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Posted on October 28 at 7:44 p.m.
I stand corrected, DrDan. In several conversations with non-SBCS parents, the intent of your words was misunderstood by all of us. My apologies. I do want to stress 'though that students who don't necessarily do well on tests in elementary school need to hear that they are intelligent and can become academic achievers - even if they don't hear it from their own parents (regardless of race). The lack of support in any environment can pull you down even if you're a genius. There are many examples of Latinos with mainly Spanish spoken at home that have been inspired by someone outside their home (a teacher, a mentor, a school administrator) to continue their education. I see this at SBCS where I immediately felt part of a community. I grew up in a home with a lot of support. My challenge with the current education system was highlighted when in high school my counselor told me that I was more likely to become pregnant than graduate from high school, so why had I enrolled in college-prep classes? I proved her wrong, but her words affected me for a long time. I can't help but wonder how many children in the schools with low test scores believe they are undeserving? It actually brings a knot to my throat to think of it! It doesn't mean that I didn't have other teachers that believed in me. But that counselor certainly made me question myself. Maybe my story can help others see why I strongly believe in SBCS's philosophy and Charter schools' core purpose.
On Mixed Report Card
Posted on October 28 at 5:57 p.m.
1) I was saddened to read DrDan's comment that "Intelligence seems to have been left out of the process for measuring student learning." Are the schools with a larger population of Latinos getting lower test scores because the children lack intelligence? There are so many factors that come into play. How offensive to say that children that may be having difficulties because of language/cultural barriers (or lack of support within their home) lack in intelligence! As a Hispanic parent of an American-born six-year-old at Santa Barbara Charter School, I can honestly say that it's because of mind-frames such as DrDan's that my husband and I CHOSE to enroll our daughter at a Charter School in hopes of 'winning the lottery.' 2) That's the experience we had when we received a phone call telling us our child had been accepted! The hope that our child's academic future would not be projected by school administrators based on her last name and dark skin tone! 3) I don't want to sound "racist" in any way, but I believe that, since one of the purposes of Charter schools is to provide under-served students (not to be mistaken with the word un-deserved) with the opportunity to thrive at a high level, the current parents at SBCS welcome diversity! As a volunteer parent at SBCS, I am more than willing to help in reaching Spanish-only speaking parents through local TV and radio stations. I would be willing to set up ride-sharing for the children that live in Santa Barbara and even drive parents without vehicles to school events and parent-teacher conferences. You cannot force parents to be participants in their children’s education, but in a largely Caucasian populated school, I can say for sure that most - if not all - SBCS parents would be willing to help in this respect. Teachers as well as parents want our children to experience association with students of diverse backgrounds. 4) Ms. Limón’s concerns have nothing to do with racism just as the Board’s requests are not meant to convey intellectual superiority - it's about giving disadvantaged children (regardless of race) an opportunity to reach their potential - one of the core purposes of Charter schools!