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The big white lie in education suddenly crashes on a Saturday

There are schools in the U.S. where poor children of color succeed academically. That shouldn't be controversial, but it is, especially for many educators who seem devoted to a deficit based narrative about children in poverty. That narrative forms the belief gap, and it crashed on Twitter today.

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  1. It all began with this little tweet...
  2. That tweet drew the attention of Gary Rubinstein who asked a series of probing questions. He found the purported success of Geoge Hall Elemenatry to be suspicious.

    I regularly visit schools where black, brown, and poor students do well. It never occurs to me that I should be surprised that such a school might exist.

    Yet, American educators often suffer from an amazing belief gap. That is the gap between what they think our children are capable of, and what our children are actually capable of. For them, the only way our kids can do well is with supernatural intervention.
  3. Gary's response bothered me so much that I wrote a blog post about it. This past Friday my colleague Peter Cunningham posted a link to my story on his twitter feed.
  4. That set off discussion with notable white anti-reformers. They wanted to shut down any talk about teachers not having adequate belief in children of color, and they wanted to redirect conversation to the deficits of poor families.
  5. Besides a tweet or two from me, this chain was very white, very male. That is typical. White educators often speak as if their time in the classrom with children of color gives them a license which absolves them of any connection to white supremacist structures, thus, they can forgo the humility and racial sensivity others adopt to avoid charges of racial chauvinism.
  6. When Xian Barrett entered (an educator of color) it was possible for the conversation to become more culturally competent. His presence could have challenged the white dominant frame and the beliefs of white educators and their system.

    Alas, not so much...
  7. Oh hell. Really?
  8. Though research reveals serious problems with educator attitudes and bias, the first person of color in this chain is a defender of the system and its workers. Oh well.
  9. Then, enter a woman. Finally. Like a good teacher, Crystal Brakke took the discussion back to the beginning. Back to the success of George Hall Elementary.
  10. With the diversity firewall fully breached, more color commentary arrived. RiShawn Biddle offered a research study that concluded bias in educators.
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