Wednesday, March 09, 2005


Yeah, I agree with Kelly that we slighted race in our conversation. Maybe 'Facebook' is easier to talk about.

I found the Wilson pieces interesting, though not really surprising.

When I taught in inner-city Houston, I had the opportunity to work in both a very poor and a very well-to-do part of town. Nice as the students were in the very low incomed 'fifth ward' of the Northside, although not all were very nice, it was a very different experience to teach middle and upper middle class students, whether they were African American, Latino, or Anglo. What mattered more was they had significant support, both financial and by example, of their roles as students. They had also, for the most part, gone to school in a school atmosphere and with other students that reinforced the message that school was important. Plus, what SEEMED to matter more (this is from a teacher's perspective, perhaps I was really wrong) than 'race' was whether or not classmates projected a 'ghetto' mentality, meaning 'poor'. Middle class kids of all races hung out together (with exceptions, of course), but most poor kids hung out with other poor kids, then generally of the same race.

As Wilson says, Affirmative Action tended to especially help those students who were middle class, but there were also exceptions. I saw plenty of students from Jeff Davis HS on the Northside go to UT and Texas A.M., even though their grades an SAT scores were undoubtedly lower than an average college freshman. Most of those students find a way to rise to the occasion.

Of course, the numbers in Houston and elsewhere still clearly show us that race is still an important factor in predicting who will be on the unfortunate side of the Digital Divide.

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