Oh, well shit, why don't we just get X-Boxes for everyone, if we're worried about keeping them from getting bored? Anything that's not entertaining is certainly not worth doing, and learning is just so boring.
Okay, how's that been working? Who-what-where-when-why, people. Look into it. I have a feeling that there may be a reason why no figures regarding test scores or overall success rate are forthcoming from SANKOFAI -- an acronym which itself is a little-known ebonics term, usually referring to a beat-up Honda Prelude that has a $6000 set of rims and a 900-watt stereo system with 12" subwoofers.
Example: "Yo' sankofai is mad bumpin', dawg! An' check out them muthafuckin' rims!
Actually it is slang, not a formalized language with grammatical structure and proprietary linguistic patterns. It is largely a collection of modified words and phrase patterns to keep The Man from understanding what people are talking about. This is not exactly a secret.
How do I know? I spent every summer from 1975-1985 in either Compton, Bellflower, or Phoenix, being the only white kid in predominantly black neighborhoods. Some of the best moments of my childhood were spent standing ont he street corner in Compton doing the "dozens" [yo mama jokes]. I'm not sayin' I'm O.G. or anything, but I know the people, I know the culture, and I know enough about linguistics in general to know that "ebonics" is a scam perpetrated by sociology departments looking to validate a perceived inferiority complex (and to make it look like they're doing something).
Look, it's simple -- ebonics is a regionalism just like American Southern Crackerspeak is. Now, do we want to start incorporating various crackerisms and malaprops like "nucular" into a formalized educational structure, or should we gently remind people that no one besides Death Row Records has a paying position for someone who talks like a rapper?
So it's all about the affirmation.
This is exactly it. The ebonics debate has been going on for years, obviously, and it is really just the usual identity politics writ small. If they worried half as much about getting these kids to read (which generally requires having parents who read), they'd be doing these kids a much bigger favor. Instead they want to cater to their assumptions about the kids' self-esteem.
There is a huge difference between ensuring that minorities and women have equal rights in society, and wasting taxpayer dollars in an already disintegrating California public school system catering to kids who don't speak very good English. Quit wasting my money massaging their egos and teach them something useful, for Christ's sake, so they can have productive careers and more opportunities available to them.
[via gsand at The Perfect World.]