Monday, January 21, 2008

MLK Day 2008 - Have we made progress?

I attended a church service yesterday where we reflected on this question. . . How far have we come?

Not far enough was the answer my minister gave. His argument was that basically, it is in education where there is still a huge rift between the races. White students get a better education, due mostly to funding, than African American students do.

I don't know if this is true, I believe it is, but I know almost nothing about this argument. What I do know is that I am in a working-class neighborhood with more African American neighbors than white ones, and our school is on probration and about to undergo restructuring due to poor test scores.

The population of their school breaks down this way: 85% African American, 10% white, and 5% Hispanic. I don't think that the education they are getting is equal to that of kids in more afluent neighborhoods, but I am not sure I understand why that is, how that is, how it happend, and how it can be fixed.

We constantly struggle at our school to keep programs running. The band program is so underfunded that each year band parents have to pay $600 for their children to participate. I am told that many teachers have taken pay cuts, and I know that activities have been cut.

WHY? I will be looking into this over the coming weeks and plan to blog about it here. I have many questions and few answers right now. I am hoping to change that.

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