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Living in tangents

Liv's picture

We have been analyzing the impact of our high school experiences a lot in class and it has only affirmed my pride and hesitation towards discussing charter school education.  While I acknowledge not all charter schools allocate their money in a way that is beneficial to students I would push everyone to think of what school, or institution is good at putting the needs of the audience before their incessant need to earn more moneyMy high school did its best to cater to the needs of the students, but its first thought wasn’t what we needed, but "how will we afford it?". Every funding event I attended spoke of the progress they had made in testing, student literacy, autonomy and acceptance rates, but called for more money to allow for flexibility. in our course offerings. My charter school had prided itself on a curriculum that supported students in critical thinking habits that were crucial to being a dynamic thinker in college, as well as a strong tester. In honor of the Marxist readings this week I don't think anything else screams "capitalism" like standardized tests do. My education was absolutely built on supporting a testing system to weed out the kids that didn’t have the financial mobility to prove themselves worthy of the elite education we are all experiencing. I am grateful to have access to free SAT classes, college applications, and additional private tutoring if I so chose to. From this, the universe presented an acceptance letter from Bryn Mawr College that didn’t feel earned, but I took because I didn’t have many options and it was far from a bad one. Now in the fourth week of my third year I am earning more than 7/8ths of my family without a diploma, I have consistent supply of food, filtered water, wi fi, shelter, clothing on my back and options depending on the free box, jobs that I didn’t have to present a resume for and an ID that grants me discounted access to a lot of places. All from my mother's decision to put me in a school in a better neighborhood, than the one we live in. I had and have continued access to endless opportunities because of my individual social capital that was constructed by my mother's position as a white woman who had the confidence to open more doors and to be greedy after barely crawling out of the mid-west working class lifestyle she had. This is a ramble to only exemplify the complexities to my identity that are in some says out of my control, but they weren't supposed to be to begin with. As someone who is growing to be more aware of my positionality in different places it is a goal of mine to push the limits, to cheat the system to find ways to cope.