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The Telegram and Gazette has had to lay off a lot of qualified, veteran reporters in the last couple years. But for whatever reason they’ve decided to keep on Clive McFarlane, who writes some of the most predictable, race-baiting nonsense on the Internet. His distaste for the police is nothing new, so it’s not surprising that his column today came out in opposition to the common sense solution to have a full time police officer inside Worcester North High School in the wake of the fights and bomb threats that have stunted the learning environment on Harrington Way. But apparently he doesn’t just distrust the police, he also distrusts teachers. Particularly white ones. Even for my boy Clive though, this was pretty insane.
Clive starts by talking about Doherty High School Assistant Principal Bernard Reese, who just so happens to be African-American:
An educator for more than 30 years and an ordained minister for more than 40, Mr. Reese has a teaching and learning philosophy that tends to bruise the daintiness of current educational practices. He believes, for example, that a school system dominated by middle-class white teachers that does not try to understand the culture and learning styles of its students of color will forever “deny those students a successful and quality education.”
Oh I see. Black students can’t possibly be successful in school as long as all their teachers are honkies. I mean, that’s what I’m supposed to take out of this right? White middle-class teachers can’t “understand the culture and learning styles of its students of color.” What does that even mean? There’s one culture for schools – a culture of learning. It means you do what the teacher says, pay attention in class, and ask questions when you don’t understand something. That’s the culture. Not fucking complicated. It’s not the teacher’s job to adapt to the kid’s “culture.” It’s the students job to adapt to the teacher. That’s how school works.
And I’m sorry, how is this not the most racist thing you’ve ever heard? To suggest that ALL black kids share the exact same “culture and learning styles” is basically the definition of racism.
Here’s another gem:
According to Mr. Reese, the lack of diversity among the teaching ranks in urban systems serving large numbers of students of color creates a cultural disconnect between educators and learners that cannot be bridged by the usual proffered solutions — recruiting professionals from industries, teaching to the test, raising teacher salaries and restructuring schools to provide educators with more autonomy.
Translation – white teachers can’t possibly teach effectively to non-white students because white culture is different from black culture. And gee, I wonder why we don’t have more teachers of color. Maybe it’s because they’re not applying? No, that can’t be it. Maybe it’s because the director of human resources Stacy Luster and superintendent Melinda Boone are white!! No, wait, they’re both black too. Damnet!!
Oh yea, the reason that we don’t have more black teachers in schools is that an African-American man or woman with a Master’s Degree (which teachers are required to have) are a valuable commodity in the private sector. So when they’re given the choice between making six figures white being treated as professionals, or being paid five figures and getting occasionally punched in the face and having their livelihoods based on the standardized test scores of a bunch of 19 year old sophomores, it’s truly shocking that they choose not to become teachers.
Then there was this idiocy:
Scholar Lisa Delpit explored this point in her much acclaimed book “Other People’s Children.”
“When a significant difference exists between the students’ culture and the school’s culture, teachers can easily misread students’ aptitudes, intent, or abilities … Secondly, when such cultural differences exist, teachers may utilize styles of instruction and/or discipline that are at odds with community norms.”
So let me get this straight. Lisa Delpit is a “scholar?” And this somehow qualifies her to tell teachers how to do their job? Yea, that makes sense. I researched her a little bit. She taught for a grand total of ONE YEAR. Ya got that? She’s the Jimmy Garoppolo of education, which of course makes her an expert on it. Imagine Jimmy G leaving the Patriots to pursue a career in writing books that explains all of the things Tom Brady does wrong. Same. Exact. Thing.
Here’s what she did as a teacher according to one of her many books she’s sold:
“I threw out all the desks and added carpets.”
Well there ya go North High. Throw out the desks, toss a couple carpets on the floor and all of your problems will be fixed.
But seriously, what the hell does this sentence even mean: “when such cultural differences exist, teachers may utilize styles of instruction and/or discipline that are at odds with community norms.”
Guess what? If your “culture” thinks it’s OK to spit on vice principals, assault teachers, and call in bomb threats, then your culture sucks. But yea, teachers should alter their “styles of instruction and/discipline” because it’s their job to conform to shitty behavior, not the other way around. Got it.
And just to let teachers know that they’re in the wrong, Clive threw this one in there:
“In contrast to the clamor being heard now by some North High School teachers to rid their schools of student “troublemakers” and to seemingly add a police barracks to the facility,”
“Troublemakers.” In quotations. Because calling people who assault teachers and spit on administrators “troublemakers” is completely subjective. Sure YOU might think that punching a teacher in the face makes you a troublemaker, but that’s only because you’re white and don’t understand the “culture” of these misunderstood students. Interesting.
But my favorite part was when he included this hilarious quote from Dr. Reese:
Mr. Reese said he would rather help young people work out their issues than wash his hands of them.
“I am not afraid of kids. I build relationships with them. Students don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care. I don’t call this a job. This is an avocation, and the kids can pick up on that. They know when you are a fake, and they know when you are real. If you respect them, they will respect you. They can act tough sometimes, but they want structure and they want tough love.”
Oh Dr. Reece isn’t afraid of kids? He knows how to “build relationships with them?” Must be hard when you’re not responsible for teaching them how to balance an equation or write a research paper. Because that’s what the teachers that work under him are responsible for. And when you get to sit in an office all day and have pow-wows and get-to-know-you sessions with “troublemakers” you basically know jack shit about these kids are really like in the classroom. How’d you like to work for this guy at Doherty? When a kid tells you to go fuck yourself he’ll tell you it’s because you don’t understand their culture and don’t know how to build relationships with them.
The bottom line is that Clive is just so, so, so bad at his job. Here we have hundreds of teachers, students, and parents calling for a police presence in their school so they can teach and learn. And instead of interviewing a SINGLE teacher or student, he interviews a “scholar” and an incompetent assistant principal, both of whom are trying to sell a book. Nice job Clive. Keep up the shitty work. It’s because morons like you write for the Telegram that the Turtleboy Sports Revolution continues to be the fastest growing force of nature in media history.
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