I am fond of Iyanla Vanzant’s statement: “You’ve got to call a thing a thing.” So… here’s the thing: Those learners whose underprivileged status is frequently cited as the underlying reason for their academic achievement (or lack thereof) are not. They are not underprivileged. They are not-privileged. As educators in particular, we need a shift in mindset on the topic.
As I think upon the college and career readiness levels of which we are to prepare our learners, our most fragile and too-frequently disenfranchised learners, I cannot help but advocate that it is time to rethink what we teach. We must align our instruction more carefully to the careers of tomorrow, rather than the college prep of old.
Rather than just textbooks and buildings now, the new divide is digital. Black and Latino homes are less likely to have internet access. Those same students who suffered inequitable access to instruction 20 years ago are now parents, likely blue and pink collar workers, raising children in lower performing schools, with lesser experienced teachers, in homes without the best tools to support instruction.