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White Savior

pbernal's picture

According to online resources, the term, white savior, is "in reference to western people going in to 'fix' the problems of struggling nations or people of color without understanding their history, needs, or the region’s current state of affairs." In Anyon and Greene's article, "No Child Left Behind as an Anti-Poverty Measure," and in both online articles, the white savior narrative is voiced and further explained as into why what one might consider helping might actually be further damaging individuals and communities. 

It seems like almost in every situation, people have good intentions but go about it the wrong way. Rather than solely observing the community's problem, we should encourage individuals to interact and attempt to become a part of that community and familiarize themselves within people who belong to those communities before wanting to make a change. Observations are only part of understanding the problem, but wanting to make a difference and impact, we must be active within the community. We must also remember to be humble and modest, not assume authority or control over the situations simply because we believe we know better or have clear cut solutions from our perspective. 

"When the Act asssumes- even implicitly- that poverty is a result of low scores on standarized tests, rather than on the fact that there are not enough decently paying jobs, it lets the businness community off the hook. It saddles the poor with unrealistic expectations and the rest of us with unwitting support of corporate irresponsibility."

We must step inside the box before wanting to fix anything. In education alone, the pressure for students to succeed is far more than test scores. It's like a domino effect, higher test scores result in more funding, more access to resources for students, more benefits and higher pay for teachers and overall reputation of schools. But how can we expect for students to perform well or even reach at a specific level if they don't have the resources to perform well to start with.