Monday, February 23, 2009

Shall We Overcome?

The Racine Journal Times ran an article today about some Horlick student agitators gathering to sing some old civil rights song called "We Shall Overcome." The group is working to overcome some obstacles like the self segregation that was happening at school and issues in the community such as unemployment.

Tucked at the very end of the article is this paragraph:

"Horlick senior Breana Stephens said too often she sees there are classes at school where there are mostly students of one particular race. For instance, she said advanced placement classes often have mostly white students. It's one of the issues she said that the community still needs to "overcome" as the old protest song says."

Unless Horlick has a whites-register-for-classes-first policy, I think it is an aversion to studying that needs to be overcome. Neither a lovely singing voice or a heartfelt concern for minorities will help much in Calculus class.

14 comments:

Caledonication said...

Breana Stephens, the future of our... I mean er.. current state of our nation.

Anonymous said...

1. Why don't the students in the AP class stop achieving and go play X Box or something. Why work harder when you will only be averaged in with "students" who don't need to try in the future employment arena

2. Maybe the AP students should be encouraged just a bit - after all, they will be hated as priviledged for their entire lives as they pay out of thier higher paychecks for all of the non-achievers to bitch about how much money and opportunities they aren't getting

Mixter said...

Well, it is one of the issues that the community needs to overcome. No doubt about it. Unless Breana was placing blame on whitey elsewhere in the article, I don't have a problem with her statement. Recently? Self-segregation occurs because black segregate themselves from whites just as much as white segregate themselves from blacks, as far as I have been able to tell. So yeah, the community should work to overcome this issue. Kids of all races should work hard to be successful. Parents of all races should encourage their children to work hard in order to be successful. I don't have a problem with people wanting to "overcome," as I'd like to do it myself! :D

Mixter

Denis Navratil said...

Mixter, my point here is that overcoming the problem of too many whites (or not enough minorities) in AP classes will not be achieved via protest songs and marches in favor of illegal aliens which is the normal mo of this group. The problem identified by Breana has nothing to do with discrimination and everything to do with a culture that does not encourage, expect or demand academic excellence. So these kids should not be protesting, they should be studying. It is likely the only way they will actually overcome anything.

Anonymous said...

Making signs and protesting is easier - and more fun - and more likely to be covered by the newspaper.

Mixter said...

Well... you and I agree.

Mixter

Anonymous said...

California School Spends $10G a Year to Teach AP Spanish to Kids Who Speak Spanish

Tuesday , February 24, 2009

By Nora Zimmett

A middle school in Southern California is spending $10,000 a year to teach Advanced Placement Spanish to 35 of its 650 students -- and all but one of them are already fluent in Spanish.

etc. etc.

Mixter said...

Re: Spanish

So TF what? How many of these kids are bilingual? How many of those kids are also taking AP English? These kids, if they do well, will be able to skip introductory Spanish courses in college. Should we not teach AP English, especially to kids who are fluent in English? We wouldn't want that! I feel like an idiot for having taken college prep English courses in high school.

Wow...

Mixter

Anonymous said...

Mixter - the college prep and college English courses you and I took were not about speaking English but about writing and thinking and creating in English. The college prep foreign language classes I took were about how to speak the language.

Rich Preston said...

"...overcoming the problem of too many whites (or not enough minorities) in AP classes will not be achieved via protest songs and marches..."

The fact is that HS is a place to learn. I'm sure that Breana learned something from this experience. Perhaps a bit of leadership, a tad bit of project management, a wee bit of marketing perhaps.

That experience just might someday grow into something that will have a positive impact on integration.

Big ups to Bre! Go girl!

Denis Navratil said...

Rich, you are taking on an argument that I have not advanced. I am not saying that political activism can't be a learning experience. What I am saying is that the problem identified by BS can't be solved with protest songs and marches.

Rich Preston said...

"..the problem identified by BS can't be solved with protest songs and marches."

Yes the odds are low. But I'm saying that it can be solved with songs and marches,,,in the long run,,,through awareness and growth that may come out of it.

In the short run you are likely very correct.

Denis Navratil said...

RP, I am not optimistic about your long term prognosis. The protesting students tend to be focusing on external problems such as racism etc... in doing so, they are perpetuating an emphasis on external awareness while minimizing the importance of individual effort. Getting kids to achieve academically will require a renewed appreciation for the opportunities that exist and the hard work needed to capitalize on said opportunities. Now if kids started organizing for the purpose of urging their peers to do homework, turn off the TV, read Shakespeare etc..., then I might share your optimism.

B said...

Hello.
I'm Breana Stephens.
The girl whose statement youre reading about.

I would first like to say that that I was asked the question..."Do you see any segregation in you're school?"
My reply was "Not really. If any you may see somke classes that are mainly populated by white students." Like what types of classes one might ask? I reply "Advanced Placement Classes."

The oganization that put together this celebration is a group that focuses on issues that we need to overcome, such as student involvement and achieving our goals, while understanding other people's struggles in the process.

Thankyou for your comments. I did realize that after I siad that it would quoted wrongly in the paper.
I also apologize for any confusion or misrepresentation it may have caused.