bias, inequality and privilege in education - add pandemic

"That’s something that Erica Turner has been thinking about a lot, as both a parent and an associate professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she studies racism and inequity in educational policy. She recently published a guide for Equity in Pandemic Schooling, intended to be a resource for communities and families as they make plans for the coming school year."

I attended public school through eighth grade, and private school for high school. It was important for me that my children attended public school, because I felt part of their education was the experience of a public school. That said, we then struggled with the public high school once we moved Indiana, eventually moving Elleah to IU to complete high school. Maraya had the advantage of completing her first three years of high school in Washington State. 

That said, I do believe much of what the girls learned was from comparing those two systems, their observations of inequality and bias in the classroom, and the struggles they faced navigating the social system once we moved to Indiana. 

After spending two years in the public school as a teacher, I resigned this fall over the pandemic policy. But recent reflection has also led me to realize that I was also struggling with the systemic inequality and bias. I still vividly recall standing in the hall and having another teacher explained to me that "those boys were just going to end up in jail anyway," referring to male students of color. 

When we first moved to emergency distance learning many of the other teachers and an administrator sent me friend requests on Facebook. Suddenly I could see underlying bias, and disparities in critical thinking. For some of the teachers, I would best describe it as a "missionary" bias. They felt that they were helping these poor students, but with the attitude of a missionary traveling to another country, in which they did not believe these students were equal. There was an arrogance, an overt expression of Christian servitude. 


  1. I am a product of the public schools (a good number of years ago.) Attending half of high school in Florida, exposed me to people and ideas I had never experienced before, it changed me as a person.


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