Now that the problem has surfaced from beneath the waves, we are left to ask what we’re going to do, right?
Now that we are aware, now that we can see the scarred underbelly of our profession, will we just start treating all of our students in the same way?
I don’t think that’s possible. We can’t just change to include all of our students in the AP track so that brown and black kids are not left out as they have been. Psychosocialization is a very subtle thing and we can’t just rewire ourselves and solve the problem.
One way to start is to stare at what we have learned long enough to perhaps hopefully see that our AP track kids have for decades been predominantly missing brown and black kids past level 2 as our AP juggernaut kept rolling up to level 4. By level 4, our students were mostly white females. We can leave the prejudice against boys out of this discussion – it is its own can of worms.
Did we not notice this? What happened? Could we not see what was happening year after year over decades in our four years programs? Did we not notice the hundreds which became thousands which nationally became millions under the neglectful eye of ACTFL, the greedy eyes of the College Board, and our own lack of clear vision?
Were we that blind? Huge percentages of disenfranchised (from our language instruction) kids so that each year the kids who percolated to the top were always white and usually female and from families of privilege?
Did we not notice? Did we ever bring it up with anyone, even casually? Why not? Because it was “just the way things were done in our buildings”. Was it that we didn’t notice it because we didn’t want to notice it?
Socialization in a white supremacist culture is largely about not seeing.