Eric Holder's Tragic Prison

Some years ago at a major university out west I was hired to teach minority students courses in expository writing.  Most of my students were African-American.  They were part of a "bridge program" at the university that allowed "provisional" students (those whose entrance scores were sub par) to demonstrate within a year that they could handle the academic regimen at the school.I realized that most of the students had been accepted through an affirmative action policy, but I was committed to helping them make the grade.  My strategy was simple: hitch their sense of self-respect and self-confidence to their performance in the class.  In other words, help them to understand that self-esteem is a product of achievement.There was one major problem with my strategy.  Every one of my colleagues teaching in the same writing program was convinced that race, not achievement, was the basis for a minority student's self-esteem. This ideology pervaded...(Read Full Article)

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