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Sunday, September 18, 2016

The BIG Picture - Marietta High School in Black and White (EOCTs 2012-2015) #DoBetterMarietta


 



It is difficult to have a conversation about academic achievement disparities between White and Black students.

I fear such conversations.

For MANY reasons.

Let me share a couple.

As a Black male, it is a difficult discussion for me because - despite my accomplishments - friends and foes have provided subtle and overt feedback that I am good (so good that I am considered "strange") - but not "as good."

This is a tough position to play. I hope I play it well (and better than I once did), and know it has taught me humility, grace, and mercy.

It is also difficult for me because I have soberly witnessed the complex, interwoven layers of factors that contribute to this disparity ...

  1. There is a "student performance" layer. Students must perform - regardless of the circumstances - but all circumstances matter.
  2. There is a "circumstances" layer. Circumstances must be created that - when coupled with appropriate opportunity - create an environment of equality that facilitates success.
  3. There is a "zero sum" layer. Many believe that only the first layer or second layer exists - but not both. This debate-based myopia reinforces and widens the disparity.

Though I admit my fear, I am more afraid of maintaining the status quo.

So ...

My fear is my only courage
I'm scared to disobey
I'm scared to rock that boat
But sometimes rock it anyway.

Please give this an honest listen, and let's talk ...





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