“The truth will set you free” is a very common saying, especially in the world of academia. Certain institutions have used this phrase as a way of promoting the ideas of academic freedom and the power of learning. As a matter of fact, at Jackson State it is part of its pledge: “The Truth you shall know and the Truth shall set you free.”
This phrase comes from a message given by Jesus Christ, in which he delineated differences between himself and his listeners. I am not attempting to explain anything on the level of the Messiah. However, I am trying to bring a little light to some things that have been long overlooked.
I am not trying to create any drama, but can somebody please tell me how it is possible to play ball at school when we are not having school?
For decades the failures of public schools all over the Mississippi Delta have been swept under the rug until now there is no more room to sweep anything else. The ideas of teaching and learning and providing an environment that was conducive for students’ achievement was cast aside for some super duper nonsense called quality distribution index (QDI). This so-called sophisticated answerability system turned teaching and learning into testing. This false measure of students’ accountability has become so outrageous until the state of Mississippi is testing third graders to determine if they are ready for fourth grade or prison in the middle of the worst conditions possible.
Now to add insult to injury, this cruel system has continued to expand its deliberate scheme to handicap poor and minority students. To require that public school students coming from homes where the funds are not there to purchase the technology for remote learning take a state-mandated test that clearly does not measure anything is a crime against humanity. Where is a cop, congressman or senator when you need one?
So let’s get real.
The virus did not create that many new problems. It simply highlighted the old ones we had been sweeping under the rug. The idea of students following directions and being disciplined has become a phenomenal occurrence. School systems with capable, caring school trustees setting policies and vetting the most important leader for the district has been replaced with a “good ole boy” system. And the notion of school and community working together is more rare than finding a hen with teeth.
In order to educate, there must be norms as simple as following directions and being disciplined. Without these basic standards, educating kids is impossible with or without a virus.