Wednesday, October 24, 2007

10.09.07 response to class 6 - video and Greene's chapter 2

On this class we watched another video. This one was about the SAT tests. The video questioned its validity. What do they measure? Are they really fair? We are talking about a 3 hours multi choice exam, in which today most children taking it are aiming for the perfect score of 600pt so they can enter top universtities. For that goal preparation starts earlier and earlier and it costs more and more.


It was a complicated subject for me. Coming from Brazil I am used to something called vestibular, which I think is worse than the SAT. SAT and GPA are the 2 most importatnt criteria the university admission looks at, but they are not the only ones. Vestibular is a test and its score is the sole determining factor of whether or not you enter college. At least up until a few years ago. Now skin color also matter. And to me that is really more a form of reversed racism than social justice.


It looks like now many schools here in the US also consider skin color as a criteria to admit students, so they can have diversity in their campus. Again, i think this is a form of racism. The argument used by the schools in the video was that they want to keep their campus diverse and give everyone a fair chance. When California population banned racial preferences in college admission, the number of blacks and latinos dropped amazingly. Well, I guess that is unfortunate. That means that probably these groups are not getting that great of a basic education. But their color or ethinicity should not give them the right to get into school. One way that seems fair is that grades are not the only thing looked at, personal history and academic efforts count too. Some schools do that. That is not racism, that is just another way of evatluating whether or not a student is a good fit for a university.

If it is not going to be solely like this then i guess we should either decide for racial quotas for everyone ( so many whites, so many blacks, so many reds) or SAT scores for everyone. Not one and the oter, so a black student with a very low SAT gets in while a white student with that same score would be out. That to me is not only racism, it is also an isult to the black people. The gap is not of color , it is of class and preparation. If the preparation is not adequate, than it is not the tests fault


The problem with the SAT is actually the efect it has on the students. Those who fail it feel awful about themselves. Those who did not get into college after having spent so much time in preparation for it went on to community colleges. That was so disturbing! It means it is either all or nothing – either the top notch schools or community college.


The discussion of the text was Greene's first chapter. The classmate in charge of it felt lost in her task to deliver Greene's message. It was indeed a dense chapter, but I thought I lot of it was a repetition of wha twe had already read in the review of her work by Wnedy Kholi.


Concern for freedom is a recurring theme in our life time. Freedom is always there, we have to talk about it. It can olny be obtained thru ressistance agains toppresion, is it not to be give, it has to be achiveed.

The student who presented this chapeter thinks her idea is really unrealistic, bc she doens't think it can happen in the real world.


Schools don't allow children to be free from automatism Children are taught what society requires them to know, not what they want to know. Certain requirements are needed to work in society


Someone gave one example from Korea; there, it is hard to get jobs bc there's a huge competition, the school you graduated from plays a big part in job selection. Too many people are out of jobs. It makes people who want to try their best very disappointed. Are we talking about the struggle for freedom? I am still trying to figure out her point and how it relates to the text.

We talked about the difference in the concept of Democracy and the concept of freedom. There is a basic difference. Freedom is almost non-existent in some countries. But what about in America? How free are its children? They have pre-selected courses – are they free?

There was a movement in the 70's to try to have children selct their classes. And i wonder how much successful would that movement have made the country's children, had it succeeded?


Greene says sometimes poets and artists are closer to the idea of being free bc they had their piece of work in which they expresses their freedom . Children are not free, bc what they learn has been pre-selected. Democracy is an empty word.


Another's classmate comment was that kids still have the freedom to want to learn . If the course is not their passion they can choose not to learn. It is an element of freedom. The things is that freedom will then entitle responsibilities that will come with those choices right? If Ichoose not to learn, fine, but I will get penalized for that and that might determine the rest of my life opportunitites and restrictions.


1 comment:

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