In the first half of
the 20th century, Southern American schools were segregated by race.
The Supreme Court had ruled that "separate but equal" was the law
of the land.
But separate was never equal, and segregation contradicted the very idea of American Freedom.
R.R. Moton, the only black high school in Prince Edward County, Virginia, was like many in the South. Moton's dilapidated building housed twice as many students as it was built to hold. Even the text books were hand-me-downs from white schools.
They were discards from
from the elementary and the high school there were pages torn out
it there were um obscenities written in the book they'd write nigger,
coon uh those kinds of words
by the time I get got
here in 1951the student population had mushroomed to 450 I think
there were about 5 temporary tar paper shacks, they were leaking
to the point to you had to raise your umbrella to keep the water
from dropping on your papers because we writing with ink at that
It's a program for failure
... as a person looks around and sees a brick building for another
race and he has to walk by that brick building two miles to a school
that's wooden in the county and that school has an outdoor toilet,
and when he goes at that outdoor toilet he looks and he sees maggots
up there right near where he has to sit, that is demeaning to another
In April of 1951, a
small group of Moton High School students decided to take matters
into their own hands.
They took over the
school and called the student body to the auditorium and called
the student body to an assembly and called the student body to an
emergency meeting and addressed the student body
Well, I just asked them
if they were completely satisfied with the school that they had
to attend in the rural area."How many of you went to schools that
had pot-bellied stoves, raise their hand?" How many of you attended
schools that had outdoor toilets?" Well, all of them had to raise
their hand because there was not but one elementary school in Prince
Edward County that had indoor toilets And the only way to get even
would be to follow us. If you don't follow us then your children
and your children's children will be going to those outdoor toilets
looking at those maggots. It's very simple.
leader Barbara Johns told the crowd, "The town jail can't hold all
The entire student body went on strike. Then, the students went a step further: They called in the NAACP.
The phone rang about
5 o'clock in the afternoon it was Barbara Johns on the phone she
wanted us to take her case and handle it and uh she she was so insistent
so I said we'll meet you in Farmville.
And uh, we were excited
about that. Here are these big, big guns coming in to meet us, you
know. Here we are with little water guns, you know, they're coming
with the 105 howitzers.
But the lawyers told
the black community of Prince Edward County they had to demand more.
The NAACP told us that
they could not fight for a new school that they had to fight for
integration and that caused a lot of fear um among the community
because they were afraid of the word integration but then the parents
realized they wanted a better life for the children.
Nearly two hundred
students and parents signed on to sue the all-white board of education.
There were Klansmen who
came from all over the United States to uh burn crosses and uh to
intimidate people they burned a cross down on the the athletic field
out there that was so huge and so hot the grass never grew there
in that spot again.
The community held
firm, and the lawyers went to work. The Prince Edward case became
part of the NAACP's push to overturn segregation through the courtsóa
strategy they had pursued for decades under the guidance of Thurgood
After three long years,
the Prince Edward County case— along with 4 others —finally made
it all the way to the Supreme Court. Collectively, they came to
be known as Brown versus Board of Education.
our caseóDavis versus
Prince Edward Countyóis the only case that was student led. It was
the only case whereby students walked out and got something as a
result of it.
On May 17th 1954, the
Supreme Court declared, "in the field of public education, the doctrine
of ëseparate but equal' has no place. Segregated schools, the Court
said, "are inherently unequal."
I remember the exact moment.
I remember sitting where I was sitting in the 11th and I remember
that the principal, rang the bellto ask for everyone's attention,
and to tell us, in so many words, that the Supreme Court had just
declared schools like the ones in which we sitting unconstitutional,
the whole school sprang up. Teachers ... some of whom had PhDs whom
we also always saw in their most dignified uh, pose, broke down
in cried. It was if they never believed that this would happen.
Author Ralph Ellison
said "the court has ...recognized our human psychological complexity
and citizenship ...what a wonderful world of possibilities are unfolded
for the children."
The Supreme Court decision started a revolution.
Hanbury: Undoubtly, when you mingle the little children together in the same school on a social level, within one generation you will have completely broken down racial integrity.
Many Southern communities
resisted but none fought as long or as hard as Prince Edward County.
In 1959, rather than integrate, Prince Edward did the unthinkable.
It closed not only Moton, but all public schools - black and white.
The word was they done closed
the school. That's the word. You know, like school was just out.
My sisters they was crying
they was crying they was crying But it never affect me that I wasn't
going you know I thought I was going you know I thought I was going
back to school because I thought I was I don't know special I thought
they were going to work something out for me you know. But it didn't
turn out we began to believe that we wasn't supposed to go to school
Public funds were used
to establish private academies for whites only, locking out black
children — indefinitely.
Gregory Watkins (archival):
(Off camera) Gregory, what
did you do when you weren't going to school?
(Sync) Well, I got water,
I cut wood, we have a little beaver damn below our house where I
go fishing with my cousins
(Off camera) Was that more
fun than going to school?
(Sync) No, sir. (V/O)
I can read little easy books by myself, but the hard books... I can't
It wasn't until 1964,
five years later, that the federal government ordered the Prince
Edward County public schools to re-open. But for a generation of
African Americans, there was no going back.
I'm finding now that it's
just it's terrible to try to get about in this world without an
education you know I mean I was middle aged man working 16 hours
a day and had to go night school to try to figure out you know how
to um just function in the world how do you fix it? Can you take
me back when I was 6 years old and give it to me can you do that?
Can you give me what I missed as a kid?
Part of what Americans
ask their schools to do, is to prepare students for an economy that
has jobs in it that range from very low level jobs to very high
level, well paying, professional and business jobs. We don't expect
that the place any one child will occupy either in school or in
life will be determined by their race or the wealth of their family.
And unfortunately, that's exactly what tracking systems do.
When you walk inside many racially mixed schools, you see a real
mix of students in the hallways. But when you step inside classrooms
you often see a classroom that's mostly brown and black and a
classroom that's mostly Asian and white. The Asian and white classes,
you can be practically guaranteed will be higher-level classes.
a very big issue today ... I've been to classes where things are mixed
but man, I'm gonna tell you honestly, that's rare.
How do you feel about integration?
Luis Rodriguez is an
internationally renowned author who speaks to students across the
country about identity and segregation.
or fixing some of these things.
I went to a high
school that was mixed. The white and Asian kids were given a special
place in that school. There was A classes for advanced kids, B,
C, D. The D were the dumb classes and we were, the Mexicans were
generally in the dumb classes. The biggest, most important class
I had was Home Ec. you know, and woodshop. I mean those were my
two biggest classes. Home Ec., you know ... I made lemon meringue pie.
The counselors would actually tell you, ëYour good with your hands,
don't think about college courses.'
Today, many school
systems still sort students by perceived ability. Only a handful
are considered exceptionally intelligent and placed in highly gifted
It's become more
insidious, because people can find ways to mask a lot of these things
by calling things something gifted. Here's a gifted class, the mask
is that these gotta be the kids who are better than the other kids.
The fact that most happen to be white is not our intention.
This is the percent of highly gifted magnet enrollment at North
Hollywood High School. You have a 70% Latino school. Latinos, 70%,
only 11% are in the magnet gifted school. This is within your own
I feel that race has
a lot to do with this, because looking at the numbers, it kind of
makes you think like, ëkay how come Hispanics aren't up there? Since
we're the majority, shouldn't there be some smart Hispanics up in
49% of all the kids
in that program are what? Asian? 40% are white. Uh, there's a smattering
of Latinos and a trickle of the rest. That does not reflect the
ethnic breakdown of the rest of the school.
We have built a
structure that says at this high school, some students are gonna
be high ability, some are gonna be in the middle, and some are gonna
be slow. Some are gonna go on to college and some are gonna go to
work, and we're gonna have all kinds of places in which to slot
You have a system
that says there's gotta be winners and losers. When you look at
this you get an idea about who some of the winners are, compared
to who some of the quote losers would be.
Um, the losers and the
followers are those people who don't have motivation to go through
school, to study every day. It doesn't matter what color they are,
what race. The people who don't pay attention, the people who don't
want to do this, are becoming the bus drivers, the janitors. Everyone
who didn't want to study, who are lazy, this is what I think.
Okay, if everything
was even, and you say its up to you, that should be a mix of people
right? Because we're saying there's no racial superiority, but it
just so happens statistically those people that are filling in those
jobs happen to be Latino. So what is that about? Are they all lazy?
: Some people simply aren't suited to be the next
president, to, you know, to discuss politics. That's not what they
like to do, it's not what they can do. I don't think everyone should
go to college. I mean I have friends who don't want to go to college
simply because learning isn't their, isn't what they're good at.
While Luis Rodriguez
was considered unfit for higher education, his granddaughter was
recently identified as "highly gifted."
name is Catalina Adragna. She had a couple of teachers who told
me that she talked too much and they weren't very happy with her,
and I knew that her distraction should not be seen as a deficiency
but actually it was her being bored or not being challenged, or
she just always had a lot to say. So, that's when I started volunteering
at her school and I've noticed that the teacher, instead of viewing
her talking as a deficiency, now uses it, and when she started her
reading program one of the teachers identified her as gifted.
A child has to
come to the attention of someone. Often it's that child's parents
who are interested in having the child tested for gifted and approach
Then a school psychologist
does a battery of tests to the student to see if their IQ is sufficiently
high to qualify for a gifted program. Other children whose parents
understand how the school system works, they take their child to
a psychologist outside of school and get a privately administered
You sit down with
the child, you give them a test for an hour and a half and then
you decide, you are gifted, you are not gifted, and you are retarded.
What is it you're measuring? Some of these children they come home.
They may have traveled more they have wider experiences. There is
a difference between your innate ability, meaning what you're able
to do, you're born with, and the cultural aspects that a particular
test may be tapping.
I pledge allegiance
to the flag of the United States of America ...
I know how to
work the system, I know when I become really close with the teacher
and I let them, um, see how involved I am, and I offer my assistance
and make sure that I'm helping out, that that's gonna help my daughter's
...for liberty and justice
You may sit
You have a situation
where, yeah, how come I was treated like I would never amount to
anything, and yet my kids and my grandkids are now considered gifted?
And and you know what happened, what was the difference? They always
had the capacity just like just as I had
I was a kid who
started off like all kids, like all kids wanting to learn. But what
happens when you start school? And what happens when you get the
perception somehow that you're less than others? A lot of kids buy
into it because you start believing that I don't deserve better,
I don't deserve college, I don't deserve this
When students who
have comparable ability are placed in different tracks so one of
them goes into a higher ability class and one of them goes into
a lower ability class, even students who start out with, say, similar
scores on a math test, get very far apart after one year, two years,
three years of being in different tracks.
You see this disparity.
You see white and Asian kids doing better than black and brown kids.
Now do you think it's because, maybe money? But do you think it's
because white and Asians are smarter than black and brown kids?
You know in some weird
way, I mean, I kind of agree, um, because, you know, everything
shows that, you know, the white people, they are smarter, they do.
They know more stuff. You know, get a white person and put a Hispanic
and ask them questions. The Caucasian is gonna know more.
It does become a
self-fulfilling prophecy. They get the message that one quote, race,
is superior to another race. That's pretty dangerous.
I think the Supreme
Court could not possibly have predicted how resistant Americans
would be to desegregation, and how the institutions would find ways
to re-segregate students, even when they were going to the same
This is definitely
a big enough kitchen.
People always said
once you had kids it'll push you out of the city. And I know they
were talking about education.
The public schools
that we encountered the teachers are overwhelmed and schools are
We put Hallie in
public school for kindergarten and then she went to first grade
We just decided
that the academics were being were not being emphasized as much
as they should and we pulled her out
footage is 1,049 and the taxes before the STAR exemption are 8500.
By moving to the New
York suburb of Hastings, David Rosen and Sophie Haden are giving
their daughters something hard to come by in the city: a good education
‚ for free.
So would this be
a walk to her school
Their taxes will be
higher in the suburbs, but when David Rosen considers his family's
options, they'll still come out ahead.
In essence we are
sort of paying a private school tuition but we're paying probably
1 quarter for our taxes in Hastings what we would be paying for
2 private school tuitions in the city.
New York, like most
states across the country, relies on local real estate taxes to
finance public schools. So the higher the property values, the more
funds flow to education. It translates into gaping disparities between
schools in affluent suburbs and those in the inner city.
We have some districts
in our state which are spending as little as 7000 dollars or 8000
dollars per pupil and we have some districts that are able to spend
20,000 dollars parents in New York City see if I just move across
the border my child's going to have 20% more spent on him or her
25% more spent on him or her that translates into a better educational
not everyone can escape
to suburbia. Solangel Cabral's children are among the one million
public school students in New York City.
We can't move because of our economic situation. People who can't
move basically have to say I'll accept what the system gives me.
As president of the
Parents' Association at her daughter's school, Cabral sees first-hand
how the city's schools are squeezed for resources.
Many times my daughter says to me, "Mom we didn't have scissors
we didn't have glue to complete the projects. We didn't have the
materials to finish our work." I said those things can't be happening
in the classrooms.
We do a manipulative
phonics activity where children use individual sets of letter cards
to form a series of words none of those letter cards were provided
Add one letter to ran and you can spell rain.
I made the template
on my computer at home. I bought the cardstock to print them I laminated
them. I cut them apart.
It's a constant
thought of when do I get these supplies, how do I get these supplies,
where do I get them and how I'm going to pay for them. There's a
different environment that you have upstate. The classes are smaller,
the schools are smaller, there are a lot more up to date computers,
the classrooms are brimming over with books.
Hi. DAVID ROSEN:
David, Gail Kipper.
Hi. GAIL KIPPER:
Hi. And you are? HALLIE ROSEN: Hallie. GAIL KIPPER: Halie and where's
your hand there it is nice to meet you Hallie.
It pays for the quality
of the classroom it pays for the quality of the teacher it pays
for you know the the books. GAIL KIPPER, principal: If the computer
lab is being used you can work with our wireless labs and those
are our computers on a cart and you take them off the cart and they
are um internet accessible so the children are using wireless um
computers in their classrooms. RACHAEL BRINKMAN: There are no computers
in my classroom um and my children aren't lucky enough to have access
to the technology lab this year because not all of the classes get
do have leaks in the building and uh some of the ceilings are crumbling.
is small and there are not a lot of books.
the reference area of the library and then over here we have a 5th
grade library class.
We do have a very serious issue here with overcrowding this used
to be an office now its space used for a classroom.
our children are a year ahead in math actually there are going to
be some children who have 2 periods of math a day.
So does that mean
that the 8th graders are taking 9th grade math?
Yes it does.
Hallie's moving to
Hastings they'll be coming here in April she'll be going into 7th
I'm not ashamed to admit the fact that that I'm leaving because
the school system's not good I think people are moving to the suburbs
and its perpetuating the problem but until there is more money that's
focused on the New York City public school system then its its going
We're going this
Welcome again to Albany,
home of not necessarily truth and justice but it's home of where
we have to have our influence. We are here on behalf of the children
of the state of New York.
Fifty years after Brown
vs. Board of Education promised equality, parents and advocates
are raising new questions about the way public schools are financed.
We think that the way schools
should be funded is first you should access what it costs to educate
a child then you need to figure out how much can legitimately be
raised by a locality, and what they can't raise the state should
A legal group called
the Campaign for Fiscal Equity took New York State to court, charging
that the state failed to provide sufficient funding to meet the
basic educational needs of students. in June 2003, the state's highest
But even that is not
enough. though the court has spoken, the state government has yet
to increase funding for schools. Solangel Cabral and other parents
of city students, are taking their fight to the state capital in
We want to see Adriano Espaillat.
We want to see Adriano Espaillat. We want to see Adriano Espaillat.
does want to meet with everybody but unfortunately he's in a committee
meeting. He should at like around he should be back like around
like around 12:20.
We want money now. We want
money now. We want money now. We want money now.
[In Spanish] Let's
listen to the adults.
Our after school program doesn't have any funds. We need computers.
We don't have good technology lab in our school. My question is
do you think these children can compete?
I'm willing to go
to the school to meet with all three directors of the after school
There's talk about a lot of money. I don't see the money. And I
see that everyday children are failing.
We feel like we're
barely affording being able to move to an exclusive suburb with
a good school system. But there are people that don't even have
that much money to be able to do that.
There are parents that have two or three jobs to support their families
and pay their rent. I don't think it's fair that someone should
have to move from a place for a better school.
There's a little
bit of guilt to say, you know, that you gave up on the system. I
just found it too daunting. It's unfair — it should be equal, and
you know, and I wish I had the power to make that equal but I don't.
There have been
days where I've gotten tired of waking up so early because I'll
be like why do I have to wake up so early? Boston kids don't have
to wake up until 6:30. But I have the opportunity//there some kids
that can't even get into this program. So I need to get up and go
Tamara Brooks is enrolled
in METCO, one of the oldest voluntary integration programs in the
country. METCO buses inner city children to schools in 32 Boston
Good morning and
welcome to the 2004 Annual meeting of the Town of Lincoln
ago, the town of Lincoln helped start METCO because it wanted racially
mixed schools. But today in Lincoln, where the average home sells
for a million dollars, there's a heated debate about the importance
We've got a
town meeting going on, the big event in Lincoln, annual event. Article
19 is the METCO article which is a it's a vote from the school committee
asking for uh the support of the town to continue to support the
For some people in
town the METCO program is the be all and he end all and they feel
that without it the school system will be no good. I don't feel
that way. I think that diversity is important but for me that's
not a primary thing that drives my life.
When I grew up in
Lincoln, it was all white. Intellectually you know oh yes everybody's
just the same but you look at somebody that's different and it takes
a lot of getting used to. It's not quite preconceived uh prejudices
but it's just a matter of comfort. My kids grew up very differently
only because of the METCO program
It's ridiculous to think
that we are going to educate children, be they African American,
or Latino, uh, European American, Asian American, Native American,
educate them completely separately and then throw them together
in college or the work environment and expect that we're not going
to have conflict.
The first time
I rode the bus to Lincoln was in kindergarten and I was so scared
I didn't even want to go and I was crying because it was such a
long ride I didn't know where I was going.
Once I had driven
out of Newark past Irvington and the tangle of railroad crossings.
I think that if
I had went to like a Boston public school compared to this school
I don't think I would have learned as much as I did out here.
In 1974, after a long
court battle, Boston was ordered to desegregate its public schools.
busing ripped the city apart, and made Boston the symbol of white
resistance in the North. But even as the rocks were flying, the
METCO program was working. For African American families, METCO
was one of few ways to escape failing schools and white hostility.
The suburban busing
program METCO began and I went with the black kids from the black
community out to a white suburb. Suddenly I saw the difference Between
separate and unequal schooling at its most racist and most invidious
and most destructive and the wonderful beautiful possibilities of
first rate schooling in one of the best school systems in the US.
Thirty years later,
busing has ended and METCO stands as the last remnant of the push
for integration. Today the majority of students left in the Boston
school system are black or Latino, and the schools are in decline.
We do know today
that the Boston public schools, in terms of its district high schools,
they are an abomination. They are absolutely awful, ah, and kids
who are trapped there are not getting the education and the training
and the social development that will make it possible for them to
have opportunities for further education and — and further opportunities.
The only hope for many
students is to get out. Twenty-eight percent of all Boston public
school students are on the waiting list to get into the METCO program.
The METCO program
currently services about 3,200 children. Although that sounds like
a lot um we have to remember that the Boston public schools um they
I think we have 60,000 children so really this a drop in the bucket.
I don't see this
as a question of race as much as a question of what can we afford,
and the cost to Lincoln over and above what we're reimbursed through
state funding is over 400,000 dollars a year. To bring these 90
or 91 kids into Lincoln, I'm not sure that the benefit equals the
I dream of being
a pediatrician because I like working with little kids and I'd like
to help them. I'm not sure what college I'd like to go to. In April
I'm going on a college tour.
Ahm, what is
difficult, I think, about the vote, ahm, is when I think of, ahm,
Brown Versus the Board of Education, ahm, I think that was also
a time when parents who knew what they wanted for their children
— you know, they were very clear about what was needed to educate
their kids well — were unable to do that for themselves. In the
case of Lincoln, it's almost as if you feel that powerless once
again, because you have METCO parents, who will not be able to decide
what's going to happen to their children. They have no voice in
In the last ten years,
more than 500 court-ordered and voluntary school desegregation plans,
like METCO, have been eliminated.
If you look back
the whole history since Brown vs. Education this is one of the few
things that is working, we know it's working it's been in place,
the kids have started in kindergarten, we met them when they were
5 years old, we followed them all the way through high school, they
went to college.
By coming here,
I've I've learned a lotta different things and I've met like a lot
of new people that I probably would have never met if I haven't
been in the METCO program.
Today, Lincoln will
vote on whether its METCO program should continue.
This is more than
just a vote in Lincoln because a lot of towns are facing this issue
and if Lincoln falls on this issue a lot of people think that it's
the first one in the domino that they're gonna go down like that.
I mean that's worst case scenario but really could knock down the
I think the METCO program
and other voluntary desegregation programs throughout the country,
many of which which have produced modest but significant results,
the truth of the matter these program have precious little support,
not because of the money but because of what our priorities are.
The ironic thing 50 years after Brown we are involved in the fight
to preserve even voluntary opportunities.
Today, Genill Prendergast,
like every third-grader in the state, will take the Florida Comprehensive
Assessment Test, or FCAT. Florida is part of a national trend: in
a growing number of school districts across the country, third graders
who fail a single standardized test may be forced to repeat a grade.
The state of Florida
is on the leading edge of education reform; we've raised the standards,
we expect results, so that not one single child in America is left
Okay you guys, today
you're going to take the FCAT. Remember, you will have sixty-minutes
to take your test.
If Genill doesn't pass
the test today, next year she may be in third grade, for the third
Relax. We've reviewed
this since August, right?
Okay, let's get started.
In 2003 forty-three
thousand third graders failed the test in the State of Florida.
Advocates describe a vicious cycle in which the schools with the
greatest need are assigned the most inexperienced teachers, and
even they don't stay long.
It's very difficult
for those principals to recruit teachers because people who work
in low performing schools don't get a bonus, so when you get the
opportunity, you transfer and many classes have been taught by substitute
Eight, six, four, four
hundred and sixty eight.
and the very last one
Genill is a very smart
girl. She's the type of child that retains so much information,
you can ask her about a book she's read two months ago and she will
give you every answer. Two and a half years I've been working with
her, and I've never even seen a C. And how can a child who works
this hard be retained?
There was forty-three
kids in my class this year and there were only four kids that passed.
There was things on the test that my teacher didn't teach me and
that was not fair.
In the past we moved
students along, um for the most part, simply because they got older
and doing that doesn't do them any favors.
It bothers me when my
friends ask me why I'm still in third grade
Part of progressing
in life involves stresses. Now the fact that forty two thousand
students failed the third grade FCAT, that you know that impression
that it's too high of a number may be wrong in fact maybe its too
low of a number.
No one is consciously
guiding these children into the appropriate coursework to pass the
test. They didn't raise the resources, they didn't invest in the
children, so consequently they're caught in this quagmire and they're
collateral damage across the state.
High Stakes tests such
as the FCAT shames and stigmatizes children and turns our schools
into giant test prep centers.
The Florida Coalition
for Assessment Reform is a grassroots organization of parents, teachers
and students who believe that High Stakes Testing undermines education.
...and guarantee a permanent
underclass to do society's drudge work.
The coalition points
to students like Ashley Johnson, one of twelve thousand high school
seniors who failed the FCAT last year.
Ashley was an honor
student who won a scholarship to a four-year college. When she failed
the FCAT she was denied a diploma and her scholarship was withdrawn.
There were lots of things
on the FCAT that I was never taught and I had never seen before.
I don't know how they expected us to pass. I know some teachers
said "well I know I can't pass it and so I know you're not gonna
be able to pass it, but go ahead do your best and try"
There is such
a difference in going in one school, in one community, and going
into another school in another community. Why don't we tackle this
problem, instead of testing the children, predicting they'll fail,
watching them fail, and denying them a good life? And that's exactly
what's happening and that's racism.
The vice chair of
the department board of education, having drinks with the president
of Wackenhut-and you all know who Wackenhut is right? They run the
prison systems in Florida and around the country. He said Mr. President,
how do you all decide how many prison beds you're going to need
in the future? And you know what Mr. president said? He said they
look at the number of third graders who have to repeat third grade.
The place where I lived
with my grandmother there were a lot of fights, robberies, and shootings,
and killings, and high speed chases, and everything. I could be
a mother right now. I could be on drugs. It's kind of tempting sometimes.
I got a job working at
Universal. I have to get up at five, takes about an hour, hour and
a half to get to w-work some days. My father didn't finish school
and my mother didn't finish school because she got pregnant, and
my older brother, he wasn't able to finish school, and so I was
the one that was there to go ahead and lead that path to finishing
school and then going to college ‚like a role model for my little
sisters and cousins. When I first told my grandmother, I said, I
didn't pass the FCAT and then walked out. She said, "What did you
say?" and I said, I didn't pass the FCAT. And she said, "How long
did you know?" and I said I been knew, I just I just didn't want
to tell you because I was embarrassed. It, it drives you to that
point of, you want, where you want to kill yourself. Some people
just can't handle the hurt and it just, they just feel the only
way out is just to kill themselves.
Test our children?
Yes! We believe in accountability, but the reason why I'm upset
is because I sat in the living room of an honor student who passed
every other test, met all of the other requirements, but did not
pass the FCAT. I sat in her living room after she attempted suicide.
You don't know the pain.
Boycott the FCAT.
Oh, I know that's radical, but when a child tries to commit suicide,
that's radical. When children are dropping out because they have
a feeling of helplessness, that's radical.
No more FCAT. No more
FCAT. No more FCAT.
I feel like I should be
in school, you know, working towards my career right now. It was
really hard just, you know, this one test holding you back from
college and starting your dreams and starting your life. While I'm
working, my mind just roams, and think about my future, and my major's
changed about a thousand times because I think about all the things
that I really love to do
This is what
we have been taught and this is what we tell our children, you can
be anything you want to be, just go to school. And then when the
school turns its back on you, what happens to the children? What
happens to society?