responses came back as "negatively coded"--meaning the statement put the blame on the students or the students' families.
Today, after finishing our Corrective Reading lesson for the day, one of my classes discussed this very question. All of the students are Latino/a. Here are their responses to the same question asked of the staff:

  • Puerto Rican kids don't care
  • Parents don't punish us
  • Parents didn't graduate
  • Too many teenage moms raising them
  • Latinos are not smart
  • Latinos don't care about education
  • In Puerto Rico we just skip school all day
  • We have trouble with the language
  • The Puerto Rican teachers here can't teach good
  • Teachers don't help Latino students and the White kids don't need help

Sounds much like the responses the culturally insensitive teachers gave. Now, I assume the immediate response by the "researcher" would be that these beliefs have been projected onto the students by the teachers.


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