Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Promising Practices

        I'm going to be honest and say I wasn't entirely thrilled about my experience at Promising Practices. The keynote address was made by Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott. She is the Director of the Rhode Island Department of Health. Her topic was the importance of integrating Public Health and Social Work in Rhode Island. She discussed issues of addiction, STI rates, teen pregnancy and lack of health care availability to some. I think the keynote would have been more interesting if she didn't relate everything back to certain standards. She took more time explaining the standards rather than describing how we can make a difference with these issues.

      My first workshop was called Assessing Teacher Confidence and Proficiency with Sexual Health Education Standards: Implications for Professional Development. I was interested in this because it originally said assessing teacher confidence and proficiency. Since I am in the education program, I wanted to learn different ways to become a better teacher and I thought that's what this would be. It wasn't until the day of Promising Practices I found out it had to do with Sexual Health Education. Even at that, I was still interested because I am going for Physical and Health Education so this will be part of my program.
     The workshop discussed a study made by one of the professors on campus Dr. Fisher. She sent out a questionnaire to all of the school nurses, physical educators and health educators in Rhode Island schools. Of those that replied, she found many did not feel the met the standards required for sexual education. This was not surprising to me because it is a very uncomfortable subject to teach as well as learn. This reminded me of August and Safe Spaces. I believe in order to have safe spaces, you need to be able to educate and be comfortable discussing such topics. I know Planned Parenthood has been under scrutiny for a while but they do a great deal about education. I found this tool to help educators be more comfortable implementing sexual education in schools.

     My second workshop of the day was Youth Action for All Abilities. Kathleen Kuiper is a Rhode Island Parent Information Network resource specialist coordinator at the Rhode Island Department of Health. She brought some students along with her who worked in the programs they discussed. It was great to hear some of their stories but I wish there was more information about them and the programs. The majority of the workshop was dedicated to the history of disabilities. I understand the need to have a background, but it shouldn't have taken up the majority of the workshop. This did however remind me of Kliewer and how important it is to integrate students with special needs into regular classrooms rather than segregate them. I feel this was one of the messages they were trying to send in this workshop through their programs, but should have implemented it a different way.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Empowering Education by Ira Shor

I had a difficult time reading this. I wasn't really grasping the entire concept but I now have a better understanding thanks to MaryAbby's blog. She did an amazing job of taking Shor's main arguments and making them more understandable. MaryAbby brought up the fact that education is politics. This has to do with funding, school structures and the defense of the school system itself.

FUNDING

The breakdown of funds to schools goes by the community as well as scores on mandatory testing. The communities with more profitable careers will have more tax dollars spent on their schools compared to communities who are less fortunate causing less money to go to the schools. This disparity in funds creates a gap in the education the students are receiving which causes the upper class students to receive a better education than the lower class because of the amount of money spent on their education. With this, test score differ and instead of helping the underperforming schools, they punish them by not giving them as much money. So they are forced to stay in the underperforming levels because they are not receiving the funds they need to improve.

STRUCTURE

 This has to do with funding as well since the lower class who do not have the money to dedicate to their schools often suffer and are faced with older facilities that are not suitable for a proper education of the students. This can cause health and safety issues and can distract students from learning. This particularly stands out to me from the American Life episode that talked about dead pigeons falling from the ceilings in classrooms. It took an action like that to be publicized before something would be done to fix the structural damage of the building.

DEFENSE

When tax cuts need to be made in communities, it often goes to school budgets. The defense of the school system needs to be a higher priority. We are educating the future citizens of our country and yet that doesn't seem to be enough to make cuts from something else. The fact that educators no longer need to focus on the proper education of their students and need to focus more on advocating for what they are teaching and the supplies they need to do it is unsettling.


The world is all about politics. It's all about who you know and your economic status that can influence how far you get in life. This is the same with schools. The better the community, the more political influence they have, the better their schools and education will be. It all goes back to one of the overall lessons from this semester: PRIVILEDGE.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Citizenship in School: Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome by Kliewer (Reflection)

I am at Rhode Island College to become a Physical Educator. With this comes the responsibility and the privilege of working with children with disabilities such as Down Syndrome. This reading really hit home with me because my classes so far have taught me to educate to the learning abilities of each individual student. This can be very difficult because I will see numerous students a year and only for a short period of time. While trying to improve the physical ability, fitness and knowledge of each student, I need to create a learning environment suitable for everyone at the same time because there will be a mix of different abilities in one class.

We often see videos on Youtube or Facebook that show kids with disabilities being put in a sports game when their team has a huge lead to give them a chance to play. If they have the skills to play, why does it have to be when the team is ahead? When there is no risk of losing or winning if the game is a blowout by the opposing team?

 
 
Though these videos are heartwarming and the students are accepted by their peers on and off the field, they are not given the same opportunities as everyone else. These young men were not put on the field or court for a game time decision or as a substitute for an injured player. They got their time because their teams were winning......by A LOT!

They are put into classes "designed" for their learning abilities which is great, but it takes them away from the rest of the school population. Kliewer talks about this segregation and how these students are not incorporated into other classrooms with other students throughout their school career. They are denied these privileges of meeting and learning from their nondisabled students and feeling a part of the school community. Students with disabilities can learn a great deal from those without but I believe those without disabilities can learn much more from those who do. This is why I truly believe integrated Physical Education classes, as well as all classes, can benefit all students. To give them opportunities to succeed in society just like everyone else. Hopefully videos like the one below will become normal....
 

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Literacy with an Attitude by Patrick Finn (Connection)

After reading Finn, it reminds me a lot of Delpit, Johnson and Kozol. Finn himself mentions Kozol in this reading. However, Finn's writing style is similar to Kozol. Finn uses personal experience and tells a story to get his point across. I liked hearing his personal experience and helped me understand his main idea a little easier.

"The status quo is the status quo because people who have the power to make changes are comfortable with the way things are." (Finn XI).

This quote could be straight from Johnson. Johnson talks about privilege and how those with privilege often don't realize they have it while those without it do realize it. Finn talks about the rich children getting empowering education which leads to positions of power and authority compared to the rest of the children who get a domesticated education which allows them to be productive but not be troublesome. The rich don't want change because they have everything going for them and don't want to risk properly educating the  lower classes because it may impact their status.


*This video describes how much of an impact the middle class could have if  they were to use their power of numbers to "rise up" and make a change. Something the wealthy are scared of*



"I didn't say to an errant student, 'What are you doing?' I said,  'Stop that and get to work.' No discussions. No openings for argument." (Finn 4).

Delpit would have been proud. Finn understood these students needed explicit directions in the lower level literacy classes. Since they are doing so poorly in literacy, they may not be able to understand the true meaning of a question such as "What are you doing?". A teacher really means why are you not doing what I asked you to do while all the students hear is what are you doing? These explicit instructions allowed the students to understand exactly what is expected of them and gives them the tools of success.


I enjoyed reading this. I like his experience as a teacher and the methods he used to make his students successful. He understood their needs and created an environment suitable for them. It gave them a sense of accomplishment by receiving their graded work the next class and completing assignments that were fit for their learning abilities. I hope I can be like this as a teacher.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Connections to Authors

Delpit

  • One of the most surprising things I found when I first started was that every classroom has a smartboard and almost every student has a laptop. Technology is one of the most powerful tools in today's society. It has become a resume booster for what types of technology a person can use. With this and the school including smartboards and laptops, I believe they are teaching the students the rules and codes of power because understanding how to use technology at a young age will help them in the future.

Kristof

  • One of my students opened up to me and said that graduating isn't important. This either goes against the school not making graduating an important topic or her home life where no one graduated or they do not show an importance in doing so. I also feel this could connect to Delpit as well because no one is teaching her the rules and codes of power. Graduating would increase her chances of getting a better job and even increase the possibility of attending college which would allow her to go farther in life but no one is specifically telling her this either at home or at school.

Kahne & Westheimer

  • For the past 6 weeks I have felt my time at Harry Kizirian has been charity rather than change. I work with the same group of students in my fourth grade class and work with all of the students in my fifth grade class. In both classes, the students read aloud in popcorn style. I felt like I wasn't really doing anything to help them. Yesterday, one of my students needed an intervention on a couple of things and I was able to work with her one on one and I could see how she began to understand it and connect things. It made me feel important because I was able to actually help her understand and I felt like I was making a change rather than just going for charity.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Problem We All Live With

INTEGRATION
"One of the most powerful tools for improving the educational achievement of poor black and Hispanic public school students is, regrettably, seldom even considered." (Herbert 1). Each one of these readings and podcasts talk about the importance of integration in closing the  gap between middle-class, white students and low-income and poverty stricken black and Hispanic students. Each has a different story and view.
 
Episode 562: The Problem We All Live With
 

 

 
In the first episode of The Problem We All Live With, the focus is on integration by accident. Michael Brown, a black man shot by a cop in Ferguson, MO brought about huge controversy around the country. One thing that stuck out was how, after his death, his mother mentioned how difficult it was to get him to graduate because not many black boys do.
 
Normandy High School, where Brown graduated from, is almost 100% black. Based on scores from the state and Board of Education, the students were underperforming in every subject and Normandy was placed on probation.....for 15 years. In January 2013, Normandy lost its accreditation and the Transfer Law was enacted. This law allowed any student from Normandy to transfer to another school district for free. To try and suede the students from leaving, the bussing school of choice for the Normandy School District was Francis Howell which was 30 miles away and 85% white. 1,000 students; 1/4 of the population, left Normandy for Francis Howell. Francis Howell became integrated by accident because of the loss of accreditation of Normandy.

 
 
Episode 563: The Problem We All Live With Part II
 
 
 
In Part II, the focus is on integration as a choice. Connecticut is home to many wealthy and middle-class suburban areas because of its close proximity to New York and Manhattan. However, Hartford, CT is a normal urban area with a high population of low-income, poverty stricken black, Hispanic and Asian people. The public school system was underfunded and caused many issues. John Britain decided to sue the State of Connecticut because of these conditions. He was able to gather staff from the Hartford schools and even the Board of Education to testify. This brought about the awareness of collapsing roofs, large class sizes, flooding and worst of all pigeon carcasses falling into classrooms. John Britain won in an appeal but it took many years after before the state would settle.

 
One of John Britain's law students, Edin Ray, took on his belief of integration as a choice and started promoting the magnet schools in Hartford to middle-class, suburban white families. She used marketing techniques often used by large companies such as Apple and Pepsi to create an idea that your child could pick a school that offered them something they are actually interested in rather than attending the same, boring curriculums in normal public schools. The classes were diverse as some students came from Hartford itself, but this gave families the choice to integrate their children into city schools with a diverse population.
 
Separate and Unequal by: Bob Herbert
 
"Long years of evidence show that poor kids of all ethnic backgrounds do better academically when they go to school with their more affluent -- that is, middle class-- peers." (Herbert 1). With years of evidence, you would think integration would be more highly considered. Even though schools are no longer legally segregated, they are segregated based on residential patterns, housing discrimination and economic disparities. All of the poor are living with the poor and the rich as living with the rich. There is such a large economic gap in the country that it is near impossible for someone from a low-income family to attend a public school or private school in a middle-class or upper-class area. This relates back to Kristoff and how children's future economic statuses will be based on their parents' economic status. The middle to upper-class are providing more opportunities for their kids when it comes to education that low-income families and communities cannot provide. This creates Herbert's argument of separate and unequal.
 
 
 
 
Separate is Not Equal: Brown vs. Board of Education
 
In 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Brown vs. Board of Education stripped away constitutional sanctions for segregation by race, and made equal opportunity in education law. Today, in 2015, our schools are still segregated. It may not be by law but it is by economic status. Those who are underprivileged remain underprivileged while those who are privileged remain privileged. Separate is not Equal.
 
 
With accidental, choice and forced integration being successful, you would think it would be used and enforced in the school systems. With our country becoming more and more diverse, diversity in schools should be considered an advantage for the future. To learn and understand the differences so we can live with them as they become more and more prominent. Integration may be the solution, but no one wants to talk about it.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

In the Service of What? by Kahne and Westheimer (Argument)

      

Kahne and Westheimer's  argument is service learning to promote change, not charity. The authors discuss different service learning projects throughout the article and focus on how most are about the charity of the act rather than the interest to make a change. One example that really stuck out to me  was a girl who volunteered at a Veterans' Memorial Senior Center for Thanksgiving. Her and her stepmother served Thanksgiving meals to the seniors and at the end of her experience she mentioned how nice it was to see these veterans get together and make the holidays a little less lonely since they often don't have family near by.

"This experience and other like it, quite common in the literature of service learning, emphasize charity more than change. The experience was structured to promote giving rather than to provide the kind of understanding needed for the development of caring relationships. As a result, the student's descriptions of the event lacked the perspective and input of those she was helping." (Kahne and Westheimer 7).

Though the girl completed an act of kindness in serving these veteran seniors, she did not get to know them and learn about their circumstances and figure out ways to help them long term rather than one day. Many students complete community service or service learning assignments as part of classes or for religious reasons. They often participate to get the grade or complete their required hours but they often don't learn from it. They see the impact they have while they are there but do not continue with it once their requirements are complete. This is what Kahne and Westheimer were talking about. The service learning assignments have mostly become about charity rather than change. The youth often feel putting in their time is enough rather than trying to make a difference.

Many schools are now trying to require service learning into their curriculum and even a requirement to graduate. By making it a requirement, the students don't take anything from it. They know they need to complete it in order to graduate and don't put any effort into it. Rather than learning from those they work with, they do what they are told just to finish. This relates to our service learning in this class. It is a requirement for the class but I am trying to get the most out of it. I want to learn the different teaching styles and the different students to be able to use it in my future career as a teacher. This past week, I was working with my fourth grade group and they asked if I remember their names and I went around and remembered them all. One student spoke up to me and said I learned their names fast and she was very impressed. They now take me a bit more seriously because I took the time to remember them and our small group time is fun. This is what Kahne and Westheimer argue service learning is about. It is about taking time to do charity but also make an effort to make a change.



Sunday, October 11, 2015

Unlearning the Myths that Bind Us by Linda Christensen (Extended Comments)

 
Cinderella
 
One of the most famous princesses in the world is Cinderella. She is blonde, thin and perfect. After her mother died, he father remarried and her family grew to a stepmother and two step sisters. After her father's death, her stepmother began to think of her as a servant instead of a daughter. I'm sure you all know the rest of the story.....Cinderella is brought to her breaking point, her fairy godmother comes in and repairs her dress and she marries the prince to live Happily Ever After.
 
 
I was reading Austin's blog and one thing that stuck out most to me was his question of whether there will ever be a black Cinderella. But there already has been.......
 
Meet Brandy Norwood. Brandy was a singer in the 90's and also had a short acting career. One of her most famous roles was Cinderella. This was a TV movie made by Disney. I remember being a young girl and watching this film on Disney Channel and thinking it was odd she was black while her stepmother was white and the prince was Hispanic with both a black mother and white father.

Even Christensen has a section in her reading that talks about a black Cinderella. "'Women who aren't white begin to feel left out and ugly because they never get to play the princess,'" (Christensen 131). There are films and stories out there that feature women or men of color and different ethnicities. However, they are difficult to find. I went to IMDB (Internet Movie Database) to look up this version of Cinderella and it did not come up in the search. I had to type in the actress's name in order to find information on it.

That was shocking to me. With this being a Disney movie and based on a major fairy tail, I would have expected it to be one of the top movies in the search. This makes me wonder if Disney made this film only to satisfy some of the complaints that may have started coming up such as why are there no princesses of color?



Austin also included the above picture in his blog showing the major princesses: Ariel, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty (Aurora) and Snow White shoving other Disney Princesses out of the way. These other princesses just happen to be of other races and color such as Mulan, Pocahontas and Jasmine. Disney has been announcing new films with colored princesses coming up. One of the biggest is a girl from Hawaii. Disney is making efforts but is it enough to overpower what they have been doing for so many years?

Growing up as a girl, the majority of my movies consisted of Disney princesses. This reminds me of a quote from one of Christensen's students: '"The idea of not being completely responsible for how I feel about things today is scary. So why dissect the dreams? Why not stay ignorant about them and happy?'" (Christensen 129). This exact quote is the epitome of what Johnson talks about in regards to privilege. Christensen's student was brought up with these films just as I was and realized after dissecting her life that many of her beliefs and feelings about things are based off the hidden messages of these films.

As a child, Disney movies make you happy. You come home every day and watch them for entertainment and dream about one day growing up to be a princess and marrying a prince or a boy marrying a princess. Christensen's student was like this and wished to go back to her happy place before she knew what hidden messages she had learned. Johnson talks about those who have privilege don't see it. Christensen's student had the privilege of believing things could work out for her because most likely she is white. After she is made aware of her privilege, she wants to go back to when she was happy and didn't know about it. It makes you wonder if a simple movie or cartoon could give so many people hope, why can't we make one for the underprivileged and give them hope to be better?

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Safe Spaces by Vaccaro, August and Kennedy

 
We NEED anti-discrimination laws in schools!
 


The Senate shot down an amendment to the "Every Child Achieves" Act which would have put LGBT anti-discriminatory policies in schools. LGBT students are harassed by other students, teachers, administrators and parents in the community. This video mentions 84% of LGBT youth are harassed at schools because of their sexual orientation and gender identity. What's worse is that of the 26 anti-LGBT slurs these students hear every day, 1/3 of them are heard from school staff members. Students are being harassed by the people who are supposed to be protecting them.

With all the changes in today's society, one thing that still hasn't changed when it comes to LGBT is the acceptance and education of it in schools. As August mentions, "Otherwise, the traditional curriculum typically ignores the experiences or contributions of LBGT people," (August 85). In 2015, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of making same-sex marriage legal in the United States. This was a huge step and yet, we are still not talking about LGBT in schools.


August talks about the different ways some teachers are breaking barriers to try and teach about LGBT in their classes. "In the end it seems that the best way to deal with students' complaints that [LGBT] materials are just 'too much' is to integrate more of it into our courses. [If LGBT] issues are repeated often enough, they become commonplace. Then, as the issues become commonplace in the classroom, students may be better prepared to accept, support and appreciate gays, lesbians and bisexuals out of the classroom as well," (August 92). Many children get their socialization from school. They meet people outside of their families and close friends and are introduced to new ideas and experiences. If they are not from a LGBT family or have not grown up around it, school is a way they can learn about it and understand it is a normal lifestyle. However, the opposite of this is the children that have grown up in a LGBT family. Going to school and not hearing anything about it or meeting children who don't understand can make them feel isolated. This disconnect and lack of education is one of the reasons many LGBT youths are harassed.

 
 
Another concern is that of transgender children. After Caitlyn Jenner publicly changed from a male to a female, transgender became a HUGE topic. Schools are now having to face the issues of transgender students when it comes to how the students should be addressed, locker rooms and even restrooms. With these new topics coming about in such a quick fashion, school policies need to be updated.
 
 
 
I believe August understands this when he talks about communication. In the video above, Dr. Diane Ehrensaft talks about getting parents to communicate with schools. Some people may feel their transgender child should only express themselves when at home rather than out in public, including school. This teaches them to hide their true selves and to be ashamed of who they are. Instead, parents must advocate for their children. This includes going to school and communicating your child's needs and how the school can help. This advocating can help stimulate discussion and education on the LGBT topic in schools and make it seen as a common occurrence.
 
 

While reading Safe Spaces, all I could think of was SCWAAMP. Some of the schools and families in this reading were against educating students on LGBT because it was not an "appropriate" topic. LGBT goes against the straight ideology that is taught in schools subconsciously. When discussing families, they talk about single parents, adoption, divorces and heterosexual marriages. This leaves out those children who are raised in LGBT families or who have friends that are LGBT and even the students that are LGBT which continues the straight ideology being pushed on the new generations.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Aria by Richard Rodriguez (Reflection)


My boyfriend Chanda is Cambodian. He was born in the Philippines when his mother and father were fleeing the war ridden Cambodia. When he was a year old and his brother was two, his parents finally came to the United States. They eventually made their way to the East Coast and settled in Massachusetts. After divorcing her husband, Chanda’s mother took him and his siblings to Rhode Island where she raised them on her own. Chanda’s mother speaks Khmer and Chanda and his siblings were raised on that in their home. As they went through school, they picked up English and now use that as their primary language. After Chanda and I started dating, I was introduced to his mom and there was a huge language gap between the two of us. She speaks very broken English and is often so bad I can hardly understand her while I do not speak Khmer at all. At family gatherings, everyone speaks Khmer because that is what their mother speaks and will speak English directly to me but I feel so left out because I do not understand anything they are saying to each other. Rodriguez’s reading reminds me of this. He mentions he was sitting in school and did not completely understand his teachers because his parents spoke Spanish at home. Only after his teachers visited his home did they practice English in the household which created a great disconnect between the children and their parents. I feel I can relate to this because I will never have a true connection with Chanda’s mom because of the language barrier whereas he is very close with my parents because he can speak English.
 

This reading also brings me back to Delpit when she talks about the different commands teachers use compared to parents. She mentions teachers often frame things into a questions such as: “Should we be playing with that right now?” when they really mean “Put it away, it is not time to play with that.” This can relate to the language that is spoken at home compared to what is spoken in schools. Both Rodriguez and Delpit show how differences in communication can cause a student to fall behind because they are not completely understanding what is going on or what their teacher is really asking of them.
 

Friday, September 18, 2015

Amazing Grace by Jonathan Kozol (Quotes)


I absolutely LOVED this reading. I feel a bit awful saying this because the piece is so heartbreaking to read, but the way it was written and the feelings and stories Kozol put into this made it so much easier to read and understand. I loved the story of Cliffe. At only seven years old, Cliffe had seen more than many see in an entire lifetime. He’s seen loss, tragedy and evil but is still an imaginative, interesting child at the end of the day. I can picture him as a beautiful little boy with a bright, wide smile all the time because he knows he is loved by his mother and God. There were definitely a few quotes that stuck out to me.

1)      “The pastor tells me that the place is known as the ‘Children’s Park’. Volunteers arrive here twice a week to give out condoms and clean needles to addicted mean and women, some of whom bring their children with them. The children play near the bears or on a jungle gym while their mothers wait for needles,” (Kozol 12).

a.      Every child has a teddy bear when they’re younger. It is your first best friend and your protector in the night. The fact that there is a tree with teddy bears tied to the limbs to distract the children from what is really going on surprised me. The things these children see on the streets is worse than seeing their parents receiving clean needles and condoms. It makes me wonder if that is one of the reasons these children become victim of their environment. They are distracted from the prevention aspects of their lives and exposed to the negative ones.
 

2)      “’Somebody has power. Pretending that they don’t so they don’t need to use it to help people—that is my idea of evil,’” (Kozol 23).

a.      This quote specifically stuck out to me because of Johnson’s idea that the privileged don’t see they are privileged but the underprivileged do. In this statement, Kozol was speaking with Ms. Washington’s son about Ms. Washington becoming sicker and sicker to the point her son believed she was purposely starving herself to become sick enough to receive SSI benefits. As he was speaking of this he mentioned an evil in the world. The evil is that the rich have the power to make a change but don’t. This reminded me of Johnson and maybe there are people that are willing to help and have the opportunity but don’t realize their options and do not know how to get involved while there are others who don’t realize their privilege and power and do not put it to use. However, the ones who need help the most do understand the difference in power and ask for help but don’t receive it.

3)      “’The point is that they put a lot of things into our neighborhood that no one wants,’ she says. ‘The waste incinerator is just one more lovely way of showing their affection,’” (Kozol 10).

a.      Kozol references the waste incinerator after Cliffe takes him by it on their walk. With high numbers of AIDS infected individuals, this waste incinerator can be used to burn bandages, linens and even amputated limbs from those infected. The fumes and odors from this building can cause health issues which may include cancer. This was brought up in the fact that the incinerator was originally planned to be built near Manhattan until parents shut it down because of the issues it could cause their children. The new plan was to put it in Mott Haven. It makes you realize that these people don’t have a voice. They can’t shut down the plans to build in their neighborhood because of the health issues it can cause their children. It all relates back to Johnson and how those who are privileged don’t see it and those who are not do.
 

After reading about the large numbers of HIV/AIDS infected individuals in this reading, I wanted to look up the numbers. I found an article the connected HIV/AIDS numbers with poverty in New York and what I found was astonishing. Mott Haven, mentioned in this reading, is one of the highest places in New York for HIV/AIDS.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

U.S.A., Land of Limitations? By Nicholas Kristof


After reading Kristof's article, I IMEDIATELY thought of Delpit and Johnson. Kristof talks about the vast difference in the income barrier of the U.S. “A child born in the bottom quintile of incomes in the United States has only a 4 percent chance of rising to the top quintile, according to a Pew study, (Kristof 1). This study shows that children born in poverty are less likely to move into the top economic status in adulthood because of their economic status at birth. The children suffer from lack of resources and opportunities which prevents them from being successful in school and advancing to college or even finishing high school.
 
 

            “’Rich kids make a lot of bad choices,’ Professor Reardon notes. “They just don’t come with the same sort of consequences,’” (Kristof 1). This statement reminded me of Johnson when he said that people of privilege don’t realize they have privilege. You often see in the tabloids and news stories the children of someone famous doing something wrong. They were born with all the opportunity in the world at their fingertips and instead of putting it to good use, they get into partying, drinking, etc. and when they get into trouble, their parents bail them out. However, there are children who do not have the opportunity to attend school because of monetary issues that would give almost anything to have a chance but their parents’ economic status prevents them from doing so. Sometimes they are forced to steal to survive and when they are caught, they suffer the severe consequences which only inhibits them further.

            “School might have been an escalator to a better life, for Rick had a terrific mind, but as a boy he had an undiagnosed attention deficit disorder and teachers wrote him off,” (Kristof 1). Delpit specifically referenced teachers writing off students in her reading. She discussed that children who ignore veiled commands in class can be classified as behavior disordered and will be looked at differently going through school. Those students that go undiagnosed such as Rick may struggle in class but become labeled as a behavior problem because their parents do not have the opportunity to have their children checked for learning disabilities or afford medications to assist them. I found a website that discusses ADD/ADHD and learning and ways to assist students but its main focus is the cooperation of parents and teachers. If the teachers have already written off the students, they may not be willing to work with the student and causes them to fall farther behind.

My parents are not rich. I was not born into money. My parents both work fulltime to provide for my brother and I and I realize that we are more privileged than some. I traveled to South Africa in 2010 to study abroad and I noticed the vast difference between their economic statuses. We stayed in a shanty town overnight and their homes were shacks made of different materials they could find. After reading this article, it made me think of South Africa and how the US could head in the same direction if something isn't done to decrease the gap.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Me, Myself and I

Hey everyone, I'm Erica Frazier!

Me at a wedding last December
 

I'm from Coventry, RI and I am currently attending RIC for my second degree in Physical Education/Health Education. I will be 25 at the end of this month and I have a boyfriend, Chanda, that I've been with for over 3 years.
Chanda and I at my cousin's wedding this summer.
 
Over the summer, my brother, Chanda and I took a trip to Texas to visit some family. My uncle lives on a lake in Montgomery, TX just outside of Houston so we spent the week tubing, swimming and catching up. We don't often get together so my grandparents requested a picture of all the grandkids while we were there:
 
 
When I'm not in class, I am usually working at Applebee's. Besides that I'm a HUGE sports fan. Especially when it comes to the Bruins and Patriots:
 
My Saint Patrick's Day Bruins Jersey
 
Other than watching sports, I play softball. I've been playing since I was 5 and look forward to it every spring.
 
 video
 
I'm a pretty simple person looking forward to this semester and learning to blog :)