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View Full Version : Local News Failure to educate - Boston school system is churning out illiterate students



theschoolboards
11-08-2010, 09:54 AM
This from The Boston Globe (http://www.boston.com/news/education/k_12/articles/2010/11/08/failure_to_educate/) by Junia Yearwood, a retired Boston Public Schools teacher:
I DID not attend a graduation ceremony in 25 years as a Boston public high school teacher. This was my silent protest against a skillfully choreographed mockery of an authentic education — a charade by adults who, knowingly or unwittingly, played games with other people’s children.

I knew that most of my students who walked across the stage, amidst the cheers, whistles, camera flashes, and shout-outs from parents, family, and friends, were not functionally literate. They were unable to perform the minimum skills necessary to negotiate society: reading the local newspapers, filling out a job application, or following basic written instructions; even fewer had achieved empowering literacy enabling them to closely read, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate text.

However, they were all college bound — the ultimate goal of our school’s vision statement — clutching knapsacks stuffed with our symbols of academic success: multiple college acceptances, a high school diploma; an official transcript indicating they had passed the MCAS test and had met all graduation requirements; several glowing letters of recommendation from teachers and guidance counselors; and one compelling personal statement, their college essay.

They walked across the stage into a world that was unaware of the truth that scorched my soul — the truth that became clear the first day I entered West Roxbury High School in 1979 (my first assignment as a provisional 12th grade English teacher): the young men and women I was responsible for coaching the last leg of their academic journey could not write a complete sentence, a cohesive paragraph, or a well-developed essay on a given topic. I remember my pain and anger at this revelation and my struggle to reconcile the reality before me with my own high school experience, which had enabled me to negotiate the world of words — oral and written — independently, with relative ease and confidence.

For the ensuing 30-plus years, I witnessed how the system churned out academically unprepared students who lacked the skills needed to negotiate the rigors of serious scholarship, or those skills necessary to move in and up the corporate world.

read more>> (http://www.boston.com/news/education/k_12/articles/2010/11/08/failure_to_educate/)