Tuesday, February 26, 2013

'They score better, but they're not smarter'

This is the third in a series of posts on the 2020 Vision inspired by Michael Miller and Santiago Casal, Members of United in Action, Latinos Unidos, and Parents of Children of African Descent.

Santiago Casal and Michael Miller shared the following quote in a letter to the Berkeley Daily Planet on March 18, 2008:
"According to a CEOs for cities briefing paper on “How Business and Civic Leaders Can Make a Big Difference in Public Education," “Everybody who lives or works in a big city has a stake in the performance of the local public school system. Businesses and cultural institutions suffer when thousands of young school graduates are unprepared to do productive work or take a full part in civic life.”" This reminds us about the importance of the role that we can all play in helping to achieve the 2020 Vision for Berkeley's Children and Youth

The 2020 Vision sets out to eliminate race-based predictability in student performance by the graduating class of 2020 (this year's current 5th graders).

As Casal and Miller explained, "The concept of the “achievement gap” has become so culturally pervasive, it feeds on itself as it fuels the stigmatization of children of color and the reinforcement of racial stereotypes.  
"One of our UIA members was in tears recently as she shared that she was thinking of taking her child out of Berkeley High. She was struggling hard to keep her daughter engaged, looking to the future, to college enrollment only to find that her daughter seriously doubted her college potential. 'White kids are smarter than us, Mom. They score so much better on the tests, don’t they?' 
"Yes, they score better. But they are not smarter. Rather they have more 'opportunity,' and they are expected to achieve at higher levels than black and brown children."

Let's continue the momentum built by Casal, Miller and many other leaders in the Berkeley community. 

For more from Casal and Miller, check out the posts 2020 Vision is our Collective Responsibility and  School Failure is a Whole Community Problem.

To learn more about the work of 2020 Vision, visit Berkeley Alliance

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