Saturday night, October 1, we posted about how Educators4Excellence said that one of its minions, Jarell Lee, was quoted as saying, something that upon the evidence we had at the time, something he did not say. Jarell was good enough to post in the comments section of that post that he was no misquoted, but rather shared the link with the full length video (34:20 - 35:37). We here, the crack team, and myself, wish to thank Jarell for being so good to post and share this information. We wish to apologize to Jarell and want him to know that we always strive for facts here at SBSB.
But since we are on a factoid mission, and since Jarell believes in the old Sgt Friday saying, "just the facts," we here at SBSB feel that there must be full disclosure. I engaged in a brief conversation last night and just 30 minutes ago with @JarellLee on Twitter. The conversation was quite interesting.
Jarell not only said the title of the previous post, "Little Evan Stone The Puppet Master Of Jarell Lee," was racially insensitive and insulting, but demanded that not only that I change the title of my post, but that I issue the apology for misrepresenting him immediately. Since he posted the correct video lat night at 10 42 PM EDT, and I worked all day today with finally a moment to spare just now as I am writing this, well, too bad.
But racially insensitive because I called Little Evan Stone his puppet master? Geez, I should have thought of something better. Hmmm, "Little Evan Stone The Don Of Jarell Lee?" Could insult Italians. "Little Evan Stone Pope Of Jarell Lee?" Insulting to Catholics. "Little Evan Stone Banker Of Jarell Lee?" Insulting to Jews. "Little Evan Stone Chief Of Jarell Lee?" No, insulting to Native Americans. I need something that will not be insulting to any ethnic or religious groups. Wait, I got it! "Jarell Lee, Evan Stone's Sock Puppet!"
Now on to other bigger and better things. In the video that I quoted Saturday, I had Jarell as saying;
"...that our society needs to stop using poverty as an excuse for not providing a high quality education to all students."But in the full length video, Jarell first says;
"We cannot continue to use poverty as an excuse for why we are not educating our youth. It's no secret that students who grow up in poverty have rough environments......Excuse? When has it ever been used as an excuse? Explanation, yes, excuse, no.
When I asked Jarell to give me proof of this statement he said;
"when ppl say env't/fam background is a reason why students do not achieve is using pov as an excuse.... there are plenty of recent examples of teachers making this false causation and thus, using poverty as an excuse....."I asked him again for proof. He directed me to look at the first thirty minutes of the video link he shared. I then asked him if he has ever had first hand knowledge of teachers using poverty as an excuse. Jarell didn't answer that question. He said;
what's more factual than quotes from the people that inspired my response?I have a bridge in Brooklyn I wish to sell Jarell. I did not know that he just knew so much about education. Jarell has been teaching for just over a year, and came to us, well not really us. He doesn't teach for the NYC DOE, but rather a private, oops, I meant to say charter, school in Brooklyn. He is a 2nd grade teacher at teacher at Excellence Boys Charter School, a subsidiary of Uncommon Schools, Inc.
It's so wonderful how Jarell, a graduate of Harvard, just knows so much in so little time. But I guess this is just typical of how Jarell thinks he is so smart.
What does it mean using poverty as an excuse? Poverty is not an excuse it is a fact. It is this country's dirty little secret that is continuously not ever addressed.
Dang, even Jarell doesn't see the full impact of poverty at his prestigious charter school in which only 48% of students receive a free lunch, compared to my school in which 98% students do. Or what about the ELL's at Excellence Boys Charter School? In the 2009-2010 school year at this charter school for "the poverty stricken," only 1% of students are ELL. In my school out of 525 students, we have 75 students who are receiving ELL pullouts. That comes to 14.28%!!
Yet for all his talk about poverty, whom does Jarell choose to align himself with? The rich and elite from top prep schools and the Ivy League. Those he associates with have never known of want. Touch their hands, there is no callous. Touch their souls, they have never associated with a person of color before it became convenient for them.
Your inspiring organization, E4E is bankrolled primarily from Bill Gates. What has Gates done to address poverty in this country? What have the hedge fund managers, that also support charters, ed deform, E4E, and you, have done to address poverty other than the obligatory photo op?
What has the Uncle Mike done for poverty in New York City? Look around Jarell he has done squat. He turns neighborhoods into enclaves for his buddies. He does not give a rats ass about the poor. It is all lip service.
There are so many other organizations you could have joined other than E4E to affect the students and families of NYC. You chose an organization that does not believe in transparency and one that makes you sign a loyalty oath to them before you could sit down and have a beer with them. What does that say to your sensibilities?
Jarell, it is never to late to become your own person again.