For Your Consideration…

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Mission To Mis-Educate?

One of the main focuses during my tenure as an Educator has been to ensure that my students were able to master the English language. It is fine to have fluency in Ebonics or any other cultural linguistics, but it is also needful to be able to master the Kings’ English to thrive — or even get by — as a productive member of society.

It hurts me terribly to have students refuse to grasp the basic skills of language and reading. However, it is another thing altogether when the education that they are being given is altered to their detriment.

I have often said that the Educational system is designed to teach people their place in society and if we are not careful, our educational ceiling will be lowered to accommodate the upper crust. (i.e. You will be educated only so far, to make sure that you can only go as far as Walmart while others are educated farther to become power brokers in society)

This was never more evident to me that when I stumbled across an English Department meeting at a Chicago high school. While this is not a rant about race, it couldn’t be left unsaid that the department head is of rural decent and most of the members thereof (with the exception of two) had no ethnic connection with the students they would be teaching. Before I could get my mind around the course that was to be taught, my mind was inundated with red flags upon reading the mission and the vision of the department.

Without revealing the School, the department or anyone directly involved, I submit to you the Mission and Vision Statement in its entirety and a version with highlighted buzzwords that stood out to me as indicators of a deeper mission and my annotations of each.

English Department Meeting

Mission Statement

Our students will become empowered scholars who use their command of written and spoken language to break through the status quo and create opportunities for themselves and their communities.

Vision Statement

The careful crafting of complex and compelling ideas through both written and spoken language is an instrument of power. However, because of the legacy of oppression in the United States, Black English and other dialects spoken by people of color are not the language of institutional power in this country – Standard English is. Therefore, our scholars must leave (school name) with a strong command of the conventions of Standard English. However, this is not enough. Our scholars must also develop a nuanced understanding of how a diverse array of great writers use the craft of language to convey compelling messages. Our scholars must then apply this understanding to develop their own honest and compelling voices that subvert the status quo and create opportunities for themselves and their communities.

 English Department Meeting

Mission Statement

Our students will become empowered scholars who use their command of written and spoken language *to break through the status quo and create opportunities for themselves and their communities.

*to break through the status quo

Would that be the same as “ebonics” and the expected behavior /language of the coloreds?

Vision Statement

The *careful crafting of complex and compelling ideas through both written and spoken language is *an instrument of power. However, because of the *legacy of oppression in the United States, *Black English and *other dialects spoken by people of color are not the language of *institutional power in this country – Standard English is. Therefore, our scholars must leave (school name) with a strong command of the conventions of Standard English. However, this is not enough. Our scholars must also develop a *nuanced understanding of how a diverse array of great writers use the craft of language to convey compelling messages. Our *scholars must then apply this understanding to develop their own honest and *compelling voices that subvert the status quo and create opportunities for themselves and their communities.

*careful crafting

Finally! I have a term for the divisive way the oligarchs of this country have coded their messages.

*an instrument of power

Don’t we know it is an instrument of power? Power that has been held over our heads far too long!

*legacy of oppression

Legacy, as in gift or inheritance? I see this as a bold admittance of the disparaging divide to a group too young to realize just how savage it really is: A learned and supported transcendence of wealth and power delivered on the backs of people trapped in a system designed for their demise.

*Black English

I will let the video do the talking on this one.

*other dialects spoken by people of color

You mean like the ones that we were exposed to by our oppressors of the southern regions whose dialect we mimicked and we were seen as ignorant while they were seen as decent members of society. Perhaps you are speaking of the dialect spoken by people who argue over the word R-O-U-T-E is pronounced “root” or “row-t” and while they battle it out, we are left to figure it out and be forever corrected by both sides of the equation. Hmmmmm…..

*institutional power in this country

Which exists because tyrannical authority has been socially approved and accepted as legitimate. To me, this is another form of admittance to the subversive tactics we know to be prevalent in the United States.

 *nuanced understanding

I take this to mean an altered and massaged interpretation of how the real world is supposed to work.

*scholars

Okay. This is not the first time we’ve used this word. Somehow, it is eerily reminiscent of how the word “patriot” is used to identify individuals who “uphold the values of our country”. Could scholars mean the same as science experiment?

*compelling

I may be nit-picking, but I was taught that using a word more than once was improper grammar. Was I wrong or was this a “nuanced understanding

 

While the intentions of these individuals may indeed be pure and their desire is to genuinely help students (of color), the writing of these statements speaks to  the type of wording that hides secret agendas and is used daily by higher powers to manipulate and to subjugate. Education is the one true and successful way to systematically redirect future generations. This statement seems to single-handedly express the agenda of White America, which I spoke of here and here.  I have unmounted my soap box. Thank you for your time.

Here is a video of my immediate reaction to these statements:

 

 

 
 
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