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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

What if kids walked out for better schools?

Image result for illiterate U.S. students school cartoon

What if kids walked out demanding better schools? Erika Sanzi imagines demands for school quality and protests of racial/ethnic achievement gaps, students holding posters proclaiming “18 percent of Black eighth-graders read at grade level” and “28 percent of my teachers are chronically absent.”

Imagine cities across America filled with students, teachers, parents and celebrities chanting in unison about the belief gapclassroom conditions and single-digit math proficiency while cable and network news stations blanket the country with reporters covering the fiery speeches of students and Hollywood’s biggest stars who say #EnoughIsEnough when it comes to the millions of American children who can’t read at grade level. . . . Students in California could wear #BlackLivesMatter t-shirts and hold up signs that say “75 percent of Black boys in California don’t meet reading standards.” Students in my state of Rhode Island would carry posters with the No. 50 on them and spread the message that when it comes to likelihood for success in the future, Latino students in Little Rhody rank 50th in the nation.

Jake Tapper of CNN and Savannah Guthrie at NBC would ask education leaders about “the disconnect between high school graduation rates and the concerns of employers and colleges and universities over the lack of preparedness they see in recent graduates,” Sanzi writes.

In Miami’s gang-ridden Liberty City, Northwestern High students walked out to protest the murders of their classmates, reports the New York Times.

Some in the community criticized the protest, making leaders “go quiet,” writes Patricia Mazzei. “They declined interview requests for fear of negative attention, according to several teachers. Some students also worried about retribution if they were seen as keeping attention focused on the shooting deaths. No one has been arrested.”

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