Voices of Others: Somewhere in America

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“Kids are late to class for working the midnight shift. They give awards for best attendance but not for keeping your family off the street…every state in America the greatest lessons are the ones you don’t remember learning.”

Seattle is Lumping All its Homeless Children Into One School

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Just plain wrong on so many levels.

For all of the homeless shelters in metropolitan Seattle, the assigned elementary school is Lowell Elementary, up on Capitol Hill….Absolutely no one likes it there, it seems. Students report violence, bullying, and apathetic staff. And the staff claims they aren’t adequately supported to take care of students with special needs….With more training and a dedicated mental health staff, perhaps this school could be a light for students. But as it is, funneling the city’s growing population of homeless youth into one inadequate school is simply harmful.

Seattle is Lumping All its Homeless Children Into One School, LET’s Blog! ON LITERACY, EDUCATION, AND TECHNOLOGY by Mandy

Learning Through Listening

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For what? Chee thought. But he didn’t say it. His mother had taught him one learns through the ear and not the tongue.

People of Darkness (Navajo Mysteries Book 4) by Tony Hillerman

Education Lost To Labor

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“You didn’t have the mind for school, anyway,” his father had recently observed. Abdul wasn’t sure he’d had enough schooling to make a judgment either way. In the early years, he’d sat in a classroom where nothing much happened. Then there had been only work. Work that churned so much filth into the air it turned his snot black. Work more boring than dirty. Work he expected to be doing for the rest of his life. Most days, that prospect weighed on him like a sentence. Tonight, hiding from the police, it felt like a hope.

Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, death, and hope in a Mumbai undercity by Katherine Boo

From the epilogue:

The events recounted in the preceding pages are real, as are all the names. From the day in November 2007 that I walked into Annawadi and met Asha and Manju until March 2011, when I completed my reporting, I documented the experiences of residents with written notes, video recordings, audiotapes, and photographs. Several children of the slum, having mastered my Flip Video camera, also documented events recounted in this book….When I settle into a place, listening and watching, I don’t try to fool myself that the stories of individuals are themselves arguments. I just believe that better arguments, maybe even better policies, get formulated when we know more about ordinary lives.

Voice Depends on Wealth

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“Journalism is one of many fields of public influence—including politics—in which credentials function as de facto permission to speak, rendering those who lack them less likely to be employed and less able to afford to stay in their field. Ability is discounted without credentials, but the ability to purchase credentials rests, more often than not, on family wealth.”

The Utopia of Rules: On Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy by David Graeber

Higher Education and the Caste System

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“As anyone who has been to graduate school knows, it’s precisely the children of the professional-managerial classes, those whose family resources make them the least in need of financial support, who best know how to navigate the world of paperwork that enables them to get said support. For everyone else, the main result of one’s years of professional training is to ensure that one is saddled with such an enormous burden of student debt that a substantial chunk of any subsequent income one will get from pursuing that profession will henceforth be siphoned off, each month, by the financial sector.”

The Utopia of Rules: On Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy by David Graeber

Kids In Space!

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“We’re aliens from many galaxies on Planet Kindergarten.”

“At recess, we test the conditions outside our capsule. A crewmate and I disagree over the equipment. We have to sit in isolation, and I learn that isolation isn’t any fun. My crewmate agrees, and I have a new friend.”

Planet Kindergarten written by Sue Ganz-Schmitt and illustrated by Shane Prigmore

 

John Adams: Education and the Constitution

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JOHN ADAMS INAUGURAL ADDRESS IN THE CITY OF PHILADELPHIA SATURDAY, MARCH 4, 1797

…a love of science and letters and a wish to patronize every rational effort to encourage schools, colleges, universities, academies, and every institution for propagating knowledge, virtue, and religion among all classes of the people, not only for their benign influence on the happiness of life in all its stages and classes, and of society in all its forms, but as the only means of preserving our Constitution from its natural enemies, the spirit of sophistry, the spirit of party, the spirit of intrigue, the profligacy of corruption, and the pestilence of foreign influence, which is the angel of destruction to elective governments…”

United States Presidents’ Inaugural Speeches by United States. Presidents.

Foster Kid Education

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The only thing that will get you out of your situation is to stay in school, Regina. I remember Ms. Van Dover’s words, so I perform well on Mrs. Young’s tests and participate not like my life depends on it, but because my life depends on it. I keep to myself during free time so that none of my classmates will ever ask to come to my house. When Mrs. Young sees me reading at recess, she gives me work sheets to practice long division and encourages me to take a stab at the challenge questions in our science books. The more work I have, the safer I feel.”

“I know you’re a foster kid,” Mr. Kelly says after class one day, “but don’t believe what anyone else tells you. There is a way out of your situation: It’s through continuing your education past high school.” Then they both co-opt my guidance counselor to get in on the cause. I feel torn for Camille’s sake. She also wants to go to college, but her senior class guidance counselor told her at the beginning of the year not to bother trying to get into the Fashion Institute of Technology, her dream school. “Concentrate on getting married and having babies,” her counselor told her.”

-Etched in Sand by Regina Calcaterra

Bullying is Unnatural

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Though bullying is a problem that cuts across lines of class, race, and geography, the reality is that most kids aren’t directly involved—either as perpetrators or as targets. And when kids understand that concerted cruelty is the exception and not the rule, they respond: bullying drops, and students become more active about reporting it.

-Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy by Emily Bazelon