Tagged: inequities

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The Highlighter Podcast #9:

Nation editor Zoë Carpenter and teacher Allison McManis

favicon The Highlighter newsletter, which comes out every Thursday at 9:10 am, is all about connecting loyal readers with high-quality articles about race, education, and culture. Ever since I launched the podcast two months ago, I’ve made sure to have loyal subscribers on the show — because what we read matters to what we do and how we are. I’ve wanted subscribers to get to know each other, and I’ve appreciated how our community has grown and gotten closer together.

This week on the podcast, there’s a big surprise. In addition to having a loyal subscriber on the show, there is also an author of one of the articles from last week’s newsletter.

I’m pleased to announce that Zoë Carpenter, editor at The Nation and author of “What’s Killing America’s Black Infants, is a guest on today’s episode.

Interviewing Zoë is social studies teacher Allison McManis, who teaches World History at City Arts and Technology High School in San Francisco. They talk about Zoë’s article, systemic inequities, and how our society allows infant mortality among African American babies to remain at a staggeringly high rate.

Please take a listen below and enjoy. Also, if you like the podcast, please feel free to subscribe!

Listen now: j.mp/hipod9zoe
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Thank you, and see you next Sunday evening for the next episode of the podcast!

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What’s unfair about AP, #4

 It has been a few days since my students took the AP English Literature examination. Now it’s time to do a little reflection.

The good news is that my students felt prepared and were generally happy about their performance on the test. Also good was that my students reported that the test was a fair one. (Teachers never get to see the multiple-choice section and receive the essay prompts at a later date.)

But there was plenty bad news, too.

For one, the testing space — a middle-school science laboratory, complete with Bunsen burners — was incredibly uncomfortable for my students. The lab stools were high and didn’t have chair backs. Yes, lots of discomfort. When I tested the stools, they didn’t seem uncomfortable to me, but then again, I didn’t have to remain immobile for three hours.

Several students reported that they spent an entire hour writing their essays standing up. One student said he had to sprawl out on top of the lab table in order to complete his last essay.

Horrible conditions, right? Actually, no. For our school, this was the best testing space we’ve had in years, and it took considerable work on the part of the administration. In the past, students have had to take their tests next to loud classrooms or down in cold basement storage.

I told my friend about my students’ testing room. She reminded me that we took our AP tests in a lush Hewlett-Packard conference room.

It’s just another thing that’s unfair about the AP. Because schools must furnish the testing space for students, underfunded urban schools get short shrift.

That’s right: Every student across the country takes the exact same test, but my students — who already have to scrap to pass it — have to overcome a makeshift space. They don’t mind; they’ve done it all their lives.

But it’s still bothersome.