Vol. 8    No. 1
JANUARY 10, 2013

The Capital City Hues
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EDITORIAL STAFF

Jonathan Gramling
Publisher & Editor

Clarita G. Mendoza
Sales Manager

Contributing Writers
Rita Adair, Ike Anyanike, Paul
Barrows, Alfonso Zepeda
Capistran, Theola Carter, Fabu,
Andrew Gramling, Lang Kenneth
Haynes, Rebecca Her, Heidi
Pascual,  & Martinez White
Reflections/Jonathan Gramling
                     Dreams for Our Children
What is Education Reform?
Education as the next Civil Rights
struggle
I am pleased to announce that The Capital City Hues has been granted press credentials for President Barack
Obama’s inaugural activities next weekend. The U.S. Senate has granted us press credentials for the
swearing-in ceremony on Capitol Hill. In addition, we have press credentials for the Kids Inaugural Ball, the
National Day of Service, the American Indian Society Inaugural Ball and more.

It’s going to be an action-packed weekend and we want to bring you there with us. We have entered the 21st
century and so we will be keeping our readers up-to-date on the election via Facebook and Twitter. Like The
Capitol City Hues on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @CapitalCityHues. We will be posting photos writing
commentary as this historical weekend unfolds.  If you can’t be at President Barack Obama’s inauguration,
experience it through the lens of The Capital City Hues!

***
It’s been like I have been in a dream state all weekend, transcribing interviews and listening to people’s
visions for our public schools, their thoughts swirling around in my mind. Dr. Martin Luther King had a Dream
that all of our children would be judged by the content of their character and not by the color of their skin. And
educators with many different perspectives have dreams for our children as well.

While these dreams can be somewhat different, it seems that they have the relationship of the student with the
teacher at its core. How much time should they spend together? To what extent should the teacher — and other
school professionals — intervene in the life of that student and track his/her progress to ensure that he/she
can learn? In which ways should the teacher be trained to ensure that he/she will understand the child and
teach him/her in culturally-understanding ways so that the student will get it and desire to achieve?

When I look back at my own educational experience through the years, I can remember specific teachers with
whom I really connected. Perhaps they saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself and they were
determined to bring it out of me. Or maybe they were such excellent teachers that they made everyone feel
special and that they could learn.

I also remember the teachers who didn’t reach me at all. They were distant and sometimes we would pull
pranks on them and we were somewhat disruptive. I remember one who said the only reason I made it into a
high school in Milwaukee was because my brother went there, implying that I wasn’t able to achieve on my
own. Boy did that hurt. I did graduate from that high school with over a 3.0 GPA and was accepted into the
University of Wisconsin-Madison. But I know that if I had run into more teachers like her, I probably wouldn’t
have gone that far.

As I said before, the quality of education is dependent upon the teacher-student relationship and how well they
bond. How well can the teacher and the student able to let the relationship grow? How well do they understand
each other so that when something happens, they understand each other’s true intentions? Transferring
knowledge depends — in my humble, lay opinion — on how much the teacher and student can be open with
each other and let their defenses down. When they relate well each other and connect, all kinds of intellectual
lights can go off. When the teacher has the proper resources, all kinds of learning possibilities can happen.
When the teacher believes in the student, the sky is the limit in terms of that student achieving to the best of
his/her ability.

And when each child achieves to the best of his/her ability, we all benefit because we will all have adequately
trained doctors, lawyers, scientists, peace officers, fire fighters, business people, government employees and
others who will make the quality of our lives better. Not just that child benefits; we all benefit when the child
takes positive educational strides in his/her lives and are being judged by the content of their character and
not by the color of their skin or speculation on what little should be expected of them.

So in honor of Dr. King, we have focused on education and school reform in this issue because it has been
said that education is the civil rights issue for the 21st century. As Dr. Gloria Ladson-Billings noted in her
commentary, education is the way for people to get ahead in this world, economically and socially, now more
than ever. When our educational system doesn’t work for a class of children, we all lose out and it deprives
that class of students an opportunity to create a better life for themselves.

It keeps them in a static state in our society and with our ever increasingly complex world with more
challenges than I was a child, we need everyone to achieve to his/her ability if the human race is going to
survive these challenges. We need to ensure that each child achieves for our own survival.

And while we are all motivated often by our own self-interest, no matter how narrowly or broadly we define
that self-interest, I would also like to think that I am motivated by the Dream of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., that
we can reach his Beloved Community and care for each other and what happens to each other. We need Dr.
Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision now more than ever.

Remember! Celebrate! Act!