Any remembrances of the 1965 Watts Riots must include sober discussion of why, 40 years later, large parts of this city continue to labor under the weight of poverty, low educational skills, and rampant gangs and violence, as well as a less than vibrant business life. Some would say that this is because the “system” still conspires to exploit, suppress and oppress black and brown people. I say it’s because some continue to look in the rear-view mirror, focused on yesterday’s realities, and serving up excuses and disempowering theories of victimization rather than exploring realistic answers to troubling problems.
This comment applies equally well to schools and the "achievement gap". I'm preparing a much longer post on poverty, the welfare state, the results of Katrina--and a factoid in the September 2005 issue of NEA Today. Stay tuned!