In the Anaheim City School District, where most students are low-income and struggling to learn English, teachers need special training, extra tutoring time and lots of visual materials to help their pupils achieve at grade level.
In the well-heeled Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District, poverty and limited English are not widespread problems. But officials there say their student needs include more expensive Advanced Placement classes to challenge them with college-level material in high school.Read more
I get a lot of mixed feedback when I say that adults need to learn to speak openly about race with young children. They are afraid of spoiling their childhood or crushing their natural curiosities. However, when we look at the root causes of racial inequity in this country, we see that they grow out of the lessons we learn in our earliest years. In fact, honest conversations about race have a positive impact on children, honoring their observations and lived experiences, and better preparing them to recognize and undo social injustice in their lives. Then, why don’t we do it more?
The truth is that most of us adults have incomplete and competing ideas about the role of race in our own lives. Young children’s comments often illuminate the uncomfortable gap between our good intentions and the thorny truths of the world.
In my experience over the past two years facilitating Border Crossers‘ ”Talking About Race With K-5″ workshops and seminars, I have had the opportunity to share struggles, dissect scenarios, analyze the institutions around us, and offer support in developing and implementing concrete tools and strategies with over 400 educators, activists and parents. I have learned a tremendous amount from each of them.
Over and over, I hear the same excuses for why adults don’t have conversations about race with children. In this article, I dissect five common myths of talking about race with children and offer a few simple sentence starters that help reframe the approach.
1. “Children don’t see race.”
Research shows us that children do, in fact, see race. They are never “colorblind.” One study revealed that infants recognize racial differences between three and six months of age. Dr. Phyllis Katz’s research (as cited in “See Baby Discriminate” ) shows that by three years white children exhibit an overwhelming preference for same-race friends. By age five, 68% of children sort decks of cards of people’s faces by race over any other indicator. The infamous doll test originally performed by Kenneth and Mamie Clark and repeated most recently by CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 shows that pre-k and kindergarten-aged children express racial biases that remain with them through adulthood.
To be clear, the purpose of this research is not to figure out if your child is a racist or not. The intention is to debunk the colorblind myth and frame an approach to interrupting these troubling patterns.
Here’s something you can try:
For more than 80 years, no new school was built in East Los Angeles. In the past several years, the efforts of a community organizing group, a dedicated group of teachers, an array of community partners, the students, and the parents converged to demand change -- and to make it a reality. Now the Esteban E. Torres High School is a beacon of hope and opportunity in this low-income, largely Latino neighborhood. InnerCity Struggle (ICS) and Los Angeles Education Partnership (LAEP), organizations that played key roles in the development of Torres, continue their strong partnerships with Torres to support success of the school.
InnerCity Struggle is an East Los Angeles-based community organizing group; ICS has worked with youth and community residents since 1994 to promote safe, healthy, and non-violent communities in the Eastside. It organized students, residents, and educators through petition drives, community meetings, mobilizations, and rallies to secure the construction of Esteban E. Torres High School in 2004.Read more
Election information and clipboard in hand, Evelyn Leon called out to the house as she tip toed up steps leading to the front door. She is scared of unruly dogs in people’s homes she said, so she tries to make enough noise to draw one out if its there. In the end, no one is home.
Leon and more than 231 volunteers from Inner City Struggle phone banked and canvassed this election cycle to Eastside residents, and specifically youth, immigrants, and new voters. ICS’s ”Yes on 30″ and “No on 32″ campaign has had staggering results: ICS volunteers and staff spoke to 24,000 Eastside residents – East LA, Boyle Heights, and 1 precinct in El Sereno and Lincoln Heights – with 19,000 pledging their support. For door-to-door canvassers, volunteers spoke to 3,900 people and received pledges from 3,060, said Lydia Avila-Hernandez, ICS director of community organizing.
“Jóvenes voluntarios del centro de llamas del Califonia Call Action Fund llaman a votantes lationos del Este de Los Angeles para recordarles que salgan a votar el próximo martes.”
A dos días de las elecciones presidenciales, distintascoaliciones del condado de Los Ángeles
continúan luchando intensamente para sacar el voto latino a la calle en forma masiva.
Una coalición formada por California Calls, Lucha del Pueblo (Inner City Struggles) y SCOPE realizó ayer una jornada para pedir a los residentes del Este de Los Ángeles y otras áreas de la ciudad que salgan este martes a votar y sean la voz de aquellos que luchan por sus derechos pero que no pueden ejercer el voto.
Desde abril, los voluntarios de esta organización sin fines de lucro caminan las calles para promover la participación cívica.
"Es una estrategia muy básica, golpeando puertas o yendo a tiendas latinas donde nos apostamos afuera para dar información y registrar a los que sean elegibles para votar", relata Heredia a BBC Mundo.
Adrián Landa está enfrascado en una misión parecida: pasa horas en un sótano del Este de Los Ángeles, en las oficinas de la ONG Innercity Struggle y junto a un grupo de más de 20 personas que, por teléfono, busca movilizar a los electores de la comunidad.
Amid mounting pressure to keep students in school, Roosevelt High School administrators pledged Thursday to support the development of a new discipline policy focused on positive behavior over punitive suspensions.
At a lunchtime rally, principals from Roosevelt’s six small schools in Boyle Heights signed a letter pledging to support the new policy’s first step: teaching expectations for student behavior.
The expectations are built around six traits voted in by more than 900 Roosevelt students as necessary for success -- respect, intelligence, dignity, empowerment, resilience and support and include such specific behaviors as following teacher directions, waiting patiently in lunch lines and avoiding profanity.
Los 900 alumnos de la preparatoria Theodore Roosevelt del Este de Los Ángeles, recibieron ayer el compromiso de su director, administradores y maestros de cambiar las actuales políticas de disciplina de cero tolerancia, y con ello reducir el número de suspensiones escolares que significativamente afecta a estos estudiantes.
Tan solo en el ciclo escolar 2011 en esta preparatoria, con una población estudiantil de origen latino de 99 por ciento, hubo alrededor de 277 estudiantes suspendidos, en comparación con 1 estudiante en la preparatoria Garfield durante el mismo periodo.Read more
Cuando su primogénito llegó a la universidad, Blanca Dueñas se dio cuenta que la educación académica de su hijo estaba muy por debajo de la deseada.
Por más que lo intentó, comentó, el nivel de conocimiento académico de su hijo no lo ayudó a cumplir con las demandas escolares y no pudo graduarse.
Desde entonces, la originaria de la Ciudad de México se ha dedicado a mejorar la educación en Boyle Heights, donde ella reside.Read more
t's a reform effort years in the making in the nation's second-largest school system. Only this one is being carried out around a group of tables at the district's massive kitchen, where the executive chef is serving his latest creations to several dozen teenagers.
On a recent day, student food critics from East Los Angeles sit in judgment, circling thumbs-up or thumbs-down and writing comments on the new menu choices.