School Dazed and Confused

July 1, 2010

Lots to say about this article.  First of all, is it as disconcerting to you as it is to me that the following clause is just a phrase in a sentence?  Last school year, 258 public school students were shot in Chicago . . . .

Hold up! Put on the brakes!  Call out the National Guard!  How can this sentence go on?  Why aren’t we protesting in the streets?  What would it take to start a serious social movement about poverty and violence in this country?  and yes, I guess I am talking to myself too.

But the article does go on to talk about a program whereby social scientists were consulted to “predict” the 250 kids most likely to be shot and then provide them with “care taking and support”.    Hmm.  How does that conversation go?  “You know those really smart statisticians in the mansions over there – yeah.  They think you (or your child if they are talking to the adults) are in the top 250 kids most likely to get shot next year.  Here is your bullet proof vest “care and support” team.  It is one woman teacher.”

How do we get to a place where “success” is identifying the 250 kids most likely to get shot and helping them not to?  What about 251?  and also, 258 kids still got shot.  I am all about some things Mayor Daley does and fighting for handgun restrictions (in the face of the newly made-up discovered  interpreted individual right to bear arms) is one of them.  But wow, is there seriously nothing more we can do?