Thursday, August 25, 2016

A Brick In The Path (Promised Lands Are Never Promises Kept) | The Jose Vilson

A Brick In The Path (Promised Lands Are Never Promises Kept) | The Jose Vilson:

A Brick In The Path (Promised Lands Are Never Promises Kept)

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“Originally a biblical reference to the land of Canaan promised to the descendants of Jacob, The Promised Land represented a new physical space where the old social order would be dissolved and from which opportunity would spring. The Promised Land was geographic, political, and simultaneously corporeal and non-corporeal.”
From the beginning of the book Inequality In The Promised Land: Race, Resources, and Suburban Schooling, Professor R. L’Heureux Lewis-McCoy (Dumi Lewis, if you must) asks the reader to turn on their critical lenses and pick apart their assumptions about equity, specifically about the redeeming qualities of social class as a lever for anti-racism. He also asks us to suspend belief in a specific type of schooling and focus on the relationships between students and the various actors (and policies) that interact with the students. He asks us to use this suburban district case study as a model for any district where they ostensibly “have it figured out” but still show the same markers of inequity we see in more visible (i.e. urban) spaces.
He forgot to tell us to keep our feelings separate from the text. This book angered me, and I wish he told me sooner.
The book takes us through the inner workings of a district he dubs Rolling Acres Public Schools (RAPS), a suburban mixed-class school district where the population is mostly black and white racially. (NB: When I asked him which school district he was talking about, he said he hadn’t even told his wife. So, there’s that.) From the outset, he lays out the current research on school districts like these and disavows them at once. For example, he suggests that previous studies that just focus A Brick In The Path (Promised Lands Are Never Promises Kept) | The Jose Vilson:

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