They’re Not Just Students; They’re Black and White and Brown.

It seems I have read and heard more than enough about Superintendent Carpenter leaving Hickman Mills for Lee’s Summit; yet, for some reason I clicked on a link Tony had in one of his blogs. Now I wish I hadn’t.

I have heard Carpenter say on more than one occasion that the kids in Hickman Mills will never do as well, educationally, as in other districts. That defeatist attitude is, in itself, over the top for a superintendent. At a Lee’s Summit community forum, Carpenter “stood by comments he’s made in the past about black kids needing to learn from black educators”. I can understand black kids needing to see role models, but this implies they can only learn from black teachers. Does that mean white kids need white educators; brown kids need brown educators? Should we go back to segregation so all kids can learn? Has he simply written off the handful of black kids in Lee’s Summit? Perhaps he should be made aware of a quote from Lyndon Johnson: “Until justice is blind to color, until education is unaware of race, until opportunity is unconcerned with the color of men’s skins, emancipation will be a proclamation but not a fact.”

Lee’s Summit can only be wished the best of luck. With all his charisma it’s difficult to know when Carpenter is telling the truth. He likes to cite studies, but of course those studies always support his view. It’s like the number of times he has said the mobility rate in Hickman Mills is 75%; yet, another link on Tony’s to an article written by Barbara Shelly says it’s 61%. Of course that’s a high percentage but the higher number would imply the job of teaching is more difficult.

Tony does some excellent reporting but in the future I will need to restrain myself from clicking on any of his links to Carpenter. It’s just more than my blood pressure can take.