"The most common explanation for the problem that beset urban schools is that they have too many lazy students and uncaring parents" (Ayers et al., 141). Coming from public education my whole life, I am strongly against this statement. In my experience, I have seen every student start school (in elementary school), before they are aware of injustices and gang activity, in an eager manner. As the years progress, this is where a student either becomes a "lazy" student or one of those rare public education students that were able to rise above the injustice and make it. Children begin to fall behind in class and stop understanding the material for various reasons-- unknown disability, students home responsibilities, and unprepared teachers. Students are moved onto the next class grade regardless of their understanding. After awhile of continual failing, the student looses hope. The Short Bus by Jonathan Mooney, explains how disabled students feel about education and he took the reader on a journey understanding his experience and other students that were disabled. At one point, Jonathan explained that he would rather be seen as the class clown rather than the stupid kid. He had one epiphany and from then on developed his persona into this funny student that didn't know he material, but at least he was funny. The students liked him, the teachers did not. In my personal experience, I feel as though this epiphany is a norm for public school students-- they can either accept failure and make the best of the situation (becoming the class clown or even engaging in gang activity-- where they can find a family that supports them and understands what they're going through).
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