Now, a year later, I find President Obama is continuing to spread the ill-conceived notion that inner city schools are to blame for the educational outcomes of the kids they serve. In his state of the union address, President Obama declared that he wanted to turn "around failing schools that steal the future of too many young Americans!"
Stealing the future of young Americans?!! Gee, I didn't realize that was what I was doing!
As one who has taught both the wealthy and the poor, I can testify that the inner-city teachers of America's schools are not stealing anything from anybody. They pour their lives daily into children who have every disadvantage. They work hard against incredible odds, trying to beat a system that is designed to work against them. Many of the kids they serve are dealing with constant chaos at home, where their studies are not even considered. These teachers often work in communities that do not know how to support them, with legislators who are hostile to them, and with a president who insults them.
Yet when the kids walk in the classroom door, some who have been wearing the same clothes all week, they set all those realities aside and smile. Today, the teacher will again teach all that he or she can.