Friday, December 12, 2014

The existing educational system will not solve our social problems

Things to No Longer Believe In, and Things to Do in 2015
by Jimmy Franco Sr.

We all have a general tendency to believe in myths that have been consistently repeated to us all of our lives as this type of conditioning process has instilled within our minds a subjective faith in certain feel-good concepts and abstractions that do not really exist. We are not born this way, but we are propagandized and programmed to accept as true what political authorities, schools and other social institutions implant within us even though many of these ingrained myths, concepts and historical occurrences that we are taught are often not real or actually didn’t happen within our society. So, there is a contradiction between what many of us have been conditioned to believe and what actually exists or simply put, illusions versus social reality. With the approach of 2015, we need to reject this conditioning process and discard most abstract concepts, theories and illusory beliefs that are detached from the objective world and which hinder us from confronting important social issues and changing conditions within our society…Here are some beliefs that many of us hold or have once held, that actually don’t exist or do not correspond to the real world. As such, they need to be discarded into the trash bin of 2014.

The existing educational system will solve our social problems:
The traditional message that we have all heard is to tell students to attend school and do well and that this effort will most likely produce a good future. However, this educational road is a lot more complicated and difficult than implied by this simplified message. Numerous young casualties are being left along the academic pathway as many students have tried their best in school and still have fallen by the educational wayside. While we should motivate

Ethnic studies courses develop academic skills & an enhanced sense of cultural pride
students to do well in school, the existing reality of an unequal educational system, poverty, parents working long hours to survive, inferior schools with low expectations and sub-standard teachers, effectively derail the enthusiasm and academic achievement of many low-income Latino students. Adding to this deplorable situation is the rapid increase in college tuition costs and resulting loan debt. These social and economic barriers are widespread in many of our schools and prevent many students with good intentions from not successfully completing their studies. Besides being supported and motivated to do well academically by family and friends, students also need to be encouraged by them to become involved in the growing political movement to reform and change their schools by demanding more funding and resources for their classrooms, a higher level of expectations and accountability from teachers and administrators and lower college tuition costs. The participation by students in this struggle to change and improve our schools is an important aspect of a student’s education and is a way for them to give back to their communities while enhancing their own world outlook and academic work. The ability of all students to actually have an equal opportunity to succeed in school requires that we continue our efforts to fundamentally change and reform our present educational system. Otherwise, a sizable number of these students with good intentions and who are trying their best will continue to fall through the educational cracks of a broken system.

Ethnic studies programs are acceptable to the educational establishment:
A belief that is still commonly held is that the educational system in this society is a neutral institution that is beneficial to all students regardless of ethnicity and class background. On the contrary, this country’s educational system has been an integral part of the government’s traditional assembly line method for mass producing standardized thinking and standardized members of society. This is achieved by utilizing nationalism and a selective version of history to pressure, condition and ‘Americanize’ immigrants and minority groups through the imposition of a rigid template of uniform ideas, culture and norms of behavior. In other words, like a giant cookie cutter, the objective of the educational system in this country is to take individuals of different colors and ethnic backgrounds and program them to think and behave uniformly and obediently. The educational establishment which is the beneficiary and defender of this traditional system will continue to resist efforts to accept change and implement qualitative ethnic studies programs. When ethnic studies programs are approved, educational institutions constantly attempt to water down these programs and chip away at them by cutting funding, hiring incompetent instructors or by diluting the curriculum. Ethnic studies needs to be struggled for, implemented and even more important, consistently defended and expanded so that these courses and instructors may provide our students with qualitative and academically rigorous courses.

Here are the titles of the additional myths.  You can read the entire piece at

The police truly “protect and serve’ and only kill bad people:

Obama’s immigration action has made the system more humane: 

The Democratic Party is a political ally and always defends Latino interests:

Ethnic studies programs are acceptable to the educational establishment:

The promise of social mobility and class equality are achievable for all:

We have a political democracy where power lies with the people and ballots:

US military forces always fight in defense of freedom and democracy:

The Mexican Government is just and NAFTA and the drug war are beneficial:

The texts for each of these can be read at the website.

During 2014, the lack of just resolution in regard many of these festering social and civil rights issues has created a surge of justifiable anger and activism within the country. This resistance and social activism is a positive and growing trend as people’s grasp of social reality and sense of justice has been heightened and now needs to be given an organizational form and clear political objectives so that victory on these issues can be achieved. Those backward elements who still promote illusory beliefs which create barriers and social divisions among us and impede our forward progress need to be moved aside in 2015 for the good of our communities.

Copyright, December, 2014: Jimmy Franco Sr.
Facebook: Jimmy Latinopov
Twitter @xicanomc

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