Playing God With Other People's Children Gail L. Thompson The Claremont Graduate University Several years ago, I conducted a one-day inservice at an elementary school in southern California at which most of the teachers were White and most of the students were Latino. In other words, the demographic makeup of the school was typical of many schools nationwide, particularly in the south, southwest, and western United States. At this elementary school, the teachers seemed to truly care about the students. In fact, they appeared to be loving, kind, and upbeat. But survey data that had previously been collected from researchers with whom I was not affiliated, revealed several disturbing facts about these teachers. Although they appeared to have a positive attitude towards their students, they had very low expectations and offered them a non-challenging curriculum. During the inservice, when I asked the teachers why this was so, they told me that research had shown that many Latino students drop out of school in ninth grade. Therefore, the teachers assumed that it would be futile to challenge them too much. There was a combination of pity and resignation in their responses to my inquiry. They clearly felt sorry for
The High School Journal – University of North Carolina Press
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