Thursday, June 25, 2015

Hey I met EduShyster today

Just sort of barged in on an interview she was conducting at a coffee shop. Sorry about that.  But that's what happens when there are celebs in NOLA.  For me, this was sort of like running into Solange at the empanada place.

Here is a different interview she did with Andre Perry this week I wanted to link to, anyway.
Berkshire: One of the things I've noticed during my travels here is that much of the *fierce urgency* seems to have abated. Now you hear calls for patience from reform leaders. What would you like to see them have a fiercer sense of urgency about?

Perry: The muckety mucks of New Orleans had better acknowledge that racism in their own institutions exists. Conscious or unconscious--whatever you choose, I don't care--the result is that there is a lack of inclusion. When we talk about quality, for example, somehow diversity is never included in that conception of quality. It's OK to do all these other things in the name of quality but not hold yourself accountable for being a diverse institution. That's hypocrisy. If this is about finding like-minded people all the time, things will never change. If we're teaching our children anything, it's to show the example of us working with members of other communities. Our example is teaching the children the wrong lesson. The reality is, you can't have quality without diversity. Even from a simplistic political perspective, you don't get buy-in if your schools aren't diverse. Folks ultimately despise you. We have a dearth of Black teachers in the pipeline, and so we have to build capacity. That's the problem. We're not going to erase 40-50 years of educational neglect in a year, even if we really believe and close our eyes real tight. But we can train future teachers now, and commit to building the capacity of local folks at all levels, not just in the classroom.
Of course, it might have been a good idea to not use a disaster as an excuse to fire 7,000 experienced and mostly black teachers.  But even though Perry often sounds like he would agree there, he more often prefers we focus on "moving forward" or whatever.  It can be frustrating. This is a good discussion, though. Read the rest.

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