EDUCATION IS A RIGHT, Meredith Stern, 2009

Critical Reflection Prompt 9: Choosing a School for My Daughter, Shame of the Nation (147–151) & Ch. 2 When We Fight We Win (42–44)

Please note, you only need to read the pages noted above from “Shame of the Nation” so that you can focus on “Choosing a School for My Daughter in a Segregated City.” In When We Fight We Win, just read the case study, “The Missing Ingredient: Love” (42–44). We will work with this in class. The main focus of this week’s CR is “Choosing a School for My Daughter in a Segregated City”.

This week, try to find someone at your community partner site that you can ask a few questions about the larger context and root causes that impact the schools/after-school programs and students’ educational experience and opportunities. Per this week’s reading, you may want to ask about the intersecting issues of segregation and poverty or you may want to just find out what a teacher, principal, or program director believes are the structural issues that most affect their programs and students. NEWS FLASH, we will have some very special guests on Tuesday who will also provide important context and share their stories.

What points do you find particularly interesting or relevant in Hannah-Jones’ article? Discuss any connections you can make with your community partner and, when you are able, add in what you learn from talking with someone on site. You can also draw on the experiences shared by our guests on Tuesday.

So What? In Shame of the Nation pages (147–151), Kozol shares the voices of children who describe the ways in which their sense of identity, belonging, and opportunity are shaped by segregated schools. Hannah-Jones uses her own family’s story to illustrate a larger, national issue. There is even a photograph of her daughter at start of the story. She made a decision to share her own dilemma on a national stage. Why are personal experience and stories such an effective way to raise awareness of issues? OR How are children’s stories and self-understanding shaped by the larger issues that Kozol and Hannah-Jones describes? Please use examples of moments in Hannah-Jones’ article to evidence your point. As always, if you are able to connect with or illustrate from your community experience, please do so. OR You are free to go another direction if you have a different idea. You might even want to upload a photo or image and discuss the way it illustrates the issue or point that you discussed above.

Now What? Hannah-Jones’ article links to reports and research. Click on one of the reports that interests you. What is the report about and why is it important that Hannah-Jones does her research and includes facts? Was there anything in this report or Hannah-Jones’ article that helps you to better understand the structural issues that we have been discussing?

(note, if you are interested in this subject, there are more related articles on the right-hand side of this article. These could be useful for your upcoming research assignment).

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