> I would have thought that NOTHING could get me to stop checking placement > scores for evening classes during the first week of school until I read Carla > Chapman's remarks. I am a Dean at a community college. I went through college > in Massachusetts on Welfare, a single mother of two children. Thanks to the > Commonwealth of Massachusetts, I am not a drug dealer or an overage hooker, > but a working professional who pays more in taxes each year than I received in > aid for the entire four years I was on Welfare back in the 70s. > > Of the many astonishing claims that Ms. Chapman and others have made, I'll > concentrate on two: > "There is nothing more frustrating" than having students in your class who are > only in it for the money??? Let's think a minute. Surely there are SOME > things more frustrating than this experience (which I have had, by the way): > for example, what about the frustration of being a student in a course where > the teacher despises you and feels you are incapable of learning?? What about > being accepted into a classroom in which you are invisible? > > The second statement that offended and shocked me is that a motivated student > will find a way to learn even without government programs. I'd like to wave my > magic wand and have every person who's ever uttered this phrase do it herself. > Did you ever face a situation where you could only get jobs that paid less than > you needed to live? I did and, although I am an able and resourceful person, I > could not manage college without help. What we all need to acknowledge is > that programs like the one that got me through college no longer exist. > Welfare recipients now get job training, not education. If that. > > Brothers and sisters, let's not become jerks just because higher education is > not shaped to change the world. Higher ed is mostly designed to replicate the > class system that already exists. But now this tool is ours--If we reshape it, > we CAN help to change the world. Students who walk into any classroom may > have problems and deficiencies > of various kinds, but nearly all of them also have at least a small glimmer of > hope--the hope that this > time, the teacher will see the value they bring with their person to this > classroom. I'll just quote Mina Shaughnessey here: "always assume that there > is a silent student in the back of the romm greater of head and of heart than > you." > Susan Andrien > Maggie Piccolo Learning Specialist Rutgers University, Learning Resource Center 231 Armitage Camden, New Jersey 08102 (609) 225-6442 Virtually connected!