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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

RE: Blame the Teachers 

APOLOGIES TO LOUISIANA AND MISSISSIPPI:

In my commentary on education (Blame the Teacher Syndrome, Dissident Voice, 15 March 2010) I made some inaccurate and/or misleading statements. My statement regarding California's ranking among the states in "per capita" funding should have stated "per student" funding (Education Week, California Teachers Association). The rankings are adjusted for cost of living. The new ranking includes projected cuts in the coming school year. I also implied that Louisiana and Mississippi had been ranked lower than California. In fact Louisiana was ranked 27th and Mississippi 39th. The states previously ranked lower than California were Texas, Nevada, Arizona and Utah.

Apologies are due to Louisiana and Mississippi.

Jazz

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

RE: Blame the Teachers 

Sad but so true! I see this played out on a weekly basis when I teach chess at Dr. George Washington Carver Elementary School. They are centrally located in the notorious San Francisco neighborhood called Bayview Hunter’s Point. I have been teaching chess there for over nine years, and each year the struggle continues for the dedicated Teachers and staff that are committed to these wonderful children who are directly impacted by poverty, gang violence, and drugs in the community. The neighborhoods are blighted, and the threat of gentrification and closing down the school is always looming large. The Principal and I, Mrs. Emily Wade-Thompson, have become good friends over the years. She is an amazing African-American woman who runs her school like an African Village, instilling pride in her students by teaching them their history and heritage. The students are called “Achievers”, and taught a list of core values based on the Swahili language, for example Umoja, which means Unity in the community. Her plight, and that of her fellow educators, and those of each and every “Achiever” around this country is given nothing but lip service and chicanery by our elected officials, corporations, and parents, whom all want to blame the teachers. It takes a village to raise a child.

Wakiza McQueen

[Note: "Blame the Teacher Syndrome: A Misguided Education Policy" by Jack Random posted on Dissident Voice, March 15, 2010.]

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