Monday, November 30, 2009

Talking Point #10

Ira Shor, Empowering Education

1. "No curriculum can be neutral. All forms of education are political because they can enable or inhibit the questioning habits of students, thus developing or disabling their critical relation to knowledge." (Shor 12-13)

This quote strongly portrays the main theme of the article. It is important to recognize things such as subject matter, textbooks, school funding, etc. because all connect to the politics every classroom. There are a variety of ways to manipulate the learning process by limiting available resources. Issues such as equal funding are extremely large problems to fight and leave some of the biggest impacts. There is no way to claim that textbooks and subject content are neutral because all textbooks are bias of the authors; all people provide one restricted viewpoint of a subject and unless teachers are providing their students with documents from every viewpoint of every concept (which is virtually impossible) the information being taught in the classroom is not neutral. This is how students from the United States graduate from high school with a close-minded background of Western Civilization; It was not until my second year of college until I learned of a non-western country. This narrow spectrum of knowledge is extremely disabling and blinding of all other possible viewpoints.

2. "teachers make many decisions--themes, texts, tests, seating arrangements, rules for speaking, grading systems, learning process, and so on. Through these practical choices, the politics of the classroom are defined, as a critical or uncritical, democratic or authoritarian." (Shor 14)

I find this quote to be a good continuation of the first quote mentioned. After coming to terms with the fact that a curriculum cannot be neutral, it is important for teachers to acknowledge how strongly their choices impact the learning atmosphere in the classroom and ways in which they can counter balance disabling issues that are out of their control. Each decision can either enable or disable students and it is the responsibility of every teacher to find ways to engage each student. In doing so, teachers must acknowledge the fact that every student learns differently and has different interests. This may involve a variety of grading techniques, textbooks, seating arrangements etc. in order to make sure that at some point each students feels most comfortable and engaged in the classroom. Encouraging participation, as also strongly focused upon in this article, is extremely critical to a democratic atmosphere of a classroom. Students can not be engaged by pure lecture. Participation of students sparks curiosity, creativity, and a larger spectrum of knowledge, beliefs, and ideas. Not only is it important for students to have the opportunity to voice their own opinions in the classroom, it is equally important for them to hear the opinions of their peers. This quote shows the true importance of being a teacher. There is an intense amount of responsibility and decision making and each one can leave a huge impact on students. I believe that these choices separate the successful, helpful, unforgettable teachers from the ones who are more concerned with following the directions and collecting a paycheck. Anyone can become a teacher but those who are conscious of making successful decisions definitely stand out from the rest.

3. "People begin life as motivated learners, not as passive beings. Children naturally join the world around them. They learn by interacting, by experimenting, and by using play to internalize the meaning of words and experienced. Language intrigues children: they have needs they want met; they busy the older people in their lives with questions and requests for show me, tell me. But year by year their dynamic learning erodes in passive classrooms not organized around their cultural backgrounds, conditions, or interests. Their curiosity and social instincts decline, until many become nonparticipants." (Shor 17)

I am sorry that this quote is so long, but I found it to be extremely descriptive and correct as to what happens to a child's creativity and curiosity as they grow older. Students are pushed away from their curiosities and creative minds and, unfortunately after years of constant discipline, they learn to become passive and unquestioning. This quote strongly reminds me of the TED video of Ken Robinson of how schools kill creativity. School curriculum and particular teaching styles can strongly disable students. Even though I think this issues has many contributing factors, lack of engagement and participation have a major impact on the encouragement of creativity. If students never question activities, subjects, etc. the only source providing education is the teacher. It is when the students ask questions and add their own thoughts and ideas into class discussions that topics can be taken a step deeper and investigated on a stronger level. If no one bothers to ask questions changes will never be made; changes that often need to be made. By pushing students to be passive and unquestioning, we are raising the future generations of adults to also be unquestioning and inactive. By looking back in history, I find it simple to distinguish between the past when people were taught to have individual ideas, to be active members of society, to produce change, and not be afraid to be curious and creative, and the present where people are much more reserved and spend more time focusing on following the rules and their roles in society. Even though I feel as though structure can be a helpful aid, it is crucial to realize that too much structure (in anything) can be destructible.

I enjoyed reading this article, even though I found it to be very long and somewhat repetitive. The key points of this article were extremely powerful and relevant to what we have been learning in our class. This article definitely left me with a lot to think about; it shows how important a teachers every day decisions are and how critical it is to be conscious of every choice. It was also empowering because the article also focused on how successful a classroom can be because of the decisions of an individual teacher. Though it is stressful to realize how much responsibility teachers have, it is awesome to know how positively they can affect them as well. I think this would be a great article to look back on when I become a teacher and I start to make some of these decisions for my students. I will definitely encourage participation, group work, and asking questions in order to allow them to think critically and be active in the classroom.

This article reminded me a lot of our FNED class. Even though Dr. Bogad's class is like many classes at R.I.C. she has made small, but conscious, changes that have creative an extremely encouraging learning environment. We focus more on class discussions rather than lecture, we have an inclusive seating arrangement and do a variety of activities to help engage people differently. I think many of us knew we liked this class from the beginning of the semester but could not quite figure out why for a few weeks. This proved to me how important these slight changes can be for a student to feel like an active participant rather than an unquestioning listener. And to prove the theories of this article, I personally feel as though I have learned more in FNED than any other class at R.I.C.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

People Like Us

Below are just a few pieces from a documentary called People Like Us. The main reason for this documentary is to emphasize the presence and importance of social class in America. The variety of personal stories gives the audience insight to how each group views class, their position in class, and where others stand. Many of these videos go deeply into Delpit's idea of the rules and codes of power; how does someone climb the social ladder to become wealthy, what rules do they have to learn in order to get there, and what characteristics hold people back from rising in social status? This documentary made some of the things we have been learning more real. Sometimes I think having a visual makes these topics more personal and, therefore, easier to understand.I figured that some of the other people in our class would find these videos interesting. Listening to the different stories also helped me to realize how big of an issue this topic is to Americans. Many people think of class differently. What is class? Is it based solely on economics or is it much deeper than that? What characteristics determine a person's class? These are all complex questions and could be answered differently by individual Americans. Hopefully these videos will make you think...

Monday, November 16, 2009

Talking Point #9

Kliewer, Citizenship In School: Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome

1. "Success in life requires an ability to form relationships with others who make up the web of community. Though many of us have a certain level of control over who we meet and interact with, none of us can come close to claiming complete control. So we must learn to work with others..." (Kliewer)

This quote reminded me of Oaks' article about tracking. Tracking systems are restricting and harmful. They marginalize all students, especially those labeled with disabilities. It places individuals in classes with others with the same "label" of intelligence. Not only does this stereotypes students abilities and put a cap on their expectations, it keeps them isolated from people who learn differently. The process of sorting people disables them from seeing, thinking, or acting a different way. It makes people close-minded and unaware of other perspectives. This leads to a number of issues that we have focused on in FNED, particularly the issues of privilege that Johnson focuses on in his article. FNED has opened my eyes to how narrow my world was growing up in South Kingstown. Unfortunately, I had no control over the environment that I was raised in, as does any other child. Every location has a different amount of diversity, every school is run differently, and every child is exposed to different things. As delpit proved, people from different races and, more importantly classes, are raised differently by their parents and treated differently by teachers. Most of our beliefs are solely based upon our personal experiences. If we are kept from situations to learn from people who are different from us, we will never understand how our beliefs compare. Before people can be the change, as Johnson hopes, to inequalities in the world, they must first be exposed, aware, and understanding of the issues and of others points of view.

2. "Shayne and her associates worked to create a context that supported all children's full participation. Shayne explained: 'It's not like they come here to be labeled, or to believe the label. We're all here-kids, teachers, parents, whoever- it's about all of us working together, playing together, being together, and that's what learning is." (Kliewer)

Shayne's classroom is a diverse setting with students of different ages and levels of ability. Her focus is to make sure that all students are equal participants in the class and all have the opportunity to learn from one another. She makes sure not to isolate the children labeled with disabilities in her classroom; she does not view this tactic as beneficial to either the disabled students or the rest of the class. Shayne's classroom is oppositely structured from a tracked classroom where students are sorted by their levels of ability. In this classroom, students become aware and comfortable with diversity and will grow to be much more understanding of people who are different from them. This quote also reminded me of something Professor Bogad mentioned the other day. Our classroom is not tracked. We are all asked to participate equally and we are not limited to where we sit, what we say, etc. Shayne's classroom reminded me a lot of Professor Bogad's classroom in terms of the diversity and yet strong sense of community.

3. "Community acceptance requires opportunity for individual participation in a group, but opportunity cannot exist outside of community acceptance." (Kliewer)

I had to read this quote over a few times in order to fully understand it but once I did I found it to be very powerful. Like with many other issues of inequality, our society is facing the issue of lack of acceptance of people with disabilities. Many people have used disabled people as a source of humor and have grown to use words like "retarded" in a derogatory form. In order to transform this issue into communal acceptance, we must first understand the issues, accept these people and their differences, and allow them back into the community as active participants rather than outsiders. The issue with this process, which the author rose in the article, is that communal acceptance and individual participation in a group go hand in hand; one cannot happen before the other. It is a very difficult change to accomplish which is why it is such a slow moving process. Opening our eyes to others and learning to be accepting of differences is truly the only way to begin this process of change. Shayne's classroom is a perfect example of both community acceptance and individual participation in the group. All students are active participants and are so because everyone in the class views one another as equal; equally accepted and equally important to the group. The class works as a team rather than a separation system where students are labeled by their expected capabilities.

I found this article to be extremely powerful. Like Dr. Bogad had warned, I found the first few pages to be tricky to read but the second half to flow very well. I think it is important that we read Oak's article prior to this one in order to have a background of negative situations to compare the more positive situations mentioned in this article. The two articles contrasted each other very well and I found that after reading Oak's piece I was curious to know many things that this article was able to answer for me; my main question being what makes a classroom that is not tracked so successful?

This article related very closely to some of the other authors read so far in FNED. Like I have previously mentioned, I found it useful to have a strong understanding of Johnson's ideas of privilege, lack of privilege, and the concept of being the change. I also found it important to have an understanding of Delpit's claims relating to the differences in learning and teaching styles of people from different social classes. Most of all, this article related to Oak's piece on tracking. Tracking is a very different approach from what is focused on in this piece. This article spends a lot of time focusing on school as a democracy and as a community. This article proved, to me personally, that there are other (better) ways to structure schools besides tracking. Even though there are debatable advantages to tracking schools, there are a number of other situations where students are not being marginalized and sorted by any means. Rather than seeking to categorize students, this idea of community allows children to act individually as equal citizens, equal participants in the classroom.

Below is a clip from the movie The Ringer. This is just one example of how the media has used people with disabilities for a source of humor.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Promising Practices

I had mixed feelings walking into the Promising Practices Conference. I was running late, like usual, which made me even more nervous and flustered, and the minute I walked in I realized that I was totally overdressed. After my initial anxiety slowed down I walked over to the table and found my folder. I stood in the corner of Donovan and began to scan for people that I could sit with. I was nervously searching for a few minutes until I found Tara. I felt much better after finding a familiar face to sit with.

My first session was called The Media Made Me Do It, by Marco McWilliams. His main focus during this session was to show us how much the media manipulates consumers and how often privilege and stereotypes are depicted in advertisements. I already have a strong background with this topic because I took a class called Gender and Society during my first semester and RIC. It was still interesting to hear Marco McWilliams' take on the topic and to see the reactions of my peers who were realizing these things for the first time. One thing that I wish he did differently was the way that he set up his presentation. He had a powerpoint presentation where he showed a lot of advertisements and related information. Even though I think this was helpful to his presentation, I wish that he incorporated the audience more. I felt like his presentation was more of a lecture than a workshop.

He repeatedly pointed out issues relating to Johnson involving privilege. It is common for advertisements to depict the value of whiteness, masculinity, and wealth in particular. McWilliams provided many examples of advertisements when women are objectified, seen as sexual figures, and most importantly less important than men. When men and women are seen together in ads, it is common for men to depict a person of strength, power, and assertiveness, where women are often more passive and weak. Race and class also come into the picture when males and females are advertised together because the few times that women are seen as stronger and more important than the men is when they are of a higher class or race; When their lack of gender privilege is superseded by another form of privilege. Marco McWilliams also touched on Delpit's idea of the rules and codes of power. Advertising companies and other forms of the media have manipulated consumers into accepting that these absolutely ridiculous visuals are okay. They know what sells and how to convince consumers that these are positive images when they are allowing major issues like objectifying women as sex objects to carry on.

These are just a few of the images that Macro McWilliams included in his presentation. The issues in the first advertisement are pretty self explanatory. Clearly the girl's facial expression, the shape of the food being advertised, and the name of the food make sexual references. The Dolce and Gabbana advertisement is very oppressive to women. She is very passive, allowing herself to be controlled, and pushing her hips towards the male in a sexual way. They are all depicted as members of the same class. Though many people would not notice as first thought, this is a very strong representation of a gang bang. The third advertisement blew me away. During McWilliams' presentation he showed these pictures separately. The cover of this magazine underwent a lot of criticism, even before someone linked it to the advertisement of the U.S. army. The last advertisement posted on my blog is a good example of how women are objectified. Her head is cut out of the picture which shows that the focus is only on her body, her physical appearance. The comment "wash me" written on her stomach shows that she is asking for attention from men.

After taking some time to visit the different stations at the Conference Resource Fair and spending sometime with a group of people from FNED, I walked over to my second workshop called The Power of Numbers, with Constance Horton. I did not realize that this workshop was held by one of my current professors until I walked in. It was nice to be in a comfort zone, however, part of me wishes that I chose a workshop where I would have been pushed out of my comfort zone. Being a math concentration, I found her presentation to be very interesting. Her main focus was on the importance of numeracy literacy. She began the workshop by relating numeracy literacy to reading literacy and how, as a society, we have become much more accepting of innumeracy illiteracy than reading illiteracy. She did a good job involving everyone in the workshop. She set up a website with all of the information that we were working on during the workshop that we were all able to access. She also asked everyone to take part in a text messaging pole online regarding math related questions. I felt like this was a good way for everyone to take part in the activities without having to feel uncomfortable. It was also an interesting way to watch the poles change before our eyes and visually see where the entire class stood on the various questions. Constance Horton then went on to show us ways that numeracy literacy provides us with rules and codes of power. There are many instances where numeracy literacy is important in order to be an intelligent consumer. For instance, understanding loans, credit card rates, taxes, bills, job salaries, etc, all require numeracy literacy. Overall, I felt like this workshop was informative and engaging.

Tricia Rose, the key speaker of the conference, was by far my favorite part of the entire day. The way that she spoke to us was very real, informative, and entertaining. Her speech was very structured and organized but still very creative. I think it was important that she mentioned the idea of teaching multiculturalism in a way that enables students. This reminded me a lot of Christensen and her tactics which not only informs her students of the injustices in the world but assists them in taking action to make changes. This also relates to Johnson's idea of being the change. Even though it is important for teachers to inform students of these issues, it is only helpful when they are left feeling that they can be a part of the change. Another part of her speech which resonated with me was her story of the girl in her class who called her computer gay. This was a good example of a painful circumstance that could not be stepped over. This story also reminded me of Carlson's article regarding the lack of focus on these oppressive comments in schools. When teachers choose to step over these situations and allow things of this nature to be said in their classrooms, it shows that they do not see them as problematic. If authoritative figures do not take action against oppression, it can not be expected that others will stop the oppression either. The piece of Tricia Rose's speech that was most impacting on me was her discussion of the difference between a person's group identity versus their individual identity. I agree with her comment involving the importance of realizing that having a privilege does not mean that all targets toward this groups is also targeted toward each individual of the group. Tricia Rose stated that "we do not choose the person we are when we come into this world but we do choose the alliances we make with other isn't about what you are but what you do with your situation". I think this quote practically sums up everything that we have been learning in FNED. Basically, that it is important to recognize privilege, and your group identity, but that it is the responsibility of every individual to choose the alliances that they will make from other groups. This idea also reminded me of Jonathan Kozol's speech at RIC. He, also, spent a lot of time focusing on the importance of individual decisions in terms of making alliances with other groups. He felt that it was important for well educated, typically white and middle-class perspective teachers to reach out to students who are less privileged: lower-class students of minorities. I am really glad that I had the opportunity to listen to both Kozol and Rose. I feel like hearing both of them helped me to understand one another as well as gain a deeper understanding for the similar topics that they spoke about. I think this conference was very informative and related to the topics we have been focusing on in FNED. Overall, it was a good learning experience for me.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Talking Point #8

Jean Anyon, Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum of Work

1. "One teacher said in some exasperation to a boy who was fooling around in class, 'If you don't know the answers to the questions I ask, then you can't stay in this class! [pause] You never know the answers to the questions I ask, and it's not fair to me-and certainly not to you!'" (Anyon)

This piece of the article touches on a few important topics. This teacher is from the Middle-class School and, like in many other instances, pushes the idea of obtaining the correct answers. Anyon seemed to make a distinction between the Executive Elite School and the Middle-class School in terms of importance of work that the students complete. The Middle-class School teacher focuses primarily on teaching her students to get the right answer. Therefore, the actual outcome is more important than the learning process and conceptualization. The other part to this comment that caught my eye was the fact that this Middle-class School teacher resorted so quickly to making her students leave the room. This reminded me a lot about a discussion that we had in class about our learning service projects. Asking misbehaving students to leave the classroom only sets them further behind. It is a simple solution to the problem. However, it is much more damaging than other forms of discipline.

2. "The teachers rarely explain why the work is being assigned, how it might connect to other assignments, or what the idea is that lies behind the procedure or gives it coherence and perhaps meaning or significance." (Anyon)

I feel like this piece of the article relates very closely to the first quote that I mentioned. This is Anyon's description of the Working-class School Teachers. From this depiction, it seems like the teachers do not spend enough time making connections with the students about the importance of the activities that they do in class. Without providing the students with a background and some kind of connection to the importance of the activity, they are going to view it as pointless. It is important for teachers to show how important the entire learning process is rather than simply trying to pull the correct answers from students in order to move on. It is not about getting through the material, it is about actually teaching the students strategies that they can use in different situations in the future.

3. "'I'm more--just as interested in how you set up the problem as in what answer you find. If you set up a problem in a good way, the answer is easy to find.'" (Anyon)

This quote is from one of the Executive Elite teachers. This quote shows just how different the views are of the Middle-class School teacher from the Executive Elite School teacher. Unlike the Middle-class School teacher who was most concerned about teaching her students to get the right answers, the Executive Elite School teacher places a greater concentration on the learning process. This is a much more difficult process for the teachers. However, it is extremely helpful for the students because it teaches them to think for themselves and truly investigate the process of something before accepting the final answer. This kind of teaching approach is much more engaging than pushing the message that the reason for classwork, homework, and school (which will someday be a career) is to finish the assignment and to solve for the answer. It also provides them with an opportunity to view themselves as the teacher rather than the student and allows them to be creative and independent.

This study was helpful for me to read because it truly separated each situation and showed how different they are simply by explaining them individually. After reading this article I feel even more assured that students in lower-class schools do not receive the same education as students in middle to upper-class schools. Anyon's article was easy to follow. I like the way that the article is set up; with an introduction, a description to each school, and a conclusion. One thing that I noticed about this piece which was impressive is that the author made it clear that they were not going to make a generalized statement about all lower-class and all upper-class schools based off of this study. I personally feel like this is one of the many pieces of evidence which prove the inequality of education among classes.

This article reminded me a lot of Delpit who focused a lot of time explaining the differences among teachers of different classes and races. I saw many of her claims in this article. Specifically her claim about the assertiveness of teachers in lower-class situations vs. a lack there of in middle to upper-class classrooms. The few comments from teachers that were placed in Anyon's article showed the differences in tone that each teacher used. The middle and upper-class school teachers were much less clear and assertive than the lower-class school teachers. This article also reminded me of Kozol's speech. He spoke a lot about the need for teachers in the lower-class schools. He mentioned that many of these schools hire teachers with little credentials and expect them to teach to receive answers, like a few of the teachers mentioned in this article. He also pushed that it is important to provide students with incentive to learn; to hold high expectations of them and treat them as if they are going to be successful members in society. This statement means a lot to me because I understand how the standards set by the teacher impacts the standards that students hold for themselves. It is the responsibility of educators to push their students to achieve and believe that they can succeed; if their teacher does not even believe in their future, why would they believe in themselves?

For those who did not make it to his speech, here is a video that is similar to Kozol's speech given at RIC.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Talking Point #7

Gender Equity in Education

After doing some research, it seemed pretty evident that there are current issues involving gender differences inside the classroom. The topic of gender difference in school settings has been studied in many forms and continues to be open to testing. There is an overwhelming amount of research which shows that teachers, in fact, treat their students differently due to their gender; most of which are unintentional instances. Many people claim that this has had an influence on the decisions these students make later in life. For example, some claim that the tactics that teachers often use persuade girls to further careers in english and art related subjects and bots into careers in mathematics, science, and technology related subjects.

One particular study called The Third-Grade Teachers' appeared in The Elementary School Journal in September of 2001 to show how three teachers that were studied over a fifteen-week period subconsciously contributed to the gender gap of their students. They made common mistakes such as calling on boys more often than girls, finding ways to excuse boys for breaking the rules, holding higher expectations of girls, altering lesson plans to suit the boys learning styles, etc. They proved to also expect more from the boys in subjects that they are stereotypically superior such as math and science and expect more from the girls when working in subjects such as grammar and history. All three teachers claimed to be gender equal and yet they all proved other wise. This study shows that even teachers who believe they are aware of these issues continue to teach in a way that is marginalizing students. This also shows that we are clearly having a hard time facing, claiming, and understanding this problem.

This video shows how powerful these seemingly unnoticeable tactics can be on the future of these students. This subconscious gender gap that has emerged in many teachers' lessons can often persuade students so greatly that they revolve their lives around these stereotypes. The man who is seen talking in this video is stating the problem that many people have yet to face; that there are gender related issues in the classroom and that teachers are teaching in a biased, stereotyping way. He is claiming that it is clear that there is an impact on these students (just look at the ratio between male teachers and women) and now it is important to determine why this is so. Is it because of how we are taught in school? Is it because teaching has always been a feminine profession?

This video is an awesome example of how schools can work to become conscious of gender differences and be open with their students about this issue. The Gender Project works to involve students in all aspects of the gender gap. They focus on things such as vocabulary, biology, media, etc. in order to be able to be conscious of stereotypes made about each gender. In the end, the students are asked to determine how we learn to act as men and as women; what makes us act the way that we do? This way of facing the problem and taking time to work through it in various approaches reminds me of Christensen and how she worked to help her students interpret the media.

This video (which I could not figure out how to post!!) is another good example of how teachers can work to break the gender gap and promote differences among students. This particular school tried to push boys in girls to career paths that have proven to be a-typical for their gender by placing them in workshops that give them a taste for the profession. During the workshops they show the students how each career can work well for each gender. For example, in a metal/shop class which was typically chosen by males they incorporated feminine activities such as jewelery making. Though these workshops may not have changed the decisions of the overwhelming majority of students in the school, it was able to open up the eyes of the students and teach them to be less judgmental.

Another website offered a number of links that prove that the issue of gender inequality exists in educational settings. Many of the links focus on tactics that teachers use which lead to these problems while others promote ways to be the change and help close the gap of gender inequality. I found this site to be very helpful because it provides a large variety of information on this particular issue. It shows that in education today, many people are unaware of the gender inequality among students as well as the effects that occur as a result of this gap. Like all other problems, we must first acknowledge the problem and understand how and why it is an issue before attempting to fix it. Solving any kind of equality among people takes years and conscious people who are willing to stop and be the change.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Martin Luther King Jr. Speech

Martin Luther King Jr. Where Do We Go From Here?

Today, I was assigned to write a short paper on a primary source document in my political science class. It just so happens that I was assigned a piece of a speech by Martin Luther King Jr. The entire time that I read through his speech, I thought about our class and Kozol's speech from last Thursday night. The speech is called, where do we go from here? and was on August 16th, 1967 at the convention of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. I wish I could find a video of his speech because the entire duration of his presentation resonated with everything that we have been learning about in Dr. Bogad's class.

He made the statement, "Negroes are still impoverished aliens in an affluent society. They are too poor even to rise with the society, too impoverished by the ages to be able to ascent by using their own resources. And the Negro did not do this himself; it was done to him." This reminded me of Tim Wise's interview on the Ring of Fire where he claimed that blacks, hispanics, and other minorities continue to be segregated by lack of opportunity to things such as housing, employment, education, health care etc. We did not provide African Americans with equal opportunities in 1967 and sadly, we still do not today.

Martin Luther King went on to defend Johnson's theory by claiming that in order to move forward, it is necessary to understand where we currently stand. He stated "In order to answer the question, 'Where do we go from here?', which is our theme, we must first honestly recognize where we are now...In elementary schools, Negroes lag one to three years behind whites, and their segregated schools receive substantially less money per student than the white schools. One-twentieth as many Negroes as whites attend college. Of employed Negroes, seventy-five percent hold menial jobs. This is where we are..." He pushes that we need to be honest with where we stand; that we can't be afraid to state our problems in order to fix them. This also shows that the Brown vs. the Board of Education was extremely necessary because the segregated schools were not providing equal treatment to the African American schools. Though we have grown from these numbers, we still have alarming statistics in relation to the difference of educated and employed African Americans vs. whites. Clearly, many changes still need to be made in order to have equality in the future.

Reading Martin Luther King Jr.'s speech reminded me a lot of Jonathan Kozol's speech. Miguel was right when he said in class today that they both speak about one cause. They are both so incredibly passionate about equality and speak in a way that is tremendously powerful. I am glad that I was assigned this particular primary source document in my political science class because it related extremely closely with everything that we have been learning.