Who Gives a Damn?
By Rodolfo F. Acuña
Teresa Wiltz in America’s Wire writes that despite claims of increased educational opportunities for minorities that the performance of black and Latino teenagers remains the same or lower than 30 years ago. In fact, the math and reading performance of black and Latino high school seniors equal that of 13-year-old white students – so much for the post racial society.
Educators and liberal politicos point the finger at low expectations, inequality of resources, less qualified teachers, the income inequality, teacher bias, and inexperienced teachers. They throw in the tracking of black and brown students into remedial class while whites are put into university bound classes.
Further, minority students are more likely to be given "A’s" for work that would receive a "C" in a rich school giving the illusion that they are being educated. Society would not tolerate this record in a football team at any level, or for that matter if we had fewer weapons of mass destruction than 30 years ago.
However, in my view, the major reason for the lack of progress of Mexican American and other minorities is society’s historical amnesia or more aptly its Alzheimer disorder that erases the memory of previous efforts or commitments to bridge the gap between black, brown and white – rich and poor.
The truth be told, educators pay less attention today to Mexican Americans than it did 50 years ago. In the sixties educators and reporters at least talked about it. The late Los Angeles Times’ columnist Ruben Salazar attacked the dropout problem and the failure of the schools to devise a relevant curriculum, as well as the failure to recruit and train effective Mexican American teachers.