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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Spitballing: Should black kids be seperated by sex

Did I actually just read that black kids couldn’t learn if the sexes were together? I reread the passage three times and sure enough that is exactly what I read. Whoa, I thought, that isn’t going to go over so well. What I am talking about is the suggestion that boys and girls be separated at Ribault high school recently offered by the Florida Times Union in an editorial.

I don’t think the Times Union was being racist despite the fact it came off that way to me, a white kid from Murray Hill, on the contrary they were merely spit balling ideas to improve Ribault high school. Improving Ribault and all our struggling schools is something the whole community should all be trying to do.

There other idea was to turn part of Ribault into an advanced academic charter school with uniforms, a longer day, and contracts between parents and students, with an expectation that every student is accepted to a college, you know everything that Stanton and Paxon are supposed to be without the uniforms, contracts and longer days. Could the Times Union on the heels of suggesting that the sexes shouldn’t be mixed at black schools also be suggesting that black kids can’t achieve without contracts, uniforms and longer days too?

My mind was truly spinning though I will give the Times Union the benefit of the doubt and offer some hopefully less controversial suggestions of my own. Though my suggestions aren’t just for Ribault high school they are for all the area high schools.

Let’s start with kids in Junior High not being passed to Ribault high school or any high school without the skills they need to be successful. Then let’s get rid of the one size fits all everybody is going to college curriculum we have now, you know the one that has been failing at Ribault and a few other schools for a decade now and instead develop multiple curriculums that prepare children to be productive citizens whether than plan to attend college or not. You want a kids not that interested in school to do well in school? Well give them a skill where they can be making 15-20 dollars an hour within a few months of graduation. Teach them to be their own boss not just how to pass a test, the f-cat, that they will never use or see again. I would love for every kid to go to college, however we don’t have the kids the powers-that-be wish we had we have the kids we do and we should plan accordingly.

Then how about instead of overloading the teachers at the various schools with meeting after meeting and forcing them to do hour upon hour of superfluous paper work we encourage creativity and autonomy after all teachers teach, complicated board configurations don’t. Then lets make sure there is discipline in the classes and hallways because a few bad apples can spoil a whole classroom or a school. We also need social workers and counselors in our schools because quite often why a kid acts up or does poorly in schools has nothing to do with school. At the schools we are just addressing their symptoms while ignoring their sickness.

We could try ideas that might work, that might make a difference or we could separate the sexes.

Chris Guerrieri
School Teacher

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