WE ARE: 5 women navigating our twenties in search of peace, happiness and love (or not). WE WRITE: about everything and nothing. From the insane to the mundane- you will find different paths taken, lessons learned and lives lived. WE THINK: you’ll enjoy it...Warning: Consumption of these views may leave you enlightened while intoxicated.

SO LONG, FAREWELL...

The View From Here will conclude on Friday, October 1, our third year anniversary. We would like to spend this month thanking all of our readers, followers, haters, visitors, family, friends, and fans for your continued support, encouragement, and comments over these past few years. Thanks y'all!
-The Five Spot

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

state of affairs, vol. i

Anyone who knows me, know that I am a die-hard advocate of public schools. I for one, was reared in public schooling. I remember when my dad contemplated enrolling me in a exclusive private school for high school -- how dare he -- you know Bellini stood firm and won her ground. Now as an adult, I am a bit more receptive to the horror studies of inner-city public schooling. People have been telling me there is a difference, my public schooling came from the suburbs of a top 5 school district in the nation. As my girl from Philly would tell me, I might as well have been enrolled in private school. My naivete.

Education is 50% attitude: I can do it, I will make the attempt . . . kinda of attitude. Half of the problem beseiging our inner-city public schools is attitude. I hear stories of kids cussin' in class huh, throwing things at a teacher wtf, and not doing shit get the f*** out then, it's just appalling to me. You don't believe me, take a glance at an inner city school in the nation's capital (it's not even considered the worst). I wouldn't dare disrespect an adult and as adult now myself -- I wish a muthf***a would disrespect me? Is this what the state of a black education has come too. Yes, I say black -- 'cuz for the most part most of us still live in the innercity and the problem schools: underperforming, overpopulated, etc. . . are found there. I've observed kids that have no desire to exercise their basic manners -- I know you all have seen the roughnecks on public transporation -- just loud, ignornat, ignant and they revel in that shit. Where is the self-respect? The lack of is problematic -- indeed. Then I wonder how their parents are raising them and subsequently I ask what are their parents attitude?

I think partial to the problem is that parents don't have the expected attitude and so their kids do not. Let's not forget education is a community partnership. Parents hold teachers accountable and in return teachers hold parents accountable, thereby bolstering the foundation of the child -- it's a no-brainer to me. The child understands they must perform to the best of their ability. And yes, I do think the equation is linear in that fashion.

Let's put things in historical context for a moment.
50 years ago or 1 generation, black folks were dirt poor but we excelled in school with bare scrappings -- old textbooks, decrepit buildings, etc. . . we walked miles just to get to school and wore our "Sunday best" in the process. We barely have our foot in the door while folks are trying to slam the door on our foot. We've gone from "Sunday best" to pants hangin' off the ass, shoelaces untied, and whatever else you observe. I am a proponent of self-expression, but there is a time and place for everything.

For the most part, higher education is still a novelty in the black community. Yet, it is incomprehensible why we won't even strive to get the basics in education.

Time to rewind the clock.


cheers,

Bellini

6 comments:

mint julep said...

you hit it on the head...its about attitude and the parents preparing their children through hometraining on how to act and respect adults.

yesterday a good friend was tellin me these horror storeis about her 7th grade students in the newark public schools. one boy said to her that another boy wanted to fuck her in front of the whole class.

i couldn't do it...

Bellini said...

you know if i become "rich" I would quit to teach just to see if I can muster the strength and do it. My only dilemma is do I teach 8th grade and try to catch 'em before high school or do i do 9th grade the critical grade where they then not to adapt to high school life and drop out forever?

Rum Punch said...

8th or 9th grade! Girl, you better catch those kids at 5th or 6th...i have heard teachers say that by middle school principals & teachers may have given up on them and be on some "just pass them, it's not like they're going to high school anyway..." Middle school is that crazy holding pattern and if they don't come in there willing & eager to learn, it's doubtful they'll leave that way. My cousin who teaches 6th grade in the gorgeous Prince George's says that she has to continually talk to these kids about the value of education or about learning a skill so that they can survive in the world...

Anyway. I read the article and was quite disturbed. And I read about the quality of Coolidge but then I thought like you talked about how my grandmother walked 3 miles each way to school, used tattered books, etc, and she didn't let the condition of the school setting determine her situation and eventual outcome. This is not to say that D.C. does not owe it to these children to give them air conditioning and heat, new books, etc, but somewhere the message got lost, not only about the necessity of getting an education but the value of work, that you will actually have to support yourself in the future...you know those things about life...

Sidenote: It's funny, I was at an event w/ some old school Coolidge grads and they were singin cheers and reminiscing about the good times, nothing but pleasant memories...times have changed

Bellini said...

you know at the elementary age the focus is truly reading comphrehension and one reason the kids fall through the cracks is be'cuz they don't know how to read (if parent is literate and allows their child to be illiterate it is problematic). Alot of these kids can't do math 'cuz they don't know how to read a problem. Unfortunately I don't have it in me to teach someone how to read, that's not a talent of mine. Although, I do have it in me to engage kids once they have the basic skill set.

LadyA said...

I'm also an advocate and graduate of public school. When I got to college I had self-doubt that my education may have been sub-par compared to the rich white privately educated folk...that was until my roommate who was one dropped out and I excelled. But alas, I was educated in the burbs.

I think the root in the break down in the educational system is the broken family structure. School becomes free baby-sitting. Parent's who don't emphasize the value of education or humanistic regard for others end up with bad-azz kids.

Bellini said...

@ladya: yeah the broken family is part of it, but it's not enough to hold us back.if you notice black folks have been plagued with all kinds of ills (a la Jim Crow, burnin down black wall street, lack of voting rights, etc.) -- the ills the generation before us faced were worst. now it seems black folks are just caught up in stupid s*** -- imo