To Kill a Mockingbird To Kill a Mockingbird discussion


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To kill a mockingbird

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message 1: by Dylan (new)

Dylan Barnhart Book review by Dylan B.
To Kill A Mockingbird is about a little girl named Scout Finch. Scout lives with her brother, Jem, and their dad, Atticus, in Alabama in a town called Maycomb. Atticus agrees to defend a black man named Tom, who was accused of beating a woman. Because of their dad's decision, Scout and Jem are abused by other children. Atticus wins the case against a man named Bob Ewell. Since Atticus won, Bob wants revenge so one night he attacks Scout and Jem on their walk home from a Halloween party. Boo Radley, who disappeared years ago, save Scout and Jem. Jem is badly injured so Boo carries him home. After sitting with Scout for a while, Boo disappears once more into the Radley house


message 2: by Randy (new) - added it

Randy You can post your review in the Review space if you like. But this doesn't seem like much for a discussion. And you might want to drop some spoiler tags on it.


Monty J Heying Dylan wrote: "Book review by Dylan B.
To Kill A Mockingbird is about a little girl named Scout Finch. Scout lives with her brother, Jem, and their dad, Atticus, in Alabama in a town called Maycomb. Atticus agr..."


Dylan, you've apparently mistaken this discussion section as a place to post a review. You should delete this topic and post your review in the section reserved for that.


message 4: by otakuslayer (last edited Mar 16, 2013 03:48AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

otakuslayer other than the fact that this is not the place for a review, this is a bad review. If someone read this before reading the book then you just spoiled the whole thing for him. The purpose of a review is to just give your opinion about it not to sum up the whole story.

BTW: Atticus did not win the case. Tom Robinson was found guilty. Bob sought revenge because Atticus ruined his reputation.


D.L. Christopher Amr wrote: "other than the fact that this is not the place for a review, this is a bad review. If someone read this before reading the book then you just spoiled the whole thing for him. The purpose of a revie..."

A little harsh - if you check out the profile, you can see the OP is a member of a high school reading group - meaning they could be in their early teens. We all make mistakes.


message 6: by Joclyn (last edited Mar 17, 2013 10:09PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Joclyn Hello Dylan B! I have read this book and have seen the movie countless times, one of my favorites, (book and movie.) I need to say that I don't remember the events in this book as you do, i.e., the results of the trial, the abuse of Scout and Jem from other children. Scout was a tomboy and wanted to prove herself in the eyes of Jem, in all honesty, she had more wisdom and foresight and is the most important character in the book. I guess that is why it is narrated in her words. Please take time to re-read and re-think the messages in this wonderful book, "To Kill a Mockingbird " is a true treasure of Amercian literature.


Romaine Boo Radley turned out pretty well-caring for his neighbors than the Finch siblings thought of him. I so want to see the movie. guess I'd better start looking for it.


D.L. Christopher It's a great film. Gregory Peck is phenomenal - it very nearly makes me cry (okay, it does) every time. Also, if you haven't seen that film, there are sections of Vanilla Sky you're missing out on too. Watch it immediately! If you like... obviously...


message 9: by J.D. (last edited Mar 19, 2013 09:34AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

J.D. In answer to the question is this book okay for 6th graders? I believe that the 11-13 yr olds of cme are more mature than I was in the 60's. I do believe that if the book were read in a school setting and discussed, it would be a very timely instrument to teach young people how it was in that day regarding racism. I want all races to understand that radical agendas abound in every race and creed. The importance for young people today is to learn how to avoid becoming bigoted in any arena. I'm glad I read it as a young mother and used it to influence my children. Gregory Peck was in my humble opinion, a great representation of the 'heart of the matter.'


Jasmine J Amr wrote: "BTW: Atticus did not win the case. Tom Robinson was found guilty. Bob sought revenge because Atticus ruined his reputation.

lol like bob had a great reputation in the first place


Marge Martin Eye opening, if this is what the South was like.
I also read "New Moon Rising"


Robert Bennett Marge,

This is a very accurate portrayal of what the South was like, but realistically it wasn't limited to the South. The racial tensions were just as strong on other parts of the country, just not as visible.

I remember as recently as the early 80s, in my hometown in Louisiana the waiting rooms in a couple of doctor's offices were still segregated. There were no signs there, but the nurses would lead people to "their section" when they were filling out their papers.

Everybody wasn't like that but it did and does still happen, unfortunately, and justice is not equal.


Marge Martin Robert wrote: "Marge,

This is a very accurate portrayal of what the South was like, but realistically it wasn't limited to the South. The racial tensions were just as strong on other parts of the country, just n..."


Robert wrote: "Marge,

This is a very accurate portrayal of what the South was like, but realistically it wasn't limited to the South. The racial tensions were just as strong on other parts of the country, just n..."


In the 1980s???


Marge Martin Robert, Have you read "The Foxes of Harrow" ? again, eye opening for me.


Willett Thomas Robert wrote: "Marge,

This is a very accurate portrayal of what the South was like, but realistically it wasn't limited to the South. The racial tensions were just as strong on other parts of the country, just n..."


Hello All,

I feel I have presented a very accurate presentation of the South in my novel, Raised by the Hand, Lifted by the Tides - A Southern Child's Memoir. If anyone would like to check it out, I can send you a epub, or mobi, or pdf.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009KEXEQO

Willett


Robert Bennett No, I've never read that one but I think I'm going to order it. When I was writing The Bottle Tree I did a lot of research and reading about race relations in the South and came across a couple of mentions of that book and forgot about it until you mentioned it so thanks for reminding me.


Marge Martin I still need to read 'Gone With the Wind'..
Not very good reviews on that. What did u think??


Robert Bennett I'm not a huge Gone With the Wind fan, as far as the book itself. It was a little clunky and just kind of blah to me. I'm sure for its day it was great but I don't think it held up terribly well over the years.


Willett Thomas Marge wrote: "I still need to read 'Gone With the Wind'..
Not very good reviews on that. What did u think??"


Marge,

Faulkner, Welty, Capote, these authors would be my answer to your question about giving Mitchell a read.

Willett


Marge Martin OK


Marge Martin I thought I would get more and better Civil War info.


Willett Thomas Marge wrote: "I thought I would get more and better Civil War info."

Oh. That's what happens when you jump in the middle. My reading is definitely post Civil War. :-)

Willett


Monty J Heying Marge wrote: "Eye opening, if this is what the South was like."

Harper Lee was a highly ethical individual, according to a biography I read. She would have moved mountains to achieve accuracy.

What Harper Lee wrote about was semi-rural Deep South in the 1930s, which tended toward the extreme in terms of racism. Even today, the rural Deep South can be expected to have the most extreme version of bigotry and racism.

I came along a generation after Harper Lee and grew up in Fort Worth, Texas, in the late-40s through 1963, when I reached 18. The word "nigger" was almost never used, and then only by the lowest on the socio-economic scale.

In my all-white schools, the accepted term among my working class cohorts was "negro," and anyone using the other word was shunned. I doubt anything like what happened to Tom Robinson in the 1930s could have happened in Fort Worth in the '50s, yet I'm almost certain inequities in justice occurred and still do.

I've lived in Northern California for over thirty years. There's racism here in the Bay Area, on all sides--anti-white, anti-black, anti-Chinese, anti-Philipino, anti-Japanese, etc.


Willett Thomas Monty J wrote: "Marge wrote: "Eye opening, if this is what the South was like."

Harper Lee was a highly ethical individual, according to a biography I read. She would have moved mountains to achieve accuracy.

Wh..."


I don't know about Texas, Monty, but I did spend summers with my grandparents in Arcadia, Florida. And I would go to town with my grandmother, she was in her 60s, and I remember this one particular lady, dressed very nice, who addressed my grandmother as "girl" and she was probably near the same age. And, this was in the 1980s. So much that went on back then and now, is subtle. People don't necessary have to be calling you the N word, to let you know what they think of you.

Just my three cents.

Willett


Monty J Heying Willett wrote: "People don't necessary have to be calling you the N word, to let you know what they think of you."

Well said. I think the way President Obama has been treated reflects this.

I think bigotry is so ingrained that the perpetrators aren't even aware of it.

I was in student council in college and someone called me a bigot. I was shocked. I had to look up the word and then do a lot of soul-searching before I could accept that label in the context it was delivered.

Having lived away from the South for over three decades, I'm now shocked at the blatant bigotry and racism when I return for a visit.

We have a long way to go as a country in dealing with racism.

We need more Harper Lees.


Willett Thomas Monty J wrote: "Willett wrote: "People don't necessary have to be calling you the N word, to let you know what they think of you."

Well said. I think the way President Obama has been treated reflects this.

I thi..."

I'm really glad you mentioned President Obama. I think his treatment speaks volumes on where we are as a nation on race. I hear the words post racial society and cringe. I think we're all bigots in a sense. We all have had encounters that impact our views of each other. Seems everyday I have to correct myself and try not to be small minded about people. I really do wish Harper Lee had the need to express herself on other subjects. I would love to devour another dozen books written by her.


message 27: by [deleted user] (last edited Mar 24, 2013 11:09AM) (new)

Willett wrote: "I'm really glad you mentioned President Obama. I think his treatment speaks volumes on where we are as a nation on race. I hear the words post racial society and cringe. "

Sort of like when President Clinton allegedly made racial statements about President Obama...?

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/national...

Interestingly, nothing happened as a result of this supposed incident. It reminds me of when no one truly stood up for Condolezza Rice when horribly racist and sexist comments were made about her.

(Sexism, of course, whether it was perpetuated against Condelezza Rice or Hilary Clinton, is a whole other story and fodder for a different thread. Though, I imagine Scout would have something to say about it.)

The reason. Politics. Republicans and Democrats. A Democrat allegedly made a horrible and racially charged statement about President Obama and nothing happened. Well, he's a Democrat. Equally despicable comments were made about Condolezza Rice and nothing happened. Well, she's a Republican.

Yes, I'm well aware of the fact that racism still exists in this country and that some treat President Obama poorly due to the fact that his father was from Africa and his mother was a white American. However, in my mind, the fact that politics are at play might confuse the issue. Many don't care for President Obama due to his politics, not his skin color; just as many didn't care for President Bush due to his politics, not due to the fact that he's white.

I'd rather look at how race plays out among average Americans. My ancestry is mostly from the UK, but I also have Mohawk and Blackfoot, so the stories go.

Interesting that people almost never talk about American Indians and their treatment in America. When was the last time you heard people wax poetic about the need for an American Indian on the Supreme Court, in the president's cabinet, etc...? Have you ever? I know I haven't. I mean, I've heard myself say it, but I've never heard anyone else say it. Did the press give much if any coverage to this... http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/...
Then, there's the fact that American Indians are still on reservations in this country, which are supposedly sovereign. However, they can't grow hemp, to be sold as hemp. No, they were even raided by US federal law enforcement officers, the plants torn up. And, ... we all know they were "given" really fertile land that can grow just about anything, right? But, no one is really reporting that or outwardly concerned about it. Except for a special on PBS.
http://www.aoltv.com/2007/07/01/pbs-l... Yet, hey, it's now legal to grow marijuana and smoke it in some US states; that's been all over the news. On the reservations, ...? Bet they'd still get raided, sovereignty not withstanding.

So, yes, President Obama has dealt with racism. We've seen that with our own eyes. However, he also went to some of the best schools in the country, moved in some of the highest circles, was elected to be a senator and our president, twice. He's one of the most powerful men in the world and is treated, more often than not, as such. Having said that, he is also a politician at a time when the American people, as a whole, are angry and fed up with politicians, regardless of ancestry. His story and treatment aren't, in my opinion, indicative of racial issues in our country today. I understand why people look in that direction, but ....


Monty J Heying Shannon wrote: "Willett wrote: "His story and treatment aren't, in my opinion, indicative of racial issues in our country today.."

While this is true in the classic sense, I see the Birther assault as nothing less than a "high-tech lynching," magnifying and extending what was done to Clarence Thomas in is confirmation hearings.

I also see the GOP's assault on voter rights as racially motivated.

Having grown up in the South and migrated to California, I've seen racism evolve. I've come a long way. One of my daughters married into a wonderful black family.

There have been moments when I actually felt a shift, such as during the Rodney King beatings and trials and a film, The Antwone Fisher Story.

I'm still evolving, along with everyone else.


message 29: by [deleted user] (new)

Monty J wrote: "While this is true in the classic sense, I see the Birther assault as nothing less than a "high-tech lynching," magnifying and extending what was done to Clarence Thomas in is confirmation hearings.

I also see the GOP's assault on voter rights as racially motivated."


Interestingly, the "birther" argument was first used by Democrats against John McCain, something many have forgotten. As soon as he won the Republican nod, some tried to make hay over the fact that he was born when his father was posted oversees. It was only after that fiasco that people started questioning President Obama's place of birth.

That goes to my point. Yes, there's racism and President Obama faces it. However, given the fact that we're talking about politicians, there's an added political dynamic. Place of birth was first used by the Democrats in that race ... against a white man. Politics being politics, that tactic was picked up and used by the Republicans. Regarding President Obama and this issue specifically, while I'm not of this mind bent, the fact that he had his birth certificate and his educational records sealed didn't allow for the matter to be clarified immediately, allowing that "movement" to grow. I don't think it's as easy as pointing to it and saying, "Racism." Has it become that in many quarters. Yes. But, like I've said, given the fact that politics and political tactics are involved, matters become complicated and truths murky.

I think race is an issue here and should be discussed. As hard and emotionally charged as the discussion will be, I think it would be best to leave the politicians out of it, focusing on how it plays out with Americans every day.


Monty J Heying Who did it first is of little importance. The comparison between McCain and Obama perfectly illustrates my point.

With McCain it was merely an issue that was dealt with, whereas with Obama it became a crazed mania, feeding on latent bigotry and Southern white fear and God knows what else, including Donald Trump's exploitation of the political process to garner ratings for his TV program.

Obama didn't "allow" any movement to grow. He had no way of imagining the kind of madness that was being fed by Koch-funded Tea Party extremists. Nor did he do anything to seal his birth records. Hawaii and most other states restrict access to birth records to immediate family as a matter of personal privacy. For Obama to have knuckled under to nosey political opponents would have shown weakness, which is exactly what they wanted. He handled it right and they made asses of themselves.

And sealing college records is a standard practice among politicians.

I agree that delving into politics can be a distraction but politics is a reflection of society. This forum is about literature, and literature holds up a mirror to society. We just have to exercise a bit of self control.


Willett Thomas 'including Donald Trump's exploitation of the political process to garner ratings for his TV program."

So blatant, so true. DT puts the grub in money grubber.


message 32: by [deleted user] (last edited Mar 24, 2013 05:23PM) (new)

Monty J wrote: "I agree that delving into politics can be a distraction but politics is a reflection of society."

Unfortunately, for my people, they're by and large not part of politics and, therefore, won't be reflected in our politics or society.

I can't help but notice .... What's being discussed from my post? Any discussion regarding American Indians who are discriminated against by individuals and governments? I don't see any such discussion. Now, it's a discussion of politics and race. In my opinion, we'd be better served by a discussion of race. That's my opinion and my point.


Monty J Heying The problem with this thread is it began as a book review. The topic gives no guidance; so we're off in the weeds or wherever.

To direct the discussion in a given area, someone should post a new topic, suitably titled.


message 34: by [deleted user] (new)

Monty J wrote: "The problem with this thread is it began as a book review. The topic gives no guidance; so we're off in the weeds or wherever.

To direct the discussion in a given area, someone should post a new t..."


Oh, I don't know.... If Dylan or his teacher look at this thread, I bet they'll be surprised and, perhaps, think this is pretty cool. It started as a review written by a high school student. So what? Let's make Dylan's day. I'm guessing this assignment is a way for the teacher to check their book summaries. But, I'm also guessing she's trying to make reading real. Real people read; real people discuss books. She's likely trying to whet their appetites a bit. Prove that reading and the discussion of books doesn't have to be dull and boring.

Well, ....

At its heart, Mockingbird is a book about courage and about "isms" and the rich and complicated world both imply. We're talking about racism. Let's really talk about it and maybe interest Dylan in a real life conversation about a book and an important topic.

In Mockingbird, Atticus says, ""...before I can live with other folks I've got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience." The majority has had a lot to say about "isms" and has done for a very long time. Whether the majority painted the "other" as inferior or encourages acceptance of the party line, we have a choice. Just as Atticus did.... Will we choose to discuss race, really and truly? Or, will we not?

Personally....? I've had issues with regard to race throughout my life. Some look at me and see an average American. Some see "Black Irish" in my features. Others see American Indian. Sometimes it depends on the time of year.

My grandmother was picked on horribly during the summer. She'd get very, very dark. She'd tell me stories of strangers on the street pointing at her and saying, "Look at the little picaninny!" She knew she had native ancestry but denied it, even to me. When we went camping in the summer and went to the beach, I'd get very dark. I remember walking toward her once. She looked at me, disgusted, and said, "Get away from me with your Indian skin! You get that from your mother." (I'm her son's daughter.) The summer of my senior year, I went to visit her and, out of the blue, she turned to me and said, "You need to marry a blond man with blue eyes. It's the only chance your children will have of looking normal." Sadly, when I shared this with some American Indians in my area as an adult, they said this sometimes happens. One wouldn't think, given that they share the heritage and were discriminated against themselves, that our elders would say such things. But, sometimes, they do ... as a result of how they were treated. The treatment twists some in ways it doesn't twist others. Some deny it and only see it in their offspring, attempting to make them hide it and deny their true selves.

When new students started school with us in September, they'd often call me an "Injun squaw." To this day, the word "squaw" makes me so angry that I want to spit. That's a huge deal since I never learned about velocity and spit and would look like a fool with spit down my shirt.

On the first day of school one year, when I was first teaching, one of my students walked into my class, late. I'd not met him before but knew the student to be a handful. He walked in, all anger and bluster for some reason, and said, "Did you get into Dartmouth 'cause you're an Injun and got in for free?"

Mmmm....

My response? "No, I didn't get into Dartmouth based on my American Indian ancestry. One would have to prove a certain percentage of blood, something I don't have. But, I did get a 50% scholarship since I was poor. Now, leave my room and reenter respectfully or go to the office. Your choice."

Compared to the racism many face on a daily basis, my experiences are very, very ... minimal. How has it changed and shaped me? It makes me more sensitive to how people are treated and less inclined to stand by while others are treated poorly. I know what it's like to hear, "Injun squaw! Injun squaw! Where's your feather?"

My choice...? I didn't cave to majority rule, as my grandmother did.... I don't hid, nor did I marry a blond man with blue eyes and have blond babies in order to blend. (My grandmother married a man with auburn hair and hazel eyes, with "Black Irish" in his family tree a mile long. She didn't see that coming out in me...)

We could share our own personal stories and how they've made us the people we are today.

Or, we could talk about racism in America today. Something like ....

How about this .... October ... 2012 ... America ....

http://tampa.cbslocal.com/2012/10/12/...

Why would a state have different reading standards for children of different races? Who thinks that's racist? Does this bother anyone here? Would it bother Jem or Scout or Atticus or Calpurnia or Tom?

Now, Florida says different children come to them at different ability levels. It's not that they're expecting less of the African American children. In reality, despite the fact that they'll be expected to read at a lower percentage rate, they'll actually have to show more growth. Really? Ummmm.... I don't even know where to go with that? Should we, as a society, have different reading standards for children based on their race? In 2012?

What will the majority of Floridians have to say regarding this topic? What will the minority say, in order to be true to themselves?

(There you go, Dylan.)


Monty J Heying "Should we, as a society, have different reading standards for children based on their race? In 2012?"

I'd say no, but the article doesn't necessarily say that. The article, like much web-based "journalism," is intended less to inform than to inflame, with the objective of generating clicks so more can be charged for advertising.

The article doesn't disclose the purpose of the goals, but we can infer from it that the goals are being established to make it easier to obtain vital federal funds. If the BOE is merely playing a numbers game, that's one thing. If they're actually dumbing down and discriminating by race, that's wrong.

The article is not well written.


Monty J Heying Shannon wrote: "http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10...

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10..."


"The new goals will not be part of Florida's A-to-F school-grading system. But the state will report whether schools, districts and the state meet the goals."

This is a much better article.

I see no problem with what stratifying the target population by demographic to set achievable goals within each category. What's wrong with a goal that strives to improve a category by 12 percentage points within a given time frame? Improvement in all categories is the objective, not conformism to some vague national or statewide norm.

The goal is to get everyone moving in the right direction and measure progress.

Realistic goals are motivating. Unrealistic goals are demoralizing.

The problem seems to be one of communication. The plan should have been presented and sold on its merits instead of blindsiding people. That's guaranteed for a blow-up, every time.


message 38: by [deleted user] (last edited Mar 24, 2013 10:08PM) (new)

Monty J wrote: "I see no problem with what stratifying the target population by demographic to set achievable goals within each category. What's wrong with a goal that strives to improve a category by 12 percentage points within a given time frame? Improvement in all categories is the objective, not conformism to some vague national or statewide norm."

Improvement in all categories, categorized by race....

For those who aren't going into the articles, ...

"The mandate stipulates that by 2018, 90 percent of Asian students, 88 percent of white students, 81 percent of Hispanic students and 74 percent of black students are to be reading at or above grade level. The state also wants 86 percent of white students, 92 percent of Asians, 80 percent of Hispanics and 74 percent of blacks to be at or above their math grade level, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel."

Question...? What's wrong with a goal that expects 90% of Asian students to read at or above grade level by 2018 and 74% of African American students to read at or above grade level by 2018? Is there anything wrong with having such a goal? A 16 point difference based on race....

Granted, the African American students will have to make a greater jump to attain that goal, as I originally stated. Indeed.

Let's consider something. I agree. Realistic goals are motivating, and unrealistic goals are demoralizing. Very true. I wonder, though. Should goals be based on race? If so, why?


Sparrowlicious I love how you guys turned this into a proper topic after the kid posted his review he wrote for school online.
Wow.
This website.


message 40: by Monty J (last edited Mar 25, 2013 10:27AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Monty J Heying Shannon wrote: "Monty J wrote: "I see no problem with what stratifying the target population by demographic to set achievable goals within each category. What's wrong with a goal that strives to improve a category..."

Race alone, I don't think so. But if a racial profile reflects underlying antagonistic socioeconomic factors such as poverty and defeating habits and customs (alcoholism, drug use, lack of family, etc.) then race may be a shortcut to get to the meat of the problem.

The risk is overuse of race and using it to justify discrimination.

There's a well known statistic that 70% of black children are born out of wedlock. Family violence is also high among blacks. On the surface these are damning statistics, but there's a history behind them called slavery. Families were torn apart as parents, children or siblings were sold off. Horrific beatings by slave owners were common.

What does it do to a person's mind, one's sense of identity and self worth, to be captured and chained like an animal, tossed aboard a ship like cattle, forced to endure the extreme indignities of two weeks (six, if New Orleans was port of destination) aboard ship with little food and no sanitation and the horrors of watching live fellow beings tossed overboard for ballast during storms? What fear and hopelessness does that ingrain that gets passed down generation upon generation!

What can be done to counterbalance generations of self-defeating cultural conditioning? How fast can results be expected? Who's responsible for erasing these burdens of history? Schools? Churches, synagogues and mosques? The county? The federal government?

(I'd like to hear Any Rand's response.)

However the problem is being attacked, severe cultural antagonists are a burden that some demographics (e.g., white, high-income)aren't burdened with. Therefore allowances must be made on the way to equality.


message 41: by J.D. (last edited Mar 25, 2013 05:03PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

J.D. Since I wrote several days ago, I'm in awe at the turn this group has taken. I was born in Georgia, you can't get 'deep south' more than that. Here is what I did in 1965 while attending an undergrad. school in a city in TX. I had to ride a metro bus from my home to the school. At that time, in that place the 'colored' all sat in the back of the bus. In my naviete' I thought that they should sit anywhere they wanted to. I was so unracisist and so wanting everyone to feel equal, like the Constitution said we were, that I interjected myself into the back of the bus and sat myself right down in the middle of all the black people. I smiled and just sat. I never said anything. I had platinum blonde hair, fair skin and dressed like a million bucks! I didn't wear a maid's uniform or laborer's clothes. I was VERY out of place! In that day, the early days of MLK and the Freedom Rides, it was my small part to make a statement. I wanted those people to know that I, as a financially secure 'white girl', I did not feel that I had any more right to sit in the front of the bus than they did. No one ever said a word to me, and I never said a word to them. But I know they understood simply because I got some smiles in return. And...at that time no black would EVER look a young white girl in the eye. Some of those precious people did look at me with kindness. I wanted to also convey the message of Jesus Christ: "Love one another as I have loved you." So today, that is my mantra. I taught my children that. My children had good friends who were black, they invited them to our home, for stay-overs, parties, etc. Our family is insensed at the idea that the US is [Correction-NOT]the only nation who has ever stolen slaves. Is anyone watching 'The Vikings'?
Iniquitous Connections: The Dark
http://www.iniquitousconnections.com


message 42: by [deleted user] (new)

Monty J wrote: "Shannon wrote: "Monty J wrote: "I see no problem with what stratifying the target population by demographic to set achievable goals within each category. What's wrong with a goal that strives to im..."

Interesting points....

Poverty definitely plays a role in education, in my opinion and experience. The poorest children, more often than not, come to school with very limited vocabularies. That puts them behind in a huge way. Even when they start school, they usually always lag behind in vocabulary, reading fluency and comprehension, etc.... Why? All of the students are learning new words; the students who started school with larger vocabularies are also learning new words and ....

Interestingly, in New England, at least, we're not allowed to make allowances for children living in poverty. While children who receive free and reduced lunches are tracked in the NECAP testing, they're supposed to make adequate yearly progress. Further, schools will take a hit if they don't. Male or female. Rich or poor. White or black. Is all of that tracked? Yes. Tracking be damned, though, all are expected to make adequate yearly progress.

Is that right or wrong?

When teachers have raised poverty as an issue, our administrators have shut that dialogue down in a nanosecond. Poverty is not an excuse. Even when we say we're not using it as an excuse but simply speaking the truth, we're told poverty isn't an excuse. All students can learn and progress should be and can be made with all students, regardless.

Okay ....

Taking race out of the mix for a moment, Florida's new standards are somewhat shocking to me, given the above.

Throw race back in the mix or not .... All states, with the exception of Alaska and Texas, are moving toward what we call the Common Core. All states will accept the same standards and all students will take the same test starting in 2014. As an aside, many educators in New England, rightly or wrongly, have looked forward to this moment. Whether true or not, many here have long felt certain areas of the country give easier tests, places like southern states. The belief has been that New England students and schools will shine once all students are given the same test.

Enter Florida .... If they pass a mandate that Asian, white, Hispanic, and African American students are held to different standards, different from other children in Florida and different from the children in other states, regardless of color, what do we have? Take New England teachers and their desire for discrepancies to finally come to light out of the mix. What do we have? Not what was billed by the adoption of the Common Core, the same standards for all.

Again, that's somewhat far-afield from the question at hand ... or is it. I don't know. But, it gives some background.

Further, if New Englander's, at least their administrators, are right about poverty not entering into the equation, should race? Maybe. Maybe not.

Hate to beat a dead horse ... no one seems to be interested ... but where do American Indian children fit in Florida's mandate. I couldn't help but notice they weren't included. Florida does have American Indians and reservations. What will they be counted as? Whites? Asians? Land bridge and all that regarding the latter. What standard will be set for them?

I also wonder how poverty fits into Florida's mix.

Are all of the Asian children in Florida wealthy? The bar is set the highest for the Asian students. Even ahead of the wealthy white children. I'm guessing the Asian students aren't all super wealthy and pampered. So, if we're really going to let things play out this way, why are the Asian students outperforming all other races. I'm guessing some are immigrants. I'm guessing some are poor. I also assume some have been discriminated against. Some of their great-grandparents might even have been placed in internment camps, if they lived here as Japanese Americans during WWII. So, what is it about those students that makes Florida say they can and should outperform all others? Should we look at that? Honestly look at it. Or, does that make people squirm a bit? African Americans were held as slaves until 1865 and were treated as less than dogs until very recently. Is that really why their level of performance is the lowest? What about the Hispanics, who aren't rated that much higher by Florida's standards. They weren't slaves in the 1700 and 1800's. Traded and sold. Families separated. So, what explains that? Language barriers? Making and assumption there. Poverty?

Also, I'm curious as to what the Florida DOE, schools and teachers intend to do differently with the children of different races. I mean, short of setting different standards for different races, do they have a plan for doing something different with the children of different races in order to help them progress at an acceptable rate?

I don't know.... The whole thing makes me a bit uncomfortable; however, I don't have the answer.


message 43: by [deleted user] (last edited Mar 25, 2013 11:40AM) (new)

J.D. wrote: "Since I wrote several days ago, I'm in awe at the turn this group has taken. I was born in Georgia, you can't get 'deep south' more than that. Here is what I did in 1965 while attending an undergra..."

Glad you stood up for the rights of others in the '60's. Thank you.

Not sure what you mean by, "Our family is insensed at the idea that the US is the only nation who has ever stolen slaves."

Maybe you can fill me in a bit. Slavery has gone on forever, so I'm a bit confused. Is the idea, for example, that raiders didn't take people as slaves who were already held as slaves by others. That they ... let them go free or something? That the Romans didn't take existing slaves...? Or, are you talking about modern countries?

Yes, I've been watching Vikings on The History Channel. Wow! I sort of feel like I'm watching HBO, actually. It's a very different sort of production. Edgy. Sex. They seem to have taken some liberties with some of the historical parts and pieces and I wish they focused a bit more on Viking culture, etc....


Monty J Heying Shannon wrote: "If they pass a mandate that Asian, white, Hispanic, and African American students are held to different standards, different from other children in Florida and different from the children in other states, regardless of color, what do we have? "

No, no, no, no no! They can't have separate tests! The tests must be standard throughout. The percentage achievement goals can be stratified, but NOT the tests, for the reasons you cited.

I also think budgetary allowances should be inversely proportional to achievement. The more a group is struggling, the more money gets allocated. Money is like a fire hose, you squirt where the fire burns brightest.


Monty J Heying Shannon wrote: "...where do American Indian children fit in Florida's mandate. I couldn't help but notice they weren't included."

American Indians should have a separate category. What can't be seen can't be measured.

As with African Americans, we have a PERMANENT obligation to Native Americans to mitigate the PERMANENT damage done by white hegemony and racial exploitation.


message 46: by [deleted user] (last edited Mar 25, 2013 12:00PM) (new)

Monty J wrote: "No, no, no, no no! They can't have separate tests! The tests must be standard throughout. The percentage achievement goals can be stratified, but NOT the tests, for the reasons you cited.

I also think budgetary allowances should be inversely proportional to achievement. The more a group is struggling, the more money gets allocated. Money is like a fire hose, you squirt where the fire burns brightest. "


The tests themselves will be the same, finally, in 2014. For all states except Alaska and Texas. To my knowledge.

However, ....

When those tests are used to rate schools and teacher performance, which is the newest thing on education's horizon, setting different standards for different races in different states will ... what?

If Vermont requires all students to read with 90% proficiency regardless of gender, wealth, or race and Florida requires different proficiency levels, Florida will, possibly, "have" better numbers. Schools won't face consequences. Teachers won't face consequences. Heck! Their kids are preforming at the standard. Woo Hoo! Whereas, Vermont schools and Vermont teachers will face consequences since their students won't be "achieving" 90% across the board. I put "have" and "achieving" in quotes due to the fact that it will all be skewed, if this is the way it happens.

Again, I don't know ....

But, putting my "money" where my mouth is, I just emailed Florida's DOE asking where American Indians fit in their mandate. Will be sure to pass that info along if anyone responds.


message 47: by Monty J (last edited Mar 25, 2013 12:22PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Monty J Heying Shannon wrote: "Poverty definitely plays a role in education, in my opinion and experience. The poorest children, more often than not, come to school with very limited vocabularies. That puts them behind in a huge way. "

Poverty is an effect, not a cause. Poverty results from causative factors such as the inter-generational effects of slavery: low self-esteem, defeatism, family violence/child abuse, teenage/out-of-wedlock pregnancy, repressed rage.

We keep thinking of poverty as a cause, but it's really an effect of cultural repression by a dominant cultural stratum, e.g., Caucasian.

Poverty gets treated as scapegoat to avoid confronting the truth and guilt of white, particularly Anglo, exploitation.


Monty J Heying Shannon wrote: "So, what is it about those students that makes Florida say they can and should outperform all others? Should we look at that? Honestly look at it. Or, does that make people squirm a bit?"

Yes, it's puzzling. I'll have to research that one, but I'll wager it's got more to do with cultural conditioning than race.


message 49: by [deleted user] (last edited Mar 25, 2013 01:37PM) (new)

Monty J wrote: "Poverty gets treated as scapegoat to avoid confronting the truth and guilt of white, particularly Anglo, exploitation. "

Ummmm.... Don't forget....

There are insanely poor white children, too. And, brown. And, yellow. I've actually taught some very poor white children, whose parents had been poor, whose grandparents had been poor, etc... Generational poverty. Slavery had absolutely nothing to do with it.

So, no .... Poverty isn't necessarily treated as a scapegoat, in my opinion. There are plenty of colors in the "rainbow" and plenty of children who grow up dirt poor. Those children, by and large, come to school less prepared to learn that the other children. Should I believe that poverty plays a significant role in educational problems suffered by white children but, when it comes to African American children, believe poverty is just a way to avoid white guilt?! Or, is poverty a scapegoat when dealing with all students of all colors?


Monty J Heying Shannon wrote: "Or, is poverty a scapegoat when dealing with all students of all colors? "

Yes.

Poverty is an effect with the primary cause, in this country, of primarily Anglo exploitation of the masses, a practice imported from England and Western Europe with roots in feudalism.

The primary cause of poverty today is the flight of capital abroad to exploit cheap labor in Asia and avoid taxation at home.

The dominant wealthy elite, unchecked by democratic restraints, will always strengthen its position to the detriment of the less powerful. THEY and their greed are the engine behind social ills when the democratic restraints are failing, as they have been in America for the past 30+ years.


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