Tuesday, November 29, 2005

White Flight is Alright

Here's an educator on another sort of white flight- namely, white parents who are taking their kids out of schools that are too challenging. Apparently, they're nervous about their kids being in classes with too many Asians.

"Which plays, of course, into the old stereotype of the hyper-competitive Asian. But the new white flight also has given rise to a new stereotype one educator calls ''the white boy syndrome.'' It says that white kids just don't have it between the ears."

This is all, I guess thankfully, news to me. Not to be rude, but I've never found that Asians were much smarter or whites were dumber, or anyone was dumber really. Most kids are about the same. It seems like girls work a lot harder than boys do.

But, I don't know... isn't the problem really that, as a culture, we don't believe in anything in any genuine way? So, something like education, while it seems like a nice idea, really means very little to kids, or to their parents for that matter. Actually, more importantly, it means very little to adults. It's just a status symbol, or more accurately, a pretext to criticize "the uneducated", to justify paying them starvation wages to do the landscaping, and not give it much more thought than that. But, really, the problem is that we just don't care for actual education so much as the pretense of being educated. So, who cares what ethnic group is failing or succeeding- so long as we can find some other cultural justification for social violence.

Sorry to say it, but educators have to be the "bad guy" in all of this to the extent that we hold the kids to real standards- otherwise known as "hurting their self-esteem"- otherwise known as "refusing to play along". We have to be hated- we have to get terrible reviews on www.RateMyProfessor.com! We have to uphold the standards because, quite simply, if we don't, we go from being the guardians of culture to being the guardians of class.

Or, is that cynical?

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