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Wednesday, November 9, 2016

How America's Public Schools Keep Kids in Poverty (with Video; 13:54)

From TEDxBeaconStreet
via The Education Law Prof Blog

By Derek Black
November 3, 2016

"When resources are shared, they're not divided; they're multiplied."

Kandice Sumner, a public school teacher, breaks down racial and socio-economic inequality in our public schools in this straightforward and experiential-based Ted Talk. The webpage offers this introductory summary:

"Why should a good education be exclusive to rich kids? Schools in low-income neighborhoods across the US, specifically in communities of color, lack resources that are standard at wealthier schools — things like musical instruments, new books, healthy school lunches and soccer fields — and this has a real impact on the potential of students.

Kandice Sumner sees the disparity every day in her classroom in Boston. In this inspiring talk, she asks us to face facts — and change them."

One of the more interesting themes of her talk is the argument that our education system has never been designed to offer equal or quality opportunities to communities of color and that when it does occur it is random or potentially a result of private philanthropy rather than the education system itself.

In one snippet of the conversation, she offered:

"If we really, as a country, believe that education is the "great equalizer," then it should be just that: equal and equitable. Until then, there's no democracy in our democratic education.

On a mezzo level: historically speaking, the education of the black and brown child has always depended on the philanthropy of others. And unfortunately, today it still does. If your son or daughter or niece or nephew or neighbor or little Timmy down the street goes to an affluent school, challenge your school committee to adopt an impoverished school or an impoverished classroom.


Close the divide by engaging in communication and relationships that matter. When resources are shared, they're not divided; they're multiplied."


About the Speaker

Kandice A. Sumner, M.Ed. teaches humanities (a combination of history and English) for the Boston Public Schools and is a Doctoral student in Urban Educational Policy. Sumner created and facilitates a professional development curriculum entitled R.A.C.E. (race, achievement, culture and equity) to engage professionals of all ages on how to conduct courageous critical conversations concerning race for the betterment of today’s youth. As the subject of the documentary film Far From Home, Kandice speaks publicly and consults with organizations on facilitating difficult conversations about race and education.

Born and raised in urban Boston, Kandice graduated from a suburban school system through a voluntary desegregation program (METCO). She then matriculated Spelman College (a historically Black liberal arts college) and graduated Phi Beta Kappa. From being one of a few Blacks in her school to learning at a historically Black college to teaching in the underserved and predominately Black and Latino neighborhoods of Boston, Sumner has spent a lifetime traversing the lines of race, class and gender.

1 comment:

  1. I am thoroughly agreed with Kandice Sumner. I can't take it, why resources are not equally distributed. It seems that education has been limited only to the wealthy children. Without fail, education is the great equalizer, so it must be equal and equitable. In order to kill this trend, we need more and more integration aide. I really appreciate to Kandice Sumner for her braveness.

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